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Tag Archives: Chris Paul

Monday Night Chuanr

June 12, 2012

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


  • The Shanghai Sharks’ planned trip to the Philippines later this month for a few exhibition games has been posponed indefinitely.  The Sharks say their players’ passports aren’t ready, but the Philippines Sports Commission is suspecting that the decision to stay in China is a result of a standoff in the South China Sea that has caused a decline in relations between the two countries.
  • Min Lulei, head coach of reigning CBA champ Beijing Shougang, in an interview during his visit to Europe this month: “I want to learn about European basketball systems. It is very difficult for Chinese players, who play a one-on-one game. We want to learn how to play the European systems, play as a team, as a group, so that we can have more success.”
  • Friend of NiuBBall, Chris Denker of NetScouts Basketball, just lead a team of recent American women’s college graduates to first place at a 14-day event in China. You can go to to check out the full recap.
  • Sneakerheads will enjoy this little backstory about the just released “Year of the Dragon” editions of Chris Paul’s Jordan CP3 V.
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Jordan commercial reminds us why China matters

October 29, 2011


Why China?

It’s a question we immediately tackled when we first started this China/basketball blog back in September 2010. The really short version: Because China matters. Like, really matters.

We believe it because everywhere you go in this country, you see people playing basketball. We believe it because Yao Ming was being nominated for a spot in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame a mere month after retiring. We believe it because random outdoor games between foreigners and Chinese can draw the occasional 100 or so passerbys who are down to watch some free hoops. We believe it so much in fact, that we are in a small minority that believes LeBron James’ “Decision” to take his talents to South Beach was made in part to appeal to what is potentially the largest market in the world, China. As time has gone on, we believe it more and more.

Nike’s newest Jordan Brand commercial reminds us — again — why China is such an important spot on the basketball map.

Featuring the trio of Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony, the commercial, dubbed “Love the Game,” aims to show everyone that despite their status perennial NBA All-Stars, these guys are just like the many people around the world who go out and play for the love of basketball. Not for endorsements, not for paychecks, not for fame — for love. Noting more, nothing less.

The commercial is interesting for a number of reasons, but what makes it so effective is its depiction of basketball as a game without sexual, racial, religious or even geographical boundries. Wade is seen in southern Florida hooping in seperate games with teams from the Miami Kiwanis Club League, the Flamingo Senior Rec Center League and the Dade County Municipal League. Paul balls in New Orleans and North Carolina, playing in the NOLA Inter-Parish League and the Bayou Women’s League. Melo does his thing in the northeast, playing in a Williamsburg pick-up run, a Five-Star Basketball Camp and a Jewish Under-40 League in Brooklyn, New York.

The message of the commercial is clear: If you love the game, the game has a spot for you somewhere. As big fans of basketball bringing people together — and as fiendish pick-up basketball junkies — we think that’s pretty cool.

But not surprisingly, it’s the commercial’s last scene that ultimately wins us over for good. After playing separately in their own areas in the U.S., the three meet up in NiuBBall’s home base of Beijing, China for some good old-fashioned nighttime run at the Drum and Bell Tower. And though cool in and of itself, the real reason we love this spot is because it is in harmony with our stomachs.  Keep a close eye on the screen at the 1:41 mark. Look familiar?

As people who live in China, we find the three’s decision to hoop in the Middle Kingdom quite interesting. With Nike’s gigantic travel budget backed by their own large bank accounts, CP3, DWade and Melo could have picked anywhere in the world to play. Yet, they picked China. Why?

Do you really need me to answer?

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Teams searching for ways to get NBA superstars to China

August 4, 2011


Four days after being hit with a proposed rule that would prevent teams from signing locked-out NBA superstars to month-to-month contracts this season, teams are hitting back with an announcement of their own:

We don’t care about your stinking rule.

Fixed on taking advantage of the rare opportunity of bringing an NBA superstar to China this season, teams are looking at various ways to get around the Chinese Basketball Association’s new rule that would block active NBA players from playing here this season. According to a report published yesterday by Titan Weekly, teams aren’t just moving forward with negotiations to bring superstars to China, they’re going full steam ahead.

