China Prepares To Slap Its NBA Lockout Gift Horse Across The Face

The NBA lockout has led star players to look for work overseas. A number of players have now signed with European teams -- including those competing in Euroleague, the continent's top competition. But the Chinese Basketball Association hasn't gotten any action. And that may remain the case.

Following up on prior reporting by NiuBBall.com, Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Chinese officials could this week vote to ban lockout opt-out clauses. Conspiracy alert? Conspiracy alert.

The NBA has a cozy relationship with China, a partnership worth a great deal of money for both sides. Privately, some agents and officials wonder how much the NBA could be influencing China to steer clear of players under contract.

In that sense, Chinese basketball wouldn't be looking a gift horse that resembles Kobe Bryant, Tony Parker or Dirk Nowitzki in the mouth. It'd be choosing the lesser of two gift horses to disrespect. That said, Woj also notes that China has been wary of NBA influence in the past.

For all the mistrust of NBA commissioner David Stern and the owners, there are still people who say the Chinese Basketball Association isn't fond of Stern, and wouldn't let itself be pressured, or swayed, by him. No one knows for sure.

So this is the question that will keep agents up awake at night all this week: is this a manageable hurdle for NBA players in China, or a dealbreaker that makes Europe the only legit option? We'll find out soon enough, unless we actually see some movement on the lockout.

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