Sunny Wu of MSNBC went to a Beijing Park where people were playing half-court pickup basketball (to five, without checking the call, all for the purposes of being fast and getting more people on the crowded courts). After negotiating some security people and government minders, Wu was allowed to talk to some pickup players.
I approached Zhao Lei, who was wearing a Team USA T-shirt and waiting on the sidelines for the next game.
"Who are you rooting for on Sunday?" I asked.
"The U.S.," the 28 year old said without hesitation.
"The players," he said. "The U.S. has LeBron James, Kobe ... China just has Yao Ming."
There were other players who were rooting for Team USA, each giving the same explanation. They loved LeBron or Kobe or Jason Kidd. Somewhere, NBA commissioner David Stern is smiling.