China is basketball mad.
It’s one billion denizens are avid and ferocious watchers of both their domestic league and the NBA, often having as much knowledge about the US domestic game as any naturalized American citizen.
The following is particularly enthusiastic on the Internet, where certain members of the Chinese online basketball community have taken it upon themselves to give players with Western names new and improved Chinese nicknames.
According to Nick Kapur, from whose Twitter thread exploring this subject more you can find here, “this is due to the official source using boring phonetic transcriptions, failing to take advantage of Chinese characters having both sound and meaning.”
As you will see below, some of these names are truly spectacular (names with Nic’s explanations added where possible):
h/t Nick Kapur