Aug 26, 2011, 12:11 PM EDT
You know Kobe Bryant and other stars have talked about a “barnstorming” tour of China, to make some money and promote their brands if the lockout drags into the season. You also know there are obstacles, because this is China.
Oh, it’s very real. I can’t put the specifics out there. But it’s a fair amount of games in China for a very substantial amount of money. That’s all I can tell you right now.
The players and union will pump up that “very substantial” part as proof that there are other ways for their players to make money during the lockout. At least their star players. (Wow, with that last sentence I felt like I channeled David Stern, and it scared me a little.)
There will need to be concessions — the Chinese Basketball Association (an arm of the Chinese government) will only approve this if there is a way it helps improve the Chinese basketball program. Which means there will need to be Chinese players on the teams, clinics and more. It has to be in China’s interest, not just Nike’s.
But it sounds like they are working something out, and if they go you can bet a lot of the NBA’s biggest stars will be on board.