HONG KONG (AP) – Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony say they will consider offers to play professional basketball in China if there is no resolution to the NBA lockout.
Both players are on a promotional tour of China while monitoring news from home about the so-far fruitless attempts to break the NBA’s labor impasse.
With Kobe Bryant reportedly negotiating a deal to play in Turkey, New Orleans Hornets’ Paul and New York Knicks forward Anthony said they were also considering overseas moves.
Asked by SNTV where they would go, Anthony replied “China.’’ Paul responded “Same, no question’’.
The answers may have been designed to flatter their hosts, but Anthony added “it’s a lot of history here, the fans are great; why not, why not try it out?’’ Meanwhile, Portland Trailblazers point guard Patty Mills says he is looking into a move back to his native Australia to play in the National Basketball League as long as the NBA lockout continues.
“The most important thing for me is to find somewhere to play,’’ Mills told Australian Associated Press. “Definitely NBL teams have reached out. I am looking at that, but also teams in Europe and other options. But right now there is no rush in making a decision; it will come over the next couple of months.’’
NBL chief executive Larry Sengstock was eager to bring Mills home, saying the league was “determined to look at any and every option to facilitate his signing with an NBL team.’’
Anthony and Paul, both members of the U.S. squad which won the 2008 Olympic gold medal in Beijing, continued their Hong Kong visit Wednesday before moving on to mainland China.
The collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and players expired at the start of this month, and the new season cannot begin until a new deal is struck.
The season was scheduled to start at the beginning of November.