Things are going to be a lot different in Shanghai next season.
Last Friday, the Sharks held a press conference to announce a combination of decisions that will have a huge impact on the club’s short-term and long-term direction: the appointment of Wang Qun as head coach, and the re-signing of “Max” Zhang Zhaoxu.
Wang, who has had a long history with the Sharks and owner Yao Ming, will become the first official Chinese head coach since Yao took control over the club in 2009. He had been serving in an interim role after American Dan Pannagio was fired mid-season last year.
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. [...]
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.
The San Antonio Spurs are hurting as they prepare for the NBA Playoffs which start on April 20, so they’ve decided to sign a player whose hurt them in the past: Tracy McGrady.
As announced yesterday, the 15-year NBA veteran, who played this season in the Chinese Basketball Association with the Qingdao Eagles, has signed a deal for the rest of the season, including the soon-approaching post-season.
Though the move is surprising given its timing, it does have some logic. It is no surprise that coach Gregg Popovich often rest his top players from time to time and Monday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors was a given as he looks to give them much needed rest before starting what they hope to be a deep playoff run.
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.
The 2012-13 CBA season is officially over, which means most teams will be running three-man weaves for the next eight months as they wait for next season to start. For the teams that didn’t make the playoffs, that process has likely already begun. To ensure your squad isn’t forgotten, Leon Zhang is writing an end-of-season ode to every team in the league. In his ongoing series of CBA Farewell Letters, Leon Zhang says goodbye today to the Jilin Northeast Tigers, who finished in 14th place.
Jilin, we know many have told you that anyone can be special special — including you — but here’s the hard truth: this season you weren’t.
You are that team who recently has always had a losing record, characterized by an overmatched and raggedy group of youngsters, the overburdened imports, and mismanagement. We should add that there’s nothing wrong with being so ordinary. If you’re a player, honestly, you did the best you could.
In fact, count us in with anyone that finds it hard to criticize Jilin. By all accounts, though this wasn’t a talented team by any stretch of the imagination, it was a group that was tough and fought in every game. The plucky little underdog even pulled out some opportunistic wins, case in point a thrilling Round 19 victory against Beijing, and it’s easy to admire Dewarick Spencer (28.6 points on 53.7% shooting) and Samuel Hoskin (a walking double double with 20.9 points and 10.3 rebounds) for their production and general lack of sulking in the face of such monotonous mediocrity. It’s credit to the players on the team that we really haven’t heard much from Jilin all season, no drama, just a workmanlike effort each and every time out on the court, for a win every three games.
A week has passed since the Guangdong Southern Tigers captured their eighth Chinese Basketball Association title with a 4-0 series win over the upstart Shandong Gold Lions to place themselves alongside the Bayi Rockets with the most titles in the CBA’s short history.
After a stunning loss to the Beijing Ducks in the 2011/12 CBA Finals, the Tigers made sure that their next trip would assure them of victory. And one of the reasons behind this season’s success was because of Yi Jianlian.
Following another unsuccessful stint in the National Basketball Association with the Dallas Mavericks, the former sixth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft made a return to the CBA and picked up where left off the last time he was in the league. After averaging 24.6 points and 10.5 rebounds over the season, it can be said that the seven-footer provided a great impact to his team’s pursuit in regaining the CBA crown.
With the season now over and respective provincial and regional teams preparing for the upcoming National Games in Liaoning province as well as the country’s various national teams gearing up for their summer schedules, one question that will consume many basketball enthusiasts’ minds in the coming months is whether Yi’s performance this season could secure him a contract with an NBA team next season.
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.
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.
The regular season is over and for the eight teams who finished with a good enough record to participate, the month of March will one of hope and optimism… unless you’re playing Guangdong or Beijing in the first round (as Guangsha and Zhejiang both found out). Then, maybe it’ll just be a month of collecting first-round playoff bonuses. But for those nine teams who are already relaxing at home, you’re not forgotten. Leon Zhang says goodbye to the second-worst team in the league, the Tianjin Golden Lions, in his ongoing series of CBA Farewell Letters.
It was the best half season anyone could’ve expected, and then abruptly, it was the worst. The first part of the season saw Tianjin, high upon the standings, looking to preserve a low playoff seed as a pleasant surprise — a Cinderella story in the making, a testament to what good coaching and solid import selection can do. The second was, in short, a massive flop towards the finish line.
And at the end of the season, the inevitable question is raised: Just what were you, Tianjin? Borderline contender or a historic failure?
(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.
Jumping around a mininature car shoe whose hood is 5 inches off the ground equals “bad.”
OK, we’ll admit: Our recap of All-Star Weekend sucked this year. In part, that’s because our opinion from the 2011 Beijing edition has already been aired out loud and clear. But mostly it’s because our guy at Shark Fin Hoops, Andrew Crawford, made the journey down to sunny and warm Guangzhou last weekend to take in the festivities first-hand and to write us a report. Here’s the good, the bad and the unexpected from his Southern journey.
And if that’s not enough All-Star coverage for you, James Howden has a great write-up over on his blog about the game as well.
The 2013 Chinese Basketball Association All-Star Weekend pretty much went down like previous ones, failing for the most part to capture the overall atmosphere of the the NBA one it tries too hard to imitate. But that’s not to say there weren’t moments: As is becoming a yearly tradition, Guo Ailun went onto the court to give everyone a performance on Saturday night, Xirelijiang knocked down 10 threes in a row in the final round of the three-point competition to take home the trophy and and Yi Jianlian nabbed All-Star MVP honors with 34 points and eight rebounds as the South All-Stars defeated the North 120-117.
Here’s the rest of what went down last weekend in Guangzhou:
The regular season is over and for the eight teams who finished with a good enough record to participate, the month of March will one of hope and optimism… unless you’re playing Guangdong or Beijing in the first round. Then, maybe it’ll just be a month of collecting first-round playoff bonuses. But for those nine teams who are already relaxing at home, you’re not forgotten. Leon Zhang says goodbye to the worst team in the league, the Qingdao Eagles, in his first installment of CBA Farewell Letters.
Oh, Qingdao, how you tantalized all of us with one move, one player, one Tracy McGrady; and what a shock all of us experienced in the aftermath of such a seismic shift. We all knew it would be hard for you to have a decent record with such a bare roster, especially with Li Gen off to Beijing. But really, it’s been a dramatic disaster both on and off the court, and wherever you guys thought you were going when you protested a questionable call in Round 20 against Bayi. And that’s kind of the way it’s been this year, a team trying to find its identity amid turmoil and bursts of anger.
Well, that’s over: Tracy McGrady has officially played his final game in China as of last night after announcing on his Sina Weibo account that he will not be participating in the CBA All-Star Game this weekend. As written on a full page note to both his fans and teammates he will instead fly back to the United States to be with his ailing grandmother.
McGrady received the most fan votes in the league, becoming the first foreign player in history to achieve that distinction.
With little comment from McGrady about his status for the All-Star game, which will be this Sunday, there had been off-and-on speculation in Chinese media over his participation. Just a few days ago, Qingdao local media quoted an anonymous team insider and reported that he would in fact play.
But in the letter, which expressed gratitude to both fans and teammates, McGrady cited the need to be with his sick grandmother back home and hoped that people would “understand my predicament.”
In his final game, McGrady tallied 30 points, nine rebounds and five assists in the loss. His team, the Qingdao Eagles, finished in last place at 8-24.
The full letter can be seen below.