After sitting out more than two months with an injury and missing 22 games, Beijing Ducks superstar point guard Stephon Marbury returned to the court last night against the Shandong Flaming Bulls in his team's first game of the new lunar year.
It was an eventful night, to say the very least.
Dennis Rodman sang Happy Birthday to Kim Jong-un, who then watched as his country's basketball team beat Dennis Rodman's USA team on Wednesday in Pyongyang. That's according to Koryo Tours general manager Simon Cockerell, who reports that "the DPRK team emerged triumphant" in a 20-minute game, played as two 10-minute halves.
The CBA is back, and thank goodness. As featured on Deadspin, here's Ivan Johnson, 29, doing a celebratory dance that in the NBA would have set him back 15 grand, because no one in corporate appreciates the Big Balls Dance.
This was ugly. The Sichuan Blue Whales, playing its first CBA game in 15 years, having just been promoted from the second-tier National Basketball League in September, lost by 53 points on Friday. The previous CBA record for most lopsided season-opener was a mere 40 points, nearly 25 percent less than Sichuan's deficit.
"His shooting is perfect," said a fan at the MasterCard Arena (Wukesong) in Beijing on Tuesday before the Golden State Warriors tipped off against the Los Angeles Lakers. He was talking, of course, about Steph Curry.
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.
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."
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.
China got a wake-up call yesterday in the 27th FIBA Asia Championship in Manila, losing to South Korea 83-79. Today, it took out its frustration on Malaysia with a historic beating.
China scored the first 28 points. More than nine minutes lapsed before Malaysia made a bucket.
A lot of times in blowouts, a team will race ahead to a large deficit -- 40, maybe 50 points -- and then put it on cruise control. The overmatched but determined opponent will then shave the margin to a respectable 30 by game's end. This is not what happened here.
South Korea's not known for its basketball, but it made a huge statement in the opening game of the FIBA Asia Championship yesterday in Manila, beating the defending champs -- that's China -- 83-79 in a game that Nick Bedard of Buddha Basketball said kept "everyone... on the edge of their seats."
Former Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Metta World Peace, the artist formerly known as Ron Artest, apparently had a very impressionable trip to Beijing and Qingdao recently, because now he's thinking about playing basketball in this country, perhaps with Yao Ming's Shanghai Sharks. This would be a win for everyone, especially us. And you. Metta World Peace is awesome.
We've seen NBA players -- namely, those on the Miami Heat -- try to speak Chinese before, to bad results. We wish we could say this video, featuring Dwight Howard and John Wall, was better, but why would we say that?
Actually, a few reasons:
Chris Tang caught our attention in February 2012, when it looked like he might be the best Chinese high school basketball player on the planet. He has the size (6-foot-3 last we checked, though he's likely still growing), the athletic ability, and the shooting touch. He's also enrolled at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, a veritable factory for basketball players at elite college programs across the country.
On Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers’ torturous season suffered another calamity when star guard Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles tendon, ending one of his most impressive statistical seasons on a down note. Though the 34-year-old Bryant has his detractors, his work ethic and ability to battle through injuries are legendary, moving opposing fans and Lakers... Read more »