UPDATE: Paul Pierce says the report is not true
Wait, Michael Beasley has asthma? But doesn’t he … never mind. On to the point. People born in the 1920s probably think it seems strange to have smoking banned in indoor arenas and sporting venues across America. While sporting events are a safer place because of it, many of them are accustomed to seeing Red Auerbach puffing on a cigar during Celtics games. It sounds like Red’s tradition lives on in China.
As you all know, some of the NBA players have been balling over in China during the lockout. During the International Basketball Cup, an eight-team tournament, Beasley and Paul Pierce both suffered asthma attacks as a result of the smoke that regularly fills the stadium in Shuangyashan, Heilongjiang province. Both were forced to sit out a game (although Beasley also has an injured wrist). Here’s the translation that NiuBBall.com gathered from a Chinese news site.
“While playing in Shuangyashan, Heilongjiang province… Pierce and Beasley both suffered asthma attacks due to large amounts of fans smoking cigarettes inside the stadium. After the game, things got even more shocking when Beasley fell to the floor in his hotel and started to roll around in obvious pain, scaring everyone around half-to-death. At that point, there was no choice but to dial 120 (the number for an ambulance in China) and take him to the hospital.”
As Deadspin pointed out, Beasley’s reaction may have had more to do with the wrist injury. Still, it is strange to see smoking allowed at indoor stadiums with what we’re used to in America. I’m not saying it’s a better way to do things or a safer way – actually, yes I am. It is.