Home > Analysis, News, Opinion > Bayi Rockets and Georgetown Basketball brawl, a key fact to remember

Bayi Rockets and Georgetown Basketball brawl, a key fact to remember

Georgetown University’s Hoyas (乔治城大学) basketball team is currently in China playing against various Chinese teams on a friendship tour. In an exhibition game against the Bayi Rockets (八一火箭队) yesterday, a brawl broke out between the two. This took place at about ten minutes left in the fourth quarter and the game tied at 63.


I haven’t watched the game, but according to Wikipedia, Bayi Rockets shot 57 free throws vs. Georgetown Hoyas’ 15. This clearly meant Hoyas fouling more and physically much more aggressive. A Washington Post reporter said this to NPR which I thought was rather dishonest. What he said was technically true, but through omission of the above key facts, his and NPR’s narratives cleverly biased the blame onto the Bayi Rockets.

Yeah, that’s what a lot of people were asking. It was a game marked by a lot of physicality, early, a lot of fouls, early on. And eventually tensions just escalated to the point where the benches cleared.

The one incident that triggered the bench clearing brawl, which was the second one of the game, by the way, was a hard foul on Jason Clark, a senior guard on the Georgetown team. A Chinese player fouled him, pushed him to the ground. You can clearly see that in all the videos that are circulating out there on the Internet. And Jason obviously didn’t taken kindly to it, got up and said something to him.

The reporter made no comment whatsoever about which team was fouling more. NPR did not bother to share that fact either. Follow the above link to the NPR article to read it for yourself.

In basketball, this type of brawl is actually not uncommon. Blame should be laid on the referees too. When a team is overtly aggressive, the coaches should be warned. The referees have a responsibility to prevent this type of situations from escalating which invariably develops into a brawl.

Many Chinese netizens are criticizing the Bayi Rockets for unprofessional conduct. From the video footage, it appears the Rockets player shoved the Hoyas player unto the floor and then the brawl ensued.

As usual, I caution people on how they read the U.S. media on this story. For the most part, this type of brawls happen in basketball and people shouldn’t interpolate it into a brawl between the two countries. The U.S. media often like to create ‘good’ guys and ‘bad’ guys. If you want the truth, I urge people to watch the game itself to see what transpired before the brawl. Not having watched the game myself as of the writing of this post, but seeing the 57 free throws by the Bayi Rockets vs. the 15 for the Georgetown Hoyas is very telling which team was more excessively aggressive.

The Chinese people and the Americans need not have more antagonistic feelings toward each other. If the U.S. media wants Americans to have their feelings polarized, I think it is then worthwhile to ponder why.

[Update: Below is a report in China Daily.]

“US team doesn’t let brawl cancel trip”
Updated: 2011-08-20 07:53
By Wang Kaihao (China Daily)

BEIJING – An 11-day goodwill trip to China by the Georgetown University Hoyas men’s basketball team is continuing despite a brawl with a Chinese professional team during an exhibition game on Thursday night in Beijing.

“The team will absolutely continue their trip,” Christina Ciocca, a staff member from the Georgetown delegation, told China Daily in an e-mail.

“We look forward to our time at the Nike Festival of Sport and in the city of Shanghai.”

A brawl erupted between the Georgetown players and China’s Bayi team in their game at the National Olympic Sports Center with about 9 minutes and 32 seconds left in the final quarter and the score tied at 64.

Bayi players complained before the fight that the Hoyas’ style of play was too rough, while the visitors were not happy with a 57-15 free-throw discrepancy in Bayi’s favor.

Georgetown University Head Men’s Basketball Coach John Thompson III and two of the team’s student-athletes met with members of the Bayi Rockets on Friday morning, according to Georgetown University’s athletics website.

Thompson, Bayi Head Coach Adejiang, and their team members shared a very cordial and friendly meeting.

The college delegation, about 50 people in total, took a Friday morning flight to Shanghai, the second and final destination in the Hoyas’ first overseas visit since Thompson became the coach in 2004.

Michael Wang, special assistant to the chief operating officer of the university, said none of the players was injured, while another staff member who refused to give his name said none of the Hoyas’ players was injured in the fight.

