Dispatches From Xinjiang: Shiralijan’s Fist And The Xinjiang Spirit

Shiralijan's fist CBA finals
The Xinjiang Flying Tigers may have lost the CBA championship to the Beijing Ducks, but Xinjiangers around the world came away from the games with a powerful meme. It came at the end of Game 5, after the Tigers rallied and pulled off an improbable win in front of a hostile Beijing crowd of 18,000. Shiralijan, the star Uyghur point guard for the Tigers who had been tasked with defending Stephan Marbury -- the star of the Ducks (and best player in the league, according to Anthony Tao!) --threw the ball in the air and raised a twirling, emphatic fist:

Beijing Ducks Win Second CBA Championship In Three Years

Beijing Ducks 2013-14 CBA champions
Beijing is again king of Chinese basketball. The Ducks beat the Xinjiang Flying Tigers 98-88 tonight in Urumqi, clinching the CBA championship 4 games to 2. Stephon Marbury and Randolph Morris, who played so shockingly poorly in Game 5 in Beijing that I heard more than one person say they threw the game (14 points each, combined 7 for 38 from the field), redeemed themselves by scoring 28 and 30 points, respectively.

Ducks Dominant In Opening Game Of CBA Finals

Beijing Ducks vs Xinjiang Game 1
Believe it or not, a 37-year-old point guard from Coney Island, New York who played 13 years in the NBA is putting the city of Beijing on his back. With one CBA championship on his resume -- and a statue outside MasterCard Center -- Stephon Marbury already is a Chinese basketball living legend. So what happens if he wins another, all while averaging 28 points per game this postseason on a bum knee?

Beijing Ducks Beat Guangdong, Advance To CBA Finals To Play Xinjiang

Beijing beats Guangdong CBA semis game featured image
The professional basketball team in Beijing is called the Ducks, but I don't see why. It should be the Beijing Stephon Marburies. There is no player more valuable to his team -- not Yi Jianlian for Guangdong, not Doug McDermott for Creighton, not even LeBron James for Miami -- than Marbury is to Beijing, and if you needed any proof, just fire up last night's decisive Game 5 of the CBA semifinals, which saw the Ducks beat the Guangdong Southern Tigers 110-102 in Dongguan.

Stephon Marbury Scores 43 Against Archrival Guangdong, Beijing On Cusp Of CBA Finals

Stephon Marbury Beijing Ducks vs Guangdong 2
Stephon Marbury may have turned in his finest CBA performance -- and it came against the best team in the league, the defending CBA champion Guangdong Southern Tigers. With his head bandaged for the last four minutes of the fourth quarter and through overtime -- the result of a gash sustained during one of his trademark drives to the basket -- the 37-year-old finished Saturday night with 43 points on 13-for-20 shooting (including 4-for-8 from behind the arc).

Stephon Marbury Ejected In First Game Back From Injury For Throwing “Punch” At Shandong’s Wu Ke

Marbury ejection featured image
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.

Fans Are Clamoring For Stephon Marbury To Become The Next Coach Of Chinese Basketball

Chinese basketball snubbed handshake 3
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.

“Donnie Does” The Shanghai Sharks, And Gilbert Arenas Approves. (Stephon Marbury Does Not)

Donnie Does Shanghai Gilbert Arenas featured image
What does Gilbert Arenas, three-time NBA All-Star, do before CBA games in Shanghai? Watch YouTube, of course. We know this thanks to Donald Mahoney of the video series Donnie Does. "I watched you on YouTube before I got here," Arenas tells Donnie in the tunnel before a Sharks home game. "You're funny as shit." "How you liking Shanghai?" "It's fun." "Let's grab a beer sometime."

Stephon Marbury Was Victimized By The Floppingest Flop

Marbury victimized by flop
The CBA might have a flopping problem. Tianjin's flopping against Qingdao last week was a big reason that game got so out of hand, and on Friday, we saw another incident involving one of the league's high-profile players. Watch as Guangsha guard Zhang Hanjun starts bleeding perilymph from his ear upon bodily contact with Beijing's Stephon Marbury. Who comes out of this looking good?

Gilbert Arenas Scores 5 Points In First Game Back Since Groin Injury, Team Loses

Gilbert Arenas video
On Tuesday, Gilbert Arenas played his first game since November 24 — when he pulled up lame after just six minutes in Beijing – and it was apparent he wasn’t completely healthy. He limped to the bench in the first half, fueling the same questions that reporters asked last month: is he physically fit to compete? Arenas... Read more »

Tracy McGrady Retaliates With Dirty Elbow After Beijing’s Ji Zhe Taunts Him With Finger Wag [UPDATE]

Tracy McGrady elbows Ji Zhe
This weekend has not been good to Tracy McGrady. On Friday he suffered the indignity of having to run off the court because of diarrhea — to say nothing of the indignity of a 10-point performance in a 30-point home loss. Yesterday in Beijing, against the defending champs, he was involved in what could have been... Read more »

Beijing Ducks Beat American All-Stars, Then Mercilessly Rib Teammates For Getting Juked By Allen Iverson And Jason Williams

Ankle-breaker?
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... Read more »

Stephon Marbury’s Beijing Book Signing Today Attracted A Thousand Fans. By The Way, Stephon Marbury Has A Book

Marbury's book
Fans lined up around the massive Zhongguancun Book Mansion this morning to see their favorite athlete, Stephon Marbury, conduct a book signing for his ghostwritten autobiography, I Am Commissar Marbury (I only assume it’s ghostwritten because it’s in Chinese). Marbury, who had been in the US for foot surgery, returned to Beijing on Thursday with his... Read more »

Allen Iverson And Dennis Rodman In China As Part Of US All-Stars Tour

Iverson China exhibition featured image
Former NBA stars Allen Iverson and Dennis Rodman were in Cixi, Zhejiang earlier this week to scrimmage against the Beijing Ducks, which still has (the newly minted) Stephon Marbury, as part of an eight-game, multi-team tour. One Beijing player said it was a dream to play against AI. Ducks coach Min Lulei, however, had no use for such sentiment. He chided his team in the post-game press conference for not taking the opening game seriously enough, which strikes me as just silly -- the Ducks are a month removed from winning the CBA championship, and they haven't practiced together since.