Daily Drip

Yao Ming Brings “Unity” and “Friendship” to North Korea


Well, both of China’s national basketball teams went to North Korea this week.

The national men’s team and women’s team are all in Pyongyang for a series of friendly exchanges, led by none other than Chinese basketball legend, ex-NBA player, and certified giant Yao Ming. Look, there he goes now:

In order to avoid national beef, the Chinese and Korean women’s teams were shuffled and mixed into a “Unity Team” and a “Friendship Team”, each consisting of six Chinese players and six Korean players. It’s a concept that was first seen in July, when North and South Korea mixed players to compete in a “Peace Team” and “Prosperity Team”. We’re not sure why they didn’t do the same with the men’s team. Harmony Team, Togetherness Team, Camaraderie Team… it’s not like they ran out of names.

North Korea’s sports minister Kim Il-suk said that the Chinese delegation’s visit marks a new chapter in North Korea-China friendship, and will deepen the unity and friendship (really trying to drive those concepts home, here) between the two countries’ people. Kim Jong-Un, a well-known basketball fan and friend of Dennis Rodman, was not in attendance.

Now who’s the superior team? Well, anyone who’s seen a basketball game in North Korea knows that their team is the best in the world. No need to look that up, it’s just true. But they also don’t have Yao Ming, so we’re going to side with China.

For more Chinese basketball:

Meet MoreFree, the Chinese Streetball Pioneer Who Can’t Stop Battling NBA Stars

Underdogs, Upsets, and Jeremy Lin: Youku’s Basketball Reality Show “Dunk of China” Looks Set to be a Hit

Watch: Beijing Street Ballers Take On NYC

Adan Kohnhorst
Adan Kohnhorst is a US-based writer, producer, multimedia artist, and former associate editor at RADII. His work has been featured in publications such as Maxim and the Chinese-language StreetVoice, and he’s an active member of the hip hop and DIY music scenes in Shanghai, NYC, and Dallas. He learned Mandarin in high school to train at the Shaolin Temple but now uses it to interview rappers. He blogs about China and Asia on Instagram: @this.is.adan

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