Team USA continues its attempt at re-claiming a "global dominance" that seems to smell a lot like other U.S. imperialist exports of the past century and a half. The recent discourse around the state of Team USA in the midst of the increasingly globalized basketball community, a result of David Stern's own work for major $$$ no less, resembles the arrogance of Teddy Roosevelt's "Great White Fleet" or the intervention in the Middle East of our current administration; Team USA this time around, however, appears less ugly...or rather, diplomatic if you will.
Full of fresh-faced emerging NBA players, several who would be college seniors had they gone to college, and solid "veteran leadership" (if you wanna call Bruce Bowen a leader...), this Team USA has looked more `team' than a `dream.' (bu-dum-ching!)
Team USA looked pretty solid at the start of the second quarter as they broke out to a 60-37 lead by half time. Lebron seemed to have his way, getting to the hoop with ease. China's bigs couldn't quite contain Bosh, Howard, and Miller inside or outside.
Though, I don't know if I would necessarily give Team USA all the credit given that China had tons of unforced errors and mental mistakes that are hardly attributable to Team USA's supposed new penchant for defense. There were countless intense wide-open bricks that looked like they could only come from something a la Adonal Foyle's summer basketball camps; tons of soft passes into traffic; and just poor protection of the ball in one-on-one coverage. Team USA is a superior team, but China looked like the team that the Harlem Globetrotters always play against.
Yet the game gave us a peek at the potentially hottest imports from China since cheap labor; cheaply manufactured goods; and those takeout boxes you always see on television: Yi Jianlian and Chen Jianghua.
Although Yi hardly dominated the competition, he showed he had a "motor" and an aggressivity that teams like the Warriors incredibly lack. He has a couple nice blocks, dunks, fade aways, and handles--the last Warrior big man to do that might have been the infamous Marc Jackson. He's definitely a project, but not to the dimensions as say Biedrins or "The Chef." Plus, with the players around him who can't get him the ball, poor coaching, and poor competition, its obvious that they're underutilizing him.
Chen, on the other hand, looks like he'll break the stereotype that China is full of awkwardly built giants. With speed and handles, and fauxhawk leading to a rats-tail haircut--this kid is looking more and more the China's version of Allen Iverson...or Jason Williams. NBAdraft.net's report says he's "lazy" too; hardly a model minority. He's breakin' stereotypes and ankles! Check him here:
Even though I'm of Chinese descent, I'm not nationalistic nor jingoistic; ethnocentrism hardly precludes or should be mistaken with patriotism (with exception of the KKK). All I gotta say is that these kids got GAME. Perhaps not top 5 picks, but if Kwame Brown still has "potential" @ the age of 24 and Dunleavy is still "hitting his stride @ 26," these two def. have major upside and a place in the league.
Do you think Chen, like Yi, will have a chance to blow up state-side bigger than Panda Express and other cheap Chinese foods found everywhere and loved by everyone from the hood to the 'burbs???
Also see: China vs USA- It's Yi Time!