Chinese basketball player Sun Yue has often been called the “Chinese Magic Johnson” because, uh, well, I guess because he’s tall and is good at basketball. But Yue, who recently signed with the Lakers, is squashing that name and bringing his own to the table: Monkey King.
Oddly, Sun’s reason for rejecting the “Magic” moniker is not because he feels that he can’t live up to the name — it’s because he’s specifically not going to pattern his game after the Laker great. The Monkey King imitates no one.
Sun averaged just 6.8 points and 2.5 assists during the Beijing Olympics, and looked completely lost during a blowout loss to the U.S., but if he keeps delivering quotes like this, I think he’ll do OK over here:
From the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER:
“Monkey King” is a legendary simian hero of the Chinese Buddhist literary classic “Journey to the West.”
“If they want to name me after the fighting Buddhist master then I guess that will make me a bit more literary,” Sun said “For the fans to already have these kinds of plans (to name me Monkey King) is really great support for me.”
Finally, Luke Walton will have someone to hang out with who really understands him.
Sun gives us another curious quote in the story:
“He [Magic] was a great player, and he has everything you could ask for in a coach…”
Wait, does this guy even know that Magic isn’t going to be his coach?
Luckily, Sun will get more of an opportunity to become familiar with Johnson when “The Magic Hour” finally premieres in China this fall.