Just a few weeks ago, Knicks star Carmelo Anthony traveled to China to promote Jordan Brand with his buddy, Hornets' guard Chris Paul. The two spent time interacting with the fans that make China such a crucial market for the NBA.
Earlier last week, Anthony's New York Knicks' teammate, Amar'e Stoudemire, set off on his own journey to China, this one sponsored by Nike. Whereas Anthony had a chance to relax a bit, dancing and hanging around with pandas, STAT has yet to experience that side of China, instead sticking to what he knows best so far: the game of basketball.
Following a long 15 hour flight, Stoudemire joined NBA stars such as Lebron James, Chris Bosh, Tyson Chandler, and Kyrie Irving for the opening ceremonies of the NIKE Festival of Sports. The Knicks big men, who occasionally displayed his long range shooting skills this season, has already won a three-point contest as well.
With Yao Ming recently retiring, it will be interesting to see if the recent visits to China by STAT and Melo will not only bring the league more international fame, but perhaps the players as well. With Ming's playing days over, the fans are sure to look elsewhere for a star player to root for. In past years, (coincidentally two former Knicks) Steve Francis and Tracy McGrady have rose to fame in China, but that was certainly due to their time as teammates to Yao.
More to come as the captain reports from his trip. As part of his new partnership with Big Lead Sports, Stoudemire will be sharing more as well as creating content for the likes of HoopsWorld, Hoopshype, etc.