July 18, 2011

Why the Chinese aren't good at basketball

With the retirement of 7'6" Yao Ming from the NBA, the Chinese are wondering why there aren't many other world-class Chinese basketball players. From the NYT:
While the United States develops players through an almost Darwinian process of natural selection in youth leagues, high school teams and colleges, China has a rigid, Soviet-inspired state network of athletic schools, coaches and bureaucrats that selects players as early as age 4. 
Yao, the son of exceptionally tall basketball players, 

Yao was, more or less, the result of a successful government breeding experiment at creating a basketball player. His 6'-7" father on the Chinese men's basketball team and 6'-3" mother on the Chinese women's basketball team were repeatedly encouraged to get together by Chinese basketball officials.
was a 5-foot-7 third grader when he was plucked by a local sports school for a life of endless drills geared entirely toward molding him into Olympic material. Every professional Chinese player has a similar body and biography. And yet, before and during the 30-year-old Yao’s reign, China has managed to reach only the Olympic quarterfinals. 

The Chinese government likes to win a lot of different Olympic medals, so they don't invest hugely in winning an expensive basketball medal.
The state recruiting strategy is rife with problems. Officials choose children from across the country based solely on how tall they are. “If height were the determining factor, we would be the best team in the world,” said Li Nan, 32, who works for a Beijing advertising agency and plays basketball in his free time, noting that every member of the national team is 6-9 or taller.

That's tall! Way too tall for a good team, in fact. It would be interesting to see how much average height in China has gone up over the last 40 years.
But youth and height, as any N.B.A. fan knows, do not alone predict victory on the court.
“At age 10, you can’t identify the next Allen Iverson,” Bob Donewald Jr., the American coach of China’s national team, said in a phone interview. Nor the next Derrick Rose, the N.B.A.’s most valuable player last season, who stands 6-3.

No, I think this is more backwards. You can identify quickness very early, but it's a crapshoot how tall a quick 10-year-old will grow. For example, point guard Sebastian Telfair was rated the top 4th grader in the country and went on to be a high school star and an NBA lottery pick straight out of high school and be handed $18 million by a shoe company. But as his 6'2" NBA star cousin Stephon Marbury unkindly pointed out at the peak of Telfairmania in 2004, Telfair stopped growing at 5'-11" and couldn't dunk. So, Telfair has been at best a journeyman in the NBA.

To be an outstanding NBA guard, it's helpful to not be particularly tall when you are young so that you don't coast on the advantages of your height; but then keep growing. The American system just chews up and spits out a vast number of boys who were good young guards, but who never reach NBA height.
“What’s amazing is that in a country of 1.3 billion I can’t find a point guard,” he said. 
A case in point is Shanghai, population 22 million, which picks a maximum of 30 people for its club team. “If you’re not selected, there is no coaching, no practices and no training,” Donewald said. “China is filtering through guys and cutting them off so early there’s no way for them to get better.” ...
Those who do play on public courts are in their 20s or older, Donewald said, reflecting society’s traditionally single-minded focus on education. That means most children spend their days and nights studying for tests, not playing pick-up games in the park or practicing in after-school programs.

So, the reason the Chinese aren't very good at basketball is because they are too busy studying for their math tests.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

And the American IMO team has just been announced:

http://amc.maa.org/imo/2011imo.shtml

- Wenyu Cao,
- Benjamin Gunby,
- Xiaoyu He,
- Mitchell Lee,
- Evan O'Dorney,
- David Yang

4 East Asians and 1 Indian.

- that Indian guy

Anonymous said...

Yao's career ending injury is much more common than most people realize. Competitive professional sports are pretty brutal on the body and they chew people up at a rapid rate.

Anonymous said...

It all depends on how one defines 'good'. Compared to blacks, most whites aren't all that good either.
And compared to sprinters of West African origin, all the other runners are 'slow'.
But Chinese basketball is good by Asian standards.

Anonymous said...

There's no grassroots training for most sports in China. It's the Soviet system: if you don't go to a specialized sports school, all you get is basic PE type classes. Most high schools don't have sports teams at all (I guess Europe is the same).

