Los Angeles Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant, among other NBA players, are barred from playing in China if the NBA lockout is prolonged.
The Chinese Basketball Association enacted a new rule saying that all NBA players under contract are barred from playing for the league during the lockout. This would include Bryant, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul.
However, free agents are permitted to join the CBA, although they would be required to stay in China for at least one season, regardless if the NBA’s lockout is settled or not.
Logically, this opens the door for Bryant to remain in the states during this longer than usual offseason. Kobe recently participated in a contest in Los Angeles’ famous Drew League, during which he scored 43 points including the game-winning shot.
For Bryant, who ended his talks with Turkish club Besiktas and was denied by the CBA as a result of the aforementioned new rule, it remains to be seen whether he will eventually find an opportunity overseas, or stay in the U.S.
Either way, where Bryant will end up during the second lockout of a major sport this year, is a saga to monitor.