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James Singleton skips out on a minimum NBA contract for a chance to play in China

Sep 7, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

James Singleton is an NBA player, but next season he’ll be merely an NBA-caliber player. Rather than take another tour riding the pine for an NBA team, Singleton has opted to sign a deal with the Xinjiang Gyang Hui Flying Tigers (basketball home of almost-NBAer Charles Gaines and one-time NBA import, Mengke Bateer!), according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post:

“I’ve seen and experienced just about everything the NBA can offer. I’m
blessed cause I was able to partake in it,” Singleton said, “Some guys
would love to just make it there, ride the bench and get paid. I’m not
that guy. I want to play. I didn’t work hard all these years just to
sit and watch other people. I was given a true talent, but sitting
around and being a cheerleader isn’t one of them.”

Lee reports that the Washington Wizards and several other NBA teams were interested in signing Singleton for the minimum salary, but Singleton went with the better opportunity for playing time and a bigger paycheck, to boot. The Chinese Basketball Association doesn’t quite approach the NBA in terms of prestige, but Singleton is ready give that up for a chance to play real, competitive basketball.

The NBA door will likely remain open for Singleton as long as he continues to hustle and hit the glass, but if James really is looking to pay and cash in while he can, the CBA could be the best place for him.

  1. Michael Warren - Sep 7, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    I respect James Singleton’s decision. He seems to have always been 14/15th guy on the bench. He hasn’t played big minutes either. I don’t blame him for going to China. I definitely don’t think he’s just an “energy guy/cheerleader. He could be spot starter/scorer off the bench. I believe in not settling when you could do better. I believe if God blesses you with the talent and the ability to do greater things, then you do that. I just hope one day he’ll get that opportunity, and we’ll see him back in our beloved NBA. Peace and blessings, J.Singleton.

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