We watched the CBA All-Star game on Sunday to see the best that Chinese basketball has to offer, and for the entertainment and pageantry (it was a Lantern Festival special). But, truth be told, what we really wanted was comedy, preferably one of errors, like last year.
The game didn’t supply anything, but the dunk contest delivered. Oh did it ever.
Shark Fin Hoops notes that Zhai Yi, a third-stringer with the Shanghai Sharks, won, but maybe we should put “won” in quotes, because reading the summary and watching the videos, it appears that he merely screwed up a little less. One can’t say it was any less exciting, though. Listen to the announcers gasp with each attempt.
Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky, who provides three hilarious gifs, has more details:
The contest was sponsored by shoe company Li-Ning, and Zhai hoped to slam the ball while sticking a sneaker to the backboard. The shoe stuck, but the ball didn’t go in. He eventually put it in on his third attempt, the shoe hovering as a mute witness to his failure.
Zhai’s second dunk was more successful, and just as unimpressive. Taking a cue from Blake Griffin skying over a Kia, Zhai dunked over a tiny little go-kart shaped like a sneaker. Except he sort of jumped around the front of it, even though it was only about 18 inches high at that end. He also needed three attempts.
Dunking is hard. Leave it to the freaks of nature.
More of the Chinese dunk contest here: