Stephon Marbury, China business mogul


Thumbnail image for marbury_china.jpgStephon Marbury — captain of industry.

That may be the sentence I least expected to write in this lifetime, but there you have it.

When Marbury re-signed with Shanxi Zhongyu in China for three years this summer, the deal came with a very interesting component — the team’s ownership agreed to create a company to produce Starbury brand products, plus open three retail locations to sell said products. Starbury is know for producing much more affordable shoes than the top of the line models, with prices ranging from $14.99 up to $49.00

The Wall Street Journal thinks the Marbury contract could become a model.

The pending deal, if it goes through, would introduce a new way for Chinese teams to woo top talent from other countries to the Chinese Basketball Association, which caps salaries for foreign players at less than $60,000 a month–far below the many millions high-profile National Basketball Association players make in the U.S. each year…

“Working on a market that is so huge and so phenomenal … could be unbelievable,” Mr. Marbury said. There’s “real movement in China,” he said.

The athletic shoe market in China could reach $6 billion. That is why Kobe Bryant is over there every summer and has a charitable foundation just for China. It is why Kevin Garnett went there a few weeks back. It’s why LeBron James needs a title or two to boost his image there.

But Marbury may have outfoxed them all.

Gordon Hayward goes behind Jordan Clarkson’s back with dribble

Gordon Hayward, Nick Young
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Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.

First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.

Three quick takeaways here:

1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.

2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.

3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.

(Hat tip reddit)

Could Tristan Thompson’s holdout last months? Windhorst says yes.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
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VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”

That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.

Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:

“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”

Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.

And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.