Last week, China squashed the option of going to the far east for NBA players under contract. For Los Angeles Lakers guard, Kobe Bryant, that meant losing out on a rumored $1.5M a month to play in the Chinese Basketball Association.
As the saying goes, if there’s a will, then there’s a way. In this situation, the will is a determined chinese club team along with a particular shoe company who wants their logo all over China.
If branding comes from marketing and marketing comes from perception, the CBA Club, Shanxi Zhongyu wants to make sure they build a brand of excellence by doing whatever it takes to get Kobe Bryant in their club uniforms. Even if that means Kobe would only participate in Exhibition games, practice drills and opening game warm-ups.
Kobe Bryant in China is a good thing for the development of basketball amongst the youth in China. Remember what the Dream Team did to European Basketball? Yes, it could be that big for China.