How Do You Say ‘Lockout’ In Chinese?
David Stern may soon need to find out as it appears several of his leagues’ top players are thinking of going international.
With NBA team owners saying they want more of a share of the leagues $4 billion revenue, it seems basketball season is over- at least in the U.S.A. Now, many players are looking for profitable ways to use their downtime and are looking to play overseas, a move usually reserved for amateurs or players past their prime.
According to a report from The Los Angeles Times, Laker’s star Kobe Bryant is considering playing in an exhibition tour of China, where his jersey has been the number one seller for years back.
There are preliminary talks about a basketball tour to China this summer — and perhaps beyond — in which the Lakers superstar, who has called China a “home away from home” and has an enormous following there, would be the headliner with several other NBA stars forming two or three barnstorming teams.
Bryant and his agent Rob Pelinka are trying to put together the tour, said Minnesota Timberwolves rookie forward Derrick Williams, who also is represented by Pelinka.
Though many have questioned whether or not the players would legally be allowed to work elsewhere during the lockout, one of the names listed as a potential for touring China is none other that Kobe’s teammate, Laker Derek Fisher. Besides his dagger jump shot, Fisher is also know for his current role as president of the NBA players union.
According to Sporting News other NBA superstars could join in the China tour as well:
In a “China Basketball Tour” proposal summary obtained by SportsBusiness Journal, a sister publication of Sporting News, Wasserman in April began floating a plan to bring 15 to 20 of its NBA clients to China for a two- or three-week tournament if there is a work stoppage. The agency represents 45 NBA players, including this past season’s Most Valuable Player, Derrick Rose.
Still the Chinese are not exactly thrilled about the idea of American athletes using tapping into their market with no reward. Jon Pastuszek, blogger for the Chinese basketball blog NIUBBALL.com writes:
With potentially the biggest market in the world, China remains cautious at the idea of simply opening up the floodgates to foreign businesses who are solely concerned with their own profits. Thus, any ideas involving a “China Basketball Tour” or a “China Contingency League” must be viewed by the government as beneficial towards the development of Chinese basketball.
What do you think of Kobe and other possibly heading to China to tour- shrewd business sense or bad move? Weigh in Clutchettes and gents!