NBA Stars John Wall and Dwight Howard Try to Speak Chinese

Well, sort of. But their mangled Mandarin is still music to the ears of their fans in China.
More
yaokobebanner.jpgChina's Yao Ming enjoyed a successful NBA career until injuries forced his retirement in 2011. (Richard Carson/Reuters)

The NBA is a big, big deal in China, where the success of former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming triggered a surge of interest in basketball. Even two years after injuries forced the 7 foot 6 Yao to retire, Chinese fans continue to follow the league with intense interest. Meanwhile, China's own professional basketball league has lured once-marquee players like Stephon Marbury and Tracy McGrady to the Middle Kingdom. 

Basketball players aren't paid for their linguistic chops, but that doesn't stop the more adventurous of them from trying. In this video, the Chinese ex-NBA player Yi Jianlian "interviews" John Wall of the Washington Wizards and Dwight Howard of the (for now) Los Angeles Lakers and the results, well, speak for themselves.



Relativity Sports

How'd they do? Well, let's just say that when Wall and Howard visit China this summer, they're going to need interpreters. Nevertheless, as any foreigner who has gone to China could tell them, they'll get points just for trying. If only the same was true of basketball.

Jump to comments

Matt Schiavenza is a former associate editor at The Atlantic

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in China

Just In