Dual-wielding free thrower masters the game of arcade basketball

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RocketNews 24:

There are all sorts of masters lurking in arcades around the world. We’ve seen quite a few in Japan, where taiko drum experts and claw game champions reign supreme. But if this video of a basketball free-thrower is anything to go by, Chinese game centers seem to have their own breed of skilled gamers. However, what makes the skills of the guy on the left all the more amazing is the fact that he’s making one-handed free throws with both his left and right hand four times faster than the other players.

Check out the video here:

Blake Griffin thinks he’s a pilot in this Kia Commercial

As part of his ongoing commercials with Kia, Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin teams up with the South Korean car manufacture on another comical clip. In this short, the NBA All-Star trades in his jersey for a flight suit and helmet. Sat in the cockpit of the new Kia Optima, Blake prepares for take off despite reminders from runway marshals that he’s in an automobile. With a turbo charged engine, Blake’s ready to catch the enemy off guard in his new sedan.

ASICS GT-Cool Dark Blue/White

The newest ASICS GT-Cool just might be the latest pickup for fans of the New York Knicks. The ball club’s recognizable jersey color scheme, has been duplicated onto the lowtop sneaker. A predominantly blue upper, outfitted in suede and mesh detailing has been paired with orange accents. White streaks, and a complementary white midsole completes this popping addition to ASICS GT-Cool sneaker line.

Retailing for $120 USD, full sizes are now available for purchase from Sneaker Politics.

Nike’s wild new shoes for Chinese basketball league

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RocketNews 24:

Shoemaker Nike owes its success as much to the marketing that backs its footwear as the science behind it. But as one of the biggest athletic apparel companies on the planet, the Nike swoosh is hardly a rare sight these days, so if the Oregon-based company really wants to catch people’s eyes, it has to get a little more flamboyant with its designs.

That’s as true in emerging markets as it is in established ones, which is why Nike’s new pair of kicks made especially for China might be the wildest the company has ever made, and come packed with all sorts of imagery meant to make sure fortune smiles on theirs wearers while everyone is looking at their feet.

Called the Nike Air Foamposite One China Tianjins, the ostentatious high tops are named for Tianjin City, home of the Tianjin Lions professional basketball team. The Lions are one of seven teams in the China Basketball League, and have reached all 11 championship contests the organization has held, winning five of them.

You won’t see any overt basketball references on the Nike Tianjins, though. What you will find, though, are a collection of auspicious images and phrases. Near the laces there’s a pattern evocative of fish scales, chosen due to the words “fish” and “abundance” being homonyms in Chinese.

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The theme continues with what looks to be at least one swimming crimson fish per side of the shoe. The graphics also feature such images of good fortune such as a field of blossoming lotus flowers and a plump child.

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The Tianjins are even working to bring you luck in places where no one can see it. On each insole, printed in gold letters, is the phrase Prosperity for years to come.”

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Unique as the Tianjins may be, though, some online comments in Japan show that not everyone is impressed by the aesthetics of Nike’s decision to cram so much cultural significance into the limited canvas the shoes provide.

“I don’t even think [crazily costumed idol singer] Kyaru Pamyu Pamyu would be caught in these.”
“I can imagine see some old lady strutting around wearing them in [Tokyo’s senior mecca] Tsugamo.”
“Instead of making these ugly things, can Nike hurry it up with the self-tying shoes already?”

The opinions of these Japanese detractors are kind of a moot point, though. The Tianjins will be sold exclusively in China, where they go on sale February 7, just in time for Chinese New Year.

Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets unveil Chinese New Year jerseys

Breaking the Asian myth: No, not ALL Asians are short

Sacramento Kings v Houston Rockets

Audrey Magazine:

As title of this series suggests, our Breaking the Asian Myth stories seek to challenge absurd stereotypes about the Asian community. So far we’ve looked into the ridiculous assumption that all Asian women have the same kind of hair, the impossible belief that Asians can’t get fat, and even the dangerous theory that Asian women need not worry about breast cancer. Yeah, my eyes hurt from all the eyerolling too.

In reality, the umbrella term “Asian” is composed of many, many ethnicities so no one should assume we all have the exact same features. However, it seems no matter how many times we have to clarify that these assumptions don’t apply to all of us (No mister, I can’t explain to you what your Chinese tattoo means… seeing as I’m not even Chinese), we still have a load of overgeneralizations thrown at us on a daily basis.

