J.R. Smith learning the good, bad of playing in China


The Chinese Basketball Association has an insanely high turnover rate for Western players who sign on. The basketball is different, but more so it’s the radical culture change that players struggle with, things like the food.

J.R. Smith is getting some of that, but he’s adjusting.

A fascinating post over at Sheridanhoops.com breaks down the good and the bad of being Smith, the most famous — and best — player in the Chinese league.

The good:

As the biggest name in team history, Smith also gets the best treatment. The team has hired a cook and two translators especially for him. For his relocation, Smith brought about 20 pieces of luggage, and the club arranged a room especially for those bags.

The bad:

Smith’s initial experience in China was not that good. The first problem was the time difference. On his first day in China, Smith woke up at 2 a.m. and found himself in such a strange environment, he didn’t know what to do.

He wanted to send a Twitter update, but encountered problems because Twitter is blocked in China. At last, he found a way to tweet through his Blackberry: “Dear China, the fact that u won’t let me work my Skype on my desktop or twitter is really pissing me off.” Then another one: “Not even YouTube wow this is ass!”

Smith is not going anywhere. His goal, he says, is to go Oscar Robertson and average a triple-double on the season. What’s more, when there is an NBA season Smith gets to come back as a free agent who could tip the balance of power. Well, let’s just hope there is a season to come back to.