But cashiers can make change without resorting to calculators :-)

Anonymous said...

Look at the high schools in that Math Olympiad link: Phillips Academy Andover, Phillips Academy Exeter, Thomas Jefferson High School in VA, something called the Georgetown Day School (never heard of it, but sounds frighteningly posh), plus two others.

Including the alternate, the DC metro area got 3 spots, New England 3 spots, CA 1 and NY zero. I wonder if NY's under performance is a fluke.

Marlowe said...

Obviously the Chinese need more high school dropouts shooting hoops. Talent may be rarer than people imagine and more unpredictable.

agnostic said...

The Han Chinese are the most extreme case of people adapted to an intense, large-scale agrarian ecology. So that fits with what I've been saying in other basketball posts about the best players seeming to come from more pastoralist backgrounds.

There are a good number of West / Central Africans, though, and they're horticulturalists. So perhaps it is more about a way of life that is at least semi-nomadic and where men come into somewhat frequent conflict with other men.

Being small-scale groups, they can't rely on a bunch of others to get their back, so they have to be able to bluff, attack, and defend themselves on their own. This keeps them from being isolated and bullied on the basketball court.

Large-scale agrarian people, though, are wimps when isolated. They're only strong in hive formation. If there were an Olympic event in team wall-building or pyramid-building, they would clean up.

This predicts that the Chinese could do better in non-confrontational sports like gymnastics, shot-put, etc. They just can't handle one-on-one confrontation.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of a Korean-American Tae-Kwon Do instructor I knew in the 90s. He said he prevailed over black students up to a point, but they would beat him even before earning the black belt(even though he was third degree black belt). He said they're too big, too strong, too fast.

And in the 90s, there was some noise in Japan about big Hawaiians in sumo. Guys like Akebono and Musashimaru towered over all Japanese with the exception of Takanohana. And I think beefy Mongols and Eastern Europeans push around smaller Japanese in sumo.
If black were to enter sumo, they'd take over top spots in a year.

Simplest evidence that Asians cannot compete in the NBA, for me at least, was what I witnessed as a kid in the city. With the Boat People tragedy, suddenly a bunch of Vietnamese(many turned out to be Cochin-Chinese) and Laotians entered our schools. Based on Bruce Lee movies, many of us kids had this false assmption that most Asians knew kung fu and they could do all sorts of badass things to beat up bigger guys. But reality is something else. Black kids routinely kicked their butts and there was nothing they could do about it. Some white kids picked on them too, but blacks were by far the worst. But blacks weren't all that good to us white kids either.

Gary Wong said...

"Large-scale agrarian people, though, are wimps when isolated. They're only strong in hive formation. If there were an Olympic event in team wall-building or pyramid-building, they would clean up.

This predicts that the Chinese could do better in non-confrontational sports like gymnastics, shot-put, etc. They just can't handle one-on-one confrontation."

Agnostic, I've seen photos of you on your website before. I hang out with a group of American-born Chinese friends from New York, most of whom work in the upper-echelons of finance. Their average height is about six foot one, their average weight is probably around 200 pounds, and they tend to be athletic guys into fight sports or basketball. If you had to engage in a physical confrontation with them one-on-one, I bet you'd piss your frilly little g-string.

Of more-than tangential bearing, I think China will be a major force in men's sports in future, simply because of rapid changes in the physical stature of the Chinese. I notice in China that when I frequent the parties of fu er dai (the children of wealthy parents), the average height of the guys is 5'11 to 6 foot, with stocky builds. In my home country of Australia a similar trend is noticeable - Asians born in Australia - even South-east Asians - are now on par with or exceed mainstream Anglo-Celts in terms of physical dimensions. Australian-born Chinese of the second or third generation are like Polynesians in build.

It's all a question of nutrition - recall that the Dutch, who are the tallest people in Western Europe, were once the shortest due to dietary deficiencies.

Anonymous said...

Ming the Ringless.

Anonymous said...

Right. Chinese kids look like polynesians these days. Oh man.

Agnostic, I've never seen your picture before.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of a Korean-American Tae-Kwon Do instructor I knew in the 90s. He said he prevailed over black students up to a point, but they would beat him even before earning the black belt(even though he was third degree black belt). He said they're too big, too strong, too fast.

