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Tag Archives: Stephon Marbury

Marbury’s new extension shows his commitment to basketball’s development in China

October 18, 2013

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Stephon Marbury will keep playing in the CBA for at laest another three years.

The recent announcement of Stephon Marbury’s three-year contract with the Beijing Ducks, which came prior to the team’s exhibition game against Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid, really came as no surprise to anyone who has followed the league over the last four years. It has been the New York native’s ambition to finish his career in China.

In fact, if anyone has followed Marbury’s career since he joined the capital team in the 2011-12 season this is a just a sign of not only his commitment to the Ducks, but also a very strong commitment to the development of the game in China.

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Zhang Zhaoxu… CBA’s highest paid Chinese player?

April 22, 2013

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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.

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2012-13 NiuBBall Awards

April 12, 2013

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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.

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…And we’re back

April 9, 2013

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…Sorry about that. An extended vacation in the U.S. as well as some side projects kept us from posting anything for a too long of a while. But it’s not like you really missed much, anyway: The Guangdong Southern Tigers swept through the playoffs, including a 4-0 beat down of the Shandong Gold Lions in the Finals. And a lot of Sun Yue-to-Beijing rumors. Like we said, nothing too interesting.

But to make it up to everyone, we’re posting an all-you-can-eat buffet of links, and no it’s not one of those crappy $10.99 all-you-can-eats with the luke-warm General Tso chicken and soggy spring rolls. Think more the Sunday brunch variety at The Westin (which we’ve never been to, but we hear is good).

So enjoy, and celebrate the fact that NiuBBall is on a regular schedule once again.

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Stephon Marbury to act as Beijing assistant coach for National Games

March 18, 2013

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Stephon Marbury’s Beijing Ducks may have been sent home packing earlier than expected, but Marbury will be sticking around in Beijing to start another China career: coaching.

In an interview on BTV, the 36 year-old guard announced that he will serve as an assistant coach for Beijing as they prepare to participate in the 2013 China National Games. He will work under his CBA head coach Min Lulei, who serves the same position for the Beijing Ducks.

The National Games, which happen once every four years, are completely separate from the Chinese Basketball Association season. As a sort of intra-China Olympics, the National Games pit the country’s different provinces against each other in various athletic events, including basketball.

The two-week competition will start in late August in host-province Liaoning. However, there will be a qualifying tournament in late April for basketball. Guangdong won the basketball tournament in 2009, which was held in various cities in Shandong.

Marbury’s addition to the coaching staff comes on the heels of other big news this week. The Beijing team got a boost when it was announced that Sun Yue, who plays for Beijing Aoshen — a team that is not part of the Chinese Basketball Association — will be representing Beijing at the Games, in addition to several other Aoshen players. A longtime key contributor for the National Team, Sun will be one of the best players in the tournament.

The National Games, though technically centered around athletic competition  are the epitome of not only basketball, but sports with Chinese characteristics. With the eyes of provincial governments focused directly on their teams, the Games’ main purpose serves government officials, who can be gain status and be promoted to bigger and better positions if their teams achieve good results. Though the Olympics trump all in terms of importance, the National Games is a major event and one that places great pressure on athletes to perform for the glory of their province.

In general, athletes represent the provinces in where they were registered as a professional athlete. For example, although Wang Shipeng hails from Liaoning, he was registered in Guangdong as part of the Southern Tigers and will thus represent them this summer. However, as provincial officials are always looking towards the next National Games, under the table agreements can be made between different provinces are not uncommon. Mengke Bateer, who is from Inner Mongolia and got his start in the CBA with Beijing, will be playing for neither team this summer; instead, he’ll be suiting up for Liaoning. Though not reported, it is speculated that his player registration forms were transferred over to Liaoning as part of the deal that sent Zhang Qingpeng over to Xinjiang three years ago. These deals are not illegal, but they part culture that make Chinese sports unlike anything in the United States or other Western countries.

The Beijing team will be comprised of a combination of Beijing Aoshen and Beijing Ducks players. Final rosters have not yet been announced and likely will not be made public until sometime in April.

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Shandong sweeps Beijing, will meet Guangdong in finals

March 18, 2013

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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.

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The good, the bad and the unexpected of CBA All-Star Weekend

March 1, 2013

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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.

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2013 CBA All-Star Weekend Recap

February 25, 2013

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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:

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2012-13 CBA All-Star Game starters revealed; McGrady remains undecided on participation

February 8, 2013

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The starters for the 2013 Chinese Basketball Association All-Star Game were announced last week on Friday, with the Qingdao Eagles’ Tracy McGrady collecting the most fan votes.

Guangdong’s Yi Jianlian finished second.

McGrady, however, is reportedly considering as to whether he will participate in the event. Like last year, All-Star Weekend will be held in Guangzhou from February 23-24 at the Guangzhou International Sports Performance Arts Center.

