China to NBA: Send Your Stars!

This just in: the Chinese kinda/sorta dig basketball. Especially that Kobe Bryant character. But just like Americans, The Chinese aren't too fond of watching mediocre NBA teams.

This pre-season, the league sent the Warriors and Bucks to battle it out during the league's annual NBA China showcase. Well, the let's just say the Chinese were not too excited to see the two particular NBA teams play:

According to a public poll by leading Internet portal, 34 percent of respondents paid no attention to the games. For those who bought tickets or watched on TV, 26 percent described the games as "boring", 23 percent bemoaned the lack of Chinese players and only 17 percent commented positively on the experience.

The resulting attention was a mere shadow of the success and praise heaped on the 2004 China Games, billed as Yao Vs Sacramento Kings, or the 2007 Games featuring LeBron (Cavs) and Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic).

In contrast to those past efforts, many media seats in Guangzhou were embarrassingly empty last Wednesday and even scalpers suffered as ticket prices nosedived from 2,800 yuan ($410) to 500 yuan ($73)on the black market.

So if the NBA wants to keep the Chinese excited, they need to send stars or Chinese players. And no, sending a team with a white player that is fluent in Mandarin doesn't help much. I know some of the teams and their players hate travel that far for the pre-season, but the league really should make sure that they send players and teams over there that the Chinese are familiar with. I'm sure throwing a little bonu$ the players way could help the cause a bit.

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