Yoa Ming is trying to give China the professional basketball team it deserves. How will he do it?
Will China Have and Elite Basketball Team?
Basketball Now in China
Currently, basketball is the most followed sport on social media in China. Last year in China, over 750 million viewers watched the NBA!
According to the CBA, 300 million people in China currently play basketball in pickup games, league games, etc. They are hoping to grow this number.
Enter Yao Ming
Who is Yao Ming?
Yao Ming was born in Shanghai, China on September 11, 1980. At 7 foot he played in the NBA for 8 years on the Rockets. He put up 19.8 points per game and grabbed 9.2 rebounds (career stats).
Yao Ming was voted into the NBA hall-of-fame last year.
Yao Ming becomes the President of the CBA
At age 36, Yao Ming was selected to be the President of the CBA in February 2017. Basically, he is the Adam Silver for China, which has the second-biggest-playing-league.
Changes to Make
Yao comes into the CBA, ready to make some big changes.
First of all, he is going to make the hoops more of an NBA style.
Also, currently the CBA has 20 unprofitable franchise teams. They lack the media and the seating. The home of the Shanghai Sharks only has 5000 seats. In comparison, this would be as much as a NCAA Division II court.
The CBA does not even have conferences! With that, a player can’t be a free agent and switch teams. Therefore, the player is devoted to one team his entire career. Making it very difficult for teams to build up talent. He wants to get the media to follow the CBA and build bigger arenas.
Also, the officiating of the CBA is horrible and inconsistent. They make some of the worst calls anyone has ever seen!
When Yao was asked what is the biggest problem currently in the CBA he answered with…
“The question reminds me of the year 2004, when our first foreign coach of the national team, Del Harris, asked me the same question,” Yao said. “My answer then was, ‘There’s no biggest problem because there are problems everywhere.'”
But, Yao thinks China needs to focus on developing the young. Yes, they spent money on building basketball courts across the country as a way to encourage exercise, but the kids don’t build their skills.
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“This is what happens in reforms, but every reform has its priority,” Yao said. “What we need to do is to find the priority after research, and solve the problem and associated ones to create a virtuous cycle.”
Yao also wants to professionalize the game by making an official set of rules. This will for sure help the officiating problem. He plans on making the rules similar to the rules of the NBA.
But none of the changes will come easy, as CBA owners pushed back Yao’s idea of creating two conferences.
What are your thoughts on Yao trying to bring basketball more alive in China? Do you think he will succeed? Comment below.