You know, being big, strong and fast has nothing to do with being black. Just ask Vitali Klitschko. He even has a Phd as well!

Radical Blank Slater said...

Give it time Steve.

With brains, ambition and unfettered by anti-scientific PC tail chasing the Chinese (and Israelis) will eventually use genetic engineering to dominate basketball among many other things.

Still, I'm sure basketball is pretty far down their wishlist...

Felix said...

Gary Wong is such a joker. With all his qualifiers I fully expect that what he's really saying is: "all the Chinese in the West who are between 5'11 and 6'1 are between 5'11 and 6'1". If he actually believes that's the AVERAGE for Western born Chinese then he's not a joker but an idiot.

Anonymous said...

"I notice in China that when I frequent the parties of fu er dai (the children of wealthy parents), the average height of the guys is 5'11 to 6 foot, with stocky builds. In my home country of Australia a similar trend is noticeable - Asians born in Australia - even South-east Asians - are now on par with or exceed mainstream Anglo-Celts in terms of physical dimensions. Australian-born Chinese of the second or third generation are like Polynesians in build."

Six feet tall with a stocky builds? Builds like Polynesians? When can we expect the flood of NFL linebackers. Your assertions are absurd. Have you ever lived around Polynesians? They are just so massively strong relative to other peoples, but you expect us to believe that the lithe Chinese are now rivaling the strongest men on the planet.

I am sure there are many big Chinese men, but you overstate your case.

Anonymous said...

"You know, being big, strong and fast has nothing to do with being black. Just ask Vitali Klitschko. He even has a Phd as well!"

True, there are big strong white guys. There are some big strong yellow guys too.
But compare the physique of big black basektball players with that of most big white guys and most big yellow guys. Yao and most big yellow guys have height but are mostly skin and bones. Not much muscle. White guys are bulkier but have more fat conent than blacks do, just like women have more body fat than men. Also, blacks have more hard fast-twitch muscle. This is why the arms of most white baskektball players are less well-defined that those of blacks whose muscles are packed and sculpted very hard and tight. This is why most white guys dunking basketball tend to very tall. Most white guys don't have the leg muscles of blacks,and so why jumpers rely more on height than explosive jumping ability.
In contrast, even short black guys can easily dunk balls. They have more explosive power.

As for the Klitscher, I've said it before. This is a bad sucky time for heavyweight boxing. It's nearly a dead sport no one cares about. Most blacks don't go into it. Neither do most American whites and Western European whites. Even Cuba seems not to care much. When some Chinese guy won the gold for light-heavyweight and another Chinese guy made it to the final in the heavyweight divison at the Beijing Olympics, you know the world no longer gives a crap about it.

Why should blacks give a crap about boxing when they're making far more money in football and basketball--without getting bashed in the face? Or blacks can make money dealing drugs. Or getting government jobs. The thing about boxing is only few guys at the top make almost all the money while everyone gets peanuts.

There was a time when boxing had greater social and symbolic value, which drew more money, interest, and talent. No longer, and so it's a ghetto sport of big Slavs and third rate blacks(and some fat mexicans). The idea of Klitscher being a champ in the 60s, 70s, or 80s, or even early 90s is a joke.

Anonymous said...

"I notice in China that when I frequent the parties of fu er dai (the children of wealthy parents), the average height of the guys is 5'11 to 6 foot, with stocky builds. In my home country of Australia a similar trend is noticeable - Asians born in Australia - even South-east Asians - are now on par with or exceed mainstream Anglo-Celts in terms of physical dimensions. Australian-born Chinese of the second or third generation are like Polynesians in build."

