But let's go to the videos! It happens that there is a test case available: the millions of actual Asian people who play basketball -- it's very popular throughout the region -- and the thousands who have played in professional or semi-pro leagues in China itself. These are real living-in-Asia Asians, without the diluting effect the immigrant experience might have brought to their "philosophical heritage." Overall do they play ball in a way the sociologists might predict?
Unt-uh. Here's one video, of the Dongguan Leopards playing at Shanxi Zhongyu, in a Chinese league. This features Stephon Marbury playing for Shanxi, one of a steady trickle of NBA stars who extend their careers with a contract in China. The first minute or so is the local equivalent of dancing Laker-girls. Some of the rest features crowd agitation, yelling at refs, general tumult, and some basketball. Virtually none of it fits with treatises on Asian "philosophical heritage" -- even though nearly every person you see on screen (apart from Marbury and a few other foreign players) is theoretically part of this tradition.
Here's the video from a couple years back:
Fallows then found himself in an email spat with the Hidden Harmonies blog's melektaus, who -- I think it's safe to say -- isn't a fan.