Episode number (sexy and) 17 of the Taking the Charge podcast series is now online. Admittedly, BallinEurope and heinnews deviate a bit from the Continental hoops with this show’s emphasis on Asia. However, our return interview with Jon Pastuszek of China-based NiuBball is certain to be of interest to any fan worth his/her salt. Get the lowdown on the progress of a number of notables playing in or coming from the big country, including:

Tracy McGrady, he who wanted to increase the potency of his brand with the Qingdao Eagles;

• Now three-year CBA veteran Stephon Marbury;

Gilbert “Agent Zero” Arenas (and yeah, BiE’s still using that moniker under the believe that, when one prolifigates one’s own nickname, one is stuck with it forever);

Quincy Douby, formerly of Rutgers, the Sacramento Kings and UCAM Murcia, who recently set the CBA record with 75 points in a single game;

Charles Gaines, who contributed a 60-point, 29-rebound performance for the opposition in Douby’s record effort;

Marcus Williams, suspended in questionable circumstances for marijuana use;

Garret Siler, guest on an earlier “Taking the Charge” podcast, and quite possibly the hugest dude in the league;

• Oak Hill Academy’s Chris Tang, whom a Grantland piece in December inevitably compared to Jeremy Lin; and

• one-legged pro baller Qu Shitao (no, really).

All this and the story of Boss Wang…

Also guesting on the ‘cast is Ed Odeven of the Japan Times who gives us a glimpse into the wackiness of pro basketball down there. (In short, Japan once again proves to be a while other planet, basically.)

Finally, there’s a review of one of the most outrageous sport-related films in recent memory, Shaolin Soccer/Football. This Hong Kong production is one awesome combination of post-Bruce Lee martial arts flick, underdog-starring sports movie and The Matrix.

The entire podcast can be downloaded here. Thanks for listening and talk to you next week!

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