Today was a crazy and eventful day. First let me say that the earthquake that just hit China the other day was close but has not affected us here, but please keep these people in your prayers. Today we helped donate four basketball courts to the earthquake stricken victims of suburb Chengdu and let me say they pulled out the red carpet for us. It felt like The Beatles had just arrived.
All of us D-Leaguers and Chris Mullin (Robert Horry landed in China after this appearance) as well as our opponent for the next two nights, Chinese team Aoshen were present. Aoshen’s main guy is former Los Angeles Lakers, LA D-Fender, and Chinese National Team player Sun Yue (Scott's Note: SUN YUE!). The Aoshen team had only five of the players at this event but Yue was the shortest guy and he is six-nine. They are gigantic!
The entrance coming into the basketball courts was unbelievable. There was a huge sign saying "Welcome Chris Mullin and the D-League players" right when we pulled up. It was, no lie, the craziest thing I have ever seen in my life. I felt for a minute that I was Michael Jordan because they wanted my autograph so bad. Every one of us literally had to have security by our side the entire time.
Around 200-300 kids and fans showed up for the unveiling of the courts and the best part might have been when we were leaving. All of these people/fans surrounded the bus wanting more and more as most of us on the bus were throwing shirts and hats outside to them. If they really wanted they could have tipped over the bus there were that many fans hovering around the bus. NBA China’s Joseph Ye said it best: This will be there only chance to ever meet an NBA or D-League player - maybe in their entire lifetime.
When this chaos was finally over lunch was next on the agenda and then we were off to practice. By the way, the lunch and dinner buffet room they have for us players and staff is pretty impressive. There are seven D-Leaguers on this trip: Myself, Fort Wayne’s Ryan Ayers, LA D-Fenders Frank Robinson, Bakersfield’s Alade Aminu, Albuquerque’s Tony Danridge, and Springfield’s Kyle McAlarney and Noel Felix. Along with NBA Legends Chris Mullin and Robert Horry, Springfield’s Dee Brown is the coach for the weekend.
Practice was light as we ran through some plays and got a lot of shots up . Chris Mullin still has major game. I don’t think he missed a shot all practice. He is in incredible shape and I would not be surprised if he went for 30 in one of these games. At one point in practice he told me I looked like Brent Barry!
At the end of the night the NBA China people took us to a Karaoke bar/movie theatre/VIP club called Milo Star KTV and it was an incredibly nice place. Karaoke is very popular in Chengdu, and what they do is buy a private room hourly and sing karaoke. Unfortunately, no one took part in karaoke but there were NBA China beer bottles all over the place and life-sized Chris Mullin and Robert Horry posters everywhere. Mullin and Horry said a few words to the fans and were given gifts from the people of Chengdu.
Finally, China does not allow Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube use in the country. I do not have a Facebook page or tweet but was surprised to hear they are prohibited considering how popular around the world they are.
Talk to you tomorrow…