One day into the lockout and Kobe Bryant has already figured out how to steal the headlines. First it was the news Bryant is undergoing platelet-rich plasma therapy and now it's news Bryant has a brilliant idea for how to spend his time during the NBA lockout. Kobe may be heading to China next for an exhibition series featuring NBA players locked out of their day jobs.
It's a smart move for Bryant, who can continue to expand his own brand into China, an area professional sports has turned a keen-eye toward recently. Leveraging the list of clients his agent, Rob Pelinka, boasts, Bryant could, conceivably, put together multiple teams of players for a series of games in Shanghai, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
If the barnstorming tour happens, the games are likely to take place at the state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. Bryant signed a three-year deal with Mercedes-Benz in February to become the brand ambassador for Smart micro cars in China and he has already been featured in a TV commercial for the car.
Injury concerns aside, a China tour keeps Bryant and the players that may join him in shape and busy, all while bringing the NBA to China. It's beneficial to Bryant and a subtle dig at the NBA during what promises to be a contentious work stoppage.