Why does an NBA player need a Chinese name, you ask? Well, for one thing, it might help him in his quest for world domination. And it appears LeBron James indeed has plans to dominate the world. Via ChinesePod we learned of this MSNBC story that talks about LeBron’s “goal to become the first billionaire athlete” … and his desire to be able to speak Mandarin in interviews at the Beijing Olympics. During the ongoing World Championships — which we haven’t mentioned lately because there hasn’t been much to cheer about China-wise … until today — LeBron is reportedly holding private press conferences for the Chinese and Japanese press on days when Team USA is supposed to be unavailable to the media.
“I say all the time, and I tell my friends and teammates, that you have to go global,” James told the Beacon-Journal. “In basketball and business.”
According to the paper, James wants to greatly increase his exposure in Asia by the Beijing Olympics in 2008. That is why it was never in doubt whether or not he would play for Team USA at the world championships. In addition, the Cavaliers are talking to the NBA about opening their season in China next year.
“It is only going to help my business,” James said. “Once I knew the world games were going to be in Japan, I knew I was going to be on board.”
Patriotism and the “love of the game” are overrated anyway, right? OK, Lebron, we get “going global” … but we need to do something about that Chinese name of yours first. 勒布朗-詹姆斯 (Le Bu Lang Zhan Mu Si) — kind of cumbersome, no? Now, we know that many Chinese call LeBron 小皇帝 (Xiao Huang Di or “Little Emperor”), but that’s just a nickname. You need a name — something tattoo-worthy. So, we’re here to help.
We’ve asked around and got some options. We’re hoping some Shanghaiist readers will chime in with some ideas of their own. Then maybe a poll, a vote and a winner. (And, yes, we are sure LeBron reads Shanghaiist.)
Here’s what we have so far:
- 乐伯朗 (Le Bo Lang, sounds like “LeBron”)
- 乐布朗 (Le Bu Lang, also sounds like “LeBron”)
- 勒伯朗 (Le Bo Lang, another one that sounds like “LeBron”)
- 勒布朗 (Le Bu Lang, you guessed it — sounds like “LeBron”)
- 金搏浪 (Jin Bo Lang or “Golden Wave Fighter”)
- 金詹士 (Jin Zhan Shi, kind of sounds like “King James”)
- 金战士 (Jin Zhan Shi or “Golden Warrior”, also kind of sounds like “King James”)
- 张磊 (Zhang Lei, if we want him to have a common name)
What do you think? Got some other suggestions? Post them in a comment. We will revisit this later of we get a decent enough response.
Photo by Overmarslee.