Bayi’s Wang Zhizhi once again finished high enough to earn a starting spot for the South All-Stars, bringing his total All-Star Game tally to 13 appearances. Xinjiang’s Mengke Bateer holds the all-time record with 15 appearances, although this is the first time in his career that he will not be a starter.

Liaoning’s 19 year-old point guard, Guo Ailun, also makes headlines for getting the first start of his career. Yao Ming, then playing for Shanghai, became a starter in 1998 as an 18 year-old.

Quincy Douby, who set the All-Star Game single game scoring record with 44 points in 2011 while playing for Xinjiang, makes his return to the contest as part of the South squad after missing all of last season with a wrist injury.

Each team will have seven reserve players, which will be announced before the end of the regular season.

The complete list of starters are below.

North All-Stars:

Guards: Stephon Marbury (Beijing), Guo Ailun (Liaoning)

Forwards: Tracy McGrady (Qingdao), Li Xiaoxu (Liaoning)

Center: Han Dejun (Liaoning)

South All-Stars:

Guards: Quincy Douby (Zhejiang), Liu Wei (Shanghai)

Forwards: Yi Li (Jiangsu), Yi Jianlian (Guangdong)

Center: Wang Zhizhi (Bayi)

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It takes more than one McGrady to save these Eagles; it takes more than one season to make a McGrady

December 6, 2012

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Tracy McGrady, who asked to be subbed out with pulled thigh late in the game on Tuesday against Jilin, is off to an 0-5 start in his China career. (Photo: cfp.cn)

With under a minute to go and a win out of reach, a defeated and frustrated Tracy McGrady pulled up with a muscle pull in his thigh, asked to be subbed out, and watched from the bench as his Qingdao Eagles lost 95-84 to the previously winless Jilin Northeast Tigers. As McGrady walked back to the locker room with his teammates, they did so as the only 0-5  team in the Chinese Basketball Association.

With McGrady in an Eagles uniform this season, it was expected to go down in a big way this year in coastal Shandong province.

But, it definitely wasn’t supposed to go down like this.

In a series of events that have pushed the Eagles and McGrady to new depths with every passing game, these past two weeks — which were supposed to be the beginning stages of of McGrady’s CBA takeover — have instead turned into the opening act of a Shakespearian tragedy.

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New sponsorships bring new complications to CBA

December 6, 2012

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Beijing’s Lee Hsueh-lin has been one of 12 players to be fined by the league for not wearing Li-Ning shoes during games. The fine comes as a result of the CBA’s new sponsorship deal with the Chinese shoe brand.

It’s been an exciting start to the season, to say the least. Amidst all the ongoing stories, however, the most important to the league long-term are the new deals that the CBA has signed this past summer. After inking a five-year contract with Infront Sports and Media, now the official marketing partner of the CBA, the league scored 23 new sponsorships, headlined by Li-Ning’s massive CNY 4 billion (US $721 million) commitment.

With these contracts comes an unprecedented windfall for the league’s 17 teams. Having previously received a comparatively measly CNY 2 million from the association, each of the league’s 17 teams will now have around CNY 10 million to spend on salaries, stadium improvements (heating comes to mind), and anything team higher-ups decide on. You don’t need us to tell you this is a boon for the league: money means better imports, more experienced coaches, nicer facilities, and by extension, elevated quality of play and a more refined basketball product for all.

Of course, all this good news does not come without its complications. More sponsors means more advertisements, from CCTV-5 broadcasts to on-court exposure. Whether it be the new Li-Ning apparel, advertising boards, or even the Tsingtao Beer cheerleading squads, you can be sure that these sponsors will make their presence known. Taking on these sponsors also means less autonomy for individual clubs, as teams are now left with only two sections near the courtside audience seats of ad space for sale. Apart from ticketing revenue and individual sponsorships like those on some team’s uniforms, all of the CBA is now dependent on the league to cover their operating costs, a questionable practice at best. Another problem is that of rising costs: even with this injection, with some of their revenue producing avenues cut off, teams may still find it hard to produce a profit.

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“Huan Su Wei” causes to Su Wei to seek psychologist

December 3, 2012

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After having been jeered non-stop by opposing fans throughout the pre-season and regular season, Guangdong center Su Wei is seeking psychological help.

There are many lasting effects and memories from the Beijing Ducks’ run to their first ever Chinese Basketball Association championship last season. Yet in the carryover from 2012 to the quickly approaching 2013, it has been three words that have perhaps had the biggest impact in current Chinese fan culture:

“Huan Su Wei.” Substitute Su Wei.

It’s also had an impact on Su Wei himself, who is apparently so upset by being constantly serenaded by fans that he is now seeking the help of a psychologist.

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Five things to take away from last night’s CBA opener

November 25, 2012

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One of many flops from last night’s Beijing-Shanghai CBA regular season opener.

The lights went out, bad music was sung, championship rings were passed out and with that, the 2012-13 Chinese Basketball Association regular season finally got underway with a result that happened frequently last year: A Beijing win.

