Yao Ming Opens Up About Chinese Basketball Association Fixing Games; Heavy Bans For Shanghai Sharks, Jiangsu Dragons

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Fixed events in China? You don’t say…

Chinese basketball is riding a wave of controversy this week after an announcement by the Chinese Basketball Association found two teams deliberately fixed the results of a first-round playoff series.

Antonio Blakeney of Jiangsu Dragons during the first-round playoff match between Shanghai Sharks and Dragons (Photo by Ding Ting/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Corruption In Chinese Basketball

The Shanghai Sharks, which feature ex-NBA players Eric Bledsoe and Michael Beasley previously, received accusations by the league’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission of throwing Game 2 in a three-game playoff series against the Jiangsu Dragons to tie the series. Jiangsu’s conveniently timed, late-game mishaps in the decisive Game 3 led to a “comeback” win by the Sharks, which viewers and the CBA found fishy.

Match-fixing can be discreet or blatant. For Jiangsu’s Game 3 mishaps, the late-game blunders were something worth investigating. With two minutes left in the game and Jiangsu up by three, the Dragons gave up five consecutive turnovers and a 10-0 run to Shanghai.

The Sharks won the game, 108-104, and the series.

Eric Bledsoe missed the game for the Sharks because of an ongoing four-game suspension. Suspicions on the fixed match allege that the Sharks were hoping to extend their series with Jiangsu in order to welcome back Bledsoe in time for the next round.

Shanghai Sharks, Jiangsu Dragons Are Heavily Punished

Both the Sharks and Dragons have been eliminated from this year’s playoffs, announced the CBA.

Discipline for the teams also included a five-year ban for Shanghai’s coach, Li Chunjiang; a three-year ban for Jiangsu’s coach, Lil Nan; a fine for both teams, equivalent to $700,000; and several more bans for team executives. Bledsoe was also indefinitely disqualified by the Chinese league.

Considering the levels of manipulation and corruption in China, it’s surprising that the Sharks weren’t actually rewarded by the CCP for their crafty tactics.

The CBA, on the other hand, was sorely disappointed in the rigged series. Houston Rockets legend and head of the CBA, Yao Ming, chimed in on the controversial accusation.

President of the Chinese Basketball Association, Yao Ming. (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)

Yao said the following, as reported by ChinaDaily.com:

“We conducted a very prudent investigation to help us make the decision based on precise matters. We believe that everybody feels quite distressed about this.

“For sports games, the most important thing is reputation, rather than ability. Credit is what everybody, every team, the league, and the association is based on. We need to draw a profound lesson from this and change some things in the future to make what we have paid for valuable.

“That’s all I can say. We need to express our steadfast attitude and grief at this moment.”

The Chinese Basketball Association is a 20-team league, second to the NBA in notoriety. The league has become a hot spot for washed NBA veterans to retreat, or wither away into retirement.

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Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.


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