Image of Adam Silver

Did Adam Silver Really Tell Kyrie Irving To Get Ready To Learn Chinese? Basketball Meme Explained

"Get ready to learn Chinese, buddy." The viral image macro of the NBA commissioner Adam Silver captioned with the misquote has been popping up on sports Twitter whenever a basketball player performs poorly. Why are fans telling players to learn Chinese, and what does Adam Silver has to do with it? Learn everything about the meme in our brief explainer.


What Does 'Get Ready to Learn Chinese, Buddy' Mean?

The phrase "Get ready to learn Chinese, buddy" means that a player's performance has not been top-tier (or they fell out of favor for another reason) and that they do not deserve to play in the NBA; instead, they should take their talents to a lower-tier league, namely China's CBA. Therefore the player is advised to learn Chinese, implying that they will be playing with Chinese teammates very soon.

Where Does "Get Ready to Learn Chinese, Buddy" Come From?

The phrase originated in early November 2022 in the wake of NBA player Kyrie Irving's antisemitism controversy. On November 8th, 2022, parody Twitter account Real NBA Quotez (@realnbaquotxz) tweeted a fake Bleachers Report macro featuring NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and attributing the fake quote to him.

RnQ Real NBA Quotez @realnbaquotxz Adam Silver and Kyrie Irving met Tuesday morning and words were thrown, Silver reportedly said this to Kyrie B-R CATE GET READY TO LEARN CHINESE BUDDY. ADAM SILVER TO KYRIE IRVING 5:17 PM Nov 8, 2022

"Get ready to learn Chinese buddy."
- Adam Silver to Kyrie Irving

"Get Ready to Learn Chinese" Usage Online

After the original tweet went viral, basketball fans quickly adopted the macro to dunk on poorly-performing players. Stats falling below expected? Get ready to learn Chinese. Unsportsmanlike conduct? Get ready to learn Chinese. Controversial remarks? You guessed it.

Bleacher Report @Bleacher Report - Dec 1, 2022 BR The Lakers are releasing Matt Ryan, per @ShamsCharania 882 t 1,566 LAKERS 37 1:20 AM - Dec 1, 2022 20.8K str melly @mellystr Replying to @Bleacher Report and @ShamsCharania ılı ↑ B-R TR208 GET READY TO LEARN CHINESE BUDDY.

And it's not just Twitter. The macro has also been spotted on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook, used to remind players that they need to step it up lest they want to broaden their lexical horizons.

Did Adam Silver Say 'Get Ready to Learn Chinese, Buddy?'

No, Adam Silver did not actually say "get ready to learn Chinese, buddy" to Kyrie Irving. The quote was entirely made up by parody Twitter account @realnbaquotz, who posted it shortly after Irving's antisemitic controversy.

For the full history of Get Ready to Learn Chinese, Buddy be sure to check out our entry for more information.

Comments (1)

Display Comments

Additional comments have been disabled.

O HAI! You must login or signup first!