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.