“Tonight, two great teams played a very competitive game that unfortunately ended after a heated exchanges with both teams,” Thompson said after the game. “We sincerely regret that this situation occurred.”

“We remain grateful for the opportunity our student-athletes are having to engage in a sport they love here in China, while strengthening their understanding of a nation we respect and admire at Georgetown University, Thompson added.

Nobody from Bayi was available for comment.

It was the Hoyas’ second game in China, one day after they topped the Chinese Basketball Association’s Shanxi Dragons, 98-81.

That game was attended by US Vice-President Joe Biden, who arrived in Beijing hours before to meet with newly inaugurated US Ambassador to China Gary Locke.

According to Georgetown’s new itinerary, it is scheduled to play a game against the Liaoning Dinosaurs on Sunday.

Georgetown is scheduled to play its final game on Monday against the Shandong Flaming Bulls.

  1. Pete North
    August 20th, 2011 at 23:50 | #1

    Didnt a Chinese team recently attack the Brazilian team in another basketball game recently?

  2. August 20th, 2011 at 23:58 | #2

    @Pete North
    The fight between the Chinese national team and the Brazilian? Why can’t you see this as two separate basketball teams having gotten into two separate brawls? The Chinese national team apologized to the Brazilians, by the way.

    Now, count basketball teams within any other nation and tell us how many brawls they’ve had.

    Are you trying to make a trend out of this? If so, you are trying to be an overzealous racist.

  3. zack
    August 21st, 2011 at 00:58 | #3

    yeah i was watching this interview on CBS; gotta say the journalist is full of shit; the game was tied wasn’t it, so how can he claim that ‘[the rockets] were getting beaten by a college team’?

    full of shite as usual but what do you expect from the washington post?

  4. Pete North
    August 21st, 2011 at 06:58 | #4

    ” If so, you are trying to be an overzealous racist.”

    Chinese is not a race, so what are you talking about? Do you mean Han? If you do you should say so.
    That the Chinese team is crap is indisputable. They just lost to NZ, a country with about 1/300th the population of the PRC, and where bball is very much a minority sport. That the army team would resort to violence in favor of potentially losing to a college team is no surprise all things considered.

  5. silentvoice
    August 21st, 2011 at 09:47 | #5

    Pete North :
    That the army team would resort to violence in favor of potentially losing to a college team is no surprise all things considered.

    Repeating for the third time on this page: They were tied.

  6. JJ
    August 21st, 2011 at 10:47 | #6

    @silentvoice

    Don’t mind the trolls. As you can see, their biases affect how they interpret the actual event.

  7. Pete North
    August 21st, 2011 at 16:52 | #7

    Do you understand what the word ‘potentially’ means? If not look it up. The game was obviously close, meaning the army team could easily had it gone on.

  8. Pete North
    August 21st, 2011 at 17:32 | #8

    “*could easily have lost had it gone on”

  9. August 22nd, 2011 at 08:20 | #9

    @Pete North
    “By halftime, Bayi had 11 fouls while Georgetown had 28. You know whose fault it must be.”

    And NATO troops must be crap if they can’t defeat the Taliban, we all know this is how your brain works.

  10. August 22nd, 2011 at 19:50 | #10

    Some of you guys are really pushing it here.

    First of all, there’s a difference between playing a physically rough game — fouling a lot — and stomping on someone’s chest, or throwing chairs at them. Georgetown may have been playing rough — none of us saw the game, so we can’t really know how well it was being officiated — but there’s a big difference between fouling a lot and starting a brawl.

    Moreover, the “brawls happen in basketball” argument is ridiculous…so what? That makes it OK?

    Honestly, I don’t even know why you’re defending the Bayi team. This wasn’t China vs the US, despite what some on BOTH SIDES would like to make it into. This is about a young, undisciplined team (Georgetown) playing a game of basketball against another young, even more undisciplined team (Bayi). Since none of us watched the whole game up to that point, we’re all relying on secondhand information here, but based on what we’ve got, I think it’s probably fair to make some guesses:

    – Georgetown was probably playing rougher than they should have been
    – Bayi’s player probably overreacted when he pushed the Gtown player

    Beyond that, I think we can all agree that starting a fight over what is essentially a totally consequence-less basketball game is ridiculous. And typically, the response when one team is being too rough and the refs can’t control them is to take your team off the court, not storm the court and start tossing chairs.