That is substantial, because according to the Titan report, several different negotiations between teams and players had already progressed into advanced stages before Sunday’s news about a preventive rule that would disallow teams from including out-clauses in contracts with active NBA players.  Citing an anonymous source with direct knowledge of teams’ dealings, Titan is reporting that several organizations have offered per month contracts to Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki worth over $1 million. The source claims one team has put forth a $1.5 million deal to 2011 NBA Finals MVP.

And that’s not all. During Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul’s week-long Jordan Brand China Tour, which was completed Tuesday in Beijing, several teams were negotiating with the two’s agency, CAA, about a proposed $2,000,000 a month deal. Before news about the rule change was reported on Sunday, talks had become serious enough to warrant discussions about such specifics as providing personal security and arranging housing for family members, according to the source.

Today, the Chengdu Daily reported that Zhejiang Guangsha offered Wade $2 million a month while he was in the team’s home city of Hangzhou during the tour. Team general manager, Ye Xiangyu, who voiced her concern about bringing over NBA players on Sunday, denied that a contract offer had been made. But, when the world learned there would be no way for teams to write in a clause that would allow players to go back to America once the lockout ends, interest cooled considerably from the NBA side as they waited to see how things played out in China.

96 hours after the CBA’s proposed rule, things are indeed playing out. After analyzing the new landscape they’ll be working with as a result of the CBA’s propsed ruling — which is all but guaranteed to go through when officials meet for a policy meeting this month — teams have decided the positives of signing an NBA megastar far outnumber the risks and are commencing forward with negotiations.

Why? At the top of the list is money. Despite the steep price tags attached to these players, owners are confident that there are big returns to be made on their investments. With around seven home games per month for each team, an anonymous general manager told Titan that raising ticket prices alone would cover over half the cost of a $2 million a month contract. Knowing that games would sell-out easily, teams feel they can profit from signing a big name player.

“We can afford the price tag,” said the general manager. “And if you add in some more money from a sponsor, you can easily recover your investment from signing a Nowitzki or another superstar.”

Another reason why teams are unconcerned with the CBA is because many don’t feel the league can enforce their their soon-to-be instated rule. The CBA has one of the highest turnover rates for foreign players in the world. Some players don’t even last two weeks in the country after signing a contract, and its not unusual to see teams switch imports three times in a single season. That begs the question, if a team were to release an active NBA player from his contract, how would that be different than releasing any other import?

The answer is unclear, which is why teams are growing more and more convinced that they can negotiate an under-the-table agreement with players that would guarantee a return to America either after a set period of time or after the lockout ends. To remain in line with CBA policy, the team would then sign an official one-year deal consistent with the CBA’s rules prohibiting an out-clause, which would be turned in to and approved by the league office. After the player left, the team could point to the official contract and state a variety of reasons for why the player left — breach of contract, injury, inability to adapt to China, etc. — and claim no responsibility for the player’s departure. With a league approved contract on file in league headquarters, there wouldn’t be any way for the league to prove foul-play.

“Since word of the new rule got out, the common thinking to get around this has been to write up two contracts, the real one [that has been negotiated with the player] and the one that is officially filed with the CBA,” said another general manager speaking anonymously. “We feel we can absolutely get a deal done with a player privately. Once the lockout ends, we’ll just release him. Then, after he’s gone, we’ll pull up the one-year contract that is on file with the league.”

Yet, perhaps even more important in all of this is the pent up frustration teams have towards the CBA and their policies. Because the CBA is controlled and run by the government, the league is treated as a national interest. Unlike the NBA in the U.S., where profitability comes before all, the development and success of the national team is the number one priority for the CBA’s decision makers. As a result, not one team in the league is profitable currently. Bringing in a Bryant, Wade or Nowitkzi would undoubtedly change that. Plus, the idea of going down in history as the team in China who brought over an NBA superstar for China’s hundreds of millions basketball-crazed fans to enjoy is one that appeals to many owners. It also is an idea that local governments are interested in as well, who are reportedly offering their support to bring an NBA player and the attention he’d bring to their city.

An opportunity to bring players of this magnitude to China is rare, and teams feel like they should be able to take advantage of it.  Several figures inside team’s front offices were quoted as being fed up with the CBA’s handling of the entire situation.

