China or Bust Part 2

This is part 2 fanpost about life in the Chinese basketball association. If you have any questions (opt out, quality of bball etc) just comment below!

Life in the CBA is much different than the NBA. The reason individuals from the NBA signed here were for two reasons; short season (ends mid feb so players can still sign with NBA) and pays way more that Euro clubs. Negatives; Most teams practice 2x per day, every day and no opt out clause (however there may be ways around that according to some sources). Apparently they have not implemented or yet understood how important recovery / rest is for the body. However our team has been good in that imports only practice in the morning session and can relax / shoot on their own terms for afternoon. (no wonder JR Smith is skipping practices here in China and shopping instead).

Food is also hard, depending on where you are located. If you are fortunate enough to live in Beijing, it is pretty westernized with Wild Wings, hooters or a myriad of other American fine food establishments (fine food used loosely). However the remote parts are definitely hard core and good luck ordering something if there are no picture menus (side note god bless mcdonalds for being consistent and everywhere in the world).

So last night was our first home game here in Dongguan. We were hosting the Beijing Ducks (no relation that im aware of to the Oregon Ducks) who were 3-0, on top of the league standings and featured former NBA all star stephon Marbury. Our team, the Dongguan New Century Leopards were just coming off our third loss in a row and our team is hungry for our first win, especially at home. We got to the arena about 2.5hrs before tip off to start Shav's pre game routine. The only people in the arena were media (wanna be ben gollivers with thick accents) who were setting up for the broadcast and the dancers who were practicing intermission entertainment (guys note: you are not missing anything in the dance dept).

After the warmup and an interview with local Chinese media, we headed to the locker room to wait for the game to start. The arena was starting to get packed. In talking with a few locals who spoke broken English, no one really gave us much chance against the leagues best team. Boy were they wrong. This game turned out to be the most exciting game I have seen yet here in the CBA. It was within +/- 4 pts the whole game right up to 3min left into the 4th. That's when the home team, Dongguan opened a 9pt lead. However that lead was erased and with 2.5 seconds left, Beijing tied the game. After a malfunctioning clock (home team cooking?) situation got fixed, we were heading for overtime. It went back and forth for a bit, but with 10 seconds left and Dongguan up by 1, we got fouled. Our PG stepped to the line and ended up missing both Ft's. Randolph Morris (university of Kentucky) got the rebound and drove to the other end where he was unmercifully fouled. He calmly sank both Ft's to give Beijing a 1pt lead with 2.1 seconds left. Dongguan had one more chance but the shot was just short.

(see highlights at the link below).

Game notes: In the CBA it is pretty much a given that your import players will get 20 and 10, so your win / losses really depend on your Chinese domestic players. This game was the best i had seen from our domestic, however there is still room for lots of improvement.

Charges - I found out last night that "flopping" on a charge, if you are considered to be faking it, will result in a technical Ft. That was pretty interesting as I had seen some very physical play up to that point and couldn't believe no charges were being called. Basically it means it freaking better be a real charge (which means it will prolly hurt) for it to be called. Conclusion: even though Jackie Chan is from here, there is no Hollywood in china....

Shav ended with 22pts and 20 rebounds, but felt his shooting percentage was low. So we stuck around after the game to shoot / work some more. I call this "doing a Kobe" because we make everyone wait lol.

Away games - only one word describes road trips. Brutal. From accommodations (home team selects where away team stays... Really???) to food to five-hour train rides in compact space. Like I said, brutal. Our next game is Wednesday (16+ Hr's ahead of PST) and at home. Hopefully our team can pull it together and get their first win.

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