"They've still got Google in China, right? Right?!"
Trade deficit? What trade deficit? China sends us lead paint-laden toys to poison our infants, and we send them crazy professional basketball players to sell cheap shoes and smash their interns. Sounds fair, right?
Over the weekend, the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association announced that they had signed former Timberwolves, Nets, Suns, Knicks, and Celtics guard Stephon Marbury to a contract for the remainder of this season. It appears to be a "It can't get any worse" type of sitch for both sides: Marbury hadn't been picked up by an NBA team since finishing with the Celts last season, and the Brave Dragons have been playing more like Meek Lizards this year, currently 15th in a 17-team league. But who are we kidding, it's gotta be the shoes, right? Just in case Steph wants a little company, we've got five more NBAers who would be a good fit in the land of pandas and smoking toddlers...
GILBERT ARENAS, WASHINGTON WIZARDS
• Talk about somebody with a little extra time on their hands (at least until he hits jail). Arenas stands to lose over $100 million if his contract with the Wizards is voided after his gun conviction, but playing in China would keep him on his best behavior: Chinese gun laws are even stricter than the ones in D.C. And if he does screw up, how about this for a reality show: Agent Zero Behind Bars...in China! Somebody'd pay good money for that.
RON ARTEST, LOS ANGELES LAKERS
• China is consistently the largest market for Hennessy in the world, so he'd feel right at home. Ron is also signed to the Chinese sneaker brand Peak shoes, signed Chinese singer Shin Shin to his record label last summer, and there's a Confucian quality to some of his best Tweets.
NATE ROBINSON, NEW YORK KNICKS
• Despite big-name exports like Yao Ming, the Chinese are on average some of the shortest people in the world. Currently the shortest player in the NBA at 5' 9,'' Super Nate could probably play center in the CBA. He's also already threatened to go to China a few months ago while in a dispute with Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni, and following the path of Starbury from D'Antoni's doghouse to the CBA just seems like a really wise career move. (Yes, we're kidding.)
GREG ODEN, PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS
• Has had season-ending knee injuries in each of his three NBA seasons thus far. Maybe Chinese herbal remedies will help out?
ALLEN IVERSON & TRACY MCGRADY PHILADELPHIA 76ERS AND HOUSTON ROCKETS
• Two for the price of one! The two are leading the All-Star voting for their respective positions at the moment (this despite A.I. playing in just 15 of 40 games this year, and T-Mac only 6 of 41), so somebody's gotta get them out of here before the NBA All-Star Game turns into a 2005 throwback matchup. Speaking of, T-Mac had the highest-selling NBA jersey in China back in '06, maybe he'll get more love out there.