NBA players in China

While in China, ‘Melo and Chris Paul say they’d play there

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What else did you expect them to say?

Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul have been good soldiers for the NBA players union, officially keeping the door open to them playing overseas if the lockout drags on. Leverage baby! Even though for CP3 he’d be risking injury while on the cusp of a huge free agent payday in the NBA. But sure he’ll play overseas.

Anthony and Paul are on a Nike/Jordan brand promotional tour in China. Of course, they were asked if they would play overseas during the lockout. Of course they said yes. Of course they were asked where they would like to play.

What do you think they answered? ESPN has the video, if you need to see it.

“I love it, man, there’s a lot of history here,” Anthony said. “The fans are great. So why not? Why not try it out?”

Paul later said “Same, no question.”

So to recap: While in China standing in front of Chinese fans and asked to make a completely non-binding comment on if they would play in China should they decide to play overseas during the lockout, both said “why not.”

Take that with all the seriousness they intended it.

Players proposed barnstorming tour of China gains Kobe


We told you the other day how the Wasserman Media Group was proposing a barnstorming tour of China next fall by NBA players if the lockout is still dragging out.

The Los Angeles Times tells us Kobe Bryant’s agent Rob Pelinka is thinking the same thing — and that would give a tour real star power as Kobe is the biggest basketball name in China. Frankly, two barnstorming tours doesn’t make a lot of sense, Wasserman and Pelinka working together on one big one does.

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. Williams said several clients of Pelinka’s agency, the Landmark Sports Agency, could be involved in the tour.

Kobe is the biggest star in China because — like his game — he worked at it. He’s been making big annual trips there for years touring the country, he has even set up a separate Kobe-funded charity to work just in China, and much more. Plus, he has rings (five of them) which is something valued culturally. (It’s what hold’s LeBron back.)

My guess is that if the start of the NBA season is delayed for any length of time, you will see these series of games happen. While agents don’t generally play well with each other, when their interests are aligned — as they would be here — the different sides will come together and if they do it they have the skills and connections to pull this off. In what form and where are in flux right now, but it might well happen.