One such overgeneralization that I’ve heard all my life is the idea that all Asians are short. Being a proud member of the fun-sized community myself, I admit that there are quite a number of us. But is that enough to justify the pure shock and disbelief Asians get when they actually are tall? I don’t know about that.

So here’s some love for all of you who are tired of people constantly pointing out that you’re tall for an Asian, and feel left out when you tower over the rest of us. You’re not alone! Check out some of our favorite Asian celebs who certainly break this Asian Myth.

Yao Ming — 7’6”

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Dave Bautista — 6’6″

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Dwayne Johnson — 6’5″

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Jeremy Lin — 6’4″

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Daniel Henney — 6’2″

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Sung Kang — 6’1″

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Kimora Lee Simmons — 6’0”

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Liu Wen — 5’11”

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Tao Okamoto — 5’10”

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Sui He — 5’10”

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Sun Fei Fei — 5’10”

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Grace Park 5’9”

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Deepika Padukone 5’9”

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25 Chinese Sneakerheads take a sneak peek of the new upcoming Nike Air Force 1

Originally released in 1982, the Nike Air Force 1 has since become an instantly recognizable and iconic silhouette, and for many, its incorporation of Nike Air technology heralded the beginning of an age in which basketball sneakers would tread the line between performance and cultural relevance.

Even more so, the Air Force 1 holds special significance in China, where its arrival following Nike‘s entry into the Chinese market in 1980 symbolized the first tendrils of basketball and hip-hop culture taking root into the minds of the youth. With each successive rendition of the Air Force 1 targeted at the Chinese consumer, Nike’s foothold in the Chinese imagination grew until “Nai Ke,” the brand name’s Chinese transliteration, evoked memories of the court, the street, and school.

For 2015, the original ’80s silhouette of the Air Force 1 has been reworked for Chinese consumers, featuring all-over white premium leather, a white sole, and red suede Swoosh, finished off with Nike’s Chinese name embroidered in red on the heel. We brought the new model to 25 sneakerheads across China for their thoughts on the heritage of the silhouette in the country, listening to each individual’s personal connection to the Air Force 1 and their memories associated with the shoe.

Along with a special Nike “Nai Ke” tank, crew and cap, the Nike Air Force 1 Hi “Nai Ke” will be available a tNike and select Chinese retailers on the mid of January.

Jeremy Lin wears “I Can’t Breathe” shirt at game warmup

Angry Asian Man:

The Los Angeles Lakers have joined the growing number of athletes protesting the deaths of unarmed black people at the hands of law enforcement. Nearly all the players on the team, including Jeremy Lin, wore black shirts with the phrase “I Can’t Breathe” — referring to Eric Garner‘s dying words at the hands of the NYPD — during warmups before Tuesday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings.

With all but one Laker rocking the shirt, it marks the most complete protest by any one team thus far. Ball Don’t Lie‘s Eric Freeman also notes that Jeremy Lin is the first player who is not black to wear the shirt — a powerful statement and a significant gesture of support of the movement as “a broader human issue.”

Lakers empower Lin, and he responds

 

ESPN: 

 

Tie score with T-minus five minutes — around these parts, that’s Kobe Bryant’s time. He’s been the proprietor of the ball under those circumstances for a while now. On Friday night, in said scenario, he was calling for it yet again.

But Jeremy Lin said no. The first-year Los Angeles Lakers point guard waved off the team’s volume-shooting star, drove right off a pick-and-roll and heaved a prayer-like 3-pointer with Chris Paul in his mug and the shot clock near expiration.

And the shot went in. And the Staples Center crowd erupted. And it looked like the player the Lakers — especially Bryant — had called out to be aggressive and assertive was finally being aggressive and assertive, especially with Bryant.

Bryant loved it. Even though the team lost, 118-111, Bryant was upbeat and raved about Lin, about that play and what it showed him about his new backcourt teammate who arrived in L.A. via a trade with the Houston Rockets.

You have to be able to assert yourself, especially on a team that I’m playing on — especially on a team I’m playing on,” Bryant said with some added emphasis. “Because I don’t want chumps, I don’t want pushovers, and if you’re a chump and a pushover, I will run over you.

“It’s important for him to have that toughness and to say, ‘I believe in myself. I can step up, I can make these plays, I can perform.’ I think that is very, very important.”

