Tuesday, July 31, 2007

There is Indeed a Mike James Day

First, a shout-out to Shamsul Chowdhury and Sportsvite for dropping the dime. When we finally figure out just what it is your site does, we'll tell everyone we know... which sadly isn't many people.

Anyway, yes, former-and-now-current-Houston-Rocket-for-now Mike James has his own day, Mike James Day. To be celebrated every July 28th in his hometown of Amityville, NY until presumably he is no longer a professional athlete and worthy of his own day. No, we hope they still give them his day, and he still spends half of it shooting jumpshots. Check the video.

Best part is the scrawny, white kid who times his entrance just as Mike is fanatically repping the "'hood" and how he's clearly making the kids give him all the basketballs while he shoots jumpers.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Who Made Who, Yao or Team China?

Who made who, Yao or Team China?
From Yao Central

China's official sports association has "issued an unprecedented public criticism of Yao Ming for reporting late to national team training."

Without Yao, the Chinese Nationals can't beat the Boston Celtics... summer league team. It could be argued that Chinese basketball does not exist on the international stage without him. Why then, you ask, would Team China criticize their golden goose?

"No matter how lofty public welfare activities are, they can't be allowed to take first place in a player's life," says the China Sports Daily. Yao might be the busiest man in show business right now with most of his work in the off-season having to do with social reform in China, that and his wedding. But the Daily's statement seems to infer that in China a player is just supposed to play basketball. That's a fundamental way of life that may not resonate to Americans. It's not that all American athletes think they need to diversify or that the first thing they need to do after entering the NBA is to give back to the community, but it's almost a requirement to do so at some point in their career. Say what you want about the rapping, the acting or the celebrity, in America, an athlete is never just an athlete.

The second quote Chron.com singles out: "No matter how sweet personal life is, it can't be compared to the exultation of capturing glory for one's nation."

That's some old-school Mao-era rhetoric. Another fundamental difference to our thinking here, where the personal life is sacred, to everyone but Paris Hilton. Yao has been a little preoccupied with his wedding. Surely no
Mr. Longoria affair, but an event nonetheless. Could his public denunciation stem from the fear that China is somehow losing influence over Yao with his continual exposure to Western culture?

Click here for the rest.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fists of Fury: Alice Cooper Loves Milwaukee and So Should Yi

We're not sure if Yi's PR people are just throwing Yi's agent, Dan fegan under the bus, but now newspapers and fans all over China are saying the jig is up. Sign with Milwaukee and play ball. Fans and media are blaming Fegan for the hold-up.

NBA.com has a little Q&A with Yi and our boy, Sun Yue, who's put up modest numbers in the summer league so far (3.7 ppg, 3.7 apg), and meanwhile, Lakers' guard Javaris Crittendon is looking pretty solid, but we're still pulling for Sun to make the LA roster.

After their buzzer-beater vs. the Cavs, Sun says he wants to play like Daniel Gibson, which is great, we love our H-town boys, especially if they're called Boobie, but Sun... you could aim higher.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Fists of Fury: Yi-Watch 2007

As a blog that claims to be about basketball from an Asian American perspective, we've been sorely lacking coverage on Chinese forward Yi Jianlian. Why is not important, we've posted on him before. I supposed we're taking a wait and see attitude before we start calling Yi the next... Toni Kukoc (a far cry from the "next KG" he used to get). But that's still no excuse for our lack of coverage.

So, we begin Yi-Watch 2007.

AOL Sports scooped what looks like a cell-phone mini-clip of Rudy Gay "welcoming" Yi to the NBA, but it's widely available now via YouTube.

It's pretty impressive and it's true they didn't show Yi's less impressive dunk over Gay, but the Grizzlies won... against the Chinese National Team. The Chinese Nats can't beat the Memphis Grizzlies... summer league team. Granted, no Yao Ming, but it was the summer league team... that's just terrible. So Yi was welcomed, or did he welcome himself, I guess it depends on how you look at it.

And then Yesterday, the Kings summer league team beats the Chinese Nats 73-47 and Kings rookie center Spencer Hawes dropped 19 pts, 7 boards. Terrible.

Finally, though, Yi has begun talks with Milwaukee. We knew he couldn't pull the Steve Francis for that long. It takes a special kind of personality to pull that off. And now, Milwaukee's bringing in the big guns... or a gun named Stern.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fists of Fury: Hey Yi, Milwaukee has a Chinese Kung Fu Center

And a Chinese-owned sports bar called Long Wong's... what else do you need?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Searching for Bobby Jackson

Searching for Bobby Jackson
From Yao Central

Daryl Morey is a genius. A stat guru if you will. No doubt he has a horde of interns stashed away in some dark place hammering out the latest in stat-based qualitative algorithms. But Aaron Brooks was Rick Adelman's guy.

Speed. That's the dimension that Adelman wants to add.

A lot been said, obviously, about the surprising to everyone but the Rockets selection of Aaron Brooks at the 26th pick, but all the Rockets did was hold fast to what they set out to do, draft for talent instead of need. But the perception of talent if subjective. Admittedly, my own initial reactions to the selection of Brooks and Newley were of disappointment, but that was largely due from the left-field nature of the picks, and shock really. I retract the statement that Brooks was a "terrible" pick, I thought he was a great player even then, just not right for the Rockets. John at Yao Ming Mania has his own take on why the picks make no sense and its financial. But actually, the surprise at Newley was only because I hadn't known about the trade for Landry until later. Newley might actually be the kind of slasher/shooter the Rockets need when he finally becomes available. He's an Aussie, too, so tough as nails, but if its speed they wanted, they didn't get it. Obviously, Spain's Rudy Fernandez would have fit the bill if the Rockets had been able to finagle the position, but they didn't.

For rest of post, clickee here.