Call it an overhaul, call it a gentle purge but whatever is going on in Beijing is pretty significant. Yesterday, the Beijing Ducks announced that Yannis Christopoulos, a long-term assistant coach with the Chinese national was taking over as Ducks head coach.
Min Lulei, Christopoulos’ predecessor and one of the CBA’s most decorated coaches, will now take up a role within the Ducks front office. For watchers of Chinese basketball, these are remarkable times.
Continue reading “Min Lulei Steps Aside As The Beijing Reboot Continues”
After a summer of obituaries to a fine basketball team, somehow the Guangdong Tigers will not die. After being blown out by almost thirty points against the Shanxi Dragons in Game 1 of the regular season, it felt safe to finally say the most dominant CBA team of the last decade was done. But instead, Guangdong are 17-3 and sitting in second place in the table. They are on course to make the postseason and force their way into the title discussion once again. On paper, it makes no sense. Continue reading “Yi Jianlian And Guangdong Are Proving Everyone Wrong”
Like too many rebuilding projects, the Bayi Rockets only opted in once they took a hard look in the mirror. The previous season, the former kings of Chinese basketball were dragging old legends out of retirement to win games and the nationwide criticism may well have had something to do with the current Rockets ethos. Because whatever discussions happened in the 2015 offseason, Bayi suddenly seem content at being pretty bad.
Continue reading “Teenage Dreams And Army Teams: How Rookies Represent Hope For The Bayi Rockets”
Building on today’s article about the faltering Beijing Ducks, this is the go-to image to demonstrate the changing times in the CBA. Here, having been benched for a technical foul, Shandong’s young swingman Su Ran continues to shout across the court at Stephon Marbury (in English) to ‘go back to Beijing’.
Shandong beat the CBA champions 109-88 in front of a raucous home crowd.
Continue reading “CBA Snapshot: Sui Ran Trash Talking Stephon Marbury”
The picture shown above was the lead image of Sina Sport’s CBA coverage for most of Sunday and early Monday morning. In it, Stephon Marbury is glaring angrily at his Beijing teammate and former LA Laker, Sun Yue. Meanwhile, with both men trapped in their own private imbroglio, Shandong’s Ding Yanyuhan hangs from the rim amid the sound of a home arena rising to its feet. Few images speak this loud; few moments better incapsulate how much trouble the reigning CBA champions are in.
Continue reading “Sitting Ducks; Marbury Fumes As Beijing Continues To Struggle”
With talk about both Zhou Qi and Wang Zhelin running for the NBA draft in the near future, young Chinese players haven’t been talked about this much since Yi Jianlian was a young prospect almost a decade ago. Now, in the first of two parts, Marco Catanzaro breaks down some of the other young players that need to be studied closely. Continue reading “Local Players To Watch This Season (Part 1)”
In a change to last season’s preview (in part because nether myself, Marco nor Patrick can decide who is going to finish where in the 2015/16 standings), this season at Shark Fin Hoops, we’re going to breakdown all twenty teams in the league, profiling who we think is going to do what. This season is arguable the most unpredictable in years, with several legitimate title contenders and a number of sides that could surprise anyone on their day. So, in the first of four parts, here is the breakdown of the Bayi Rockets, Beijing Ducks, Chongqing Dragons, Dongguan/Shenzhen Leopards and Fujian Sturgeons.
Continue reading “Breaking Down The 2015/16 CBA Season: Part 1”
An unexpected story that could one day be a milestone in the evolution of Chinese youth basketball broke last week. Zhang Zhiyao (center), the son of Beijing Ducks assistant Zhang Jingdong, will soon leave China and be moving to Spain where he will be part of the youth program of Eurobasket giants, Real Madrid. It might not mean much to Americans but in China this news was understandable a fairly big deal. Continue reading “China’s Man In Madrid: How Zhang Zhiyao Represents A Brave New World For Chinese Hoops”
Back in 2014, the Chongqing Flying Dragons were one of two new expansion teams in the CBA and like most expansion teams, they weren’t really any good. Although they had one of the better scorers in the CBA in Willie Warren, the team sucked hard and finished bottom of the standings with a 4-32 record. Yet now the Dragons are moving to a different city less than a year after making their debut in Chongqing. Continue reading “Untapped and Unknown; Chongqing’s Relocation And The CBA’s Basketball Market”
On the flip side of the fourth quarter rule that now allows only one import on the court at any time, many things have changed in the CBA. Now there are ‘import no. 1’ and ‘import no. 2’ statuses, a seldom-before-seen hierarchy for foreigners and a distinctly fresh flavor to the Chinese free agency market. It seems teams have also gotten wise to the need to balance out their rosters. One only has to look at thrice-time champions Beijing– whose wisely built roster allows homegrown players like Li Gen and Sun Yue to thrive without not taking numbers away from Randolph Morris and Stephon Marbury– to realize how successful this special blend actually is. Continue reading “Keeping Up With The Zhou’s: CBA Teams Looking To Get Local Assets.”