How Yi Jianlian’s Free Agency Could Change The CBA Landscape Overnight

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With speculation mounting about his free agency status, Yi Jianlian was forced to release a statement last Monday. In it, the captain of the Chinese national team confirmed that he had not re-signed with the Guangdong Tigers despite his looming free agency but that talks were set to begin soon.

But the announcement, designed to put Tigers fans at ease, underlines a growing concern that Yi might not actually agree to a deal. The ramifications were this to happen would be huge and if Yi did indeed go elsewhere, it essentially spells the end for one of Chinese basketball’s most successful rosters. Continue reading “How Yi Jianlian’s Free Agency Could Change The CBA Landscape Overnight”

The CBA Week In Brief: Liaoning Is Unstoppable, Haddadi Is On Fire And Why its Dangerous To Count Out Mudiay

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Its not just the NBA that is in full swing. The Chinese Basketball Association is almost at its halfway point and with Round 16 in the books, there are plenty of big stories to break down. This time around it breaking down the biggest injury story in the league this season as well as Hamad Haddadi being one of the outside shots for regular season MVP. 

Continue reading “The CBA Week In Brief: Liaoning Is Unstoppable, Haddadi Is On Fire And Why its Dangerous To Count Out Mudiay”

Heads Look Set To Roll At Panicking Xinjiang

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The oft used quote that those who don’t learn from their history are only doomed to repeat it seems particularly apt in Xinjiang right now. The Tigers, forever looking to win their first ever CBA title, once again broke out the checkbook early on in the year to build up star-studded line-up. Liu Wei, Cao Fei, Zhou Qi, Jordan Crawford and Andray Blatche all arrived at the start of the year and yet the team is 9-4 when they were expecting to be 13-0. The reality is that in the industrial city of Urumqi, it is title or bust and their constantly anxious fan base is now once again calling for something to be done to get the team back on track. Continue reading “Heads Look Set To Roll At Panicking Xinjiang”

Delonte West Is Done In Shanghai

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Well that was quick.

So with seven games of the season played, the Shanghai Sharks announced that they have cut Delonte West due to various injury issues. The former Fujian player, who had averaged 26.2 points, 5.6 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals in 2013, had struggled since moving to the Yuanshen. In five appearances, he was going for a disappointing 10 points and 1.2 assists a game before the axe fell yesterday. The Sharks, who are at 1-6 for the season and very much a team in rebuild mode, probably won’t care too much given that it will mean more minutes for twenty-four year old Ge Yang to develop.

Continue reading “Delonte West Is Done In Shanghai”

The CBA Week In Brief: Bayi, Stephon Marbury And The Undoubtable Talent Of Schoolboy Zhou

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Another round of games, another week of story lines. This time around its the struggles of a CBA legend, one of China’s oldest teams in turmoil, another mishandling a young star and China’s next great big man is emerging on the horizon in Xinjiang.

Continue reading “The CBA Week In Brief: Bayi, Stephon Marbury And The Undoubtable Talent Of Schoolboy Zhou”

The CBA Week In Brief: Dominique Jones, Josh Harrelson, Emmanuel Mudiay And Wild Scoring Numbers

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With the first week of the CBA in the books, its time to go over this first batch of games and extract the story lines and key issues that have emerged. A new scoring champion may well have announced himself in northern China, rebounding might suddenly be cool in the south-east and wherever a game is getting played in the CBA, the standard of defending is probably very, very bad.

Continue reading “The CBA Week In Brief: Dominique Jones, Josh Harrelson, Emmanuel Mudiay And Wild Scoring Numbers”

Shark Fin Hoops Interview: Keith Closs

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Former Los Angeles Clipper big man Keith Closs played for the Yunnan Bulls during the 2008/09 CBA season, averaging 16.9ppg (whilst shooting nearly 60% from the floor) and 11.9 rpg. He would also lead the league in blocks with 5.9 per game. Now living in California, he talked to Shark Fin Hoops about his season in south-west China and playing for what was at the time one of the worst teams in the country. 

Continue reading “Shark Fin Hoops Interview: Keith Closs”

Xinjiang’s Free Agency Rampage

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Among the things that most confuse long-established American players in the Chinese Basketball Association is the reluctance of local players to take advantage of their free agency. In the CBA, contracts have expiration dates like you would see in the NBA but its still extremely rare to see a high profile player move teams. Lesser known Chinese players will of course switch teams but that is more because their current employer has no interest on offering them a new deal.  Continue reading “Xinjiang’s Free Agency Rampage”

Wang Qun Takes ‘Temporary’ Leave Of Absence

In an already crazy season for Shanghai, things have suddenly got even more unusual with the resignation, at least temporally, of head coach Wang Qun.

The Sharks announced the decision on their website last night and further details have been added on the Sina Sport website tonight. The reason behind this departure is due to an illness within his family. According to Sina, he first offered his notice to owner Yao Ming after the blow out loss to Xinjiang a week ago because Wang felt he could not maintain his responsibilities to his family  as well as be a CBA head  coach. The illness within the Wang family has apparently been known for some time but the situation has seemingly become worse in recent weeks.

Wang Yong, a former Sharks player and current assistant will now take the reins whilst Liu Wei has been promoted to player coach.

Shanghai Sharks: 61 – Xinjiang Tigers: 108: Visitors Blown Out By Rampant Tigers

The Xinjiang Tigers tore the visiting Shanghai Sharks apart in what resembled less of a basketball game and more of a beat down. James Singleton, now in his fourth year in China and his third with the Tigers, confirmed that he remains one of the best two-way players in the CBA by picking up a haul of 32 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks.

The Sharks never scored more than eighteen points in a quarter and were relentlessly harried by Xinjiang into committing twenty-five turnovers during the game. Lester Hudson, who has torched the Sharks at least once a season whilst playing for Qingdao and Dongguan also went 29 + 6 with 5 steals. The stocky point guard led the Tigers on a 16 point run during the first half and there was nothing the Sharks could do to stop it.

In their game summaries, Sohu Sport gushed over Xinjang, calling their performance ‘wonderful’ whilst Sina dismissed the Sharks as ‘disinterested’ and the game as ‘a bloodbath’. Their highlights package tellingly stopped showing footage after the second quarter. Uruqi has always been a tough place for the Sharks to play and after a bad day at the office, the visitors will be looking forward to their flight back home to Shanghai.

To some up that performance…ouch.