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Behind the Scenes of Life in the CBA - including our very own Cole Aldrich

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2 weeks 18 hours ago #23209 by porthawk
The CBA is the Chinese Basketball Association.

Below is the part about Cole. You can read it on its own, but reading the article would help give it more context. And it's a solid read overall.


Cole Aldrich was confused. Earlier this season, his first in China, the 6'11" center reported to practice with the Tianjin Golden Lions feeling confident after a 14-point, nine-rebound performance, way better than his NBA averages. His new team wasn't as enthusiastic. When players split into positional work—bigs to one side, guards to the other—Aldrich learned he'd been assigned a personal-skills coach. That coach's task, as Aldrich puts it, "Teach me how to play in the CBA."
The instruction itself didn't inspire much confidence. Aldrich recalls being shown a complicated sequence to deploy against Chinese defenders—a fake baseline turnaround followed by two dribbles and a layup. "I was like, 'O.K., I'm not gonna use that; it's not a move anyone will fall for,'" he says.
The reality, for imports: Often it isn't cultural shock that gets them, but basketball shock. "Yo, you're in a different country," Lawson says. "You're not just coming over here and running s---." Lesson One: Brace for bruises. "It's definitely more physical," says Brandon Bass, who played in the NBA for 12 years, left for China in 2017 and promptly led Liaoning to a CBA title. "You learn that real quick."
The pace is also frantic—run-and-gun bordering on reckless. And because most imports are counted upon to shoulder the scoring load, they're the focus of every opponent's D. "I'd never been double- and triple-teamed the whole game," says Beijing Fly Dragons guard (and 2016 Sixers second-rounder) Pierre Jackson, who nonetheless averaged nearly 40 points this season.
Looming over all of this is a patience that quickly wears thin. Each CBA team is allowed to switch its imports up to four times before the playoffs, then twice more in the postseason. "If you're not performing at an incredible rate, you could easily be cut," says Bass.
Some survive. Others, like Aldrich, are spit out. After suffering a grade-two MCL sprain in December, he flew home to Minnesota and started rehab at the Mayo Clinic. Not only did the Golden Lions quickly sign a replacement import (CBA mainstay Andray Blatche, late of the Wizards and the Nets), they also stopped paying Aldrich's salary altogether, insisting he return to recover in Tianjin. After four months of missed payments, the matter went to arbitration in FIBA court.
But at least he gave China an honest effort. Before coming over, Aldrich even dialed up an old NBA teammate for advice. "Dude, you've been there a few years—just walk me through the experience," he said. "What does it look like?"
And lo, Jimo Dashen did reply....

www.si.com/nba/2019/06/27/chinese-basket...mmad-stephon-marbury
The following user(s) said Thank You: JRhawk

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2 weeks 18 hours ago - 2 weeks 18 hours ago #23210 by porthawk

porthawk wrote: The CBA is the Chinese Basketball Association.

Below is the part about Cole. You can read it on its own, but reading the article would help give it more context. And it's a solid read overall.


Cole Aldrich was confused. Earlier this season, his first in China, the 6'11" center reported to practice with the Tianjin Golden Lions feeling confident after a 14-point, nine-rebound performance, way better than his NBA averages. His new team wasn't as enthusiastic. When players split into positional work—bigs to one side, guards to the other—Aldrich learned he'd been assigned a personal-skills coach. That coach's task, as Aldrich puts it, "Teach me how to play in the CBA."
The instruction itself didn't inspire much confidence. Aldrich recalls being shown a complicated sequence to deploy against Chinese defenders—a fake baseline turnaround followed by two dribbles and a layup. "I was like, 'O.K., I'm not gonna use that; it's not a move anyone will fall for,'" he says.
The reality, for imports: Often it isn't cultural shock that gets them, but basketball shock. "Yo, you're in a different country," Lawson says. "You're not just coming over here and running s---." Lesson One: Brace for bruises. "It's definitely more physical," says Brandon Bass, who played in the NBA for 12 years, left for China in 2017 and promptly led Liaoning to a CBA title. "You learn that real quick."
The pace is also frantic—run-and-gun bordering on reckless. And because most imports are counted upon to shoulder the scoring load, they're the focus of every opponent's D. "I'd never been double- and triple-teamed the whole game," says Beijing Fly Dragons guard (and 2016 Sixers second-rounder) Pierre Jackson, who nonetheless averaged nearly 40 points this season.
Looming over all of this is a patience that quickly wears thin. Each CBA team is allowed to switch its imports up to four times before the playoffs, then twice more in the postseason. "If you're not performing at an incredible rate, you could easily be cut," says Bass.
Some survive. Others, like Aldrich, are spit out. After suffering a grade-two MCL sprain in December, he flew home to Minnesota and started rehab at the Mayo Clinic. Not only did the Golden Lions quickly sign a replacement import (CBA mainstay Andray Blatche, late of the Wizards and the Nets), they also stopped paying Aldrich's salary altogether, insisting he return to recover in Tianjin. After four months of missed payments, the matter went to arbitration in FIBA court.
But at least he gave China an honest effort. Before coming over, Aldrich even dialed up an old NBA teammate for advice. "Dude, you've been there a few years—just walk me through the experience," he said. "What does it look like?"
And lo, Jimo Dashen did reply....


www.si.com/nba/2019/06/27/chinese-basket...mmad-stephon-marbury

Last Edit: 2 weeks 18 hours ago by porthawk.
The following user(s) said Thank You: JRhawk

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