    Part of it, I suspect, had to do with the pressure that came from this being somehow branded by both sides as China vs.the US or some kind of “national pride” issue. Regardless of who won the game, this was never going to be the Miracle on Ice for either country. I doubt it would have been covered at all if Biden hadn’t been in Beijing at the same time.

    In conclusion: sound, fury, signifying nothing, etc.

  11. August 22nd, 2011 at 21:33 | #11

    Who is defending the Bayi Rockets here?

    Instead of blabbing your mouth, you might want to read the post.

    You said:

    In conclusion: sound, fury, signifying nothing, etc.

    Exactly. Now tell that to the U.S. media. That’s what this post is about.

  12. August 23rd, 2011 at 05:51 | #12

    yinyang :
    Who is defending the Bayi Rockets here?
    Instead of blabbing your mouth, you might want to read the post.

    I was talking about this comment: ““By halftime, Bayi had 11 fouls while Georgetown had 28. You know whose fault it must be.” but it appears to have been deleted now…

    Exactly. Now tell that to the U.S. media. That’s what this post is about.

    I will mention it to them at the next anti-China conspiracy club dinner.

  13. August 23rd, 2011 at 06:28 | #13

    “I will mention it to them at the next anti-China conspiracy club dinner.”

    Aren’t you full of yourself. Who said they would even let you in?

  14. August 23rd, 2011 at 08:44 | #14

    @C. Custer
    This comment of yours is such a lame strawman.

    I will mention it to them at the next anti-China conspiracy club dinner.

    Go round up 1,000 rapists in American prisons. See if you can come up with a conspiracy among them. Who said there has to be a conspiracy club? And who said the U.S. media only limit themselves to China bashing?

    Rather come up with a stupid counter as that, you should have acknowledged what the Washington Post reporter and the NPR article did was asinine.

    re:

    but it appears to have been deleted now…

    In case you haven’t noticed – people who comment here have the ability to edit their own comments for a certain time period.

  15. August 23rd, 2011 at 19:35 | #15

    yinyang :
    @C. Custer
    This comment of yours is such a lame strawman.

    I will mention it to them at the next anti-China conspiracy club dinner.

    Go round up 1,000 rapists in American prisons. See if you can come up with a conspiracy among them. Who said there has to be a conspiracy club? And who said the U.S. media only limit themselves to China bashing?

    Wow, so you don’t have much of a sense of humor, huh?

    but it appears to have been deleted now…

    In case you haven’t noticed – people who comment here have the ability to edit their own comments for a certain time period.

    ….And? All I said was that it seems to have been deleted. I didn’t say YOU deleted it, or suggest some sort of conspiracy. I presume it was deleted by whoever posted it in the first place, but I had already posted my comment by the time I saw that, and it was too late to edit.

  16. August 23rd, 2011 at 19:37 | #16

    raventhorn2000 :
    “I will mention it to them at the next anti-China conspiracy club dinner.”
    Aren’t you full of yourself. Who said they would even let you in?

    It’s pretty easy to get in as long as you’re a card-carrying member of the Foreign Anti-China Forces With Ulterior Motives Taking Advantage of the Masses Ignorant of the Truth club. You just need your FACFWUMTAMIT membership card, proof you work for the “Western” media, and your most recent CIA or NED paystub. 🙂

    Note to the humorless and/or braindead: THIS IS A JOKE.

  17. raventhorn2000
    August 24th, 2011 at 05:16 | #17

    “Note to the humorless and/or braindead: THIS IS A JOKE.”

    Use of humor as argument = pointless.

  18. raventhorn2000
    August 24th, 2011 at 06:29 | #18

    A joke gone too far gets 4 years of prison

    http://www.allfacebook.com/were-facebook-planners-of-u-k-riots-unfairly-punished-2011-08

    “Not exactly good citizen posts, but there’s a catch: Neither posting actually resulted in looting or rioting, causing concern from the public and civil rights groups about the harsh length of the sentences.

    Undeniably, it was a bad joke, but is a four year sentence appropriate?”

