| The Goodwill Games between the Georgetown Hoyas and various Chinese basketball teams went horribly awry last night when rioting broke out on the court between the Hoyas and Beijing's Bayi Rockets. Both punches and chairs were freely thrown, and the spectators got into the spirit of things by lobbing full water bottles. |
"That was crazy, and then it started getting scary when I realized the Chinese don't have plastic water bottles," said Center Henry Sims. "I gotta admit, that was the worst I've ever been fouled."
It might have been the worst, but it wasn't the only foul of the night. By halftime, there had been a total of 39 fouls called, with Georgetown being charged with 28 of them. "Maybe it's just me, but I think the Chinese referees might have been a little biased," said guard Jason Clark. "I don't know, I was charged with two different fouls for running into their player's fists. Maybe that's just Beijing rules, but it didn't seem fair to me."
Signs of trouble were everywhere. During the first half, Rocket forward Xu Zhonghao approached Hoyas coach John Thompson while he was giving his players instructions and started berating him.
"I couldn't believe that young whippersnapper," Thompson said after the game. "I've been berated by the best of them, but when you're insulted in Chinese, it seems to sound twice as harsh. And his coach was just standing there across the court snickering."
"I should have realized the potential for trouble when the center for the Rockets team said that they were going to stomp us," continued Thompson. "I guess I just wrote it off as Chinese trash talk. We had a little trouble earlier in the game, but then I really started getting worried when I saw the Rocket's coach piling up metal chairs out past the perimeter. That's a bad sign in almost any country."
The entire Hoyas organization ended up fleeing the stadium under a barrage of water bottles with the game tied and eight minutes to go. They were scheduled to play one final game in Shanghai, but Thompson was noncommittal. "I don't know," he mused, "I think I may be just about out of goodwill."
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