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Author Archives | Jon Pastuszek

About Jon Pastuszek

Legless 13 year-old plays basketball, doesn’t use a wheelchair, and shoots the crap out of it

May 15, 2013

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The frequently used, “My legs are dead,” is no longer a valid excuse to get out of playing a game of hoops.

Not after seeing this.

Qin Xulei, like many other 13 year-olds, loves basketball. He lives in Luoyang, Henan where he attends middle school. He plays ball with his classmates when he can during the schoolday, and gets in extra practice everyday when his class lets out.

None of that makes Qin special. That he has no legs, however — and chooses to play without the aid of a wheelchair — that is special.

More amazing: The kid is nice with it. Just take a look at the video below.

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Brittney Griner signs in WCBA with Zhejiang Chouzhou

May 2, 2013

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Apparently not satisfied enough with their previous 6’8 dunking female center, the Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls have taken things up a notch, signing not only the world’s greatest women’s dunker, but possibly its most dominant as well.

In an official announcement posted to the team’s website today, the Golden Bulls have signed Brittney Griner for the 2013-14 season. She will replace Australian center Liz Cambage, who helped lead the team to a Women’s Chinese Basketball Association Finals appearance before they ultimately lost to Maya Moore and the Shanxi Xingrui Flame.

Griner, who finished out her stand-out four-year collegiate career at Baylor in March, was recently selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA Draft by the Phoenix Mercury.

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Thursday Morning Jianbing

May 2, 2013

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jianbing

Starting your day right with China’s favorite street breakfast and a bunch of links…

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Boss Wang to sell Shanxi Zhongyu; team to move to Beijing

April 30, 2013

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With his eccentric behavior, can’t miss quotes and and in-game diagramming of plays, Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons owner, Wang Xingquan, better known to many as “Boss Wang,” has been one of the most newsworthy and entertaining figures in the Chinese Basketball Association over the last eight years.

Count us among the many who will miss writing about all of it.

Confirming the longtime rumors that had been swirling about for the last several months, the Brave Dragons will be sold to a Beijing-based investment group, who upon completion of the transaction will move the club to China’s capital city for the 2013-14 season. According to Sina, Beijing Enterprises Group Co. Ltd. has reached an agreement to pay CNY 120 billion (US $194.5 million) CNY 120 million ($19.4 million), a price which includes the rights to all of the club’s senior and second team players, including imports Marcus Williams and Charles Gaines.

The move marks Beijing Enterprises first foray into professional basketball. [...]

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Panagiotis Giannakis hired as head coach of Chinese National Team; initial 24-man roster released

April 28, 2013

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In a country where the dragon holds significant cultural importance, perhaps its fitting that one will be the next head coach of the national team.

Ending a long search, the CBA announced the appointment of Panagiotis Giannakis as head coach of the Chinese men’s national team. Nicknamed “The Dragon” for his long reign of dominance over European and international basketball, the 56 year-old will become the fourth foreign head coach in Chinese basketball history.

According to reports, the contract is a four-year agreement that will take Giannakis all the way through the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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Zhai Xiaochuan goes Boomshakalaka at National Games preliminaries

April 23, 2013

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Darryl Dawkins, Shaquille O’Neal, Robert Traylor… Zhai Xiaochuan.

All have two things in common: They’ve all played professional basketball, and they’ve all gone boomshakalaka on a backboard.

Last night during pre-game lay-up lines at the 2013 National Games preliminaries in Chongqing, Sichuan province, Zhai, representing Beijing, went up for a dunk and did that. The game, which featured the capital city against Shandong, both of whom entered the night with a perfect 3-0 record, was postponed for about 20 minutes as stadium workers replaced the backboard.

Unfortunately for Beijing, the shattered glass was the high point of the evening. Shandong won 67-64 to go to the top of the group. Zhai finished with nine points, all on three-pointers.

We’re not hating on Zhai by any means — with the Ducks, he plays his butt off and guards usually guards the opposing team’s foreign perimeter player — but he’s not exactly known as a power dunker, which means we’re a little skeptical over the quality of both the rim and the glass itself. And if you don’t know boomshakalakawe’re not hating on you either; it just means that you didn’t play NBA Jam, which is unacceptable to a certain degree.

Yet, even more surprising than Zhai’s destructiveness? How about the fact that they actually had a backup backboard?

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Monday Night Chuanr

April 23, 2013

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chuanr

 

Nighttime links served up proper with a hearty helping of lamb on a stick.  The beer is on you, though.