    OOPS! I guess in these days, there aren’t that much humor in the world. So you might want to be careful about your “jokes”. 🙂

  19. August 24th, 2011 at 07:13 | #19

    @raventhorn2000

    1) Neither guy claims to have been joking (which would have meant that they were innocent – no intent), both pleaded guilty to crimes with a ten-year maximum sentence.

    2) Both are appealling their sentences.

    3) This has F all to do with the subject being discussed.

  20. August 24th, 2011 at 07:27 | #20

    @C. Custer
    Honestly, this is idiotic. Read your comment #10 and our subsequent exchanges. If you intended it as a joke, oh boy, your timing is terrible. Anyways, whatever.

    If you’d like some credibility, here is your opportunity to declare how stupid that Washington Post reporter and the NPR article are.

  21. raventhorn2000
    August 24th, 2011 at 08:17 | #21

    @FOARP

    Someone brought up jokes, not necessarily good jokes.

    (1) plead bargaining is unrelated to whether they were joking.

    (2) Appeals may be grounded on the basis of their humor.

    (3) Don’t tell me about the irrelevance of “jokes” to this topic. Don’t you have a sense of “humor”?? 🙂

  22. raventhorn2000
    August 24th, 2011 at 08:20 | #22
  23. Kai
    August 24th, 2011 at 10:06 | #23

    I’m going to skip over all of the Custer vs. HH comments…

    I think yinyang made an interesting comment here:

    A Washington Post reporter said this to NPR which I thought was rather dishonest. What he said was technically true, but through omission of the above key facts, his and NPR’s narratives cleverly biased the blame onto the Bayi Rockets.

    I won’t blame anyone for not having read the same reports I did (as there were plenty of reports blaming this or that for what happened), but one report or argument I read essentially accused the officials unfairly giving substantially more fouls to the Hoyas.

    Right, we can look at the large discrepancy in fouls as the Hoyas fouling a lot more, but we can also look at it as reflecting bad officiating or, worse, unfair officiating. How many of those free throws contributed to the ultimately tied score? Were the free throws being used to help bring the Bayi team back into a game points-wise they were losing?

    Of course, the only way to fairly judge whether that was true or not is to have watched the game to determine if the Hoyas were actually fouling or if they were getting shafted with unfair calls by the refs…and even then biases may get the better of us. But we’d also have to consider if their play was consistent with normal play in America or with the officiating their are used to. Does such play get the same officiating in China when the players are only Chinese players?

    Who here is able to make these calls?

    I agree with a lot here:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/theres-no-single-explanation-for-georgetowns-basketball-brawl-in-china/2011/08/20/gIQAAINuSJ_story.html

    I also agree with yinyang to be wary of reports (US or otherwise) that needlessly elevate a basketball brawl into nationalistic tensions creating “good guys” and “bad guys”.

  24. August 24th, 2011 at 10:31 | #24

    @raventhorn2000

    1) Plea bargaining does not exist in English law as the court decides sentencing, not the prosecutor. The only situation where it can have an effect is where someone is accused of multiple crimes and agrees to plead guilty to some of the charges in return for the prosecution dropping the rest – this was not the case here, and even where it is the case a private prosecution may still be brought by the victims, and the decision not to prosecute otherwise challenged.

    Although there is a recommended maximum 1/3rd reduction in sentence for a guilty plea, the English courts are under no absolute obligation to give lesser sentences to those who plead guilty. English courts do not barter with justice as the American ones do, and the result is much less crowded prisons. My understanding is that the Chinese courts also do not have plea-bargaining – if this is the case, then this is at least one area in which they out-perform the US ones.

    2) Probably only if they change their pleas to not guilty. Whilst the sentencing guidelines distinguish between different levels of culpability for crimes which do not require intent, having pleaded guilty to an intentional crime they cannot then say their crime was deserved a lesser sentence because it was not intentional. I guess it might argued as evidence of relative youth, but that is only a guess.

    3) It is not very relevant to whether you get Custer’s joke or not, although I understand the intent.

  25. August 24th, 2011 at 10:47 | #25

    @Kai, All,
    And I’ve been looking for the game so I can watch it myself. If anyone has a link to it, please share.

  26. August 24th, 2011 at 21:24 | #26

    yinyang :
    @C. Custer
    Honestly, this is idiotic. Read your comment #10 and our subsequent exchanges. If you intended it as a joke, oh boy, your timing is terrible. Anyways, whatever.

