The NBA’s cultural exchange of bringing basketball to China for Yuan brought back to the United States hit a wall.
Houston Rockets guard Bobby Brown expressed his appreciation for the Great Wall of China by giving the ancient structure his autograph. The backup point guard wrote “Bob #6” in chalk. He wears #8 for the Rockets. It’s his prerogative.
Calling the visit to the Great Wall a “bucket list” event, Brown appeared eager to take in the historic site and initially unaware that he had offended the locals.
Despite the rains promising to wash away his monument to himself on the monument, Brown received a deluge of criticism. The 32-year-old, looking to make the Rockets after ironically playing three years in China, rushed to apologize for the ugly-American offense:
We were out enjoying the Great Wall. I never been, it was my first time. I wrote my name on the wall in chalk. I saw different writings – I didn’t mean any harm by it. I made a mistake. I could have just put my hand over it and erased it. It will never happen again. I’ve been playing in China for three years now and I have the utmost respect for the Chinese culture, and the way of living here. I pretty much adapted, coming from the states, here for three years. My teammates, the fans in Shenzhen and the fans all over were great to me, and I just want to sincerely apologize for that.
Brown made up for his faux pas by leading the Rockets in scoring with 18 in a victory over the New Orleans Pelicans in Beijing on Wednesday. The undrafted journeyman player competed for four NBA teams in 2008 and 2009 before taking his talents abroad. His performance Wednesday helps his case to return to the world’s top league.
The NBA scheduled two exhibition games between Houston and New Orleans in the Middle Kingdom to promote their brand.
The Rockets, who swept the series, sought to make further inroads in the world’s most populous nation by posting items on its website in Chinese. Hopefully Brown’s mea culpa did not get lost in translation.