Gary Payton to...the CBA?

Gary Payton, the "Glove", was one of the greatest defenders (and guards) of his era and amassed a large following of fans the world over. Despite playing on mostly mediocre Seattle teams, his team hopping toward the end of his career lent him the opportunity to finally win a championship to top of his storied career. At the age of 40, he is now retired and just beginning his career as a tv commentator. However, if rumors are true, it seems Payton's agent is reaching out to CBA (that is China Basketball Association) squads.

It seems that Payton's agent was in touch with the CBA squad in Shanxi and somehow gave them the impression that Payton could be had for $50,000/month, but after further talks, it seems like the price for Payton is closer to $100,000/month, which was out of Shanxi's price range. While it may be too much for Shanxi, it seems as if Payton is being shopped around to other teams in the league and it will be interesting to see if anyone in the CBA feels the Glove is the right fit for them.*

The CBA is not a league that appears to be raking in the dough and it would be hard to imagine a guy like Payton, even if he went to a team like Beijing or Shanghai, being able to survive a league that plays in some pretty far flung destinations. Sun Yue accepted the Lakers demotion to the NBDL instead of coming back to China to play in the CBA. For Payton, it may be more about "developing basketball" in China rather than the money, but it still doesn't seem very plausible. We'll have to wait and see.

*major apologies for that pun


Dan said...

A friend of mine is Payton's lawyer and the lawyer for Payton's agent. I will ask him about this rumor and report back. He certainly is not doing it for the money, but he has always loved to play.

b. cheng said...

Dan, would love to hear what you heard from your friend. This story was widely covered in Chinese papers and the web, but got little to no mention in the US. The CBA has never had a star of Payton's magnitude and while it's not about money, I'm not sure even $100,000/month would be enough to convince me to live in Taiyuan and have to travel to away games in places like Jilin, Jinzhou, and Urumuqi.