Some years back, American born of Chinese descent (via Taiwan), Jeremy Lin, of the NY Knicks kick started a sport in China that had before been largely ignored. But, because of Lin’s rising fame on the court, and China’s full embrace of this 6’3 star, it became easy to recognize a palpable change in China. College students were hitting the courts, hoping to be more like Lin. Chinese basketball team spirit rose to levels of seriousness, only ping pong tournaments theretofore garnered. And even professional Chinese basketball teams like Brave Dragons began looking to the USA to teach them the business of basketball.
In the book, Brave Dragons: A Chinese Basketball Team, an American Coach, and Two Cultures Clashing, author Jim Yardley discusses the cultural challenges a former well known American NBA basketball coach, Bob Weiss, experienced when he naively, but adventurously contracted with China’s poorly performing Shanxi Brave Dragons (the worst in the league) to show them how American basketball success is achieved.
The mess that ensued offers many points of instruction on how Americans and Chinese can work together, and the pitfalls in between.