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Women's Hoops

The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

February 24, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Former NBA players find trouble in China

ReadingImage.jpgI always find stories about male players overseas interesting. The New York Times once wrote about how stressful it is for the men to play year-round, a piece I’ve never seen the paper consider with the women, who have to do so to supplement their incomes. And not just in Olympic years. Other papers across the country have written about them having a hard time adjusting. Didn’t anyone see “Love & Basketball?” The women go through this yearly.
The latest offering posted by FIBA is good insight, though. WNBA players like Yolanda Griffith, Betty Lennox, and Janell Burse have spoken about the challenges of playing in China and apparently their NBA brethren are experiencing the same welcome.
It’s a tricky place to break into. International players were banned prior to the Beijing Olympics so that Chinese players could focus on preparing for the Games without giving up secrets. But I didn’t know China had an issue with American-styled basketball across the board. Their fans are so rabid for the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, you’d think they’d understand the selfishness needed in being a star scorer.
Regardless, as the global game gets smaller, it’s interesting to see how the various countries work to cultivate it.
Another good read, is this story about the NBA’s finances. The WNBA has already trimmed some fat this season, including folding a charter franchise. Seven of the 13 teams are independent, but if the NBA goes under due to a labor dispute, it’s doubtful the WNBA could scramble to save itself. The WNBA just sold its broadcasting rights to ESPN for a reported $30 million, yet there’s still a lot of cross-marketing the league needs from the NBA.

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