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NBA All-stars Nash, Howard talk about China

Updated: 2012-02-27 15:31
By Yan Weijue (

Two of this year's NBA all-stars, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, talk about their China experience in an English learning program called English, baby!.

NBA All-stars Nash, Howard talk about China

Nash, a two-time Most Valuable Player, explains what "drop a dime" means in basketball terms, while Howard, who's monopolized the Defensive Player of the Year award since 2008, is a perfect example for an interpretation of "shot blocking".

"It (A dime) is an assist," said the 38-year-old Phoenix guard, who leads the league with 10.9 assists per game. "I'm guessing the origin came from the old days, when you needed to use the pay phone to make a phone call. It cost a dime, so you dropped a dime, or gave somebody a dime, so they could make their phone call."

He then recalled his involvement with charity work in China. A close friend of China's basketball legend Yao Ming, Nash inspired the latter to hold a charity basketball game as well as a charity dinner and auction in China in October 2007, to build schools for impoverished children in rural areas. The game raised more than 17 million yuan ($2.7m). And after the 8.0-magnitude quake in Sichuan province in 2008, Nash made a quick donation through Yao's foundation. He has also partnered with Luyou, a Chinese shoe company, to help with playground renovation in 20 cities across the country.

"I've been fortunate enough to go to China three or four times now and help out," said Nash.

Dwight Howard, nicknamed Superman, is known for his defensive skills and incomparable athleticism that helps the big man dominates the paint, rejecting every shot by those who dare to take it.

NBA All-stars Nash, Howard talk about China

But he prefers the term "Beat it up" and "It looks like he's playing volleyball."

"Usually, when we block shots, we say, ‘Yo, did you see what he did? He beat it up! Oh, he beat that ball up!' Or we say something like, ‘Yo, you look like you're playing volleyball out there with the ball.' Just something like that, something crazy," he said.

When asked about his ties with China, Howard showed us why he is one of the most beloved NBA stars in the country, as he reeled off everyday Chinese phrases in an awkward but sidesplitting tone.

"Ni hao. Wo ai ni, zhong guo qiu mi ni hao, de huai te huo hua de, wo ai ni, China. I just said, 'Welcome to China, I love you, and I'm Dwight Howard.'"

The Superman got more than 1.6 million votes and won this year's All-Star Ballot for a reason.

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