Today in Sports History: February 27

Mengke Bateer became the second player from the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA)to join the NBA in 2003. Bateer played for the CBA’s Beijing Ducks from 1997 to 2002 before he joined the Denver Nuggets as an undrafted player. Bateer was the first undrafted Chinese player in league history. Wang Zhizhi, who was the first CBA player to join the NBA, joined the Dallas Mavericks in the 1999 NBA draft. During his NBA debut, Bateer recorded three rebounds in 14 minutes during a110-93 loss to the Golden State Warriors. He was a member of the San Antonio Spurs during the team’s 2003 championship season and is the first former CBA player to win a championship ring. Bateer played one season each with the Detroit Pistons, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Toronto Raptors before returning to the CBA’s Beijing Ducks in 2005. He was voted the CBA MVP four times and the Beijing Ducks retired his no. 9 jersey.

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