Northern Chinese are bigger. Southern Chinese, Vientamese,and Japanese tend to be smaller.
And lots of Mongols are stocky. Recently, I was walking through a park and stumbled upon a Mongol American festival of sorts: Naadam wrestling. I was taken by surprise cuz I'd heard(and seen some)of the Chinse-Am community, Japanese-American community, Korean-American community, Vietnamese-american community, Hindu-American community(rich hindus built a huge temple about 50 miles from where I work), and the Filipino Am community. But Mongol American community? This was a first. Anyway, two mongols were doing the traditional wrestling and whole lot of Mongols were watching. They were beefy for Asians. And they didn't have that nerdy look on the faces that a lot of yellow schmorks have. They looked primal. I can believe how these guys invaded Persia, China, and Russia. I asked around and the Chinese where I get my caryout said lots of Mongols are in America, legally and illegally, doing restaurant work and stuff.

chris said...

@Gary Wong

I'm from Australia too, and no, Asian peoples are not on par with or exceed Anglo-Celts in height or build over here. The stereotype of Asians as short and skinny is still strong and accurate. If I walk into a nightclub which is known for catering towards Asian-Australian clientele, I will stand a good 3-4 inches above all the other (Asian) men and I'm only 5'10. Quit talking out your ass.

theslittyeye said...

First of all, on average Chinese are indeed smaller and skinnier than whites and blacks.

Having said that, the physical condition of young Chinese is increasing significantly, that has to do a lot with the improvement of livelihood in China these days.

Also, genetically Chinese usually are not strong as others in general. Statistical outliers of course exists, and based on the enormous population pool it's no surprise to see lots of big Chinese dudes as well.

I, my self, is one of the big Chinese dude who is 177cm and 85kg who is well-built. I admit not many Chinese could built up a body mass as much as I do (mostly because of the genetics). Not to mention the uni-sexual trend among the youth culture in East Asia in general, which I disgust very much.

But still, sporting doesn't really decide something nowadays. A well-trained Chinese who is good at Maths could easily live a much better life than a super athlete black kid living in the ghetto and play basketball on the street. Brain matters.

Speaking back to Yao, "So, the reason the Chinese aren't very good at basketball is because they are too busy studying for their math tests." That's not entirely true. If you are mocking Chinese soccer, I would say be my guest. But basketball is actually a very popular sport in China (with millions, millions of young player all over the country). Albeit the rigid Soviet sport system in place, lots of young Chinese are actually playing basketball frequently. As long as the national sport system gradually changes for the betterment, there will be lots of talented young men in the basketball in China (like the case of Li Na in women tennis recently).

Having said that, whites can't compete much with blacks in the NBA either. I don't see the point of defending a league that feed a bunch of rich blacks that are not very smart.

Anonymous said...

White guys are bulkier but have more fat conent than blacks do, just like women have more body fat than men.

Really? Can you offer even a single shred of evidence to back up your claim that black men have less body fat than white men? Because I can show you studies which say you're wrong.

Also, blacks have more hard fast-twitch muscle. This is why the arms of most white baskektball players are less well-defined that those of blacks whose muscles are packed and sculpted very hard and tight.

Damn, you're stupid. Having more fast twitch muscle fiber does NOT give you "packed" or "sculpted" or "hard" or "tight" muscles.


There was a time when boxing had greater social and symbolic value, which drew more money, interest, and talent. No longer, and so it's a ghetto sport of big Slavs and third rate blacks(and some fat mexicans).

As I say, you're stupid. Boxing has always been the sport of those on the bottom of the socio-economic ladder.

Anonymous said...

http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v26/n6/pdf/0802006a.pdf


"RESULTS: Polynomial regression showed that the relationship between %fat and BMI was quadratic for both men and women. A natural log transformation of BMI adjusted for the non-linearity. Test for homogeneity of log transformed BMI and gender showed that the male – female slopes were within random variance, but the intercepts differed. For the same BMI, the %fat of females was 10.4% higher than that of males. General linear models analysis of the women’s data showed that age, race and
race-by-BMI interaction were independently related to %fat. The same analysis applied to the men’s data showed that %fat was not just a function of BMI, but also age and age-by-BMI interaction. Multiple regression analyses provided models that defined
the bias."

"CONCLUSIONS: These data and results published in the literature show that BMI and %fat relationship are not independent of
age and gender. These data showed a race effect for women, but not men. The failure to adjust for these sources of bias resulted
in substantial differences in the proportion of subjects defined as obese by measured %fat."



