He lives in Beijing, reads Chinese, is a self-described basketball degenerate who has watched his fair share of CBA games and really wants to write about Chinese basketball. And as we know better than almost anyone else, anybody who willingly watches CBA games is definitely a basketball degenerate.
Yeah, James Hsu is a perfect fit for NiuBBall.
From here on out, James will be writing about really anything that comes to mind about Chinese hoops. Based on our lengthy email conversations, NiuBBall readers will like that stuff that comes to his mind. His first piece delves into the deep and dusty part of the China basketball library: Former players, some more obscure than others, who have tried their shot at the NBA. Here’s hoping that book will be updated with a new player by 2020.
“Who got next?”
Kobe Bryant. LeBron James.
Yao Ming. Yi Jianlian. Jeremy Lin.
These are household names in professional basketball. My mother knows these names. Their faces are all over TV and the news. The other day, I found a blog that tracks what Yao Ming is doing right now, after his basketball career has ended! That’s an insane amount of coverage.
But what about the unsung heroes? The other Chinese players that crossed over, or attempted to cross over to the NBA? What are their stories?
There’s a whole world out there of Chinese basketball players hustling, scrapping, trying to face the best competition the world has to offer. In many cases, the NBA has validated them and given them a shot. There are many reasons why some players make it and others don’t.
I’ve narrowed my focus to players from the past 15 years. Not to say that there weren’t players that paved the way in the 90’s – I simply wanted to focus on the most recent era.
Here are their stories.