international playyyyyaz

gonna catch yao, yi, and the rest of the "not gonna medal at the olympics" chinese national team today in hangzhou playing for the stankovic cup (round robin format; i'm seeing russia vs. angola, and china vs. serbia). couldn't miss this chance to see the team tune-up before they try to pull off the impossible at the olympics.

participating teams:
-russia - with trailblazer viktor khryapa and ivan drago look-alike ak47; but then again, which russians don't look like drago.

(if you haven't heard this before, ak's wife allows him to cheat on her once a year, with no ramifications. sounds awesome...but yeah, good luck with that one.)

-angola - starring...kevin bacon? but hey, they've won 8 of the last 9 FIBA africa championships!

(enoch knows what i'm talkin about haha)

-serbia - the formerly great basketball nation (under the name yugoslavia, and then serbia and montenegro) with nenad krstić and darko miličić (sorry dwyane, but actually darko's the first of your draft class to win a championship), and a whole slew of players with a bunch of funny lines over the top of the letters of their names. yay? they could really use the likes of peja stojakovic and marko jaric (how is he engaged to adriana lima???), and maybe bring back vlade divac, toni kukoc, and dino radja (anyone remember dino? anyone?)

yeah...this guy is with her:
(really, just an excuse to post a picture of her)

supposedly angola and serbia are some of the "best" teams from their respective areas, having won regional tournaments and such. what does that actually mean? i'll let you create your own metaphor here, cause there could be at least 693 different ones that would be fitting here.

...though i can't pass up an easy cheap shot here. that's like being the best player on the 2008 miami heat. oh snappppp (oh they have a recent championship?...*sadface*).

though the biggest reason i'm there? i flipped on the tv a few weeks back and started watching the chinese team play, and what do you know, who is that goofy looking motherfucker who, as his first act of the game, had his lazy inbounds pass (right after the other team scored) stolen away by the opponent?

none other than WANG ZHIZHI.

(that is the look of SUCCESS. after a three pointer, of course.)

i'm definitely there to see my boy wang light it up with the one and only facet to his game: the tall man three pointer. i'm glad to see him back in action (there was always mad pandemonium in the Lo household when he would check in for the mavs for his two or less minutes of trash time). china decided they needed all the help they could get and forgave him for his defiance of the government (after he apologized) when he refused to return to china to play ball way back when he was a MAV (represent) and too busy getting strung out with strippers and midgets in some motel outside of LA during the offseason (or at least that's how it played out in the minds of the Lo brothers).

some surprising facts i didn't know about wang (via wiki...i know, i know):

  • he was offered a scholarship by john thompson to go to georgetown.
  • he has 7 championships playing for the bayi rockets (including 6 straight before heading to the nba) in the chinese basketball association, and has been named mvp as well. really, i dont know what that means either.
  • he has been a slam dunk champion in the CBA dunk contest. slim pickins over here, i guess. gotta find some video of that contest...
and what do ya know, he's #14...just like a certain german national we are quite familiar with (for the uninformed, DIRK is #14, his original number before coming to america, where his number was taken by one, robert pack. thus, he switched it to 41 for the mavs).

anyhow, last time i saw the chinese national team was a few years back in frisco (then coached by "now-departed-partially-because-of-avery-johnson" del harris), playing the mavs summer league team, and literally the entire asian population of plano was there (whether or not they were actually basketball fans is questionable), mostly with the intent to see mainland hero yao ming. yao ended up not showing up at the last moment to rest his hurt big toe (not even bothering to making an appearance...fucker), and for a day, the entire asian population of north texas was completely devastated.

if i remember correctly, the game was not even close (mavs having j-ho, marquis daniels, maybe devin harris, and a now departed gheorghe muresan wannabe (without "my giant" costar billy crystal, of course) named pavel podkolzin), what with the chinese team still getting used to a 24 second shot clock (seriously, the phrase "kuai4 tou2 qiu2" ("quickly shoot the ball" in chinese) was repeated about a zillion times), and there just being general mass confusion on what basketball actually is.

the point is, and i'm sure it's happened, i hope the team has improved their basketball skilllllzzzz and iq since then. they'll have yao and yi and sun yue (magic johnson, part and the rest, and i do in fact wish them the best in the coming olympics, but even with home country advantage, now is probably not their time (unless they get calls of "dwyane wade two on one action with joey crawford and bennett salvatore" proportions. hey, it's happened before...).

let's hope for the best. we gotta be good at something other than ping pong and badminton (and apparently women's team volleyball), dammit.

a review of the games coming after the weekend.

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