Blog Entry

Report: Bryant's complex Chinese options are open

Posted on: July 31, 2011 8:30 pm
By Matt Moore

We're so glad all this talk about Kobe playing overseas is over. Boy, wasn't that silly? Now that the Besiktas rumors have about a "0 percent chance" according to reports, we can put all this behind us... 

Oh, wait.

From Yahoo! Sports: 
Bryant, sources said, is still listening to offers to play overseas during the NBA’s lockout, and considers China a more likely option. He has exchanged proposals with Chinese teams, and one source said it’s unlikely Bryant would accept any deal that pays him less than $1.5 million per month. Bryant would be free to rejoin the Lakers as soon as the lockout ends.

Bryant, a source close to him said, also has become irritated with Besiktas officials making public proclamations on the status of talks with him.
via Bryant mulling offers to play in China - NBA - Yahoo! Sports.


While everyone is going to remain skeptical of Bryant playing anywhere during the lockout due to a multitude of reasons, this report should be given some weight. China is an untapped market with Yao Ming out of the picture, and Bryant has a huge earning potential. It's arguable that he would have better sponsorship opportunities in China than in Turkey, despite his sponsorship deal with Turkish Airlines. Meanwhile, Bryant's camp will continue to play it close to the vest. 

For a look at what kind of sponsors are involved in China, UPS invested in the firm due to its 600 million viewership. Nike obviously has a huge investment there.  Meanwhile, Yao's sponsorship money was recently pegged at $150 million in China. Kobe is actually a bigger star there, believe it or not. Is that really not worth what would likely be a four-game investment?

There is one considerable hiccup. CBA blog links a report that states China is considering rule changes to limit NBA players' availability overseas and more importantly.... to not allow opt-outs to return to the NBA if the season resumes. 
Earlier this afternoon, Sina Sports, quoting an anonymous figure connected to the CBA, reported that the Chinese Basketball Association  is planning to institute two special new rules for next season in response to the ever-growing list of NBA players who have declared interest towards playing in China: First, teams will not be allowed to include an out-clause into any contract with an active NBA player and second, that each team will be allowed to sign only one active NBA player.

Said the anonymous source, ”The CBA isn’t the NBA’s backyard. If we didn’t make a rule about players playing here temporarily, then they’d all just leave in the middle of the season. That would affect our season greatly.”

As of yet, the CBA has not responded to the story. Any official announcement over new CBA rules is unlikely to come before the league’s committee convenes for a policy meeting in August.
via » CBA won’t allow active NBA players to sign out-clauses?.

That could put a major limitation on Bryant's availability. Okay, no, that would end his involvement without quetion. But anyone who thinks that the CBA will build in rules to prevent Kobe Bryant from being involved, which would help the league, its teams, and basketball in the country, is out of their minds. Bryant gets to determine how much, where, and when he plays. That's the advantage of being the most popular player in the world's most populous country.

Meanwhile, we'll keep playing the "We'll believe it when we see it" card.  

Since: May 13, 2010
Posted on: August 2, 2011 7:40 am

Report: Bryant's complex Chinese options are open

Dear The Loomer

You must be an idiot. Kobe never kicked anyone to the curb, he isn't a sport's franchise dummy. The Lakers kicked Shaq to the curb. Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant just won two NBA championships together dude, were you not paying attention. The only time Kobe has ever complained about not having help was before the 2008 season, when Smush Parker, Kwame Brown, Lamar Odom and Luke Walton started for the Lakers. He didn't have any help! So all this you are saying about Kobe can stop. He is the greatest player of this generation, it's not even close. If you disagree, you are just hating, period. There is absolutely no other way of putting this. Get over it, Kobe is still the face of the league. They try to let Lebroad take the torch but he is scared. Kobe is the face of basketball, in China, Turkey, Phillipines, the whole world. Go Lakers! Get off my boys balls!

Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: August 1, 2011 6:25 pm

Report: Bryant's complex Chinese options are open

Dear Kobe:

Please: Go.

You are one of the worst sports in the history of the game. The poster child for "not a team player." Surly on and off the court. Chased away Shaq and Jackson in everyone's primes. Making hundreds of millions of dollars through one of the toughest economies in the history of this country, and rather than stick around and work through the problem in solidarity with your teammates and fellow players, you'd rather go to another country and play for a minimum of $1.5 million a month until they work out the money issues for you.

Then, when it's all over, you can coast back in and keep on making your monster salary, hogging the ball and complaining that you don't have enough support. Like the support you had when the Lakers had Shaq and Phil. Before you kicked them to the curb.
It's always been all about Kobe, and there's no reason for you to change that now. You have the least integrity of any superstar in all of American team sports since Pete Rose.