    What? Comment #10 was not a joke. Seriously, does ANYONE here have a sense of humor at all? I didn’t realize it was that difficult to differentiate. But I guess in the future I’ll start tagging jokes as such to keep from confusing everyone.

  27. August 24th, 2011 at 21:27 | #27

    yinyang :
    quent exchanges. If you intended it as a joke, oh boy, your timing is terrible. Anyways, whatever.
    If you’d like some credibility, here is your opportunity to declare how stupid that Washington Post reporter and the NPR article are.

    I already said in my first comment that I find the China vs. US arguments and looking at the game that way to be foolish.

  28. raventhorn2000
    August 25th, 2011 at 07:25 | #28

    @FOARP

    “(1) Plea bargaining does not exist in English law as the court decides sentencing, not the prosecutor.”

    Court may still accept recommendations of leniency based upon cooperation with the prosecution by the Defendant, for example, for turning evidence against others.

    “Although there is a recommended maximum 1/3rd reduction in sentence for a guilty plea, the English courts are under no absolute obligation to give lesser sentences to those who plead guilty.”

    True, yet, defendants do try. AGAIN, plead of guilty is not related to whether it was a JOKE.

    “2) Probably only if they change their pleas to not guilty.”

    Incitement to violence, as a prohibition on some speech, is NOT based upon the specific INTENT to cause actual violence, but ONLY need to be “aware that MAY LEAD TO or threaten VIOLENCE”.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/64/section/6

    “A person is guilty of violent disorder or affray only if he intends to use or threaten violence or is aware that his conduct may be violent or threaten violence.”

    “3) It is not very relevant to whether you get Custer’s joke or not, although I understand the intent.”

    You obviously didn’t understand where the argument may lead to. 🙂

  29. raventhorn2000
    August 25th, 2011 at 07:28 | #29

    @C. Custer

    Yeah, and in the future, we will let you when your Jokes are badly timed, usually when you run out of arguments (which yinyang just did).

  30. raventhorn2000
    August 25th, 2011 at 08:04 | #30

    @C. Custer

    “I already said in my first comment that I find the China vs. US arguments and looking at the game that way to be foolish.”

    Oh YEAH, right AFTER you made a few rather baseless speculations of your own on who was more “undisciplined”.

    “This is about a young, undisciplined team (Georgetown) playing a game of basketball against another young, even more undisciplined team (Bayi).” (BTW, Bayi is not a college league team, its roster includes Wang Zhizhi, who is 32 years old. http://www.asia-basket.com/team.asp?Cntry=China&Team=2475&Page=1)

    That’s called “talking out of both ends of yourself”, in your own “context”.

  31. August 25th, 2011 at 08:30 | #31

    raventhorn2000 :
    @C. Custer
    “I already said in my first comment that I find the China vs. US arguments and looking at the game that way to be foolish.”
    Oh YEAH, right AFTER you made a few rather baseless speculations of your own on who was more “undisciplined”.
    “This is about a young, undisciplined team (Georgetown) playing a game of basketball against another young, even more undisciplined team (Bayi).” (BTW, Bayi is not a college league team, its roster includes Wang Zhizhi, who is 32 years old. http://www.asia-basket.com/team.asp?Cntry=China&Team=2475&Page=1)
    That’s called “talking out of both ends of yourself”, in your own “context”.

    OK, fine, Bayi is an old undisciplined team, so they have no excuse for acting like a bunch of thugs. You happy? Was trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, but OK, since you want to make a case out of it, fine. Bayi is old, should be disciplined, and should know better. ….good point, though I don’t see how it supports your argument at all.

  32. August 25th, 2011 at 08:45 | #32

    “though I don’t see how it supports your argument at all.”

    Just that you were talking out of both ends of yourself, AND making yet ANOTHER baseless “speculation”.

  33. August 25th, 2011 at 09:04 | #33

    raventhorn2000 :
    “though I don’t see how it supports your argument at all.”
    Just that you were talking out of both ends of yourself, AND making yet ANOTHER baseless “speculation”.

