August 31, 2005

The Center of the World: "Stern had arrived with what he thought was a surefire deal: free programming for China’s state-run television monopoly that would help the NBA gain a foothold in the world’s biggest market. In other countries, Stern was given the red-carpet treatment. But as the most powerful man in American sports strode into the marble lobby of China Central Television’s headquarters, nobody was there to greet him; indeed, nobody even knew who he was. Snubbed by one TV executive, Stern was made to wait for hours to meet a low-level apparatchik who lectured him on the importance of ennobling, rather than entertaining, the masses."

posted by loquax to basketball at 11:34 PM - 9 comments

A must read about Yao and the NBA from Foreign Policy magazine, of all places.

posted by loquax at 11:35 PM on August 31, 2005

Excellent first post, loquax! Totally unexpected source, very relevant and intriguing content, substantial writing and insights into Chinese government use of sports and athletes as global policy tools, as well as a view of multinational corporate strategy in the form of the NBA. I scanned the five pages, not being a big b-ball fan, but I'm sure the hoopsters among us will eat this up. Also, nice additional links/books in the "Want to know more page" (including one about soccer!).

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:05 AM on September 01, 2005

Good post, loquax. This is the sort of stuff I joined up to read. I'm off to China next month for work, and on previous visits have had similar experiences. I work in foreign aid, however when you get down to it, foreign 'experts' and salespeople need the Middle Kingdom more than the Middle Kingdom needs them.

posted by owlhouse at 02:16 AM on September 01, 2005

Super cool. Hell, with shouju and Naismith and the missionaries, it's a wonder why basketball ever became American. Make you respect a guy like Yao all the more - considering he plays under the kind of pressure that but a handful of players have ever known. An excellent morning read - the perfect verse to the chorus of my coffee.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:21 AM on September 01, 2005

That was a great read. The Chinese socialist sports machine—fascinating.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:17 AM on September 01, 2005

It was worth gthe read just to picture Stern sitting out in the lobby, listening to bad Chinese musaz and drumming his fingers for four hours. Ha!

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:15 AM on September 01, 2005

nice read

posted by daddisamm at 10:44 AM on September 01, 2005

frazer, you monkey! Complaining about editing and whatnot on the FPPs and look at your comment; two typos in one sentence. gthe? musaz? You crazy mofo! ;-p (sorry for the OT, but I've got to get my jab into one of our few sports biz pros ...)

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:02 PM on September 01, 2005

Inside comments don't count! I don't have the time to come up with these witty, pithy comments AND edit them!

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:54 PM on September 01, 2005

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