Some moves are good for basketball, for the perception of it, in general. Kobe Bryant signing in Italy for some kind of money? Nothing special, just makes the sense of the lockout not going to end this year pretty real. When one of the greatest NBA players in history and still one of the biggest stars and crowd-draws in the league decides to bolt and pretty much show he doesn’t believe there’s a chance of a season, that hurts the NBA. Both the players and the owners, but it hurts.
Playing charity games around the country? Very cool. The whole summer league thing was great to watch, with Kevin Durant lighting up New York basketball grounds along with other NBA stars. The Miami event with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Charity sells, charity works. It shows these guys are in in for basketball, not just for the money and BRI.
There’s Tony Parker, signing in France to play for Villeurbanne for practically no money – 2000 dollars a week. Again – Not about the money, just wants to play basketball. The biggest move, not in terms of publicity but in terms of personal PR, is Andrei Kirilenko. Great Hair, Great Wife, Great player when used right, and not in it for the money. Not this year at least, signing with CSKA Moscow in Russia and giving away his 3.something million dollars salary to charity.
I wonder what Kobe Bryant must be thinking – how do I turn this thing around, and how much do I donate?