The Lochness Monster. Area-51. Amelia Earhart. Darko Milicic. NiuBBall.
Trust us, we didn’t plan to get on the list of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries; it just sort of happened. Yet after a little less than a year of crickets (the Chinese ones in the little cages, to be exact), the search parties have come up largely empty in their attempt to get to the bottom of NiuBBall’s silent keyboards.
Actually, the reason is really simple: I now have a legitimate, singular full-time job at Li-Ning, working on international basketball projects in the company’s sports marketing department. I’ve been working at there since July 2013, just a little before when NiuBBall went off the map. Attentive China hoops watchers are now starting to connect the dots. You see, Li-Ning sponsors the Chinese Basketball Association, as well as a few NBA guys. Before, covering “Basketball with Chinese Characteristics” was an interesting and entertaining topic to share with everyone. Now it has become a topic in which I am paid to represent. So posts like this one… Yeah, not so much anymore.
And trust me, as bummed out as all eleven of my readers are after learning of this news, nobody is more bummed out than yours truly. It was an amazing experience to provide the current, informed and accurate information English language coverage of Chinese hoops that the Internet lacked before. Maybe one day, I’ll have the chance to provide it again. Some people who had already figured out NiuBBall’s big move have suggested that the site should remain active in providing links and basic information about the world of Chinese hoops. While the idea isn’t terrible in its own right, NiuBBall’s philosophy is all-in, or all-out.
And unfortunately, we’re all-out for now.
That’s not to say you’re completely out of luck if you’re still lusting for China hoops. Because one of the positive thing that there is a real community of China English-language basketball blogs and websites out there now.
NiuBBall contributor Andrew Crawford is still doing his thing over at Shark Fin Hoops. Mark Dreyer at China Sports Insider does a great job of covering not only basketball, but the entire China sports scene. Nick Bedard over at Basketball Buddha does a great job not only covering the CBA, but all of Asia. Asia-Basket is still cool for stats and scores and news. Karan Madhok covers India Basketball at Hoopistani, which is now more relevant than ever after beating China in the FIBA Asia Cup, exploding the brains of all the people who watched the game live, and setting China basketball to a new low. (Which by the way was pretty hard to do after the same China Olympic Team lost a few weeks earlier to a three-man Italy team in a warm-up game. The state of China basketball, everyone!)
So, before I get fired and/or find myself locked in the basement of some building on Guangqumen Inner Street behind the CBA office, I’ll stop here. The site will still remain online. I will still answer my emails, I’ll still be on the streets hitting up jianbing… and I will still be at a pretty good pick-up game somewhere in Beijing. Peace, ya’ll.