Allen Iverson and Jason “White Chocolate” Williams were among the more famous basketball players in Beijing on Saturday to take on the defending CBA champs in an exhibition at Beijing National Stadium. (No Dennis Rodman this time.) The Ducks beat the American “All-Stars” 132-103, but all anyone could talk about afterwards was the “juke” that Iverson put on the Ducks’ 22-year-old guard, Fang Shuo, just before the end of the first half. Also getting a lot of chatter was Jason Williams dribbling the ball through defender Ji Zhe’s legs.
First, the AI play:
GIF via Buzzfeed
Fang’s teammates had a great time with this one. ”I feel like that move really was too pretty. Really,” says Yin Tianren with a nearly straight face. “He really truly jukes him to the ground. There weren’t any extracurricular moves, I feel. Pure juke.”
Uh-huh. What really happened?
“I just want to ask you one question,” a Tiantian Sports journalist says to Fang.
Laughing, Fang replies: “I don’t want to answer.”
Alas, leave it to grizzled Ducks veteran Stephon Marbury to set the record straight: “He didn’t fall. Not tonight. [Iverson] stepped on his foot, that’s why it was an accident.”
“His move really was very strong,” Fang says. “And him being so old — when he was young, I suspect I would’ve been shaken even if he didn’t step on my foot.”
Fang wasn’t the only one getting an earful from teammates. In one of the best locker room scenes you’ll see (Chinese sports media have unprecedented access to locker rooms, it turns out), after a journalist asks, “After you fell down, were all your teammates laughing at you?,” Fang retorts, “That’s alright, Ji Zhe was in the same boat!”
The camera swings left, where we see Ji Zhe, sitting two lockers down, giving Fang a droll smile.
The incident in question involved Jason Williams dribbling the ball through Ji’s — or “G Man,” as Randolph Morris calls him — legs.
“I’m a Jason Williams fan,” Ji would say.
As if you needed more proof that the Ducks might be the most likable team in China, this video puts all doubt to rest. They’re young (for the most part; Marbury is old), their coach isn’t a hothead, they truly seem to like one another, and they win. What else do you want? They begin their season at home against Shanghai late next month.