NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he’s “frustrated” the NBA doesn’t have a Chinese player in the League right now.
Silver added that if relatively small countries like Serbia, Lithuania and Latvia can produce multiple NBA players, so should the world’s most populous country. Starting at 22:35:
“It frustrates me that there are no Chinese players in the NBA right now.
“There’s probably more basketball being played in China than anywhere else in the world. And more NBA basketball is being watched in China than anywhere else in the world.”
“One of the things that we have worked on with Yao is the creation of academies in China.
“So we can bring together some of the best players at a young age, they can compete against each other, they can compete internationally in the summer, because ultimately that’s what enables them to become NBA players.”
The NBA is working with Yao Ming to create basketball academies to foster more organized, high-level training for Chinese players. And slow progress is being made.
Houston’s 2016 second-round pick, 21-year-old Zhou Qi, is working out with the Rockets this summer and has a chance to make the roster next season.
Last summer, Zhou dropped 13 points on 5-9 shooting against Team USA in the 2016 USA Basketball Showcase.