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China Bans Locked Out NBA Players, NBA Releases "Preseason" "Schedule", And Other Friday Stories

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We begin with the Chinese, who, having brawled with some Americans the other day, have now decided to prevent locked out NBA players from playing in the country.

Tom Ziller points out at that due to the financial and cultural clout of companies like Nike, the odds are still decent that events involving NBA players (perhaps along the lines of the NBA exhibition game in the Philippines) will continue to happen. However, it does rule out one of Chris Paul's potential overseas options, if you believe that his and Carmelo Anthony's comments in the Philippines were anything more than simply playing along to an Asian audience.

Overall, it's pretty disappointing news. If the NBA lockout continues into 2012, it would be nice to see Hornets playing basketball across the world; a major potential market closing down overnight makes it far less likely that every player that wants to play professionally will get the opportunity.

This next link came up in my newsfeed - the odds of Chris Paul catching John Stockton's assist record. I was skimming through it, oblivious to the date of publish, until suddenly I caught one of my own comments at the bottom of the page. Unfortunately, the article turned out to be from well in the past (as opposed to the alternative of me living in the future) but it's nonetheless interesting to look back on. I'd give Paul something like a 1% chance of catching Stockton (for the reasons listed in my comment on the post), but that doesn't mean I think Stockton was better than Paul of course.

Keeping with the theme of rankings from earlier in the week, CBS Sports is ranking the recruiting classes of this decade. The 2003 class, which featured Chris Paul and LeBron James (and Trevor Ariza!), places 4th.