Millionaire immigrants: NBA players cross the border to the CBA

With the NBA locked out (though maybe not for much longer?), unrestricted free agent basketball players have dispersed around the world, with more than a handful ending up in China because of the healthy salaries (six-figures to the $2 million+ that Kenyon Martin is earning) that CBA owners have been throwing at foreign talent. It’s always amusing to read about NBA players “coping” with moving to China and doing without the perks accustomed to not just being an NBA player, but also living in a first world country. Heroic stuff, crossing borders to work in a place where you don’t speak the language fluently or at all, leaving behind your loved ones, hoping your employers and host nation don’t capriciously lock you up, take your assets, and deport you. Oh wait…

I’ve been meaning to compile a definitive list of all the NBA signings to the Chinese Basketball Association, but it looks like Guan Weijia at Chris Sheridan’s site has already done it. It looks pretty up to date, reflecting Earl Clark’s decision to come back stateside and the recent signing of Cartier Martin. Until I make any changes or add substantially new information (eg include the non-NBA foreign players), I’d just say go there to check out. Going forward, I’ll try to follow some of my favorites, including Quincy Douby (Rutgers!), K-Mart (can’t wait for the first time a Chinese players accidentally swings an elbow into his chest…), and of course, everyone’s favorite soul-baring Coney Island’s greatest, Stephon Marbury.*


*One of the best pieces of sportswriting from last year was this Deadspin article by Anthony Tao; the Wells Tower GQ article from this year is good too, but there was something electric about Tao’s report, which was one of the first extensive ones about the Marbury in China experiment. At the time it came out, Marbury was (and still is) an absolute wildcard, in the “Tyson Zone” as Bill Simmons would put it, having posted a series of bizarre videos the summer before.

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