From NBA to CBA
Updated: 2012-10-28 08:13
China Daily picks eight (former) NBA players who came to China and grades them according to their contribution to the game here.
Stephon Marbury (Beijing Ducks)
* * * * *
Having led an average team to the league championship in his first season with the Beijing Ducks, Marbury has reached a personal career peak while bringing rare pro-basketball success to the capital city.
Bonding with his Chinese teammates with a positive attitude, Marbury motivated the youngsters with hard work and a strong belief. He also showed a willingness to blend into the Chinese culture - taking the subway to the gym, attending public activities and socializing with fans via the Internet.
With his massive popularity, the New York native has also achieved notable commercial success, launching his online sneaker shop, releasing his autobiography and signing multiple endorsement deals.
Quincy Douby (Xinjiang Flying Tigers)
* * * *
Douby's phenomenal performance (29.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists) with the Flying Tigers in the 2010-2011 season deserves to be underlined in league history.
He led his team against defending champion Guangdong in the finals with a prolific scoring display and great play-making. His 53 points in Game 1 broke the finals scoring record previously held by Yao Ming (49 in 2002).He also won that season's All-Star MVP while setting an example for NBA bench players with Chinese ambitions.
Marcus Williams (left) and Charles Gaines (Shanxi Brave Dragons)
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Not as famous as the NBA players who jumped to China during last year's lockout, the duo of Williams and Gaines provided reliability and efficiency for the Brave Dragons and helped the small-market team reach the semifinals for the first time last season.
Their presence transformed Shanxi's thin roster into an elite squad while also drawing unprecedented focus on the team's home city of Taiyuan, which used to be a speck on the nation's basketball map.
The club has signed the tandem for another year at double their salaries, so expect at least a repeat of last season's performance.
J.R. Smith (Zhejiang Golden Bulls)
* * *
Smith demanded five-star accommodation and other privileges during his two-month stint with the Golden Bulls, and also gave the team's management a few headaches, but he single-handedly lifted its media exposure and ticket sales through his on-court performances.
The former Denver Nugget topped the CBA's scoring table with 34.4 points per game, but failed to steer the team to the playoffs and, as expected, returned to the United States to join the New York Knicks after his contract ended.
Aaron Brooks (Guangdong Southern Tigers)
* * *
If seven-time champion Guangdong won the finals against Beijing, Brooks' rating would have been higher.
After an initial adjustment period, Brooks, Yao's former Houston Rockets teammate, started to enjoy playing with the defending champion in the playoffs, but still came up short against Marbury.
Wilson Chandler (Zhejiang Lions)
The Lions 4-0 loss to the Ducks in the playoffs' opening round highlighted the importance of Chandler, who left the team after the regular season.
Joining the CBA in his prime, Chandler tried to maintain his shape and touch during the NBA lockout, averaging 27 points and 12 rebounds to help the Lions reach the postseason.
Kenyon Martin (Xinjiang Flying Tigers)
Martin was by far the most disappointing high-profile import.
Reportedly costing $2.7 million (the most lucrative one-year contract in CBA history), Martin played only 12 games for Xinjiang and put up sub-par numbers of 13.9 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
- Sun Xiaochen
(China Daily 10/28/2012 page3)