Yao Ming has made it back into Hurun’s list of wealthy Chinese. With an estimated wealth of 1 billion RMB he joined 1,632 other Chinese who have a net worth of at least 1 billion RMB in the Hurun Rich List 2010. While Yao is adding to that bank account as he prepares for his 8th NBA season, his compatriots seem to be more concerned with their boxing and kung-fu skills.
Last night, in a “friendly” (have quotations ever been so relevant?) match between China and Brazil in Xuchang, Henan province, a massive on-court brawl erupted within the first few minutes of the game.
When Chinese player Zhang Qingpeng, went to the floor injured with no foul called China’s head coach, Bob Donewald, went haywire, actually saying to the officials “You call yourself Chinese? What is this shit?” (00:49), earning himself two technical fouls and expulsion. Play resumed but with tempers flaring punches and high-flying kicks quickly ensued and both benches cleared in an all out brawl.
After the teams were separated the Brazilians walked across the floor headed for the locker room but were charged by the Chinese side resulting in more shenanigans. Twenty minutes later, the Brazilians would refuse to return to the court – not that you can blame them – and the match continued as an intra-squad scrimmage.
The China Basketball Association has apologized for the team’s actions as it prepares for the 2010 Asian Games to be held in Guangzhou next month, where it hopes to win gold. And, in true Chinese fashion the players have been ordered to take classes on sportsmanship with individual suspensions to follow. No word yet as to what action, if any, FIBA will take against either team.
China isn’t new to the basketbrawl game. Back in 2001 at the Asian Basketball Championships, China got wild with Lebanon resulting in several Lebanese players bloodied from bottles and reportedly scissors. Then in 2005 at the Stankovich Cup hosted in Beijing, China was again involved in an on-court melee in its match with Puerto Rico resulting in total fines of $176,000 for 16 players. Later it would be infamously dubbed “The Night of Shame” by fans and media.
Add this all to the recent violence in football and you have to wonder what they are putting in Chinese athletes’ water?