The Houston Jeremy Lins played the Indiana Pacers in an exhibition in Taipei on Sunday, and as you might expect, a capacity crowd was firmly behind the Jeremy Lins from the start. Some highlights are above.
On Sunday, the 25-member Chinese Basketball Association committee unanimously approved the league's newest team, the Sichuan Blue Whales, who will begin play this fall. Last year the Whales competed in the National Basketball League, China's second-tier basketball association, and finished fourth with a 12-6 record.
The China Open tennis tournament began in Beijing over the weekend, but before the games that counted, there was this, a "Battle of the Sexes" between the world's top player, Novak Djokovic, and China's very own Li Na.
There's a chance you've known this for a while, since it was first reported on September 6 (by Indo-Asian News Service, of all places), but Li Na will face Novak Djokovic in a "battle of the sexes" on September 27 to mark the 10th year of the China Open at Beijing's National Tennis Center. It's a wonderful little PR stunt, pitting the world's top-ranked men's player against the women's No. 5 playing in her home tournament.
Liaoning played Xinjiang in the semifinals of a U-20 tournament at the National Games of China on Sunday, and the two sides managed to score one goal each in a mostly (we're guessing) sloppy, mistake-ridden, difficult-to-watch contest. There was one redeeming moment for us to treasure though. Let's go to the tape.
On the same day that saw a team take perhaps the most unsportsmanlike option possible in the face of defeat -- the women's rugby sevens team deciding to stop playing because they disagreed with a referee's decision, and losing 71-0 -- sportsmanship went ahead and redeemed itself with this story.
Bad calls happen in sports, we all know, but rarely does a team react like this.
In the finals of the women's rugby sevens competition at the 12th Chinese National Games on Tuesday in Shenyang, Liaoning province, Beijing went down two early unconverted tries, 10-0, against Shandong. Early in the second half, a Beijing player was shown a yellow card and sent off. While she was on the bench, Shandong scored another try -- though on a controversial play...
Fifth-seeded Li Na, playing with what she called nervous energy, beat 24th seed Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2 yesterday to become the first Chinese player to ever reach the semifinals of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
In an otherwise excellent piece on Chinese tennis star Li Na, Brook Larmer, writing in the New York Times, made one critical error, which Chinese media quickly pointed out. The offending passage originally read:
We haven't checked in with Jeremy Lin for a while, but it appears he's been busy. Currently in Taiwan, Lin gave an emotional speech at a youth camp recently about his struggles last season in his first full season as a starter. SI.com's Point Forward blog has this excerpt, via a two-hour video on YouTube.
Panagiotis Giannakis, former head coach of the Greek basketball team, arrived in May to begin a four-year contract to lead the Chinese basketball team through the 2014 FIBA World Championships in Spain and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. As of this writing, however -- following a blowout loss to Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals of the FIBA Asia Championship two weeks ago -- it doesn't look like Giannakis will survive the month.
Kobe Bryant recently wrapped up his 8th China tour -- another successful one, judging by the response -- and as part of Nike's Mamba Mentality campaign, this ad was recently released exclusively in China.
It's all over but the crying for the Chinese basketball team at the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship after a shocking 18-point defeat at the hands of Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals today. With Yi Jianlian scoring the first bucket and Zhu Fangyu and Wang Shipeng hitting shots from the outside, China jumped out to an 8-3, then 13-5 lead, and at one point in the 2nd quarter was up by 17. CCTV-5 commentators, openly rooting for China, said Taiwan ("Chinese Taipei") looked like "little brother playing big brother."
Liaoning Whowin played host to Shangai Shenhua on August 1 (yes, eight days ago; sorry, this is late), which wouldn't be worth mentioning if not for a terrible, terrible tackle that might be called straight-up assault if it didn't happen on a soccer pitch. (And if people in real life, hilariously, also could not use their hands.) You can watch it above, or look at the screenshots below to get an idea of how bad it was.
Only three more days remain in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, beginning with the quarterfinals today. Can Iran run the tables and finish undefeated? Can host Philippines get past its first-round matchup? Will South Korea's hot streak continue? Is Yi Jianlian completely recovered from an injury that forced him to sit four games?
To help us make sense of it all, here's Nick Bedard of Basketball Buddha.
Kobe Bryant is currently in China with Nike, for the eighth time, to "inspire young athletes." "As a key part of his tour, Bryant will surprise fans by dropping in at various basketball courts in each city to watch players who have heeded the call to come out and play basketball at night," Nike reports, so if you want a chance to meet Kobe, get out there and play basketball on your city's most popular court at night.
Sun Yang -- who might objectively be the best freestyle swimmer in the world -- pulled off a "miracle swim" even for his standards on Friday in the 4x200m freestyle relay at the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona.
Check out the video above. When Sun hits the water (lane 8, very bottom of the screen), his team's in fifth place and more than two seconds behind the third-place French. All he does is swim 200 meters in 1:43.96 and beat both the French (lane 6) and Japanese (lane 3) swimmers by a fingertip.