Mengke Bateer

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Mengke Bateer
Personal information
Born (1975-11-20) November 20, 1975 (age 40)
Hanggin Banner, Inner Mongolia, China
Nationality Chinese
Listed height 6 ft 10 34 in (2.10 m)
Listed weight 290 lb (132 kg)
Career information
Playing career 1997–present
Position Center
Career history
1997–2002 Beijing Ducks (China)
2002 Denver Nuggets
2002–2003 San Antonio Spurs
2003–2004 Toronto Raptors
2004–2005 Huntsville Flight (D-League)
2005–2007 Beijing Ducks (China)
2007–2013 Xinjiang Flying Tigers (China)
2014 Shaanxi Weinan Xingda (China)
Career highlights and awards
Mengke Bateer
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 安克明·孟克巴特爾
Simplified Chinese 安克明·孟克巴特尔
Mongolian name
Mongolian Cyrillic Мөнх Баатар
Mongolian script ᠮᠥᠩᠬᠡᠪᠠᠭᠠᠲᠤᠷ

Mengke Bateer or Menk Batere (born November 20, 1975), commonly referred to simply as Bateer, is a Chinese professional basketball player, formerly in the NBA. He currently plays center for Xinjiang Guanghui.

Bateer is an ethnic minority from China's Inner Mongolia region. Like many other ethnic Mongols, he does not have a family name, and his full name is a composition of two words: Mönkh (Eternal) and Baatar (Hero). In China, he is only referred to as "Ba Te Er" in the country's tradition. In China, Bateer is sometimes affectionately called "Da Ba" (大巴).[1]

At 210 cm and 132 kg,[2] Bateer is a strong center who is an accomplished screen-setter and passer (having dished out 6 assists in one NBA game, on March 30, 2002, against the Chicago Bulls), though he is severely hindered by his lack of speed.

As of 2012, Bateer holds two notable distinctions. He is the only Chinese basketballer to have played in the NBA without being selected in any NBA draft. He is also the first Chinese basketballer, and one of only two, to have been on an NBA championship-winning roster, having been a part of the San Antonio Spurs when they won the NBA championship in 2003. The only other Chinese basketballer to have accomplished this is Sun Yue, who was a part of the Los Angeles Lakers roster that won the NBA championship in 2009. Both Bateer and Sun Yue would end up being a part of the 2014 CBA Finals champion team, which made them both be the only winners of both the NBA Finals and CBA Finals' championships.

Basketball career[edit]

As a member of the Beijing Ducks, Bateer made his debut for China's basketball team in the 1994 Asian Games, aged 19. Three years later, although a regular fixture, he was cut from the team after "disciplinary problems". A filial son, Bateer had several times in his career attempted to voluntarily leave his teams to be back in his hometown with his family.

In 1999, while training with the national team, Bateer was invited to play in a pre-draft tournament held in Phoenix, where he suffered from jet lag and did not impress. He also made a short appearance in another pre-draft venue, in Treviso, Italy.

In October 2001, Bateer joined the Denver Nuggets in the side's preseason training camp. He was cut after 2 preseason games, but in April, already deep into the season, he would join the team again, as the Nuggets were in desperate need of a big man after trading Raef LaFrentz.

Bateer played the remaining 25 games, averaging 5.5 points while battling foul problems. Because of the shortage of the big men on the Nuggets, he ended up starting 10 out of those games, and became the first Chinese player to ever start an NBA game, as the first to join the competition, Wang Zhizhi, never started while with the Dallas Mavericks.

In the summer of 2002, Bateer was traded to the Detroit Pistons with Don Reid, for Rodney White and a future first-round pick. However, after an impressive showing against Team USA in the 2002 World Championships in Indianapolis, where he scored 19 (also leading China in scoring 5 out of 7 games in the tournament), for a team that already included recently drafted Yao Ming, American assistant coach Gregg Popovich, of the San Antonio Spurs, decided to take a chance at Bateer and dealt for him for a second-round pick. Internationally, the trio of 7'1" Wang Zhizhi, 7' 6" Yao Ming and Bateer were known as the "Walking Great Wall".

Although playing occasionally, Bateer was a member of the Spurs' 2002–03 championship team. The following season, he signed as a free agent with the Toronto Raptors. He was later traded by the Raptors to the Orlando Magic who would waive him just 3 days later. In October 2004, the New York Knicks signed Bateer as a training camp invite. He was waived prior to the start of the 2004-05 NBA season.

After being waived by the Knicks, Bateer played for the Huntsville Flight of the National Basketball Development League for a while. He rejoined the Ducks, in the Chinese Basketball Association, in mid-February 2005, a couple of weeks before the end of the 2004–05 regular season, also being named MVP of the 2005 All-Star Game.

After carrying the Ducks team to a then-franchise-best CBA North Division title while averaging 25 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists, Bateer failed to receive the season's MVP due to a rule forbidding suspended players from any awards (in mid-season, he received the heaviest fine in the competition's history for arguing with a referee and sat out two games as a result). Bateer played for the team until the end of 2006–07, being traded to fellow league team Xinjiang Guanghui.

After that Bateer, was also a member of the 2014 CBA Champions on the Beijing Ducks

Bateer has ventured into acting in recent years.


Year English Title Original Title Role Notes
2005 The Blue Xanadu 蔚藍色的杭蓋 Yela
2009 Bodyguards and Assassins 十月圍城 Wang Fuming
2010 Here Comes Fortune 財神到 Gong hitter cameo


External links[edit]