Who's hot, who's not in China Sports (Dec 24-30)
Updated: 2011-12-30 14:40
By Yan Weijue (chinadaily.com.cn)
Drogba, Guangzhou Evergrande
The arms race in the Chinese Super League may have started early and on some occasions, covertly. After Shanghai Shenhua successfully landed Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka less than half a month ago, Guangzhou Evergrande, the reigning champion, is reported to be in pursuit of his former teammate Didier Drogba.
As spendthrift as Evergrande has always been on roster strengthening, it has to take at least seconds to mull over the potential blockbuster offer to the star striker, which could cost them as much as 260 million yuan ($41 million), according to media speculations.
Starbury leads the CBA All-Star 1st round balloting with 17,850 votes, and he continued his stellar performance in the league, averaging 27 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in the last three games during the past week. However, the Beijing Ducks won none of them. He got injured on his left ear in a post play on Friday night against the Foshan Longlions, which happened to be his old team. It seems life played a little joke on him, doesn't it?
Women's chess team
China's golden flowers are in full blossom again, this time in chess, as the team beat their Indian counterparts 2.5-1.5 in the last round of the 2011 World Women Chess Team Championship (WWTC) on Tuesday to win the title in Mardin province of southeastern Turkey.
It's a harvest year of chess for China, highlighted by 17-year-old Hou Yifan's second title in the Women's World Chess Championship in November.
Han Dejun of the Liaoning Jiebao scored his career-high 38 points in the team's thrilling 120-117 win over the Shanxi Brave Dragons on Friday night. But that was quickly upstaged by a scuffle between his teammate Zhang Qingpeng and head coach Guo Shiqiang. The two were reported to have engaged in a fierce brawl in the locker room, as Guo, who thought Zhang was way off his form and sabotaged the team chemistry, threatened to leave if the club kept Zhang. However, to the surprise of everyone, it was Guo who got fired the next day at a meeting held by the team management, who attributed the decision to the team's 7-7 record.
It seems Ding's new hairstyle has not brought him luck, as the China Snooker Tour Finals defending champion was edged out 3-4 by compatriot Chen Feilong in Yixing on Thursday, an embarrassing record that he seems to not care about.
"Competing against domestic players is pointless. Our main focus is still on foreign opponents. The domestic players should take some days abroad before they receive fair justice on their competitive level," he said.
The long-waited 2011-12 NBA season, which was postponed 149 days due to a lockout, has been on for five days, yet China's basketball ace Yi Jianlian is still waiting for a contract from five or six teams. Golden Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers and Charlotte Bobcats all reportedly showed interested in him. However, the $6 million deal Yi seeks has scared them away. Bosses just don't often invest heavily in a 8.5-points and 5.3-rebounds rotation player who is also prone to injuries.
Jeremy Lin could have made the list, too, for he was waived by the Houston Rockets on Sunday. But the New York Knicks made a quick move and claimed Lin on Wednesday.