Confirming a report published by NiuBBall.com last week, both Mike James and Ricky Davis have been officially cut by their Chinese teams, Zhejiang Chouzhou and Jiangsu.
According to The Modern Express (via Sina), Jiangsu will replace Davis with Antonie Wright. Wright was signed last night after Jiangsu faxed over the final contract to Wright’s agent. Wright will fly out to Nanjing and join up with his team for practice on January 2nd, and barring any unforeseen setbacks, will be officially added to the team’s roster by the 4th.
Chouzhou, meanwhile, will go ahead as planned with Marcus Williams. Struggling at 2-6, Chouzhou feels that the large amount spent to bring James over is being wasted and can be better used on a more versatile two-way player. Though James had been averaging 28.7 points in his eight games, the team felt he wasn’t doing an adequate job of getting his teammates going on offense and wasn’t fully committed to practice.
Williams played 30 games with Chouzhou last year, averaging 19.3 points and 11.2 rebounds.
Unsatisfied with Davis for weeks, Jiangsu and Wright have been in informal discussions dating back to last month. The holdup was over whether Wright, who was cut by the Sacramento Kings on November 30th, could land a roster spot with another NBA team. When the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were considering Wright for a roster spot along with a group of other free-agents, went with Alonzo Gee, Wright had Jiangsu to fall back on and the two sides quickly came to an agreement.
James and Davis are two of the latest big name former NBA players to have been cut since the beginning of the season on December 10th, joining Patrick O’Bryant, Javaris Crittenton and Steve Francis.
A TOM Sports story posted two days ago quoted an anonymous figure within Jiangsu, who took a parting shot at Davis before getting some words in on the team’s other American import, center Jerome Moiso: “…When [Davis] was in the NBA he was an import who loved to cause trouble. It’s very difficult for an import like this to have success at Jiangsu. And then you look at our other import, Moiso, you see his stats and you see that he’s definitely not an outstanding import. I really have no idea how the team thought about getting these two guys.”
“The first few games of the season he was scoring 20 points a game. Now a good game for him is scoring in single digits. What use does this import have?”
I find it hilarious, yet all too typical, that the mystery figure still used wai yuan, the word for “foreign player” that literally translates into “foreign aid,” when talking about Davis in his NBA days in America where he’s from. The word wai, which means “outside,” commonly precedes other words to make various forms of the word “foreigner,” such as wai guo ren (foreigner, literally “a person from outside the country”), wai jiao (foreign coach) and of course, wai yuan. I guess once a wai guo ren, always a wai guo ren, even when being referred to in your pre-China, pre wai guo ren days of yonder.