Why China’s NBA dust-up offers a glimpse of its power — and of a basketball love affair

Vancouver (Toronto Star) – I distinctly remember the first time I felt a twinge of Chinese pride. Not of pride in being from Hong Kong — which I already felt — but pride in the achievements of the People’s Republic of China. Of the mainland.

I was in a theatre in Vancouver, staring up at the screen in awe. There was the largest man I had ever seen, bounding around Americans and making them look like flustered children, casually dunking basketballs into the hoop like he was reaching for a jar of pickles in the kitchen.

It was 2004 and “The Year of the Yao” was in theatres worldwide.

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