In just a couple of days, we’re probably getting a lockout. Team websites will go dead. Players will get fat. We’ll talk about the glory days of when there were actually basketball-related activities happening. It’ll be the saddest time of our lives and we’ll listen to that Green Day song on repeat for hours.
But one group of people is trying their best to alleviate some of that pain and suffering. No, not the owners. And not the players either. They’re too busy trying to figure out who actually has money and who doesn’t. Our saviors are a different crew, someone you might not expect. From the Sporting News:
Armed with its star-studded NBA client list, Wasserman Media Group is proposing a basketball exhibition tournament in China as the agency explores moneymaking options for its players should there be an extended lockout.
In a “China Basketball Tour” proposal summary obtained by SportsBusiness Journal, a sister publication of Sporting News, Wasserman in April began floating a plan to bring 15 to 20 of its NBA clients to China for a two- or three-week tournament if there is a work stoppage. The agency represents 45 NBA players, including this past season’s Most Valuable Player, Derrick Rose.
I am not sure why this has to be in China, but I am in support of this important motion. “Give me basketball or give me death,” which is probably what Patrick Henry would have said if the NBA had existed in 1775. If the best I can get is a one-on-one tournament that may or may not feature Wasserman clients such as Joe Johnson, Brandon Roy and Pau Gasol, then I will take it. And though it’s hard to believe that name players like those guys would actually participate in such a tournament, I’d still enjoy a bunch of games between the likes of Martell Webster, Gerald Henderson and Danilo Gallinari.
If there’s a lockout, and if this proposal actually happens, it’s a great move by the agents. Not only would such a tournament, I’m sure, put some dough in their and their clients’ pockets, it also tells fans, “Hey, these guys just want to play basketball.” And that, if you read in to it, really says, “These silly owners won’t let our guys play.” If playing a one-on-one tourney can line players’ pockets and give them some good publicity, that’s a huge win.
Not to mention, it’d be really great to watch, no matter who plays. Everyone always says they want to see a one-on-one showdown between NBA players. This might be our chance.