Wang Zhelin Rumors
Another reason why Hadadi was kept on the floor may be the New York Knicks scout who is set to fly him to the Big Apple for a possible audition. “Actually, I’m here to evaluate all the players in the tournament,” said 45-year-old Gary Boyson, who has 16 years’ experience working as a scout for the NBA. “It’s no secret there are players here with NBA experience who have no contracts yet. We have a spot or two probably.” Aside from Hadadi, Boyson is reportedly looking at China’s 19-year-old Wang Zhelin, a 7-0 prospect who could be the Great Wall’s next NBA export.
First, let’s do a roll call shall we? The following were present at the game, either participating in the game or watching from the sidelines: Yao Ming, Tracy Mcgrady, Joakim Noah, Metta World Peace, Luis Scola, George Hill, Kyle Lowry, Ricky Rubio, Chris Singleton, John Wall, Damian Lillard, Jrue Holiday, Chinese players Yi Jianlian, Wang Zhelin, Sun Yue, Liu Wei, Wang Zhi Zhi and super-famous Brazil and Real Madrid soccer/futbol player Kaka. Yes, that Kaka. (Bonus: Here’s a hilarious picture of Kaka with Yao and Wang Zhi Zhi from last night.)
Who he actually he played against while in those arenas? Not so memorable, according to a transcript published by Chinese media outlet, NetEase. Prior to Game 2 of the Finals, a journalist interviewed McGrady, leading off with the question that every Chinese NBA fan wants to know: Is there anybody in China who has a shot to play in The League one day? Here’s what was said, generally (the interview was conducted in English and translated into Chinese, which means I have the weird task of translating back into English — so this won’t be exactly what he said): Journalist: Tracy, this past season you played in the CBA. Which Chinese players do you think have the potential to play in the NBA? McGrady: None. Not one. Journalist: What about Wang Zhelin? McGrady: I don’t know who that is. Journalist: That young Chinese player… He’s tall, he plays for Fujian. McGrady: I don’t know. I can’t remember. Journalist: The really tall one, taller than 2.13 meters. McGrady: I don’t know him. China has a lot of tall young guys. I can’t remember.
And yet, it is kind of a biggie. Wang is the most hyped youngster in China right now and is considered by some to have a shot at playing in the NBA someday down the line. Oh, and his absence from the national team last year caused the Chinese internet to almost break. The worst part? Forget not thinking Wang is good enough to play in the NBA – McGrady doesn’t even remember who dude is. That doesn’t exactly reflect well on the state of Chinese basketball, current or future.
Stephon Marbury on Wang Zhelin, an 18-year-old Chinese young talent: “He’s really good, he’ll definitely be an NBA player one day. He need to improve his strength, but he’s only 18 years old. He has to train hard, train with the right people and train smart.”
According to a Nike source, Wang Zhelin will get to the U.S. in March, train with a local trainer, then participate in a few events, including Nike Hoop Summit in April. Wang played in 2012 NHS, led the World Team with 19 points in a win over the U.S. Select Team.
The decision was probably for the best: Given his National Team selection, and now his historic performance in Portland, those expectations are only going to increase. Though he’s practically a no-shot to make the final 12-man roster for this summer’s London Olympics, his inclusion in the Senior National Team setup indicates that the CBA feels he’ll be a big part of China’s basketball future. And in the days after Portland, he may be a big part of China’s future in the NBA. Arguably more than any other prospect, he helped his NBA Draft stock the most. Even before the game, he was turning heads during practices due to his good frame and nice touch around the rim.