As many of you know I am pretty much awesome at everything I do, but for some reason I am super awesome at sports. My athletic prowess here in China has led me to meet many different and interesting people. The sport I excel at the most is basketball, and thank god basketball is the hot sport in China now because everyone plays and they all want to play against foreign competition.
There are courts right by my apartment and I have played with James and Matt a few times there. The moment we show up people want to play with us. This past weekend I was invited to play basketball out by the Olympic stadium (not the Bird’s Nest, QHD has its own Olympic stadium. It held soccer matches during the Olympics). It was fun to get into a full court game for the first time since I’ve been here.
I didn’t play too badly although I was huffing and puffing up and down the court because I was completely out of shape. I was actually nervous to play because the day before I pulled my back out. (Weird story; we went to get massages the day before, and after my massage my back went into spasms. My back didn’t even hurting before I went for the massage; I just went for the experience.)
For Chinese people, basketball is life. It is the fastest growing sport here and already on of the most popular. There is not a single person among the billion people here who doesn’t know who Yao Ming is. He is a god to them. They even make statues in honor of him.
In the States, most of the time you need to be a super star to get a shoe contract like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. In China you just have to be in the NBA to get a shoe deal with a Chinese company. I see commercials all the time on TV with average NBA players like Shane Battier, Jason Kidd, Mickael Pietrus, and Baron Davis being spokesmen for different Chinese companies. There is even a 20 foot billboard of Evan Turner on the busiest road in QHD.
If your in the NBA or were in the NBA you can get a shoe deal easily here in China. Here are a few pictures to prove my point.