Blog Entry

Should China go smaller, faster post-Yao?

Posted on: July 19, 2011 9:53 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 10:01 am

By Matt Moore

Yao Ming is set to retire from basketball on Wednesday, closing the most successful chapter in Chinese basketball history. But with the population still very much in search of basketball glory, the nation's basketball program organizers are setting the stage for the future of the sport in China. 

The New York Times reports Tuesday on the state of basketball in the world's most populous nation, and an interesting opinion from one of the top figures in their national program: the goal should be to "play small" with their program, not try and find the next Yao.
“We can either choose to blame the gods and whine about our misfortune or we can step up to the plate and train the next generation of basketball talent,” Zhang Weiping, a basketball commentator and former national team member, wrote in an editorial last week.

China, Zhang wrote in Basketball Pioneers magazine, must develop smaller, faster and more skilled players like the ones who thrive in the West.

“China has no shortage of this kind of talent,” he said. “We simply have coaching and systemic problems that prevent us from discovering and developing these players.”
via Yao’s Retirement Forces China to Rethink Basketball System -

The idea's pretty obvious, right? There's not a whole lot of 7-6 people walking around anywhere. But the plan is much smarter than that. The NBA has adapted to smaller and faster players. Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul and John Wall are all superstars but are all also point guards. 

It would be one thing to just try to capitalize on the tallest players available in the nation, but that strategy puts too much pressure on those players who enter the program. Instead, trying to find a solution which incorporates the strength of the national program with a wider range of individuals is a better solution. The problem, of course, is finding talent in the country's huge population. That means more development of programs.

The NBA recently shut down its offices in Paris and Tokyo, but has wisely kept a presence in China. The NBA could flourish with a symbiotic relationship with China, and commissioner David Stern knows this. Of course, first they've got to get their own ducks in a row before they start helping China to improve its talent development.
Category: NBA

Since: Jun 22, 2011
Posted on: July 19, 2011 10:49 am

Should China go smaller, faster post-Yao? they have a choice??  It's freakin China!

Since: Jun 22, 2011
Posted on: July 19, 2011 10:48 am

Should China go smaller, faster post-Yao? they have a choice?  IT'S CHINA!!!!

Since: Jun 22, 2011
Posted on: July 19, 2011 10:47 am

Should China go smaller, faster post-Yao?

Just pray for rain China.....then all you chia-pets can grow as big as you want.


Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: July 19, 2011 10:40 am

Should China go smaller, faster post-Yao?

Smaller and faster? Yes; when you compare the average height of Chinese to North Americans/ Europeans, they will likely not have a choice in the matter. But no coach in his right mind goes into something saying "our goal is to get smaller." You develop the best players you have available then fit the system to your strengths.

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: July 19, 2011 10:01 am

Should China go smaller, faster post-Yao?

There will not be another Oriental player the size of Yao.  Orientals for the most part are smaller athletes and have to adapt in physical games like basketball.   So there is no doubt they will go smaller.

The Japanses women won the World Cup by playing very safe and having a sneaky attack.  They did not try to match up physically.

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