You make any money this weekend?
Kobe Bryant did. So did Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose and the rest of the NBA players who went to the Philippines for a couple of exhibition games over the weekend where they beat some local teams.
In a story about players being serious looking overseas, Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated dropped this knowledge.
Star-studded exhibition games like the two taking place in the Philippines this weekend are proving to be quite profitable as well, with one source with knowledge of the deals saying the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Chicago’s Derrick Rose are being paid more than $400,000 apiece for their weekend of work (reminder: tax-free).
Nice off-season payday.
The point of leaking this to Amick — as well as players flirting with European teams — is to put pressure on the owners at the negotiating table. To show the owners that the players are not just going to buckle in these negotiations when the first paycheck is missed. That they are in for a fight.
By the way, the players wouldn’t miss their first paycheck until Nov. 15. By then games would already be missed, fans already would have been screwed and the league will have already killed the momentum it gained last year. And if either side thinks that it will take three to five years to get back that momentum (so the price would be worth it), they should go take a real hard look at the national economy. A lockout like this during a recession, one that costs games, will play a lot worse and be felt a lot longer than previous strikes.
If you want to see NBA players on the court, you need to head to the Philippines.
There may be a lockout stateside killing even Summer League but a couple big exhibition games have gotten approval in Manilla and will feature Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, and other NBA stars, according to the Philippines Star newspaper (via SLAM). There was a press conference announcing the event for July 23-24, two games.
In addition to Kobe and CP3, there will be Tyreke Evans, James Harden, DeAndre Jordan and Derrick Williams, the recent No. 2 pick overall of the Minnesota Timberwolves. And others may be added to the list. .
“It could be one more MVP and one more Rookie of the Year,” said (Philippines coach Chot) Reyes, hinting they might also get the nod of reigning MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls and former ROY awardee and two-time scoring champion Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma Thunder.
Kobe will be a player coach for the NBA stars, who will face off against players from the Philippines professional league.
This is just a couple games, there are still plans for a barnstorming tour of China in the fall if the NBA lockout drags on.
While the talks have been of a barnstorming tour of China, there may be another in the Far East first.
Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant will be part of an exhibition game in the Philippines, according to the sports web site of TV5 in the island nation (via SLAM).
The three stars will be part of a selection that will play a pair of charity exhibition games against SMART-Gilas Philippines national team and an all-star squad from the Philippine Basketball Association. Proceeds of the games will go to the MVP Sports Foundation, whose goal is to uplift Philippine sports and to develop Filipino athletes.
The dates of the games have not been announced, but they would take place in Manila.
Kobe is currently in the Philippines as part of two-day stop over to do some clinics for youth and promote his shoe brand. This is the start of his annual tour of Asia, where he is the most popular NBA athlete. (Remember at the Beijing Olympics how LeBron was amazed at the level of attention Kobe got in comparison to him?).
Looks like if the lockout drags on there could be a second Kobe tour of Asia, and this time he’ll have some friends in tow.