Post by Jon Pastuszek
June 2, 2012
The National Basketball League, the so-called minor league of the CBA, doesn’t get a ton of love in these parts or within China, mostly because it runs during the summer, which is the height of the China National Team season, and because it generally sucks. Add in the fact that media coverage is minimal, games aren’t usually shown on television and that its limited to second and third-tiered cities, and its also difficult to follow.
But, sometimes you get little nuggets, like last year’s Jerry Springer-esque chair tossing brawl, Zhu Yanxi and Alan Wiggins Jr., proud graduate of NiuBBall.com alma matter University of San Francisco, tearing up everything in sight for Whampoa last season.
Which brings us to this story out of Heilongjiang. On May 29th during Heilongjiang’s Round 9 home game against Changsha, a fan threw a disgruntled fan threw a water bottle down onto the court late in the game with Heilongjiang up 101-100 with 21 seconds remaining. The official CBA report (the CBA runs the NBL) doesn’t say why the bottle was thrown, but keeping in mind our previous experiences with Chinese bottle tossing, we could safely guess it had something to do with the officiating.
NBL water chuckers aren’t as good as their CBA counterparts however. Though the water hit its intended target (the court), it did not deter anybody from actually stopping the game as an in-arena worker quickly disposed of it while play continued.
Heilongjiang ended up winning by the same 101-100 score. But the real story here is what they lost as a result of that singular water bottle: 5,000 RMB (US $793). The CBA’s reason for the fine, which was officially handed out yesterday, was because the team had been warned before about controlling their crowd and that the league — as always — remains committed to rooting out all uncivilized behavior.
No telling if the water bottle was Nong Fu, C’estbton, Master Kong, Wahaha or some crappy generic local brand, but whatever it was it will go down in the books as the most expensive bottle of water in the history of Chinese basketball.