So go to China. Or Belarus. Or Istanbul. And don't come back. You will not be missed. Promise.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: August 1, 2011 12:41 pm

Report: Bryant's complex Chinese options are open

Dude, you have no idea what a REAL thug or gang banger is. Please keep your racist comments to yourself. there are plenty of reasons that the NBA sucks. But don't use your underhanded racism to try and prove it. Theres no need.

Since: Sep 29, 2007
Posted on: August 1, 2011 11:27 am

Report: Bryant's complex Chinese options are open

I agree. I wish the NBA would just fold up and go away. The NBA was fun in the 80's-90's with Jordan, Magic, Bird, Olajuwon, but has now become nothing more than thugs and gang-bangers playing. I do hope if Kobe goes to China to play, he gets crushed going to the hole by some Chinese scrub and ends his career. Kobe is nothing more than a fake Jordan wanna-be.

Since: Jul 23, 2007
Posted on: August 1, 2011 5:03 am

Report: Bryant's complex Chinese options are open

I ama huge Kobe fan.  But he should go to China because

The NBA is a joke of a league; 
Hes already an NBA legend. Go to China and become a basketball god to a billion people;
Did I mention the NBA is a joke.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: August 1, 2011 4:29 am

Report: Bryant's complex Chinese options are open

I lived in China for almost 10 years now. The only American sports that the Chinese people endorse close to heart is NBA. David Stern, did a good job of expanding the NBA products into China. 

Now, in terms of CBA-Chinese Basketball Association, Kobe will set the terms.  All CBA teams are closely associated with a Chinese business. I am sure if they have products or services that can reach the world-wide markets; the 1.5 million USD montly salary is a very good steal. The entire world will know about them if Kobe really plays for them. 

Kobe will only play a few months at least before NBA contract issues are resolved. So a limited time deal for any Chinese company looking for more exposure. 

Just remember, Kobe was the most welcomed athelete during the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. He got the most applauses, even more than Yao Ming. 

Kobe will also get all the endorsement deals including the ones Yao Ming once held. This market is too huge. 

Kobe, China is definitely a better deal than Turkey.

Side note: Movie theaters are multiplying like puppies in China. Transformers 3 made 55 million USD in its first weekend (in China) !!! 

Just remember Chinese people's average income is only  10% of us Americans. So that 55 million USD should equal to 550 million USD opening in the USA, can you imagine it?

I just think the benefits of living in China has greatly out distanced living in USA. I think the "foreigners" have taken over the city of Shanghai.    

Since: May 13, 2010
Posted on: August 1, 2011 3:49 am

Report: Bryant's complex Chinese options are open

Lumpoco, good post.

I think the NBA has been ran terribly under Stern. I'm a big Lakers fan, I'd love to see Kobe Bryant only in purple and gold, but if this CBA thing is like it's being reported, I don't think the NBA will be here next season. I wouldn't be mad at Kobe if he went to China and played while the NBA is locked out. This no getting out of contract rule that the Chinese basketball league has just made though is crap. Who cares about a Chinese basketball league? They should be delighted to borrow Kobe Bryant for a month, or two, or three. If he couldn't get out of the Chinese contract when the NBA opens back up, then he shouldn't do it.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: August 1, 2011 2:18 am

Report: Bryant's complex Chinese options are open

I agree with the comments here. China is a huge market and the Chinese people are really enamored with US basketball players. Even if just 10% of China's population bought a Kobe jeresey...that's over 100 million fans. I'm sure you can determine how much money Kobe and Nike would bank. As for the NBA I always thought that David Stern has done a really terrible job. There is no consistent policy when dealing with player punishment. Some get more and some get less punishment for the same game infraction or off the court behavior. As for contracting teams...let's do that. Let's contract the Hornets, Timberwwolves, Grizzlies, Raptors and Bobcats. They are a drain on the league and they are always in discussions whenver NBA-less cities want a team. And they never seem to have a clue on what to do to improve. Even my much-maligned Warriors finally did the right thing and hired Jerry West.

Since: Aug 1, 2011
Posted on: August 1, 2011 1:11 am

Report: Bryant's complex Chinese options are open

I live in China and can tell you that among 99% of the "basketball fans" only two players exist - Yao and Kobe. Bryant may make more endorsement money here than anywhere including the US, Italy, etc.   It's a rough game here though; physically and mentally. And if he didn't always trust his Laker teammates in crucial game situations, well, wait until he sets foot on the court with his CN guys... 

Since: May 29, 2011
Posted on: August 1, 2011 12:55 am

Report: Bryant's complex Chinese options are open


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