Brittney Griner Signs With A Chinese Team Because It Pays A Lot More

Brittney Griner, the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft, has signed with Chinese team Zhejiang, for whom she'll play during the WNBA offseason. This happened days ago and Chinese media is all over it, yet there's not been a single major American outlet reporting it. Why? The fact that her Chinese team will pay her multiple times her WNBA salary might have something to do with it.

The WCBA season runs from October through February, like nearly every other international women's league—all the better to attract top talent during the WNBA offseason. Play around with the list here, and you'll be hard pressed to find an American who doesn't go overseas for the winter. For now, WNBA paychecks simply aren't big enough for players to choose an actual offseason over a second job in Europe or China.

For whatever reason (more fan interest, obscenely rich owners), women's teams in other parts of the world can and do pay more. Maya Moore, the WNBA's top draft pick in 2011, made $47,000 her rookie year in Minnesota. When she signed with China's Shanxi team, she received, in her words, "significantly more than double" her WNBA contract. Griner's Zhejiang contract isn't public, but she's the biggest star in years and Zhejiang is desperate for a winner, so figure she's getting even more than Moore.

Moore's team won a WCBA title last season, beating Zhejiang in the finals. So Zhejiang is reloading with Griner at center, replacing the Tulsa Shock's Elizabeth Cambage. Cambage had planned not to return to the WNBA this year, to focus full-time on her Chinese career—but that seems up in the air now. Brittney Griner, just wrecking shit wherever she goes.

[Beijing Cream]