Sports / Basketball

'China's Cuban' revives basketball dream in lower league

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-20 17:28

ZHENGZHOU, China - Just like a coin has two sides, those who know about Wang Xingjiang hold different attitudes towards him. Some are impressed by his frenzy for basketball, while others feel unease with his straightforward personality.

Yet, what matters most to Chinese basketball is, the man nicknamed "China's Cuban" for his similarity with NBA team Dallas Mavericks boss Mark Cuban, is back to the basketball circle, a year after he sold the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA)'s Shanxi team.

"I love the sport. I want to do something for Chinese basketball which is still at a low level," said Wang.

Wang obtained approval from the Chinese basketball governing body to set up a new team - Zhengzhou Dayun - at the beginning of 2015. He has spent several months seeking young talent to prepare for the National Basketball League (NBL) season, a lower basketball league than CBA.

"I hope to nurture some future stars for the sake of Chinese basketball," he said.

Earlier this month, Wang returned to Taiyuan, home to his former team Shanxi and met with some of the players. Although Shanxi finished its franchise-best third place in 2011-2012 CBA season, Wang rued failing to fully execute those young players' skills.

"If I could stay for two to three more years, I think they would reach a new high," he said.

Apart from building Dayun into the most successful NBL team, Wang has a even bigger goal.

"I expect to see healthy competition between the CBA and NBL. At least, I hope that the NBL league could spur the CBA management to make some changes," said Wang.

"If not, playing NBL games is meaningless," he added.

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