Real Talk on Alibaba, Bill Walton, Shanghai Disney, and Electric Cars in China

Nov 13 2017 | 1:25pm ET

Today we discuss the weekend kickoff to college basketball and the bullish sentiment from one of the world's most unusual Alibaba analysts.

Quotes of the Day

“Alibaba stock is at an all-time high right now.” 

That’s NBA Hall of Famer and ESPN’s Bill Walton, the world’s most distracted sports commentator.

On Friday night, UCLA played Georgia Tech in college basketball over in Shanghai.

It was a thrilling game.

But if you listened to it, you probably heard very little insight about basketball.

That's because Walton spent about 80 percent of his time rambling on about whatever tumbled through the lucid hallways of his mind.

Given that this game was played in Shanghai, the culture and economy of China took front and center to his thoughts.

At a critical point when UCLA began to pull away in the second half, Walton decided to start talking about Alibaba stock. 

It went on for a few possessions.

For three years, Alibaba has sponsored a game in China...

And this is the third year in a row that Bill Walton talked about Alibaba to the point that one must wonder if he is either a paid spokesman or a man who simply drank whatever was in the red Solo Cup on the way over. 

His most famous quote during a basketball game in China remains “Can you buy a jumper on Alibaba?” back in 2015.

But Walton had plenty other gems on Friday. 

They included:

"Hey, look. Everybody under 6'10'' looks exactly the same." 

"Shoot the ball every time you can.”

“The UCLA offense is flowing like the Yangtze River.”

“Both these teams are young.”

And, the highlight of the night… 

“I want to apologize right now on behalf of the human race for this travesty.”

With this quote, Walton was thanking China and Alibaba for hosting the game, and addressing the alleged theft by three UCLA players including LiAngelo Ball, the brother of NBA star Lonzo Ball.

The robbery reportedly happened last week in Shanghai and overshadowed the event.

And this statement came during the tipoff of the game.

But that’s not all Walton talked about on Friday.

He dedicated a few possessions to the Chinese electric car revolution…  and China’s carbon free future.

He had at least 15 call backs to his trip to Shanghai Disney, including his favorite visuals at the "Pirates of the Caribbean" attraction. (Remember, Disney owns ESPN, but this really didn’t seem like a plug.)

He offered a geography lesson about Senegal. 

He rambled about the wonders of the Google translation app (created by a “Conference of Champions” school called Stanford).

But things really got great in the last two minutes.

Georgia Tech was storming back from a big deficit. With UCLA up six, Bill Walton simply muttered, “Alibaba.

This was followed by 15 seconds of dead air.

Then, with 20 seconds left in the game, Walton kept chatting about the “Enchanted Castle” at Shanghai Disney and was interrupted by his broadcast partner, who had the gall to say to Walton, “Can I ask you a basketball question?

Walton snapped back, answered the question about foul strategy, and then proceeded to get confused between the difference of in-bound foul rules between the NCAA and NBA.

When confronted about his error, he immediately started talking about Shanghai Disney.

Yes, America, Bill Walton is bullish on China and "long Alibaba." 

Now, there are two camps of people in this world.

Those who like listening to Walton cover NCAA games, and those who absolutely can’t stand him.

We are in the first camp. 

The closest description to listening to him call games is having an Ambien-fueled dream where you are hunting and tracking your refrigerator through the forest.

Then, when you finally catch it, you shoot it down and cut it open to find a beer that tastes like Pixy Stix... and all the while, you're late for an exam. 

It is pure madness. 

Walton's commentary is the single greatest release from reality you will ever, ever experience from sports.

And because of that, no one else's quotes will be featured this Monday in the Daily Alpha. 

Alibaba stock is up 0.50% halfway through our trading session Monday.

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Garrett Baldwin is the voice of the The Daily Alpha, the features editor for Modern Trader magazine, and the author of The Man with The Big Red Balloon.

 


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