The Chinese Basketball Association has made its position clear: It doesn’t want NBA players under contract using the CBA as a recreation league while the lockout is going on.
That has directly affected NBA stars like Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, who were among several eyeing opportunities in China while the NBA works out its labor issues. Bryant apparently had a lucrative deal all but agreed upon when the CBA handed down its mandate to all of its teams last week.
It turns out the Chinese club Shanxi Zhongyu has found a way to maybe get some of what it wants. According to hoopshype.com, Shanxi is exploring inviting the Los Angeles Lakers star to play with the team in some exhibition games before the season starts. They might even be willing to go for Bryant standing in the layup line during warm ups. Apparently there is no NBA player under contract rule in place for the exhibition games.
But this makes no sense for Bryant or any of the NBA players under contract to play in China or anywhere overseas. As Charles Barkley pointed out, Bryant still has $83 million guaranteed on the table from the Lakers. Why would he risk that by blowing out a knee or some other serious injury?
The CBA should also be commended for not allowing the NBA players to use its league and diminish its integrity. The CBA decision makers see the NBA players intent for what it is, a quick money grab and a chance to expand their global marketing. But once the NBA lockout ends the plan is to immediately return to their respective teams, leaving the overseas team high and dry and perhaps in the midst of a championship run.
The CBA has rightfully said no thank you.
(Photo: FAN JUN/Xinhua /Landov)