So something very interesting happened in the CBA last night, but before we get to all that, some explaining needs to be done.
Before reading Anthony Tao’s insightful post on the Beijing Cream, I had no idea about the Bayi Rockets’ past (to be fair, before Tracy McGrady decided to play in the CBA, I had no interest in the league, so there’s a reason I was clueless). Apparently, they are the only team in the CBA without international players. The reason this is a big deal is because they down right suck. So in light of that, the league made a RIDICULOUS rule this off-season to help them get some more wins because they are, apparently, the league’s prized possession.
In what’s being called “The Bayi Rule” by some in the media, the CBA has enacted new special import regulations this season, the most important of which will aim to even the playing field for the all-Chinese Rockets: Against Bayi, teams are only allowed to play their foreign players — Asian imports included — five combined quarters. In the fourth quarter, only one import player can take the court.
Don’t worry. I couldn’t believe it when I first read it either, but it’s true and everyone just has to deal with it. And you know what the funny thing is? The Rockets are actually better this season. Before yesterday’s game, they were 9-9 and were one win away from making the Playoffs. So I guess they fixed that problem huh?
So, now that we’ve gotten that out the way, let’s move on to why this is all interesting.
Last night, Tracy McGrady’s Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles played this Rockets team and lost the game by six points. Another loss for Qingdao? No surprise. After all, they are 2-17 on the season. But maybe they should have actually won this game or at least, had more of a chance to win. See, things got out of hand in the final minute of the game, as you’ll be able to tell from the video below.
It took me a little while to understand why there was some outrage (blame it on the poor quality of the video and/or the language barrier), but again, Tao saved the day. If you didn’t catch it, the Rockets only had 5 seconds on the shot clock at the start of the video. Watch it again, and you’ll be able to see that they clearly did not get the shot off in time, meaning it should’ve been a shot clock violation. If that happens, the Rockets don’t make a three to stretch their lead to six and maybe Qingdao score to make it a very winnable game.
So what came of it? Well, Tracy McGrady left the arena and Qingdao’s coach decided to pull the rest of his players from the game before it was all over. Not exactly the image the league wants to send to all its fans. And after the game, Tracy McGrady made things even worse by complaining about the poor officiating on his Weibo account. Thankfully, the good people at LarryBrownSports.com captured a screen shot of what he had to say.
Three blind mice? Good one T-Mac. But, as you might have guessed, the CBA’s front office did not appreciate his comments and he has since been suspended for one game. Furthermore, one referee has been suspended 10 games, while the assistant referee’s have been suspended for five games. I guess that kind of proves his point that the referee’s are terrible huh? Still, his complaints don’t change the end score and it doesn’t make people happier in Qingdao.
But what took place today should cause panic throughout the CBA because without players like Tracy McGrady, their league has a much lesser chance of taking off like it could. I know that I wouldn’t give two hoots about the CBA had T-Mac not joined the league. And what about all those Stephon Marbury’s fans. You think they would? After all, why would players nearing the end of their careers play a year or two in China if there are stupid rules like the Bayi one? Is it worth it if the referees aren’t really qualified to do their job? The front office now has the job of addressing these sorts of issues and if they don’t, well, you can expect ex-NBA players to find a job elsewhere.