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”
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”
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”
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.”
In an increasingly guard driven league, it is important to remember that an overseas power forward or center is absolutely critical to a CBA team. A good big man tends to solve many problems overnight and a middling franchise can often upgrade its front court with just one phone call to the right player.
Continue reading “Big Men, Bigger Value; Hamed Haddadi, Shavlik Randolph Return To China As Free Agency Hots Up”
On the surface, the CBA offseason is six months of dead time. The national team gathers together the county’s best players together for several days (and sometimes even several weeks) of training sessions at various locations inside and outside China. For two months, the National Basketball League (NBL), the sport’s second tier in China, also gets played, albeit to little or no fanfare. Given that this is one of the few periods of free time for CBA players, right now is also the best time of year to be getting married so very tall dudes are either walking down the aisle right this second or watching one of their teammates do the same thing. But it doesn’t mean that there isn’t any meaningful basketball related activity going on. There’s plenty of it– but at this time of year, it’s all being held behind closed doors and far away from the court (and prying eyes). Continue reading “The CBA Draft And What It Could Mean For Chinese Basketball (EDIT)”
Liaoning Leopards vs. Beijing Ducks
Is Liaoning, the team that always flatters to deceive, about to finally fulfill its destiny and win a CBA title? This will be the fifth time the Leopards have made the championship series but not since the mid 1990’s (when the team made three consecutive Finals) have Liaoning looked this good. They have a proven scorer and ball handler in Lester Hudson, a very useful big man that gets it down down low and shooters that space the floor and knock down their shots at a high clip. Continue reading “Shark Fin Hoops CBA Play-Off Preview: Finals”