Summer Of The Dragon Part 3: How Smallball Can Take Over The CBA


In the third and final part of his look at Chinese basketball, their tactics and and the national team’s traditional stubbornness to change its ways, Marco Catanzro looks at how the best teams in China can embrace modern NBA playbooks and help improve the NT product through leading by example. Continue reading “Summer Of The Dragon Part 3: How Smallball Can Take Over The CBA”

Shark Fin Hoops Interview: Bryce Cotton


After a sudden late season move, the Xinjiang Tigers cut combo guard Andrew Goudelock and replaced him with former Utah and Phoenix point guard Bryce Cotton. Cotton averaged 21.2 ppg during his run with the Tigers before they eventually lost in the CBA Semi-Finals to eventual champions, Sichuan Blue Whale. He now talks to Shark Fin Hoops about his time with the Tigers and his thoughts on Chinese basketball. Continue reading “Shark Fin Hoops Interview: Bryce Cotton”

The Summer Of The Dragon Part 2: Team China At The Olympics


In the second part of his wide ranging look at high profile Chinese basketball,  Marco Catanzaro takes a look at how the Chinese National Team will fair in the 2016 Olympics. With some in the Middle Kingdom getting a little anxious that it could go winless for the second Games in a row, where the wins can come from remains a point of contention. Now its time to find out if and how they might rise. Continue reading “The Summer Of The Dragon Part 2: Team China At The Olympics”

Summer Of The Dragon Part 1: Why Is The National Team So Bad Right Now



In the first of three pieces, Marco Catanzaro is breaking down the nuts and bolts of Chinese basketball and trying to make sense of why tactics are not succeeding and suggesting what needs to change. In light of the Chinese National Team recently getting SMOKED by the USA over two games, his first task is to run the rule over why Team China got so comprehensively beaten.  Continue reading “Summer Of The Dragon Part 1: Why Is The National Team So Bad Right Now”

China’s Best Kept Secrets? Profiling Shanghai’s Wu Guanxi and Shanxi’s Ge Zhaobao At Summer League


Just when you thought you had seen it all, we have another Chinese guy making an NBA appearance, although only for some Summer League action. While last year He Tianju, while largely unproven by any NBA standard, was surely a top tier player by CBA standards, this year’s new additions are far more of a mystery, sometimes even by CBA standards.

Let’s find out who these two guys are then, shall we? Continue reading “China’s Best Kept Secrets? Profiling Shanghai’s Wu Guanxi and Shanxi’s Ge Zhaobao At Summer League”

Breaking Down Zhou Qi’s Potential Fit With The  Rockets and NBA


Making his debut for Shark Fin Hoops, Rolling Wave (aka Richard Chen) breaks down the potential of Zhou Qi in an NBA environment. The young shot blocker made national headlines in China after getting drafted by “Yao’s team”– now it’s time to see what the Rockets have on their hands.
Continue reading “Breaking Down Zhou Qi’s Potential Fit With The  Rockets and NBA”

Belatedly, China Is Back In The NBA– But What Happens Now?


Not since 2007 have Chinese players heard their names called in the NBA draft. History tends to forget that two mainlanders were drafted that year (Yi Jianlian to the Bucks and Sun Yue was also selected by the Lakers in the middle of the second round). Either way, by 2011, both players were out of the NBA and since then, there has been an awkward absence of Chinese players in the world’s biggest league. That was, until last Thursday, when Wang Zhelin and Zhou Qi both were selected.

Continue reading “Belatedly, China Is Back In The NBA– But What Happens Now?”

The Forgotten Man Of Chinese Hoops: Why Wang Zhelin’s Wasted Potential Can Still Be Redeemed


Along with the emergence of Zhou Qi, a familiar habit has occurred within Chinese basketball; namely the complete shifting of media focus from one NBA hopeful to another. Four years ago, Fujian’s Wang Zhelin was the dashing young star destined to go to America but after a disappointing season in 2016 and still no play-off appearance on his four year old resume, the beefy power forward feels like yesterday’s news.  That said, NBA teams should not discount the draft eligible big man and Marco Catanzaro is here to explain why. Continue reading “The Forgotten Man Of Chinese Hoops: Why Wang Zhelin’s Wasted Potential Can Still Be Redeemed”

Wait, Exactly How Old Is Zhou Qi?


After months of speculation, Zhou Qi, China’s most hyped young player since Yi Jianlian, is going to make a run at the upcoming NBA draft.

This should not be much of a surprise for those who have followed the nineteen year old’s short career. After exploding onto the scene with a 28 point, 27 rebound, 15 block triple double during a U-16 international tournament in 2011, Zhou eventually turned pro with the Xinjiang Tigers in 2014 and led the CBA in rejections as a rookie. Having repeated the feat in his sophomore year, it seemed natural to test the NBA waters given that his stock is red-hot and the 2016 Draft appears weaker than 2017. The groundswell of support for Zhou is such that even Xinjiang, the team who own his contract rights, have reluctantly agreed to let him put his name on the board.

But what is muting the excitement is a familiar theme to Chinese basketball fans– namely that there could be an major issue with Zhou’s age.  Continue reading “Wait, Exactly How Old Is Zhou Qi?”

The CBA Finals In One Image

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In what has been a crazy Finals that saw players fight in the streets with fans, the potential suspension of the championship series itself and journalists sob at press conferences, an underdog Sichuan Blue Whale roster surprised many basketball observers by overcoming a stronger, deeper and more experienced Liaoning team.

The key was Hamed Haddadi, who averaged 21.6 points and 19.2 rebounds on his way to the Finals MVP crown. Back in November, I predicted he could be a huge factor in winning a title so I’m feeling pretty smug right now, but it will be the center himself that will have the biggest grin of all.

So in a special moment for Chinese basketball, Haddadi– who is not the most popular guy in the league because of his chippy style of play– got a send-off that is rarely seen outside of a Hollywood screenplay. Because of rules about foreign players, the beloved center has now probably played his last game for Sichuan but still gets to walk off into the sunset as a CBA champion.

Yet before he walked down the player’s tunnel for the final time, a visibly emotional Haddadi suddenly walked up into the packed stands of Sichuan’s arena and gave an impromptu victory speech over the PA system. Its a great photo and one that hopefully can define this Finals after all the anarchy that has preceded it.