To put this in language that the stupid can understand - there is a difference in body fat among women of different races. White women have less fat than black of Hispanic women. But there is no difference in body fat among men of different races.

Anonymous said...

Wikipedia has a table of data on heights.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_height

Some samples:

Swedes, 5 ft 11 1⁄2 in
White Americans 5 ft 10 1⁄2 in
Scots 5 ft 9 in
Koreans (South) 5 ft 8 1⁄2 in
Chinese 5 ft 7 in

Anonymous said...

David Stern had better find a replacement for Yao. My Chinese co-workers have gone from NBA fanatics to barely interested following Yao's career trajectory.

Anonymous said...

Most high schools don't have sports teams at all (I guess Europe is the same).

Whats with this Europe business?

In educational policy terms there is no such place as Europe. Do you mean Britain or Greece. Germany or Italy, Norway or Poland, what?

As for high schools not having sports teams, that on the whole is nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Ming the Ringless.

OMG, that is brilliant!

beowulf said...

"I, my self, is one of the big Chinese dude who is 177cm and 85kg who is well-built."

Err, what's that in Fahrenheit, oh who cares.

Anonymous said...

Other than physicality, it could have something to do with mentality for biological or cultural reasons.
Having evolved in extreme cold, it could be Asians, like American Indians, tend to have basic emotional genes. Ever see those Indians in movies who talk in a stiff manner? 'How', 'Me Mobisabby(sic)', 'You white man, I give you woman, you give me blanket'.
Asians who seem to be most like this are Japanese who are often stiff and rigid in their expression. And if you watch Korean movies, there's hot and cold emotions but very little in between. People go directly from politeness to headbashing. Not much in the way of nuance or shading.
And look at Amy Chua and her follow-the-teacher model of education. What NY Times called 'Soviet style' is actually Confucian style, samurai style, Peking Opera training style, or Buddhist monastery kung fu style. It's not just the problem of government policy but Asian nature and Asian culture. Asians prefer the program of instructing students by rote and established methods. I remember in college, a professor asked some immigrant Asian kid about what things were like back home. He said he was on a ball-passing-game team(two lines of people facing one another passing the ball until it... strange game)in the first grade. When anyone dropped the ball, the teacher hit him on the leg with a ruler and hurled abuse. Imagine that! With first grade kids! A good way to suppress individuality for life.
It seems students are supposed to follow and go along and master through repetition. The emphasis is on doing perfectly what is already deemed 'perfect'. This is why Japanese pilots weren't as good as American cowboys, even when Americans in the early part of the war had slower planes. Americans could be like Major Kong and improvise and fly curvedly whereas Japanese only learned the connect-the-dots in straight way of flying. Japanese were thinking in terms of following the instructional manual which they memorized page to page. The thing is, when the moment arrives for the action or the fight, you can't just rely on things you were taught. I think Mao said 'Revolution is not a Tea Party', but maybe it could also be said 'Sports is not a tea ceremony.'
In the end, you have to organically and intuitively put it altogether there and then in your own way.
In the West, students/athletes are instructed to master certain things by practice/repetitioin but also given leeway and then finally encouraged to find their own style, voice, and manner. In Asia, this could be suppressed indefinitely.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, when you look at stuff like Hong Kong kung fu comedy and all that crazy stuff, it would be wrong to say Asians are all stiff and dull. HK film directors were among the most zany, inventive, and wild. And unlike karate and kendo and that stuff which emphasis only straight lines of movement, there's a lot of funky kung fuey movements that mimic animals and the like--at least in movies. So, maybe Chinese too can learn to be kinda jazzy. The thing about basketball is it's not just about speed or strength but a kind of congame of zippity-zap motions. You gotta act like you're going left but then slip right. YOu act like you're gonna shoot but pass the ball. You act like you're gonna hand the ball to player A but it goes to player B to suddenly tosses it to play C who dunks it. I heard this is why Jews were so good at it for awhile, and I recall a lot of Jewish kids who were passinaetly into basketball in highschool. Jews are haggly waggly, like Marx Brothers driving straight goy crazy. Dershowitz is a mental basketball player, and of course, it's his favorite sport in real life too. Obama's politics is basketball-ish. He's a mulatto supremacist working in cahoots with Jews, but he smiles and makes pretty speeches about 'bringing America together'. Both Jews and blacks feel very much at home with the haggly waggly or slippity-slappity way of playing, aka 'toy with the white boy'.