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Qiaodan Sports countersues Michael Jordan for US $8 million

April 22, 2013

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Jordan-and-Qiaodan

Hmmmm…..

It’s kind of an oldie, but it’s still a goodie… Remember when Michael Jordan sued Qiaodan Sports for ripping off his name? Well, now Qiaodan is coming back with a lawsuit of their own against Jordan to the tune of $8 million bucks.

The Fujian-based company’s suit was accepted by a Quanzhou court on April 2nd after they claimed Jordan tarnished their reputation and delayed their plans for an initial public offering on the Chinese stock market. Qiaodan Sports, founded in June 2000, was approved by the China Securities Regulatory Commission in November 2011 for listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

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Zhang Zhaoxu… CBA’s highest paid Chinese player?

April 22, 2013

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How many Subway footlongs could 8 million RMB buy? Depends on if you’re eating the Sub of the Day, but the answer is a lot.

Is “Max” Zhang Zhaoxu on his way to becoming Chinese basketball’s first eight million RMB man?

Could be, according to several recent reports. The Shanghai Sharks 7’3 center is reportedly being offered big money from both the Beijing Ducks and the Xinjiang Flying Tigers.

Last Thursday, Sina Sports, citing an unnamed source, reported that the Ducks are poised to offer a multi-year deal worth CNY 5 million anually (US $808,767) plus a Beijing hukou, while the Tigers will go as high as 8 million ($1,294,027) to get Zhang’s signature.

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2012-13 NiuBBall Awards

April 12, 2013

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Way to ruin the suspense, guys.

Why would we write a 2012-13 CBA Awards piece when we already wrote another one elsewhere on the internet?

Because one, there isn’t a word count around these parts. And secondly, it ain’t really a CBA Awards piece unless it’s a NiuBBall Awards piece.

Which are exactly the reasons why we’re busting out another set for the third straight year, written exclusively for you and the rest of our loyal band of supporters.

So enjoy and of course, if you have anything to say, get to posting in the comments section.

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…And we’re back

April 9, 2013

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…Sorry about that. An extended vacation in the U.S. as well as some side projects kept us from posting anything for a too long of a while. But it’s not like you really missed much, anyway: The Guangdong Southern Tigers swept through the playoffs, including a 4-0 beat down of the Shandong Gold Lions in the Finals. And a lot of Sun Yue-to-Beijing rumors. Like we said, nothing too interesting.

But to make it up to everyone, we’re posting an all-you-can-eat buffet of links, and no it’s not one of those crappy $10.99 all-you-can-eats with the luke-warm General Tso chicken and soggy spring rolls. Think more the Sunday brunch variety at The Westin (which we’ve never been to, but we hear is good).

So enjoy, and celebrate the fact that NiuBBall is on a regular schedule once again.

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Stephon Marbury to act as Beijing assistant coach for National Games

March 18, 2013

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Stephon Marbury’s Beijing Ducks may have been sent home packing earlier than expected, but Marbury will be sticking around in Beijing to start another China career: coaching.

In an interview on BTV, the 36 year-old guard announced that he will serve as an assistant coach for Beijing as they prepare to participate in the 2013 China National Games. He will work under his CBA head coach Min Lulei, who serves the same position for the Beijing Ducks.

The National Games, which happen once every four years, are completely separate from the Chinese Basketball Association season. As a sort of intra-China Olympics, the National Games pit the country’s different provinces against each other in various athletic events, including basketball.

The two-week competition will start in late August in host-province Liaoning. However, there will be a qualifying tournament in late April for basketball. Guangdong won the basketball tournament in 2009, which was held in various cities in Shandong.

Marbury’s addition to the coaching staff comes on the heels of other big news this week. The Beijing team got a boost when it was announced that Sun Yue, who plays for Beijing Aoshen — a team that is not part of the Chinese Basketball Association — will be representing Beijing at the Games, in addition to several other Aoshen players. A longtime key contributor for the National Team, Sun will be one of the best players in the tournament.

The National Games, though technically centered around athletic competition  are the epitome of not only basketball, but sports with Chinese characteristics. With the eyes of provincial governments focused directly on their teams, the Games’ main purpose serves government officials, who can be gain status and be promoted to bigger and better positions if their teams achieve good results. Though the Olympics trump all in terms of importance, the National Games is a major event and one that places great pressure on athletes to perform for the glory of their province.