    It was more of an assumption than a speculation, but sure, yup, I was wrong about that. Unlike some people, I have no real problem admitting that! 😉

  34. August 25th, 2011 at 09:11 | #34

    @C. Custer

    you have no real problem keep talking out of both ends of yourself, WHILE admitting doing so. 🙂

  35. August 25th, 2011 at 09:40 | #35

    raventhorn2000 :
    @C. Custer
    you have no real problem keep talking out of both ends of yourself, WHILE admitting doing so.

    How clever of you 🙂

  36. August 25th, 2011 at 10:00 | #36

    @C. Custer

    “How clever of you”

    Are you inferring that I’m NOT??!! Care to “expand” on that personal statement?!! 🙂

  37. August 25th, 2011 at 18:59 | #37

    raventhorn2000 :
    @C. Custer
    “How clever of you”
    Are you inferring that I’m NOT??!! Care to “expand” on that personal statement?!!

    Am I “inferring” that you’re not? No. I’m implying that you’re not.

    Seriously dude, you need to pick up a dictionary. Especially if you’re actually a lawyer, as you’re claiming in the other thread. I imagine that sort of distinction would be pretty important.

  38. raventhorn2000
    August 26th, 2011 at 06:09 | #38

    “Am I “inferring” that you’re not? No. I’m implying that you’re not.

    Seriously dude, you need to pick up a dictionary. Especially if you’re actually a lawyer, as you’re claiming in the other thread. I imagine that sort of distinction would be pretty important.”

    Right back at you. I was obviously asking a question. It was obviously up to you to clarify the “distinction” in the answer. If I knew what you were intending to do, “inferring” or “implying”, I wouldn’t be ASKING, would I?!

    Do you even understand the significance of the QUESTION MARK??

  39. raventhorn2000
    August 26th, 2011 at 06:13 | #39

    “This is about a young, undisciplined team (Georgetown) playing a game of basketball against another young, even more undisciplined team (Bayi).”

    BTW, this was clearly a “intentional spreading of lies” by Custer, according to his own logic, that an erroneous statement made without researching publicly and readily available information.

    and he has admitted to the error in that statement, and I have shown the information was clearly publicly available and can be easily obtained by simple search.

    🙂

    I guess we can go back and look at other “lies” admitted by Custer now.

    Give him enough rope, and he hangs himself with his own logic.

    LOL!

  40. xian
    September 8th, 2011 at 21:31 | #40

    I’ve always found American bball to be more tolerant of fouls, a lot of the stuff that would be fouls in other countries often passes in the NBA without a whistle. Still though, fighting over it IS unprofessional conduct no matter who started the fight

  41. melektaus
    September 15th, 2011 at 16:57 | #41

    Do you know what the most important fact that the US media conveniently left out was? The video showing clearly that the brawl was precipitated when a Hoya’s player threw a sucker punch at a Chinese player. You’d think that was the most relevant fact regarding dispensing blame but you will hardly see that video.

    http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/georgetown-basketball-team-brawls-china-14337130

    What’s also relevant is the perspectives from the Chinese players/coaches. One of the players for China said after the game that the Hoyas were intentionally trying to hurt the Chinese team with hard fouls and giving them and the audience the middle finger. You’d never see this side of the story; only the side of the US coaches and players and those that are on the US’s side.

  42. September 15th, 2011 at 21:20 | #42

    @melektaus
    You are right, I just noticed the sucker punch by the Hoya’s player. Thanks for sharing the bit about what the Chinese player said.

    By the way, do you know if the game video is somewhere? I’ve looked for it a while back, but haven’t found it.

  43. melektaus
    September 16th, 2011 at 14:42 | #43

    @YinYang

    I’m not sure but I think I saw youtube videos of the whole or partial game. I’m not sure they are good videos because I didn’t see them through but I think someone posted them.

  44. mike
    November 2nd, 2011 at 16:34 | #44

    The recent storming of the field from Minnesota after they beat Iowa last weekend gas brought this issue up at Big Ten schools as well. Some media are saying it’s poor form by the Gophers to rush the field while others are saying it’s an important rivalry win for a rebuilding program. There’s been a good debate at TC Huddle. I found your article searching for more opinions on the issue.

    Thought you might want to check it out. It’s enjoyable if nothing else: http://www.tchuddle.com/2011/10/the-importance-of-the-iowa-win/

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