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Lyu sorry for smashing into Klay's pal

By SHI FUTIAN | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-29 08:25
Lyu Xiaoming has drawn the wrath of fans for committing an ugly foul during an exhibition street match against Klay Thompson's team in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, on Wednesday. [Photo/VCG]

Ex-CBA player's brutal foul angers fans and visiting star Thompson

Retired CBA player Lyu Xiaoming finally got the fame he never had during his career-and drew the ire of Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson.

During a street game on Wednesday night at Shanxi University of Finance and Economics in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, Lyu, who also had a brief stint with China's national team, brutally fouled Thompson's friend on the opposing team.

Thompson, on a promotional tour of China for Anta sportswear, was watching from the sidelines. He reacted by shouting at Lyu, using profanities to make his point.

On Thursday afternoon, Lyu issued an apology on Weibo.

"First of all, I want to apologize to all of the basketball fans," said Lyu, who retired from the CBA in 2015. "After what happened last night, I couldn't find peace within my heart. I read lots of comments online, and I took time to reflect on myself.

"I'm sorry. I want to sincerely apologize to everyone. As a retired professional basketball player, what I did last night was totally a mistake, which had no basketball spirit. It could have caused the foreign player serious injury. It was a bad mistake.

"When I knew I might play against an NBA player like Klay Thompson, I adjusted and prepared myself trying to present fans with a great basketball show. However, I was too excited and lost control on the court, resulting in a dangerous foul."

Thompson was not the only furious spectator, as millions of Chinese netizens expressed outrage after watching the video footage. It quickly became Weibo's second-most trendy topic, trailing only Germany's stunning loss to South Korea at soccer's World Cup.

After Lyu's Weibo account was attacked by Thompson's fans, the former CBA player deleted every single message to stop fans from leaving critical comments.

By late Thursday, things had calmed down to the point where Thompson said it was time to move on: "The guy is competitive, and sometimes emotions get the best of you when you're playing in front of hometown fans."

After signing an $80 million deal with Chinese sports brand Anta last year, Thompson started his second tour of the country last Saturday, just weeks after the Warriors clinched their second straight NBA championship.

Before Wednesday's incident, the most popular story of Thompson's current trip was that the four-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion lost a pop-a-shot game to a young Chinese girl.

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