- AP News
- Abc News
Li Nan appointed head coach of merged Chinese men's basketball team
BEIJING, Sept. 27 -- Li Nan has been appointed head coach of the Chinese men's basketball team as its two squads, "Team Blue" and "Team Red" have merged into one.
As a part of the basketball reform initiated by Former NBA star Yao Ming, president of the Chinese Basketball Association, the Chinese national basketball team was split into Team Blue and Team Red in 2017 and coached by Du Feng and Li Nan respectively.
Li proved himself to be more capable during the one-year trial period, with Team Red winning the gold medal at the Jakarta Asian Games. His counterpart Du Feng will return to coach his former club Guangdong.
The Chinese Basketball Association made the decision after listening to the reports and plans of the two coaches. The Association reiterated that trophies were not the only criteria that mattered in deciding the new coach, as Yao Ming made clear when the plan was announced.
The merger aims to get the Chinese national team ready for the 2019 World Cup on home soil and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. New head coach Li Nan now faces the tough task of integrating two basketball teams that have not been playing together for a year.