With CBA's 25th season getting underway tonight, the league's 20 teams hope an off-season change will help bring more fans through the turnstiles. As basketball fans, what can we expect from CBA's 25th season?
First is the reform. In his first two and a half years as CBA President, Yao Ming has been reforming both the Chinese national squad and the country's top domestic hoops league. He has the vision of both entities complementing each other, rising in the basketball world together, and giving supporters a number of reasons to keep tuning in.
Second is the change. The league's star additions include Beijing Ducks guard Jeremy Lin, and Liaoning Flying Leopards forward Lance Stephenson, while Stephon Marbury has big plans - and strong backing - as he begins his coaching career with the rechristened Beikong Royal Fighters.
The quarter-century campaign tips off tonight, with defending champions Guangdong Southern Tigers hosting Liaoning, while Saturday's schedule is highlighted by Stephon Marbury's debut on the sideline, when the Royal Fighters welcome the made-over Shenzhen Aviators before Sunday's focus turns to the refurbished Tianjin Pioneers entertaining the Ducks. Which team will finally lift the trophy in next year's May? Let's wait and see.