Playing in their first game since winning the title last year, the Ducks avoided a ring ceremony hangover by running over the visiting Shanghai Sharks, 94-78. Randolph Morris lead the Ducks with 23 points, Ji Zhe had 19 and Stephon Marbury ran the offensive very effectively for 16 points and eight assists.

D.J. White lead all scorers with 24 points and also grabbed 17 rebounds.

In a game rife with storylines, the most hyped-up being the Gilbert Arenas-Marbury individual matchup, the game’s luster was decreased dramatically when Arenas left the game midway through the first quarter with a groin pull. He did not return for the rest of the game and the Sharks were thus forced to play agains the defending champs with one import player.

Yet despite that relative disappointment, we’re keeping it positive in here and giving everybody five observations we took note of while we took in the game last night inside Shougang Gymnasium.

Box Score

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After all of that Finals MVP controversy jibber jabber, Lee Hsueh-Lin now has a golden sneaker

November 13, 2012

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Almost eight months after the 2011-12 CBA Finals, Beijing guard, Lee Hsueh-lin, finally has his MVP trophy… er, sneaker.

Remember when Stephon Marbury should have won CBA Finals MVP, but didn’t because he’s a foreigner? Seems like a while ago, right? Well, that’s because it was a while ago. Almost eight months to be exact.

Remember who won the award instead? No? Well up until this very day, neither did anybody else.

Whether it was to allow almost three-quarters of a year to let the public backlash against the anti-foreigner rule cool off, or because the decision was just that difficult, the powers that be at the Chinese Basketball Association held off in officially handing out the award… for eight months. As in 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. Like, count-that-on-two-hands eight. Or one if you know how to count Chinese style. You know what I mean. A long time.

Of course within that amount of time, the league refused to do the one thing in which it should have done — change the rule — but did you really expect that to happen?

Instead, the league settled on Beijing’s Taiwanese guard, Lee Hsueh-lin. And we’ll give out some credit: If foreigners are ineligible, Lee is the right call. Dubbed “Mr. 48 Minutes” by Chinese media because dude practically never came out of the game during the Ducks’ magical Finals run, Lee  averaged 11.4 points, 3.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 steals and a three-point percentage of42% over five games against the Guangdong Southern Tigers. All while playing with a back injury.

For his troubles, he gets a golden sneaker that according to this NetEase article made out of 270 grams of gold. Another interesting factoid: Lee becomes the first Taiwanese player to win a CBA MVP. So that’s cool.

…But Stephon Marbury still should have won.

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Gilbert Arenas near deal with Guangdong

October 24, 2012

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According to American reports, Gilbert Arenas is on the verge of signing a deal with the Guangdong Hongyuan Southern Tigers.

While Mitt Romney and Barack Obama sparred on Monday over Sino-American trade policy, there’s one highly lucrative U.S. export market that is gaining momentum by the day: Former NBA All-Stars to the Chinese Basketball Association.

In a report first published by Yahoo! Sports, three-time NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas is on the verge of signing a deal with the Guangdong Southern Tigers. He becomes the second high-profile NBA name to sign in the Middle Kingdom this season, joining the Qingdao Eagles-bound Tracy McGrady.

Today, Guangdong general manger, Liu Hongjiang, moved to cool down American reports, saying that a deal hasn’t been formally reached and that there are still several particulars which still need to be worked out with Arenas and his representatives  He said that a final decision likely won’t be reached until the league’s pre-season.

For people following the story, Arenas’ move to China shouldn’t come as a huge shock. According an ESPN.com report in September, Arenas had been seriously considering China after it became apparent that he was not going to be targeted by an NBA team this off-season. A NiuBBall.com source confirmed a separate ESPN.com report written yesterday that Arenas was in negotiations with the Yao Ming-owned Shanghai Sharks earlier in the off-season, but the deal ultimately was unable to get done due to differences over salary.

Last season for the Memphis Grizzlies, Arenas averaged 4.2 points in 17 appearances.

Arenas will join a revamped Guangdong roster that includes the return of Yi Jianlian, who played with the team both as a youth player and as a professional before eventually being drafted into the NBA in 2007. The sight of one another this season in China will be a familiar one: Arenas and Yi played together in 2010-11 season with the Washington Wizards.

The addition of Arenas — and his former teammate Yi — clearly illustrates the goal of the Guangdong club this year: Win a championship at all costs. Last year’s Finals loss to Beijing was viewed as a serious step back and a black mark on the team’s image and ownership has made it clear that they are committed to re-investing large amounts of money to make sure there is no repeat of that failure this season. With the addition of Arenas, a big and strong scorer in the backccourt who can match-up with Marbury, and Yi, an NBA-caliber seven footer who will be under no playing time restrictions due to his registration as a Chinese player, the logic is easy to follow from an on-paper roster perspective.

The CBA season is slated to open up in late November, although the official schedule has yet to be released.

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