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Only local players represent future of CBA

(People's Daily Online)

09:39, December 17, 2012

The seventh round of Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league matches, between Beijing Jinyu and Qingdao Shuangxing, has become the most talked-about game due to the collision between Stephon Marbury and Tracy McGrady. Through Marbury's actions like a needle pulling thread, assisted by the collective outbreak of all domestic players, Beijing beat Qingdao, which relies solely on McGrady.

The contest between the two former NBA "big names" show us that while it is greatly helpful for the team to have with high levels of foreign aid player, the only sustainable development road for the team and for CBA league games is to "work hard to improve internal strength" and to train domestic players who can take charge as chief.

In the past few seasons, it seems to have become a common consensus among all teams that "He who gets foreign aid player gets the world." Outstanding foreign player can even determine the result of the game. From Andre Emmett in Shandong team who created CBA record of 71 points in a single game, to J.R. Smith who scored 60 points in one game, the foreign aid player did single-handedly win victory for their team by exerting the full power.

Having tasted the sweetness of foreign players, the 17 teams in this season introduced 36 foreign players including 28 with NBA experience. However, after seven games, Qingdao team, which has McGrady, and Shanghai team, which has Gilbert Arenas respectively, ranked the last and second last place. Although the injury of Arenas was unexpected, it again indicates the over-reliance on foreign aid players can even become the soft underbelly of the team.

A consequence of the reliance on foreign players is that all teammates are passing the ball to the foreign player, who might make half the total number of shots made by the team, leaving less opportunity for domestic players for growth. But it is the train and exercises of domestic players that should be fundamental for the league matches and the cornerstone of Chinese basketball.

Guangdong Dongguan Bank team, which trained local stars such as Yi Jianlian, has seized a dominant place in the games by virtue of the outstanding performance of several national champions. Beijing Jinyu team took the crown in last season because of the fervent fighting of Marbury, but equally importantly because of the active cooperation of domestic players.

Basketball is a game of five players. Winning through the effort of the foreign aid player alone is unlikely on the stage of CBA. After seven games in this season, no team has remained unbeaten, reflecting the intensity of the competition. Most foreign aid players are but just passers-by. They can only stay for one season. Only the constant growth of domestic players led by the foreign aid player is the key for the league matches to advance and only it can bring a broader future to Chinese Basketball.

Read the Chinese version: 本土球员才是未来

Source:People's Daily, author: Li Shuo.

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