On the other hand, we simply cannot ignore the physical aspect. I'm visiting friends/relatives in Chicago for summer vacation and returned to some old haunts of my youth. One neighborhood is now largely Vientamese, and the thing you notice right away is 'what small people'. It's like you've entered munchkinland. I suppose not all Asians are this small, but I don't see any athletic talent coming out of such people regardless of change in mentality.
I feel the same about lots of Mexicans. Many are short and stubby and not made for many all-American sports.

Anonymous said...

Yao was, more or less, the result of a successful government breeding experiment at creating a basketball player. His 6'-7" father on the Chinese men's basketball team and 6'-3" mother on the Chinese women's basketball team were repeatedly encouraged to get together by Chinese basketball officials.

More likely it was simply a compassionate coach, driven to help a poor girl who towered over 99.99% of her non-basketball playing potential dates. But "government breeding experiment" sounds much more sinister and makes a better copy.

Anonymous said...

RE:Asian height,

Here are some stats on male height from the wikipedia (so, grain of salt) human height article:

Australia: 5'10 ages 18-24. No racial breakdown.

China (PRC) Urban: 5'7, age 17

Japan: 5'7 and a half, age 19

USA Whites: 5'10 and a half, ages 20-39

USA Blacks: 5'10, ages 20-39

South Korea: 5'8 and a half, age 18

The South Koreans are probably the best proxy for estimating the heights of well-fed Northern Chinese with access to good medical care.

Anonymous said...

http://tinyurl.com/3kcuwrd


All Non-Africans Part Neanderthal, Genetics Confirm

Anonymous said...

There's a big height/size gradient from south to north in China. It's very obvious if you are at all observant. In northern China the averages are probably similar to S Korea. You do see big bulky guys in Beijing and Seoul, for example. Much more so than in Tokyo or HK. Also, kids are much taller than their parents throughout China.

However, even in the North the average is still below the white US average and will probably remain so for at least another generation (possibly forever).

In historical times Chinese were much taller than Japanese, and Europeans (e.g., Jesuits, Marco Polo) traveling to China did not remark on the people there being particularly small. (At least, I have not come across such references.)

Calcium fortification of foods and widespread milk consumption has just started in Asia. This will probably have a big effect, as well as increases in protein intake, which are further along in affluent places. Even in affluent places like Japan, Taiwan, Korea, the calcium content of the diet is still very low. On average the calcium intake even for an affluent young kid is no more than 1/3 of the USRDA (like one glass of milk a day instead of three). Asians aren't accustomed to dairy, are more likely to be lactose intolerant, and soy drinks are only starting to be calcium fortified. But this is all changing.

Anonymous said...

"So, the reason the Chinese aren't very good at basketball is because they are too busy studying for their math tests."

Sounds like a more plausible contributing reason than the there are no more American white guys in basketball because black guys mature faster so that ends up discouraging white teenagers from every playing theory.

Anonymous said...

Myths Of The HBD Sphere, #7:

"White guys are bulkier but have more fat conent than blacks do, just like women have more body fat than men."

Anonymous said...

"As for high schools not having sports teams, that on the whole is nonsense."

In which European countries do high schools devote as many resources to sports as in the US? There's a big difference between a HS club sport and a serious US team with head coach, asst. coaches, trainers, 2 a day workouts, etc. In Texas a HS football coach can be the highest paid employee at the school. Are you saying that could happen in Europe?

Anonymous said...

Most of the planet is lactose intolerant.

The Jews are famously, so; hence their strong dietary laws WRT milk.

Likewise, most Blacks are lactose intolerant.

So, I'b be very surprised if dairy products EVER take off in Asia.

Soy milk is another matter.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sailer,

You have GOT to do a post on this:

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2011/07/chart-penile-length-leads-little-economic-growth/40117/

Anonymous said...

In Texas a HS football coach can be the highest paid employee at the school. Are you saying that could happen in Europe?

