Thursday, September 28, 2006

News from China

After having the whole World Championships and junior Asian Championships to watch Chen Jianghua, Yao Ming comes out with (I believe) his first official opinion of Chen. Since this article is obviously in Chinese, I would translate it roughly, but I think that pryuen does a better job here.

The article isn't only about Chen, as Yao says several other things (Wang ZhiZhi was crucial to the team, especially in the fourth quarter against Slovenia, Wang Shipeng was very courageous to take that buzzerbeater against Slovenia, and he was very apprehensive when he first came to the NBA), but the most important thing, about Chen, was that he was the first player of his kind in China, and therefore, his playing style is in direct conflict to his teammates, on the national team, and on his CBA team.

Once again, there's a clash of old vs. new. Chen's playing style is very NBA-like (in fact, it's probably the most NBA-like of anyone in China, excepting Yao). That rubs against the traditional guys, like Du Feng, Zhu Fangyu, Wang Shipeng, and so on. Those are the old-generation guys. There are only three Chinese players that are "new-generation" players -- Yao, Yi Jianlian, and Chen.Therefore, they're outnumbered, but with Yao on the team, and a good coach in Kazlauskas, they have a good chance of being promoted. It apperas that the new generation is, slowly but surely, winning out.

It appears that the owner of Beijing Aoshen, Li Su, has a good eye for talent. Unfortunately for him, so does Jonas Kazlauskas. Already, two of Aoshen's best players, Sun Yue and Zhang Songtao, are going to miss the first half of the season to play in the December Asian Games. Now, it seems, a third player from Aoshen will be joining his teammates. Huo Nan, a shooting guard for Beijing, has caught the eye of Kazlauskas, and now he has been invited to training for the Asian Games. If he makes the team, it will mean that Beijing has three national team players, which makes them almost as good as Guangdong (five national team players, three starters).

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