By sportswriters Lin Deren and Zhang Yifei
SHENYANG, July 16 (Xinhua) — It was a surprise for Liaoning fans when the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) club announced head coach Guo Shiqiang’s resignation two weeks ago – and it was also a surprise for Guo himself.
“Actually I wasn’t prepared for this, but I understand and respect the club’s decision,” Guo told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.
Guo, 45, who brought the first CBA title to Liaoning in 2018, was considered as an important figure in the province’s basketball history. He stepped up as Liaoning’s head coach in 2013, and led his team to three CBA finals in four seasons between 2015 and 2019.
Liaoning ranked third in the 2019/20 CBA season standings before the league resumed in June. However, the title favorite lost three games out of four since the restart, which led to Guo’s resignation.
“As a professional coach, I accept the decision. There are always some disputes between coaches and clubs,” Guo added.
Guo spent the last two weeks with his family, driving his daughter to school every morning and picking her up in the afternoon, also using his extra free time to dye his hair.
“I feel quite good,” he said.
Winning the 2018 CBA title is one of the highlights in Guo’s coaching career, but he believes Liaoning’s basketball tradition formed the basis of this success.
“I am only one coach in a long history of Liaoning basketball. Many, many coaches have made their contributions and the CBA championship is the result of that,” Guo said.
Guo has a successful career as a player. As a point guard, he was a member of China’s national team at the 2004 Olympics, where the team made it to the quarterfinals.
Guo became a head coach at the age of 30. He was appointed as the Chinese national team’s head coach in 2009, but was fired after losing the Asian Championships final to Iran on home court.
“Each part of coaching experience is a treasure for me,” said Guo. “I don’t regret the mistakes I made and the losses I suffered, because they helped me grow to be a better coach.”
Guo says he won’t give up coaching and is still keeping an eye on his former team’s performance.
“I spent almost my whole career with Liaoning basketball. I have a passion for the sport, so I will continue my coaching career,” he said. Enditem