NBA superstars consider various options in lockout

Updated: 2011-08-04 08:32

By Sun Xiaochen (China Daily)

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NBA superstars consider various options in lockout

NBA star Dwyane Wade dunks at "The One Million RMB Basketball Charity Challenge" on Wednesday in the Forbidden City in Beijing. Wade played to collect one million yuan ($155,394) at the challenge, which was organized by Hubolt, a Swiss luxury watch brand. The money has been donated to leading non-profit organization One Foundation to help promote sport among young people on behalf of Hublot and Wade's World Foundation. [Photo by Cui Meng / China Daily]

BEIJING - Due to the prolonged league lockout, NBA stars are considering all their options, including potential sojourns in China.

The NBA all-star trio of Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, who came to China for a week-long tour organized by sponsor Jordan Brand recently, said the possibility of playing overseas was wide open, but none had firm plans.

"We have considered that (coming to play in China). We will keep it as an option. All options will be on the table. We are all competitors. We love to play the game. But we can't say when and where because there is still too much uncertainty," New Orleans Hornets guard Paul told China Daily on Tuesday.

"I think that is the biggest thing. We all like to play the game of basketball. We will find a way to play. Playing basketball should provide options. We will play somewhere, somehow. We all love the game more than anything," said Wade, the Miami Heat swingman.

"As far as coming over here, we've always said this whole trip that our options are open," Anthony, the New York Knick forward said, echoing his pals.

The big three, who continually monitor news from the United States about the NBA's labor impasse, all hail China as an "amazing destination" for hoopsters, but expect to play a full NBA season in 2011-2012.

"Hopefully, we won't have to take that route - coming over here. Hopefully, we have a season, but who knows, we shall see," said Anthony.

New Jersey Nets all-star guard, Deron Williams, signed a short-term contract with Turkish club Besiktas last month, while a bunch of big names including Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin have been linked to Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) teams.

Howard, a five-time all-star who led the Orlando Magic to the NBA finals in 2009, stopped short of saying he's in contract discussions with teams overseas.

"I'm not at liberty to talk about it," he recently told Associated Press, "but there's a huge possibility of me going to China or (somewhere) overseas to play basketball."

NBA superstars consider various options in lockout

NBA star Dwyane Wade (2nd L) dunks at "The One Million RMB Basketball Charity Challenge" in the Forbidden City in Beijing, Aug 3, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

However, no player has confirmed any contact attempts by CBA clubs.

"Of course not. We are not there yet. We are going to start working out. The time to consider that has not come," said 29-year-old Wade.

Wade teamed with Paul and Anthony to instruct and play with teenage Chinese players in Dongdan's basketball park in Beijing on Monday night during the Jordan Brand Flight Tour before attending a fan festival in Chaoyang stadium the next day.

China Daily