Chasing Down The Latest NBA News
Since the NBA lockout started at 12:01 EST this morning, Brian Scalabrine is the most popular player to publicly consider playing oversees. Scalabrine says that he will sign oversees if the NBA labor situation doesn’t improve over the next 15 days. Even though Scalabrine isn’t a very good player, his move may open up doors for other players to head oversees in order to maintain a steady income now that the owners aren’t responsible for the contracts their players signed.1
While Scalabrine’s move would be a permanent one – he’s looking to sign a deal in Europe – Kobe Bryant may be considering heading to another country as well. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Bryant and his agent Rob Pelinka are organizing an exhibition tour in China for Bryant and other clients from the Landmark Sports Agency to take part in.
If the barnstorming tour happens, the games are likely to take place at the state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. Bryant signed a three-year deal with Mercedes-Benz in February to become the brand ambassador for Smart micro cars in China and he has already been featured in a TV commercial for the car.
Bryant has a large following in China and was easily the most popular player in the country back when Bryant led Team USA a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Some of the other players that could be involved in the tour are Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, O.J. Mayo2, Carlos Boozer, James Harden, Wesley Johnson, rookie Derrick Williams, Gerald Wallace, Channing Frye, Sasha Vujacic3, Andre Iguodala4 and even NBA Players Union President Derek Fisher.
We all know that Bryant has an unmatched desire for the game and now that he’s received some rather unique surgery on his knee in Germany, a tour like this would be a great way for Bryant to test out his body and obviously would stand as a good way for him to work back into game shape in the event that the NBA misses games.
1. Rest assured I will be pouring over the Synergy clips of Scal playing Europe if he ends up signing over there. I want to see how he matches up with the competition over there. If he averages anything more than 10 points and five rebounds I’m going to be skeptical of any foreign product from now until eternity unless they have produced at the college level. Return
2. I used to think Mayo had it in him to be Kobe’s replacement in Los Angeles. He played at USC, has said many times he loves the extra lights that LA brings and once looked like a sure all-star. Though he was an excellent sixth man for the Grizzlies in the playoffs, I think I’m done arguing for Mayo to be the Lakers’ next star on the perimeter after his inability to build off his rookie season. Return
3. I would love to see Bryant yelling at Sasha for the billionth time for missing three’s in exhibition games. I bet Kobe would make Sasha play on the other team to avoid having to play alongside him again. Return
4. I know they won’t be playing against very good competition, even if Vujacic is on the other team, but if Iguodala impresses Bryant enough in workout sessions or practices and the two establish chemistry with each other during the tour, perhaps the Lakers will be a bit more inclined to make a push for Iguodala services. Of course, Khloe Kardashian may have already killed any chance of an Odom-Iguodala. Return