The Chinese men's national basketball team apologized today for its most recent on-court brawl, in a designated "friendly" match against Brazil on Tuesday. Players and coaches blame it on bad calls — all within the first sixty-six seconds of play.
China hosted Brazil in Xuchang, in the Henan Province, to prepare for next month's Asian Games. Head coach Bob Donewald, Jr. (a former NBA assistant with both the Hornets and the Cavs) picked up two technical fouls very, very early on for some impressive F-bomb tirades against the refs. Apparently inspired, a Chinese player hip-checked a Brazilian player to the ground, the benches cleared out, and the Chinese team collectively sucker-punched their opponents as Brazil attempted to escape to the locker room. All this 1:06 into the game. One of the Brazilian players is now in a neck brace.
The Chinese national team has previously pushed and shoved with Puerto Rico, in 2005, and Lebanon, in 2001 — although the karate kick here might be a first. And there was that time that fans rioted because a player was too tall.
The CBA is investigating the incident, but announced today that the entire team is suspended indefinitely and that some players will be penalized. They'll also have to complete "classes on good sportsmanship." Oh, good. That always worked in high school, right?
[Daily Mail has more photos; H/T Tom]