A bombshell in the CBA: Boss Wang Xingquan of the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons has sold his team to Beijing Enterprises Group Co. Ltd., for
1.2 billion 120 million yuan (US $194.5 $19.5 million), according to Sina via NiuBBall. The Beijing-based investment group will be moving the team up north, to the nation’s capital, where Marcus Williams and Charles Gaines’s crew will surely begin a cross-town rivalry with Stephon Marbury, Randolph Morris and the Beijing Ducks.
Meanwhile, the Maloof family in Sacramento is wondering how it can be so easy.
The paperwork for the Shanxi move, it should be noted, isn’t finalized, and if you were to ask me, I’d say the team should stay where it is. Taiyuan fans are beyond passionate, more so than Seattle fans for the SuperSonics (this isn’t really up for dispute), and having visited Taiyuan and watched games in their raucous arena, I can’t picture the city without its team. Jon Pastuszek of NiuBBall more or less shares that opinion:
For many fans of the CBA, the sudden absence of a team in Shanxi is a bittersweet development. Known as arguably the loudest and most passionate fans in the league, Brave Dragons home games in Taiyuan have given the team a huge edge in recent years. In a league where most teams still struggle to draw consistently high attendance figures, losing the well-supported Dragons is undoubtedly a loss for the league, the city of Taiyuan and the province. Accordingly, in a last ditch to save the club, fans in Taiyuan have organized a rally, which will be held on May 1st.
Although I suppose I did also at one time write that Shanxi should be stripped of its basketball team, so, yeah.
Look for reactions from Ducks representatives in the near-future while basketball fans in Beijing dream of a Fourth Ring Road Championship series.