“The NBA is locked out right now, and still every team’s regular season schedule has already come out,” said one disgruntled general manager. “But us? Our season starts in November and the league hasn’t even officially announced policy for foreign players this year. And don’t even talk about an official document either, the league doesn’t even keep in touch with us. We see all of this news on the internet, all of this ‘anonymous figure inside the CBA’ stuff. That’s how we get our information.”

“Let’s back up a step,” said a prominent member of one team’s front office. “Say a team had signed a player earlier and then the CBA came out with this rule. Who would be responsible for the break of contract?”

If there’s one thing to take away from the many complicated pieces involved in making China a lockout destination for the NBA’s best players, it’s that this thing is far from over. But, for now it appears that China is still very much on the table — good news if you’re a player looking to tap into China, and even better news if you’re a Chinese basketball fan.

Jon Pastuszek can be followed on Twitter @NiuBBall or on Sina Weibo @NiuBBall

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Monday Morning Jianbing

August 1, 2011


Starting your day right with China’s favorite street breakfast and a bunch of links… even if it’s almost 1pm. If you woke up late, enjoy your first meal of the day. If you’ve been up for a while, enjoy it as a snack. We promise it’s still really good in the afternoon.

  • Alexander Johnson, who played last season in China for Shanxi, has been charged with marijuana possession. Like Rodney White, who also played last year in China before being arrested for (much bigger) marijuana-related charge, Johnson signed on with a Korean team for next year. We don’t know what this means for both of them in terms of their futures in Korea next year, but if this Korean article is any indication (and if my Google translate is somewhat accurate, not a given), it looks like they may have to find other jobs. (H/T to Andrew Lowman over at Asia Basketball Update for passing that along.)
  • Kobe Bryant’s chances of playing in Turkey this season are “zero,” according to a Yahoo! report. That of course leads to China, where Kobe has reportedly exchanged offers with CBA teams about playing on a month-to-month basis. According to the report, he’d be allowed to go back to the Lakers at the end of the lockout, but as we learned yesterday, the Chinese Basketball Association might not be OK with the idea of their league becoming a temporary haven for locked-out NBA players.
  • How does Carmelo Anthony’s Panda-posing match-up against Kevin Durant’s? Hardwood Paroxysm breaks it down. A must read for fans of pandas and basketball. ‘Melo, along with Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade, is on the Jordan Brand Flight Tour, a four-city China tour that promotes the sport and the brand through various appearances and events. SLAMonline has pictures.
  • And speaking of Stephon Marbury… he’s being sued by a bank for $16 million for not paying back a loan his Starbury shoe company took out back in 2006.
  • In response to our report two days ago, Foshan management has publicly denied that they’ve made a $200,000 a month offer to current Memphis Grizzlies center, Hamed Haddadi. They admit, however, that there has been contact between the team and Haddadi’s agent.
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Monday Morning Jianbing

July 25, 2011


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

After another long hiatus from dependable internet (basketball tournament in Yunnan, yes there’s a post in the works) NiuBBall is back in action, and this time for good. Even though we’re in the midst of a classic dirty, smoggy, hot Beijing summer, we’re not planning on going anywhere too crazy for a while. So let’s get it started back up again with  some familiar Monday morning links to munch on.
  • While U.S.-based writers have been writing about Yao’s immeasurable legacy on NBA and international basketball, Dan Levin for the New York Times uncovers the bleak post-Yao reality on the ground in China. We don’t think the National Team is a total lost cause — Donewald has done a good job starting the transition — but, with no other NBA talent outside of Yi Jianlian, the Chinese may on the way down. Here’s a pretty good recap of what’s being said in China about Yao’s retirement from over at Bloomberg. Here’s my take on the situation over at City Weekend Shanghai.
  • Dee Brown, who played last year in China with Qingdao Double Star, is off to Italy.
  • The Jordan Brand Flight Tour is set to go off in Hong Kong on Tuesday. The four-city tour will feature appearances by Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony. And as part of the tour, Nike will be introducing three new special China Tour kicks for Chinese sneakerheads’ shoe-buying pleasure.
  • Assuming Mamba loses, and assuming everyone’s eardrums are still intact, what would be the rubber match for the Jay Chou-Kobe Bryant competition? We suggest the two settle the score like real Chinese men: Sitting outside bareback with lots of yangrou chuanr and lots of beer. Last man standing wins.
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