Kobe, other NBA stars plan global tour
Several of the biggest stars in the NBA – including Kobe Bryant(notes), Amar’e Stoudemire(notes) and Kevin Durant(notes) – are finalizing a 10-day barnstorming tour across four continents, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
As the 3½-month NBA lockout drags on, threatening to soon eliminate the entire first month of the regular season, the league’s most prominent players are scouring the globe for chances to earn income, market their brands and play the game.
The tour is set to start in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 30, and pushes onto London’s O2 Arena (Nov. 1 and 3); Macau, China (Nov. 5); and Melbourne, Australia (Nov. 8 and 9), sources said.
The bigger the names, the bigger the paychecks for the six games, sources said. The top players will make “north of $1 million,” plus expenses, for the tour.
ESPN.com first reported plans for the tour.
Contracts for the tour are still being finalized and signed, sources said.
Most agents and players have waited to see what happens during this week’s labor discussions with a federal mediator in New York. Without significant progress in the negotiations, organizers are pushing forward with the trip.
Yahoo! Sports’ NBA reporter Marc J. Spears contributed to this report.