What if Kevin Garnett signs in China? Chinese teams reportedly fantasize about adding Garnett to their roster, but their pursuit could be hindered by a new rule. (TrueHoop)
I’ve been hearing more and more that Boston’s Kevin Garnett is another star various clubs in China dream of. Word is that Nike, meanwhile, badly wants to see its star endorsers like Bryant play in China if they have to go anywhere in the winter. …
Sources with knowledge of the CBA’s inner workings have confirmed a Sina Sports report over the weekend that the Chinese league is giving strong consideration to implementing a rule that would prevent the likes of Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and the slender lad who rung up 66 points at Rucker Park on Monday night from playing in China during an extended work stoppage.
FIBA, remember, announced Friday that any contracted NBA player who wants to go abroad during the lockout has to make a signed declaration to return to the NBA as soon as the lockout ends. Yet if Chinese clubs are ordered by government officials to avoid signing anyone from the NBA who could be summoned back to the States at any time, they realistically won’t be able to land a single NBAer of substance for the start of their season in January.
First things first: I don’t understand why the Chinese Basketball Association would ever implement this rule. I get not wanting a mass departure of stars during the middle of the season. That makes sense. But the CBA is a league filled with players the caliber of Sun Yue, a league whose biggest star is Stephon Marbury, a league where Yi Jianlian can dominate on a nightly basis, a league where –as recently as 2009-2010 — Wang Zhi-Zhi averaged 26 points per game. Allowing Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant and/or Kevin Garnett to play — if only for a month or two — would generate who-knows-how-many-million dollars and an insane amount of interest in a country crazed for basketball. Think of when David Beckham signed in the United States, except if Beckham actually had any talent left in the tank when he did. The NBA stars would eventually leave and business would slow down, but for the month or two (or, who knows, maybe even a full year) when the superstars played in China, basketball would become larger than Glen Davis’s appetite.
Now, to answer my original question: what if Kevin Garnett plays in China (which, admittedly, is a long shot even if the CBA never passes this rule)? Then Wyc Grousbeck better change his lockout philosophy, and fast. Rob me by charging $100 per ticket. Rob me by selling hot dogs that cost a weekly pay check. Rob me with jerseys and t-shirts and headbands that cost more than my life worth. Just don’t rob me by allowing Kevin Garnett’s final productive season to come in China. I would never forgive Grousbeck for that.