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Say It Right Series

NBA in China article on Yahoo

Posted by TaiPan June 4, 2007 in the Group General Discussion.

This article is kinda funny.  Jenny Zhu, you'll be in Orlando in October, you guys need to get Dwight Howard in the Studio for a Saturday Show when they come to Shanghai in November.  (If there is a Saturday Show )
Chinese language no slam dunk for Dwight Howard
By STEPHEN WADE, AP Sports Writer
June 4, 2007

BEIJING (AP) -- Dwight Howard's slam dunks are spectacular. The same cannot be said for his command of the Chinese language.

The Orlando Magic's 6-foot-11 forward huffed and puffed, struggling to get out a few simple Chinese words for local TV stations and reporters covering his weeklong visit to China, which began Monday in Beijing.

With coaching from a handful of Chinese journalists, Howard needed eight tries to master: "Wo ai lanqiu," which is Chinese for "I love basketball."

"Do it again with more conviction," said Cheong Sau Ching, who heads up the NBA's media office in Beijing.

Forced to speed up, Howard stumbled.

"Wi-Fi -- oooh, la, la," he said, breaking into a laugh, which drew smiles and applause.

To make amends, Howard promised to deliver on the court in 4 1/2 months when the Cleveland Cavaliers play the Orlando Magic in two preseason games in Shanghai and the former Portuguese territory of Macau. A third game will feature the Magic against China's national team in Macau.

Howard is in China to promote the games, which are expected to be sellouts. He said all the right things in the Chinese capital, particularly when it came to Yao Ming. Asked to name his top five NBA players, he named Yao Ming twice.

And who is his favorite tennis player?

"Yao Ming," Howard replied again, pausing for a few seconds for effect, and then substituting Roger Federer's name.

"I love Yao Ming," he said. "I love playing against him. We're probably going to be rivals until we retire from the NBA."

Howard also talked up 7-foot Chinese forward Yi Jianlian, who's expected to go in the first round of this month's NBA draft. Howard was the first choice overall three years ago, and the two faced each other last year in the World Basketball Championships in Japan.

It might happen again for real in next year's Olympics in Beijing.

"I think he's going to be one of the best rookies to come out this year in the draft," Howard said.

"He's pretty physical, he can shoot, and he's quick for a 7-footer. But coming to America for somebody from China or any other country, his biggest trouble will be off the court -- as far as learning the language and our culture."

Particularly the language.


 

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