Bryant, who scored 21 on 6-of-15 shooting from the field, has had players wave him off before. All the time, in fact.

The teams that I’ve played on, the teams that won, we used to do that all the time,” he said.

But Lin? Bryant said he hadn’t seen that from Lin before. Bryant said he wasn’t even sure if Lin’s former teammates had told him to do that sort of thing before.

It’s like,” Bryant said during his postgame news conference, then leaned forward and pounded his fist on the table, “you’ve got to put your mark down, man.”

At some point, you’ve got to piss on the fire hydrant.”

With that line, which was a tad heavy in machismo and was punctuated by a few more fists pounded onto the table, Bryant left for the night.

But the implications were clear: Lin took a key step forward after subpar performances in the Lakers’ first two blowouts that led to him being dogged by Bryant and Lakers coach Byron Scott.

Specifically after a 20-point beating in Phoenix, Bryant and Scott said Lin played timid, uncertain, etc. They told him to take charge, run the offense and not be afraid. They empowered him.

Lin responded with 17 points, nine assists and several leader-like plays in what amounted to a night-and-day different performance from the Suns’ loss.

I’m like every other human,” Lin said. “I’m going to be more comfortable, I’m going to do more, when I feel empowered.”

Scott was impressed.

I liked what I saw,” he said.

Bryant, too.

That’s exactly what he should do — is be the point guard and orchestrate things and get us into sets and get us flowing, get us moving, be aggressive,” Bryant said.

This is the blueprint for him and how to continue to play.”

Bryant and Lin had a long chat after the Phoenix loss.

I don’t think any of us really slept much,” Bryant said.

Text messages detailing X’s and O’s pinged back and forth between several Lakers.

And then today before the game,” Bryant said, “we talked a little bit about making some adjustments and how we wanted to play and open up the floor.”

Then Lin captained an offense that did just that, whereas in previous contests the ball didn’t leave Bryant’s hands all that often — unless he was shooting it.

We were trying to get everything moving, the ball popping, get it side to side,” Lin said. “We started trusting each other more and learning what that means. It’s not like we were ever like, ‘Hey, we don’t trust each other.’ We’re growing and we’re figuring out how to trust each other the best way.”

Said Jordan Hill: “Everybody gets to touch the ball now. The ball is moving a lot. Coach said, ‘If you see a shot that you like, take it.’ So that’s what we’re doing.”

Hill had a team-high 23 points and had the same number of shots as Bryant (15). Lin was right behind with 13 shots, Carlos Boozer had nine and Wesley Johnson had eight.

In other words, there was balance, which wasn’t there before, and which will almost certainly be necessary for the Lakers to be competitive on a nightly basis.

We all knew there would be growing pains at some point,” Lin said. “Maybe they came a little earlier and a little tougher than we anticipated.”

The Lakers still tied their worst start since the team moved to L.A. (They were also 0-3 in three other seasons, including 2012-13).

But after consecutive blowouts, the Lakers considered it a moral victory.

It felt really, really good,” Bryant said. “I couldn’t be more pleased in this loss, actually. I think we figured a lot of things out, a lot of things.”

When was the last time Bryant felt this good about a loss?

Probably never,” Bryant said. “But we really played well. And it wasn’t like we played out of our minds. We executed really well. We did things that can be done consistently, if that makes any sense.”

Basically, baby steps.

Bryant is hard on his teammates, a high-risk, high-reward approach.

Yeah, we’re all brothers,” Bryant said. “I think the most important lesson that I wanted to share with them is that we must challenge each other and bring the best out of each other. I think that’s important for them to understand that.”

But he has to teach more now, communicate more. His role has evolved.

I’m just trying to show them,” Bryant said, “the DNA necessary to be a champion.”

The Lakers won’t be anywhere near the Larry O’Brien trophy this season, unless you count the ones in their El Segundo practice facility from previous championships.

Still, Lin has responded well to Bryant’s challenge, and it helped the Lakers nearly put a Halloween scare into their rivals, and that’s the best treat their fans could have asked for.

 

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Photo posted by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson with Sun Ming Ming of China

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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: 

 

I’m 6’5 255lbs – just let this visual sink in my friends… A pleasure meeting Sun Ming Ming in CHINA. One of the tallest basketball players of all time. Super cool dude.

#IdStillGoHardInThePaint #Hes7Feet9Inches #WhoAmIKidding

#CmonMingMing #LetsGoPlayMiniatureGolf