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NBA China or Chinese NBA?
NBA China or Chinese NBA?




(Xinhua Photo)

    BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhuanet) -- Yao Ming and his Houston Rockets entertained Chinese basketball fans with two real NBA games this weekend, though they were just two pre-season games against the Sacramento Kings.

    A 187-member group, including officials, players, coaches, NBA legends, mascots and cheerleaders, took a long trip from the United States to China to make it sure that the NBA China 2004 is the NBA of the America.

    More than 400 rooms were booked by the group, over 200 local workers were hired in Shanghai, hundreds of floor boards were air parceled from the U.S. and millions of dollars were spent to produce the first-ever NBA show in the world most populous nation.

    But the show turned out not like it was expected to be.

    A 1,900-RMB (230 U.S. dollars) ticket was sold over 7,000 RMB (850 dollars) on black-market, which is about six times of the average monthly income of a family in Beijing or Shanghai.

    The data given by the organizers showed both arenas in Beijing and Shanghai were sold-out, but empty seats could be seen in each of the two stadiums.

    Fans almost have no chance to get close to their idols, like Tracy McGrady, Chris Webber, Mike Bibby, and Yao Ming as security guys were everywhere around these superstars.

    A reporter of Xinhua said he saw two fans waiting at the door of the post-game press conference of the Capital Stadium after Sunday's game, and they were expelled by a security guy immediately.

    "I heard that guy, who is an American and looks like an NBA man,said to the fans, 'You guys! Stay where you are!' I cannot believethe NBA was so rude to the fans," the reporter said.

    Journalists were pared away from the NBA's Read to Achieve program, which was held in a Beijing elementary school on Saturday,with only few reporters who had invitations were allowed to enter.

    None of these NBA players were able to talk to the media freelyduring the China Tour, and some Chinese reporters complaint that the security guys, most of whom Americans, shouted "Out" at them after Saturday's shoot-around of the Rockets.

    McGrady, one of the most popular NBA players in China, was reported to rudely refused signature request from teenager fans ofShanghai, who waited outside a bar for hours at night.

    "Every NBA game which is not held in the United States is special," Yao Ming said on Sunday when he was asked how does he think about the pre-season games in China.

    The NBA is planning to bring the games to China every year, andeven a regular-season game in China in 2-3 years.

    "The Chinese basketball is not quite ready to have the NBA as atextbook. We should learn how to choose," Yao said during Saturday's interview with fans through website.

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