In general, athletes represent the provinces in where they were registered as a professional athlete. For example, although Wang Shipeng hails from Liaoning, he was registered in Guangdong as part of the Southern Tigers and will thus represent them this summer. However, as provincial officials are always looking towards the next National Games, under the table agreements can be made between different provinces are not uncommon. Mengke Bateer, who is from Inner Mongolia and got his start in the CBA with Beijing, will be playing for neither team this summer; instead, he’ll be suiting up for Liaoning. Though not reported, it is speculated that his player registration forms were transferred over to Liaoning as part of the deal that sent Zhang Qingpeng over to Xinjiang three years ago. These deals are not illegal, but they part culture that make Chinese sports unlike anything in the United States or other Western countries.

The Beijing team will be comprised of a combination of Beijing Aoshen and Beijing Ducks players. Final rosters have not yet been announced and likely will not be made public until sometime in April.

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Shandong sweeps Beijing, will meet Guangdong in finals

March 18, 2013

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After captivating the basketball nation last season, a 2013 Finals rematch between  the Beijing Ducks and the Guangdong Southern Tigers was an eagerly anticipated and long-awaited event by both fans and, and possibly even the league itself.

Too bad for the Ducks, the Shandong Gold Lions never got the memo.

Marking yet another notch on their belt this season, the Gold Lions swept the Ducks out of the post-season on Friday night, defeating the defending champions 101-82 to punch their first ever ticket to the Chinese Basketball Association Finals. Zaid Abbas capped off a tremendous series with 33 points and 12 rebounds and Jackson Vroman continued his post-season offensive resurgence with 27 and 11, while Pooh Jeter chipped in with 16. Ding Yanyuhang finished as the team’s top Chinese scorer with 14.

They’ll play Guangdong, who also swept their opponent, the Xinjiang Flying Tigers.

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Want to watch Xinjiang – Liaoning Game 5 tonight? Too bad.

March 8, 2013

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Yes, it’s true, Xirelijiang. You’ve been dumped by CCTV for Chinese soccer.

Game 5′s don’t come often during the CBA playoffs. In fact, before last year, they didn’t come at all. Since the league has switched to a best-of-five format for the first and semi-final rounds in 2005, there had been exactly zero series that went the distance. That changed last season, when Xinjiang – DongGuan gave us on in the first round, while Shanxi and Beijing gave us another in the semis.

So when Liaoning beat Xinjiang on Wednesday to force a third Game 5 in the last two years, fans were admittedly fired up. Especially when the three preceding first-round series all ended in sweeps by the higher seeded teams.

But that excitement has turned into… what??? Because when you turn on CCTV-5 tonight, instead of the game, you’ll see the opening round of the Chinese Super League, according to HuPu.com.No, that’s not a misprint. Not basketball. Soccer.

The fine folks at CCTV do have somewhat of a soul, though. They’ll be re-broadcasting the game at 10:30pm once the two teams are done playing. If you couldn’t tell, we’re being sarcastic.

If this news indeed holds to be true, the conspiracy theorists will be out in full force over this one (we’ll give you a hint: it rhymes with disagree). And if those conspiracies have some truth to them… well I guess it’d be business as usual. But this is an absolute abomination. Heck, if the programming directors at CCTV aren’t  too busy stamping out any potential interest for Chinese professional basketball, why not  drown some kittens, too? Repeat: An abomination.

I have nothing more to say.

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The Boston Celtics are building a CBA All-Star Team

March 3, 2013

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(Photo: Boston Herald via Red's Army)

(Photo: Boston Herald via Red’s Army)

For NBA fans who have always pined to see the Chinese Basketball Association, but have few if any opportunities to watch it outside of China, you’re in luck: The Boston Celtics have signed most of the league’s foreign player population to their NBA roster over the last week.

China-to-Boston speculation was rife in Celtics-land after Doc Rivers was quoted last month saying the team was looking at signing a player out of the CBA when its season ended. Turns out, they were looking at several players. After signing Terrence Williams to a 10-day contract, who played most of the season with the first-place Guangdong Southern Tigers before being replaced by Donald Sloan just before the post-season, the Celtics have followed up by signing D.J. White (Shanghai Sharks) and Shavlik Randolph (Foshan Long Lions) to two other 10-days.

While it’s a little surprising that one team has signed three players with Chinese experience this season, the fact that teams are looking across the Pacific Ocean for late-season help is a continuing trend that started two years ago.

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