Dorell Wright On Playing In China, The New NBA & Giving Back


The NBA landscape is changing. Players will either have to adapt or find themselves out of work. The other option would be to join situations that aren’t conducive for their career progress. NBA veteran Dorell Wright was faced with a huge decision this summer in free agency.

Dorell spent two seasons with the Portland Trailblazers, taking on the role of stable bench vet, but received little playing time despite stepping up when his number was called.

DWright had a choice to make this summer between taking a veteran minimum deal – which comes with the unknowns of playing time and fitting into a new system – or he could leave the NBA and head overseas to China and play in the CBA.

I had a chance to talk to Dorell about his decision to sign with the Chongqing Soaring Dragons, taking back the reigns of his career, and the importance of his upcoming charity weekend.

JM: What’s it like in this “new age of basketball” and the impact on mid-level players? Why is overseas more attractive?

DW: It’s more attractive because you know what you’re going to get; Great fans, good basketball, playing time and another means to support your family just like if it were in the States. The loyalty of the Chinese fan base definitely deserves great talent and great basketball.

There’s a lot of competition within the NBA, younger guys are coming for your spot year after year. The CBA provides an opportunity to showcase my skill set. I have a lot of gas left and plenty to offer to the game (basketball). The possibility to come back to the NBA is always an option. For now I’m excited and focused on what lies ahead for me in the CBA.

JM: You have your clothing line, Scrapes & Gravel, what does it mean for your business and personal player brand to make the move to the CBA?

DW: It means a lot, and had a great deal to do with my decision to make the jump. As someone who’s respected in the fashion industry by my peers and fans, I’m hopeful Scrapes & Gravel will get a lot of great exposure in China. It’s something new and stylish that transcends cultures, as all fashion does.

As for my personal brand, there’s an opportunity for me to become a franchise player in the CBA. Guys like Stephon Marbury, Pooh Jeter and Bobby Brown have shown the potential for American players to take CBA teams to new heights.


JM: Your foundation, The DWright Way Foundation, is having it’s 10th annual friends and family weekend, why is it important to continue the efforts of DWWF despite your departure from the NBA?

DW: No matter where I’m living or playing the inner city communities, the underserved youth and the less fortunate are still very important to my family & I. The impact my foundation has had over the years, has left an impression not only on those we served but myself and family. It’s an awesome and humbling feeling to give back.

Wright led the NBA in three-point shooting during his time with the Golden State Warriors and was a member of the 2006 Miami Heat championship squad.

Dorell’s new adventure begins next month, the CBA’s season wraps in late February- early March depending on playoffs. There’s a possibility he could return to the NBA after that and provide a team with his long range shooting heading into the postseason.