Monday, March 8, 2010

Ma Bu Li = 马布里 = Marbury

posted by Alan
click on pictures to see them full sized

Some of you sports fans might know that former Olympian and NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury has joined the CBA (Chinese Basketball Association. He's had some off the court issues that has derailed his NBA career and signed to play in China in order to market his sneaker brand. He came about 3 weeks ago and instantly became the best player in the league and probably the best player to ever play in China.

The CBA is China's version of the NBA. Yao Ming got his start in the CBA playing for his hometown Shanghai Sharks. Each CBA team is allowed 2 foreigners and they are only allowed to play a maximum of 3 quarters per game. Europe is the most common destination for players who aren't good enough to make the NBA, because players can still make ALOT of money and live like superstars. BUT, there are some brave souls (or just less-skilled ones) that come to make a living playing basketball here in China. The level of basketball is VERY low here and the most a foreign player can make is only about $400K USD per year (still alot, but not for a pro baller). But the NBA IS wildly popular in China and the people here do appreciate having a player of that stature coming here to play.

Anyway, when my friends and I heard, we immediately looked up the Shanghai Sharks' schedule and got tickets for when Marbury was coming to town. 150RMB (about $21 USD) for court level seats. Marbury was definitely the main draw, but it turned out to be a good game as well. The skill and athleticism of the foreigners (Marbury and former-NBAer, Maurice Taylor for Shanxi vs. former college star, John Lucas Jr. and some 7-foot beast named Garret Silar for Shanghai) was way above the level of the Chinese players as you can see from the box scores below. Especially the ridiculous first quarter scores. Take a guess as to which numbers the foreigners are.

#33 Stephon Marbury & #2 Maurice Taylor

In the end, it ended up being a pretty close game, which means the last 6 minutes of the game became 2-on-2. It was really cool to see an NBA superstar playing up close and all the way over here in China. He's still really quick and his body control and strength were still there. The Chinese guys guarding him didn't stand a chance.I can't imagine he'll be playing here for very long. He's always been a bit of an outside the box thinker and more open to less conventional ways of doing things, but it can't be easy playing here after playing among the best in the world.

Click here to see some more pictures of Marbury in China and his game in Shanghai: Marbury Album

Response to comments:
E-Shyh - Glad ur comin back to China, but come back to Shanghai! Anna needs someone to crack up at her insanity.
Angela - I've tried the "special meat" before. Twice. And it's delicious.
Jen - Kids fly for free before 2 years old. Take advantage. haha. congrats to you and Will by the way if we didn't mention it before.
Uncle Willie and Aunt Ellen - Thanks for checking out the blog! The movie makers were really accurate with those mountains. We're ready for you guys to come visit anytime!
Calvin - China has incredible landscapes. We can't wait to see and share more of it.

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