*Retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant has found something to occupy his free time.
Exploring new endeavors overseas, the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar has signed on to appear in the debut episode of “The Players,” a new reality series in China.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show features Chinese celebrities competing in basketball-related challenges against rival teams described by the show as qipa, a popular Chinese slang term roughly meaning “strange” or “unusual.”
Mongolian strongmen, “Thai warriors” and the Court Kingz, the popular U.S. dwarf basketball team are among these “qipa” rival teams. There is also a wheelchair basketball team, a street fighter team and a South Korean running team. If the celebs lose three games, they are eliminated and forced to engage in an intense training regimen of some kind.
Bryant will shoot his first episode in China later this month, and the premiere is set to air sometime in mid-July. The broadcaster said it is unclear at this stage whether Bryant will participate in further episodes. Dragon TV reps also declined to elaborate on what his appearance will entail.
Produced by Shanghai-based Dragon TV, “The Players” is an original reality format designed to tap into China’s burgeoning love of basketball.
“The participation of Kobe is going to inspire Chinese young people to play basketball, while conveying the beauty of sports,” Zhou Jie, public relations director for Dragon TV, said in a statement.