What a crazy week it was for Chinese Basketball

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Brown game winner
Do you like upsets?

Foshan foreign coach Dean Murray was asked to be Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible at the beginning of the season when he took on the role of coaching a team without a point guard and two foreign players who have no experience playing overseas. It was a surprise to nobody when the team fell to the bottom of the CBA standings.

But on the night of January 22nd, 2015, with NBA scouts in attendance to watch young Chinese prospect Zhou Qi and his then first place Xinjiang Flying Tigers, the impossible happened. After it appeared he had lost the team, coach Murray rallied the troop and put some fight in them. Foshan looked like a different team, they would come in as David and finish the game as Goliath when Jabari Brown banked home a three with 0.1 seconds left in the game to upset Xinjiang 99-98.

At the time, Foshan’s record was three wins and 28 losses, Xinjiang’s was 25 wins and six losses making it one of the biggest upsets in CBA history. In a losing effort, Andrew Goudelock led all scorers with 40 points while on the winning side both Brown and Jerelle Benimon combined for 61 points.

After the game, Xinjiang’s coach blamed the loss on the cold weather in the South part of China. Coach Li, who coaches in Xinjiang, a province with an average winter temperature of about -20C, said the +2C weather in Guangdong made it difficult for his team to feel comfortable.

“It’s not the cold weather outside that’s bothering us, it’s the hotel we are staying at. It’s way too cold there. I believe the hotel we were staying was too cold and it didn’t allow us to play our best game,” Li Qiuping said.

“They poisoned our food!”

Dongguan sick

After receiving a beatdown at the hands of the 11-20 Fujian Stuergeons, the 16-15 Dongguan Leopards’ head coach didn’t blame the team’s lack of rebounding (out-rebounded 41 to 35), or the team going four for 22 from beyond the arc. Dongguan’s head coach blamed the food in Fujian saying, “the visiting arrangements at the hotel’s dining hall caused several players to get diarrhea, which directly impacted the game, some players couldn’t play, some players couldn’t run.”

The head coach went on to say that either five or six players were suffering from diarrhea. He wasn’t sure if it was five or six meaning it could have been the entire team, or it could have been non and the coach was just making it up after getting embarrassed by Fujian. The final score was Fujian 111, Dongguan 72.

Ref gets carried out of arena on interns back

ref on back

One of the referees in the Foshan vs. Shanxi game called a foul, and his motion was so fierce that he ruptured his achilles tendon. Instead of two people grabbing a side of the referee and carefully helping him to the locker room, the ref climbed on the back of what appears to be an intern and received a piggyback out of the gym. The game continued with only two referees. Shanxi would end up winning the game.

I cat believe this

Cat breaks into gym

The Guangdong Southern Tigers released their secret weapon in a game against China’s military team, the Bayi Rockets. A wild stray cat came out of nowhere and stormed the court heading directly for Bayi’s bench.

I’m sure this is not the first time an animal has stormed a professional basketball court. If I recall correctly, a dog made its way to the hardwood a couple years ago in China, and we can never forget Manu Ginobili’s bat incident in the NBA. Nevertheless, Guangdong’s strategy worked, they went on to beat Bayi by a final score of 99-84.

Nick Bedard (@bedardnick) is the editor-in-chief of Basketballbuddha.com.

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