According to NBC Sports, Ronald “Flip” Murray, who played last season with the Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Bobcats, is considering moving to China to wear a “Flying Dragons” uniform.
What team NBC is exactly referring to is unclear however, as nobody in the league calls themselves the “Flying Dragons.”
For the sake of this post, I’ll roll with the peacock on this one. The two sentence clipping is obviously short on analysis, but if we pay attention to the last phrase, we can start crack this mysterious case of the misnamed dragon:
“…if the money is right, don’t be shocked to see Flip in a Flying Dragons uniform.”
So, all we have to do is recall what team has a dragon on it’s uniform, and then we’ll know where Flip could be going.
There’s a problem with that, though: China really likes dragons.
China and the dragon, which is seen in Eastern Asian culture as a representation of power, auspiciousness, and overall awesomeness, go back thousands of years to the Zhou and Qin dynasties when they were a symbol of the emperor. Not surprisingly, the dragon is considered to be the best of the 12 animals in Chinese zodiac, and people who are born under the year of the dragon are supposedly way more awesome than everyone else.
Today, the dragon remains very much ingrained in Chinese culture as a sacred, mythical creature and serves as the country’s unofficial national emblem. LeBron James’ ill-fated Nike commercial, “Chamber of Fear,” was pulled off the air in China for being “blasphemous and insulting to national dignity” because among the many Chinese opponents LBJ defeated, two were dragons.
Not one, but two CBA teams, Jiangsu and Shanxi, that have dragons emblazoned on the front of their jerseys, making this elaborate puzzle of mistaken dragon identity even more complex. And if you count Foshan’s hybrid Dragon-Lion crossbreed, that would make three teams with dragons.
Further confusing things, Murray was reportedly in discussions with Zhejiang last week, which is entirely a non-dragon team.
Sina Sports is speculating that the team in question is Shanxi.
Of course, as with every NBA free-agent looking to China, is dependent on whether or not Flip can find a deal with an NBA team this summer. If this goes down though, Shanxi, who has that Stephon Marbury guy running the point, will undoubtedly sport the best combination of foreign talent in league history, while also becoming one of the league’s top draws at the ticket office.
Hope their Chinese teammates like playing defense and rebounding.