Meet Guo Ailun, who could be the first Chinese guard to impact the NBA

Discussion in 'International Basketball' started by truebluefan, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. truebluefan

    truebluefan Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Apr 15, 2010
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    Guo Ailun doesn’t cut an imposing figure. A slender 6-foot-4, 187 pounds, tall enough for an onlooker’s athlete alarm to sound, slight enough for him or her to ignore it, Guo walked through a crowded lobby of a beachfront hotel last month largely unnoticed. No one knew he was one of the biggest stars of the Chinese Basketball Association. No one knew he could be the first Chinese guard to make a significant impact in the NBA.

    Asia, China in particular, is one of the NBA’s final frontiers. Since 1987, when then-commissioner David Stern cut a deal to provide game footage to Chinese Central Television, the league has slowly increased its footprint. Today, more than 300 million Chinese play basketball, with hundreds of millions more devouring the 400 regular-season games available on free TV.

    Yet the flow of talent from China has been slow, with imports largely limited to a handful of big men. Yao Ming, inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last year, is China’s most prominent NBA player, with Wang Zhizhi, Mengke Bateer and Yi Jianlian among a small group of Chinese players to filter through the league. Last season, not a single Chinese-born player played in the NBA.

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