Shoutouts: Covering the Lakers in China, ‘League of Denial’
This week’s Shoutouts start with Kevin Ding, who is in China with the Los Angeles Lakers. You can check his archive to see all of his pieces from the weeklong preseason trip, but here are some highlights:
Togetherness Taking Hold as Los Angeles Lakers Travel to Great Wall of China: Ding chronicles how the team is using the China tour to build the kind of togetherness it was lacking in the Dwight Howard “era,” also known as last year.
Kobe Bryant Speaks out on Why Chinese Fans Worship Him as a Hero: With that headline, it’s hard to imagine this piece being anything other than an egotistical athlete talking about how great he is, but Bryant gives a fairly nuanced view of why he has connected so well with the people of China, which he’s visited regularly for years in his role as a sneaker baron. As a bonus, Ding offers sly “Footloose” lyrical references.
Kobe Bryant Not the Only Celebrity Causing Crowds to Swoon in Beijing: Of course Kobe isn’t the only star creating a stir. This is the Lakers. There’s Pau Gasol, Steve Nash—wait a minute. It turns out the crowds are swooning over … Kevin Ding! Because of the combination of Ding’s ethnicity—his parents immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan—and the popularity of the Lakers, a team he’s covered for 14 years, he has quite the following in China. Ding writes that he never believed it when Chinese media people told him that, but you can’t argue with video of him signing autographs for a crush of fans outside the Lakers team hotel.
Here are a few other Shoutouts in a week so busy I won’t even get to the suggestions from Bleacher Report’s Quality Editors. I’ll come back to those later.
A sampling of B/R’s coverage of the “League of Denial” documentary on PBS:
A video take on Who Will Win the BCS Championship: The SEC or Anyone Else? by The Program.
And finally, a fascinating look at the coming battle in the sneaker wars: Inside the Epic Race to Get Andrew Wiggins’ Sneaker Endorsement by Jared Zwerling.