In a recent promotional tour in Hong Kong, NBA stars Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony both said they would consider playing in China should the NBA lockout extend into the regular season schedule.
But ESPN now reports that the Chinese Basketball Association may be likely to pass a rule that could turn the league into a non-viable option for NBA players.
As of now, any contracted NBA players signing with teams overseas are required by FIBA to make a signed declaration to return to the NBA once the lockout is resolved. But the CBA might be forced to institute a rule that prevents their teams from including any clause that would allow NBA players to return to America at any point the lockout ends.
The logic is in that Chinese officials want no part of what ESPN calls a “circus” that would see a sudden influx of NBA stars into their league then leave just as quickly when the NBA season resumes.
So if the CBA fails to be an option, could the Philippine Basketball Association offer an alternative to NBA players looking for a temporary gig overseas?
At least one PBA team is welcoming the opportunity to sign NBA players to play as imports here, although the league might have to revise some rules, including the import maximum salary and the height restriction, before they can come over.
Some of the less wealthy teams might not be inclined to pursue NBA players, who will surely come at hefty price tags.
But the overwhelming success of the recent SMART Ultimate All-Star Weekend proves there is plenty of interest among fans to see top NBA talents play in the country.