Player diary: Rudy Gay on the Great Wall of China, Kevin Garnett and more
After wrapping up our time in Shanghai, we made our way to Beijing for the second stop of our Global Games tour. The two cities are totally different. To be honest, Beijing is a lot cooler.
The whole Kings organization went to the Great Wall of China earlier this week which was an awesome experience. It was great for team bonding and we took a lot of pictures and had fun. One of the big things to do at the Great Wall is to ride down the mountains in toboggans. Some of my teammates were brave enough—but not me. I'm afraid of heights. Anything that involves going fast or getting up really high is not my thing.
Other than a few little trips, we've been focusing almost entirely on basketball. We lost to the Nets in our game in Shanghai, but we definitely made some strides. The atmosphere felt like an away game. Fans over here absolutely love Kevin Garnett, they go crazy for him. But they also pretty much cheer everyone, from the starters to the last players on the bench. They definitely know the game and appreciate us being over here. You can't walk the streets without causing a frenzy.
The only Chinese I know is "Ni hao," which means "hello." As you can guess, that doesn't get me very far.
We're trying to finish our trip strong and return to the States a better team. It's great that we're able to travel overseas and still face fellow NBA teams. It's the best way to prepare for the season.
I'm going into my second season with the Kings and I'm so happy to be here from the start. Last season I was traded to Sacramento midseason and it was tough to pick things up while getting adjusted to new teammates. This year, it feels like a huge relief just not being rushed into things and having that familiarity.
Some people ask me if traveling to China is a distraction during the preseason and if it makes getting ready for the season to be harder. But to be honest, it's never easy getting ready for the season. It's tough no matter what.