ESPN.com’s J.A. Adande has the story:
Wilson Chandler said he has signed a contract with the Zhejiang Guangsha of the Chinese Basketball Association, a move that would essentially preclude him from participating in the 2011-12 NBA season if the lockout ends and the games begin.
The Chinese Basketball Association will not allow players with existing contracts to sign with its teams, so playing in China is only an option for free agents such as Chandler, a restricted free agent who finished the 2010-11 season with the Denver Nuggets.
In addition, the CBA will not allow escape clauses that would allow players to leave the Chinese league in the event the NBA resumes operations. So Chandler would not be a part of the NBA if the season begins on time or even with an abbreviated schedule starting in January or February.
“Maybe I’ll lose out,” Chandler said. “But I think it can be a great experience. I haven’t been in any [labor negotiation] meetings. I can’t call it. I’m just taking a risk, at the end of the day.”
Chandler, who averaged over 15 points per game last season but had a horrible playoffs, is one of the first NBA players to effectively give up hope of playing in the NBA due to the possibility of a lockout. Time will tell if Chandler’s move pays off or not, but this could provide some insight as to how pessimistic some players are about the current state of the CBA negotiations.
Like Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, who we talked about earlier today, Warriors guard Stephen Curry is also making the best of a bad situation and taking college courses while the lockout rages on. CBS’ Matt Norlander has the story:
Curry is arguably making more out of the NBA lockout than any other player. And perhaps no other program is benefiting from the pros’ work stoppage like Davidson. That’s because Curry is taking advantage of an opportunity and fulfilling a promise at the same time. Upon leaving early from Davidson to enter the NBA Draft in 2009, he swore to his parents and his coach, Bob McKillop, that he would earn his degree as soon as possible.
“He’s walking the walk,” McKillop said. “Our culture in college athletics is going through a few hits right now, but here’s a great story.”
The newly married Curry’s days now consist of rehabbing his ankle, grabbing some Chick-Fil-A, working out, going to class, spending time with his wife, and helping out the Davidson basketball team whenever he can.
Curry is one of the NBA’s most talented and dynamic scorers, as well as one of its true class acts. There haven’t been many feel-good stories coming out of the lockout, but Curry using his time away from pro basketball to go back to college and get his degree is certainly one.
Earlier today, comedian Joe Mande made a Tumblr post (which was also posted on The Basketball Jones) that pogether a compilation of all of the pictures Magic guard Gilbert Arenas has used as his Twitter profile picture, (warning: the pictures contain adult sentiments and content and are likely NSFW) and called Arenas a “lunatic.”
Arenas did not take kindly to Mande’s post, and has been tweeting responses to the comedian all day. Here are a few samples:
so i was write that the no talented joe mande wrote it…
…instead of talking about my twitter u should be steal my material it will help u in that thing u call a standup..
…to be honest the funnest thing u said in the article was ur were a comedian..i was on the floor laughn at that part “KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK”…
…thats a comics dream to do what i did on twitter day n and day out keep them entertained”take notes” joe never get in a fight with a…
Say what you will about Arenas, either on or off the court, but he certainly has been keeping things interesting during the lockout.
Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated has an article up on Nuggets rookie Jordan Hamilton, who is eager for the lockout to end so that he can begin rehabilitating his image, which may have caused him to drop out of the lottery and fall to the 26th spot in the draft:
For Jordan Hamilton, the former Texas swingman who slid to the 26th spot in the June draft after being projected as a lottery pick and landed in Denver after being traded by Dallas, the delay to his pro career is a nuisance for another reason: It’s putting his image makeover on hold.
According to the article, Hamilton is eager to meet head coach George Karl and GM Masai Ujiri that he’s extremely coachable and willing to work hard, and that the things he supposedly said about Texas coach Rick Barnes were taken out of context.
Hamilton is a great scorer who had lottery talent, but dropped to the late 20s because of some bad body language, some bad shot selection, and what may have been no more than a misunderstanding surrounding what Hamilton did or didn’t say about Rick Barnes. If Hamilton’s poor image really is nothing more than a media creation, the Nuggets may well have gotten one of the biggest steals of the draft — but they won’t find out until the lockout ends and they actually get to meet him.
According to Scott Sargent of Waiting For Next Year, the Cavaliers’ top two picks have chosen to stay on their respective college campuses for now rather than go overseas in search of a payday. Here’s the story:
“Just picked out my classes for this fall,” tweeted one Kyrie Irving, first overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. “Back to school it is!!!”
Such is the life for a rookie in a league that has ceased operation. Irving, who’s father insists that a one-and-done career path was not in the cards one year earlier, will go back to Duke University and take coursework like many other 19-year-olds within the same institution. While others within Irving’s freshly acquired peer group are fielding offers from potential overseas employers, he and his teammate Tristan Thompson are opting to continue their education while they wait out the current impasse that is the NBA and their labor negotiations.
Irving was taken 1st overall by the Cavaliers, and Thompson was taken with the 4th overall pick. According to the article, Thompson is staying in classes in order to prepare for life after basketball, and Irving plans on being at Duke in the summers and being around the campus “as much as he can.”
It seems like this lockout would be tougher than the league’s rookies than anybody else, as they will almost certainly miss the pre-season work that is so critical to get before their first NBA games. Still, Irving and Thompson appear to be keeping their heads on their shoulders, and more schooling is almost never a bad thing in the long run.