Remember when Stephon Marbury should have won CBA Finals MVP, but didn’t because he’s a foreigner? Seems like a while ago, right? Well, that’s because it was a while ago. Almost eight months to be exact.
Remember who won the award instead? No? Well up until this very day, neither did anybody else.
Whether it was to allow almost three-quarters of a year to let the public backlash against the anti-foreigner rule cool off, or because the decision was just that difficult, the powers that be at the Chinese Basketball Association held off in officially handing out the award… for eight months. As in 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. Like, count-that-on-two-hands eight. Or one if you know how to count Chinese style. You know what I mean. A long time.
Of course within that amount of time, the league refused to do the one thing in which it should have done — change the rule — but did you really expect that to happen?
Instead, the league settled on Beijing’s Taiwanese guard, Lee Hsueh-lin. And we’ll give out some credit: If foreigners are ineligible, Lee is the right call. Dubbed “Mr. 48 Minutes” by Chinese media because dude practically never came out of the game during the Ducks’ magical Finals run, Lee averaged 11.4 points, 3.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 steals and a three-point percentage of42% over five games against the Guangdong Southern Tigers. All while playing with a back injury.
For his troubles, he gets a golden sneaker that according to this NetEase article made out of 270 grams of gold. Another interesting factoid: Lee becomes the first Taiwanese player to win a CBA MVP. So that’s cool.
…But Stephon Marbury still should have won.