I already pointed out that 'Europe' in this context is meaningless. The educational set up varies widely from country to country.

No, I cant imagine many European schools taking these games as seriously as that. But thats not what was stated earlier. Which was this:

Most high schools don't have sports teams at all (I guess Europe is the same).

The implication is clear, high schools not having sports teams at all. Thats not the same thing as not taking team sports as seriously as a US HS.

Truth said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Texas a HS football coach can be the highest paid employee at the school. Are you saying that could happen in Europe?"

If here were able to bring in twice his salary, yes Barack, it could happen in Europe.

Anonymous said...

Re: sports in Europe.

In the US we differentiate between what we call a "club sports" -- e.g., bunch of kids get together to practice badminton or, not so long ago, other ladies' sports like soccer; they might even compete (travel to tournaments, etc.) but with limited school support -- and real "varsity" sports.

So "no sports teams" means "no VARSITY sports teams" (i.e., supported in the way I described) which, as far as I can tell, is the case in most of Europe. I'm sure many schools in China have what we here would call club sports teams.

Jack said...

"Agnostic, I've seen photos of you on your website before. I hang out with a group of American-born Chinese friends from New York, most of whom work in the upper-echelons of finance. Their average height is about six foot one, their average weight is probably around 200 pounds, and they tend to be athletic guys into fight sports or basketball."

Haha, the mythical 6'1, 200 lbs athletic Chinese high-finance guy. I bet he fucks many hot blonde women, right Wong?

More likely, your 5'8 harvard math club buddies are jerking off to anime while the real finance bros, the Ivy lacrosse types, date and have sex with hotter women than the Chinese wannabes can dream of.

jody said...

6-9 is too tall for players at the 1 and 2 position, and probably too tall for somebody at the 3, although in the NBA many coaches juggle two lineups, one "small" and one "big", in which there might be three guys out there at 6-9 and up. the lakers played a "big" rotation most of the time for the last four seasons, and the mavericks went through the 2011 playoffs with two 7 foot players on the court most of the time.

please, no objections that earvin johnson was 6-9 and played most of his games at 1. there was him and...?

don nelson seemed to be the only coach in the last 10 years interested in playing a point forward. strangely during this time he had both steve nash and nick van exel on his teams, two guys who totally didn't fit his ideas on the subject.

Anonymous said...

Since basketball wasn't invented by Chinese but by non-Middle Kingdom barbarians and is mostly played by blacks, why would the Chinese even want to "lower" themselves and prove their superiority.
Besides, they excel at kicking barbarians economically and even physically, as this video shows.
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=1a7_1311109738
The boy is apparently an Ugyhur ethnic minority.

Anonymous said...

Chinese in particular and Asians in general tend to live in environments that are much higher stress than living conditions in the Western world. I wonder if this is why there is a greater incidence of addictive behaviors from smoking to gambling combined with the resistance to letting go superstitious magical thinking wrt to things like lucky numbers.

Really they'd be healthier if everyone was encouraged to participate in sports that balance out the stress of living in the Asian world.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the Uighur child was caught doing something gypsy like. The Uighurs have such a reputation in China.

If people in Rome acted like the Chinese I wonder what the gypsies would be left to do.

ophidian said...

In L.A. we had a casting call for a twenty-something Asian American male. Of the 13 Asian American males that submitted for the role their listed heights were:

5'6"
5'6"
5'7"
5'7"
5'8"
5'9"
5'10"
5'11"
5'11"
5'11"
6'1"
6'2"
6'2"

for an average height of 5' 9.77 inches. Very close to 5'10".

Anonymous said...

On the subject of Chinese American investment bankers. This guy comes to mind:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Tang

Must have been quite the sight in 50s America. W.'s frat too.

Anonymous said...

"4 East Asians and 1 Indian."

Gunby is a WASP surname (I'm assuming you aren't reading "O'Dorney" as Indian?). So 4 Chinese and 2 British Islanders, to be technical.

Anonymous said...

You have no idea what u are saying. Blacks are only good at running or jumping. Whites love soccer thats why they used to underrepresent in boxing cause all the poor whites played soccer..but not anymore.