This is part 3 of my China experience while visiting with the Dongguan New Century Leopards. Reason it is panda express version is because I love panda, however, after eating rice and noodles for every meal I will be boycotting my favorite food.
So here we are,in the Chinese Basketball Association's (CBA, not to be confused with the Collective Bargaining Agreement) third week and what a week it was. Dongguan New Century Leopards got their second win in a row behind play from their two imports and solid teamwork from the domestic players. It is hard to start a season 0-4 and it makes practices hell.
Having spent several weeks out here, I am still learning local culture and different nuisances in basketball here.
3 Imports: so apparently, if you are in the bottom 3 standings from the previous year, you are able to sign an additional import. This gives a huge advantage against other teams and usually propels the bottom teams into the middle / top of the pack. I just learned this.
Crowd Noise:the crowds are very respectful / subdued compared to other places i have witnessed basketball. They pump in "defence" chant on the overhead speakers and literally I look around and don't see one person chanting. It can get so quiet that if I decided to yell at the refs I feel like i am having a normal conversation with them. lol.
Refs:In other countries, I feel the imports are treated harsher when dealing with referee's calls. for example, in puerto rico imports get NO LOVE. Here, I feel like they are lebron when going against the domestic players. however, import on import is a different story and almost always sways towards the home team (on the road is tough).
Opt -Out:There has been a ton of talk about players being "stuck" here in china. So far, no NBA players who signed contracts over here have ventured to test to the boundaries or legal implications of enforcing the CBA's special rule. So far, most of the players have transitioned well (except maybe JR, who has calmed down a bit) and are getting paid very well, have drivers, hotel suites and chefs. Of course the CBA decided to let Yi Jianlian out of his contract. To me that was a little bit of a double standard, but why you would you prevent the second pride of china from making an impact somewhere else?
Shoes / Clothes: Chinese teams spare no expense, as we had 3 boxes of brand new shoes and team gear waiting for us. included were 12 pairs of shoes including new Kobe's, Lebron's and Anta's KG's. clothing for any type of weather from shorts to ski jackets. lol.
Highlights from this week:
Shavlik: had a monster game of 29 pts and 11 rebounds thru 3 quarters to help Dongguan get their first win, to help bring his avg for this week to 26 and 16.
JR Smith: had 52 points and 22 rebounds. what is more astonishing, he was 3-10 from 2pt range. you ready for this? 11-15 from 3ball land. wow is also I can say.
Patty Mills: He has adjusted nicely into the league with last night, scoring 32 against the top team (beijing ducks who are 6-0). Patty Mills / Kenyon Martin ' s team was up 1 with 40 seconds left, but missed a few shots and careless fouls put the other team on the line to pull out a 2point victory. Damn you Marbury.