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Shanghai Nights

Bonzi's Blowing up in China

Bonzi's Blowing up in China

Pop quiz. Where do basketball fans throw water bottles and missiles on the court at players? Detroit seems like the answer here but you’re wrong. Where do teams pay the fines for unruly fans and rowdy behavior? Where do players like Bonzi Wells average 44 ppg and dominate night after night? If you said the CYO league at the local Catholic school, you’re still wrong. The answer is the CBA in China. It seems that the basketball out in China has adapted a more physical style of play that has the CBA handing out heavy fines to players and teams. This appears to be happening all because of some remarks Yao Ming made after China’s disappointing exit in the Olympics. He claimed the Chinese style of play was not physical enough and in order to compete with the best in the world, they would need to adapt a new standard of aggressive, tough basketball in the country.

Well the CBA has responded with over $140,500 in fines and more brawls on and off the court than ever before. With fans not understanding the reasoning behind fouls called and assuming bias towards their players, they respond by throwing water bottles and rioting. CBA chief Liu said “The league has not done a good enough job in getting the message about physicality out.” They need some proper training for their officials because with the physical play, referees are unsure of what is considered good contact and what is considered an actual foul. NBA referees are expected to appear and assist in traning sessions with the Chinese referees to aid the adjustment process.

Americans have also commented on the level of play in China saying that it was not much impressive at all. Not to mention, some players like Gabe Muoneke, former University of Texas player who now plays for the Yunnan Running Red Bulls, got jumped by several Chinese players after a game. He even said the beating wasn’t bad at all. He is one of many Americans who find success in China, but is that necessarily a good thing? With a guy like Bonzi Wells averaging 44 points per game in the CBA, this really doesn’t give him accolades in the NBA. It shows how much more developed players in the NBA actually are and how far behind some countries remain to be.

With the NBA looking to develop new arenas in China in the coming years, look for an increased level of play in China. Yao told a country to be more aggressive and the whole country responded. Imagine what he could do as president, not to mention his giant stature in society. Would Kim Jong Il ever have the guts to stand up to Yao face to face? Can you imagine the priceless photos and video you would get from that meeting? In time maybe the CBA will be a competitive league for D-league NBA players to work on their skills. As for right now, the league is still adjusting and learning to protect it’s players and teams. I’d take Bonzi Wells out of there ASAP. Actually on second thought, let him bask in his greatness while it lasts!

RaginRondo

January 16, 2009 Posted by | NBA, Olympic Sports | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Phelps Strikes Gold Again

In last year’s Olympics in China, Michael Phelps became a legendary figure in the world. He won 8 gold medals in every swimming event imaginable and quickly became the worst acting face of advertising. It’s not so much his dumbfounded look, but his goofy persona that didn’t work for me. His Saturday Night Live appearance was like staying up to watch Last Call with Carson Daly. It was disappointing and disturbing like Daly’s black finger nails (does he still do that crap). Phelps has done ads for Rosetta Stone(which wasn’t bad), Visa and Guitar Hero in which Phelps has speaking and non speaking roles. With his new deal with Mazda, we can only hope he locks it up from now on.

Feivel goes East!

Fievel goes East!

Phelps signed a ‘7-figure’ deal with the Mazda Motor group in the Greater China region. He will be the endorser in Print ads, public appearances and TV commercials for the Mazda 6. This is supposedly the largest single sponsorship for a western celebrity in the history of China. I thought Yao Ming’s teammates held those honors? With slumping demand and sales for cars, Mazda looks for the golden boy to spark the industry and produce results. I just want them to have a voice over ready to make these ads tolerable. Actually, just keep his lines to a minimum and let him flash those medals. Who would have thought an American Gold Medal Olympian could sell cars in China?

RaginRondo

January 15, 2009 Posted by | Olympic Sports | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

All Hail King James

King James

King James

With about one minute remaining, Yao Ming attempts a layup to help the Rockets but instead is trampled by the quick jump and defensive block of Lebron James. The ticker eventually counts down and the Cavs claim victory…This was the outcome of yesterday’s heated matchup between the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers.

After watching the game, reviewing the highlights and reading the articles, there’s no doubt in my mind that Lebron James has superseded most NBA legends. Sure Michael Jordan tops the list, but he’s the Zeus of basketball. Michael’s on the same pedestal as Leonardo da Vinci for painting, Will Smith for bankable box office hits, Tupac Shakur for rap and perhaps Mother Teresa for volunteerism. Putting him aside, how often do you hear about Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, or Magic Johnson? In fact, fans from the Kobe and Lebron era probably don’t even know Magic’s real name is Earvin.

Just watch Lebron play one game. You’ll notice his dedication and passion for the sport we love to watch. But even more so than dedication and passion is the skill set he runs with while on court. In yesterday’s game for example, King James led all scorers with 27 points, provided 9 rebounds, 3 steals and one over-the-top block on the Great Wall of China – Yao Ming.

One game you say…? Then explain his ability to lead a team past all but the Celtics and Lakers this year. Or the fact that if it wasn’t for him, the Cavs wouldn’t be only team to remain undefeated at home. Let’s take it one step further and question whether or not the Cavs would’ve made it to the Finals in 2007 if he wasn’t on the roster. Lebron has provided a lot to the franchise and even more to the NBA.

It giddies me like a lil’ girl about to play spin the bottle when I see him powder himself up before entering the court. I become more anxious than Genuwine and can’t wait to see fireworks!

Skrybe – Keep it Fly

December 24, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, NBA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Ming Dynasty

Battier is reaping the Yao benefits in China!

Battier is reaping the Yao benefits in China!

I would like to make an announcement today exclusively on Sportsfly! This is historic and media outlets will be swarming after this is released. I, RaginRondo, will make myself eligible for the 2009-2010 NBA draft. My recreational league stats 5.2 PPG, 6 APG, 5.5 RPG, and a defensive lockdown forward with Ray Lewis intensity. But there’s a clause. I will only sign with the Houston Rockets. I know Ron Artest, the defensive juggernaut is now in Houston but with my addition, we will have the intangibles to turn the Rockets into the Uber Rockets. After signing, i will befriend Yao Ming and learn what makes this man tick. I would actually be fine with sitting the bench and selling out to Yao’s circle of sponsorships.

Ever since the Yao dynasty began, Houston players have been getting Chinese endorsement deals from shoe and retail sponsors. The most recent Rocket to sign is Ron Artest who has made a deal with the shoe company China Peak. Shane Battier also wears this shoe while Luis Scola and Steve Francis sport Anta; another Chinese shoe brand. Yao alone has been sponsored by major companies including; Nike, Reebok, Pepsi, Visa, Garmin, Apple and McDonald’s here in the U.S. and China. Cha-Ching!! Yao’s one of the most popular people in all of China and with Yi Jianlian coming to the NBA; China has only increased their product market base. A reported 400 million items of NBA memorabilia were sold in China in 2007 with over 1 billion viewers watching the NBA.
With this increased popularity, I expect to sign a deal extremely soon with “Mr. Sparkle”;(This barring any problems with my Houston signing). Don’t worry; my signing is more of a lock than the J-E-T-S blowing Sunday’s game to spite the Pats. China, say hello to your new household name! Thanks Yao.

RaginRondo

December 23, 2008 Posted by | NBA | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment