In early 2010, when news started to circulate around the internet that two-time NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury had signed with a team in the Chinese Basketball Association many thought that would most likely be the last they would hear of the player who was highly touted going back to his high school days in New York.
Posts from the ‘Basketball’ Category
It could be another classic game in the history of the CBA, when the Beijing Ducks, with the help of Stephon Marbury, arguably the best import ever in the league, challenges the Guangdong Southern Tigers, which won seven out of eight recent finals. But what happened in Game 1 of the finals turned out to be a disgrace for Chinese basketball.
Even during my Valentine's Day dinner with Stephon Marbury and Randolph Morris, two former National Basketball Association (NBA) players who now play for the Beijing Ducks, one topic was unavoidable: Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks guard who has emerged from nowhere to lead the team to a seven-game winning streak.
Almost any professional athlete can tell you that it is not easy to satisfy your supporters wherever you may play. That is certainly a fact for any athlete that has ever played in New York City, one of the biggest markets for professional sports in America. No matter if you are a fan of the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball, the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League or any of the teams based in the northeast US State, only one thing matters and that is winning.
When you walk around the Yuanshen, you quickly realize that this is Yao Ming's house. His image adorns the walls, the banners and the advertisements, whilst his retired jersey hangs from the rafters. During home games, Yao watches from his private box up high in the arena, looking down on players and fans alike like an emperor.
Two men exchanged pleasantries via Weibo on Wednesday night, one complimenting the other on a job well done. So far, so normal, considering this is China's leading social networking site, with over 25o million registered accounts. Yet the big difference was who was doing it; Stephon Marbury, two-time NBA All-Star, now with the Beijing Ducks, was congratulating J.R. Smith, the former Denver Nugget, on playing his part in Zhejiang Golden Bulls' victory over Guangdong Leopards that night.
In part one of this seven-point plan, the media's role in promoting the league, the CBA front office's responsibility in improving the quality of officiating and the establishment of an Asia wide basketball league based on the concept of the Euroleague were proposed. The last four parts of this proposal focuses on the All-Star Game, player development, free agency (if there is such a thing in the CBA) and the fans.
Aside from the Euroleague, the only other basketball anyone will possibly be watching this year is from the China Basketball Association as players and owners work feverishly to hammer out a deal to save the NBA season. With the start of the 2011-2012 season approaching there is a lot of anticipation an excitement.
With all of the hoopla around former Houston Rockets’ center Yao Ming’s retirement, some may have forgotten that the NBA is still in lockout mode. As players and owners still haggle over an agreement, many of the top NBA stars have had a lot of free time on their hands this summer and it looks like they will still have a lot of down time come September when teams should be heading into training camp getting ready for the new season.