CBA Weekly Overview: Joseph Young Finds Success in China

Joseph Young of Nanjing Monkey Kings (R) is guarded by Liu Xiaoyu of Beijing Ducks during a CBA game (Source: CGTN)

In his NBA career, Joseph Young averaged 3.4 points per game in the regular season and 1.8 points in the playoffs. After spending three seasons in the NBA, with several assignments to the Development League, the 43rd pick from the 2015 NBA Draft found himself a new start in China. In the 110-125 loss against Shandong, Joseph Young scored a career-high 74 points. In addition to setting a new seasonal record in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), Young also secured his dominance as the leading scorer in the CBA.

In this week’s CBA weekly overview, we will discuss more on Joseph Young and the Nanjing Tongxi Monkey Kings. Earlier last week, the CBA’s CEO Wang Dawei announced his unexpected departure from the league, rendering his resignation citing personal reasons. With three rounds of games left in the 2019-2020 CBA regular season, two teams are fighting for the final playoff spot in the week ahead.

Despite mediocre performance in NBA, Young dominates in China

Before joining the Nanjing Tongxi Monkey Kings, Joseph Young spent three seasons with the Indiana Pacers in the NBA. Young was drafted by the Pacers as the 43rd overall pick from the second round in the 2015 NBA draft.

Despite being named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year in 2015 while playing for the NCAA Oregon Ducks, Young did not have many notable performances in his three years with the Indiana Pacers. The Houston-born basketball player played approximately 10 minutes per game in his time with the NBA. Young averaged 3.4 points in the regular season, and 1.8 points in his 5-game NBA playoff career.

In 2018, Young signed with the CBA team Nanjing Tongxi Monkey Kings. With more playing time and more opportunities on both ends of the floor, Young started to showcase his talent in scoring. In the 2018-2019 season, Young played 43 games and scored an average of 36.1 points per game with a season-high 54 points game against the Zhejiang Golden Bulls in November 2018.

While Young appeared in the 2019 NBA summer league for another bid to return to the NBA, the 28-year-old basketball player re-signed with the Nanjing Tongxi Monkey Kings for the 2019-2020 season. As one of the foreign players who managed to return to the team before the league’s restart, Young now dominates the league in scoring with an average of 37.4 points per game. In the past four games, Young scored 51, 74, 57, and 49, with a shooting percentage of approximately 50% in each of the four games last week.

74 points is the third-highest single-game score in the history of the CBA. In 2015, Errick McCollum scored a record-high 82 points in one game when playing for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls. Errick is the older brother of C.J. McCollum, who now plays for the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA.

Young’s high scores helped the struggling Nanjing Tongxi Monkey Kings in recent games. But despite the fact that Tongxi won three of those four games, they still fell short in competing for a spot in the 2020 Playoffs. Joseph Young was able to have a scoring average significantly higher than many other players with NBA experience, but he was not able to help his team advance further into the playoffs. The Nanjing Tongxi Monkey Kings joined the CBA tournament in the 2014-2015 season, and after 6 seasons, the team has never qualified for the CBA playoffs.

SEE ALSO: CBA Weekly Overview: Guangdong Wins its 13th CBA Regular Season Champion Title

CBA League CEO Unexpectedly Resigns Citing Personal Reasons

Wang Dawei, the CEO of the CBA league, abruptly announced his resignation from the CBA’s top position on July 19. From the CBA official website, the league first acknowledged receiving Wang’s resignation and later accepted Wang’s departure. In a subsequent statement, the CBA said that Yao Ming, the head of the CBA, will temporarily take over daily operations of the CBA corporation. The CBA league reiterated on the strategic goal of completing the CBA 2.0, a strategy created by Wang Dawei to help the top-level Chinese basketball league seek profit in future seasons.

Former CEO of the CBA League Wang Dawei unexpectedly left his position on July 19. (Source: Xinhua)

The CBA league claimed that Wang resigned over personal reasons, yet Wang’s departure is somehow unexpected by many. According to reports from Sohu Sports, Wang was the first CEO of the CBA. Having held that position for 422 days, Wang was in charge of a series of critical projects of the CBA league, including the league’s reopening since late June.

In earlier interviews, Wang implied the possibility of starting to sell game tickets for the upcoming CBA playoff games. Wang was actively involved in major decision-making processes ranging from league sponsorships and copyright renewals.

Media reports claim an incident that occurred on July 13 triggered Wang’s resignation. Reports from the China Times say that Wang was involved with an extramarital affair with his special assistant and was caught by his special assistant’s family member.

Prior to joining the CBA, Wang spent 10 years in NBA China as a senior vice-president and the chief marketing officer. Wang was also part of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee. After taking the top leadership role in the CBA, Wang pushed for a strategy named CBA 2.0, which aimed to attract a number of new sponsors for the CBA league. In order to restart the CBA tournament following the COVID-19 pandemic, Wang reduced salaries for all CBA executives, and voluntarily cut 35% of his salary. Wang also recruited full-time referees to the CBA league and designed salary caps to ensure more organic competitions from CBA teams on recruiting and scouting.

Will Fujian be the Final Team to Qualify for the Playoffs?

Wang Zhelin and the Fujian Sturgeons are fighting for the final spot in the 2020 CBA Playoffs. (Source: CGTN)

The CBA regular season will conclude this week. And with two or three games remaining in their schedules, most CBA teams have either secured a spot in 2020 CBA playoffs or are set for an early end to their season. After Jilin and Shanxi secured their playoff spots, there are a total of 11 teams guaranteed to appear in the upcoming playoff games, with only one spot left for the remaining teams to fight for a final chance to continue their season.

The Fujian Sturgeons now rank 12th in the league (as of July 20), leading the 13th place Shenzhen Aviators by two games. With three games left to play in the regular season, Fujian needs to win at least one game to secure their 12th spot to qualify for the playoffs. On the contrary, the Shenzhen team must win both of its remaining games and hope for Fujian to lose all three games to have a chance for the playoffs.

The top four teams from the CBA regular season will receive a bye in the first round of CBA playoffs and directly enter the quarterfinals. While the Guangdong Tigers and the Xinjiang Flying Tigers secured their respective positions to enter the playoffs. The Beijing Ducks and the Liaoning Flying Leopards will need to keep up their momentum in securing a direct entry to the CBA quarterfinals with a 3rd and 4th position in the 2019-2020 CBA regular season.

The 2020 CBA playoffs will start on July 30. The round of 12 and the quarterfinals will be in a one-game elimination style. The semi-finals and finals will be a best-of-three series format.