Forget about Europe. Kobe Bryant was as likely to play in Turkey as Donald Sterling is to be named owner of the year.
It always made much more sense for KB24 to take his talents to China. Bryant’s stature in China rivals that of Michael Jackson most anywhere on the planet. The hoops crazed nation holds Kobe in high regards for his talent but most important of all is his success. Unlike our country where hype is king, the Chinese actually celebrate winning. You know. The reason why you play the game and all?
Rick Bucher speculates Bryant could pull in 8 figures hooping in China. Recently there has been talk of a Chinese team willing to offer Mamba up to $1.5-million a month for his services.
All in all Bryant stands to do very well for himself if he so chooses to play in China during the lockout.
Oh…but there is one catch.
Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Chinese Basketball Association looks likely to pass a rule forbidding teams to offer contracts that include an NBA opt-out clause.
While Bryant could certainly do well for himself by making an extended stay in China there’s no way he loses a full NBA season at this stage in his career. With the Lakers one title away from surpassing the Celtics and Kobe one ring away equaling Jordan now is not the time to try and change the game.
So after it is all said and done Europe is still an option for Bryant. It can’t be his first choice though. I’m sure playing in the States is at the top of Kobe’s list with China second. We’ll just have to wait and see how this lockout cookie crumbles.