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In Defense Of Offshoring

I'm just as concerned as the next person when American jobs go overseas, but there are times when foreigners are so obviously better suited to a particular task that it seems lunacy not to have them perform it. Moreover, the economic concerns typically involved in offshoring are less relevant when the work in question is unpaid, and not even really "work" in the conventional sense--for example, in the case of coming up with nicknames for sports figures, which evidence suggests the Chinese are much, much better at than we are.

To wit: Though the Times magazine piece on Steve Nash this weekend was a bit of a disappointment, it did contain this priceless nugget:

Nash is not on [a list of Chinese nicknames for NBA players], for some reason, perhaps because the Chinese haven’t solved the conundrum of his mysterious Canadian reticence, either. But Carmelo Anthony is known as Sweet Melon, and in what is clearly the most telling evidence of Chinese basketball acumen, Tim Duncan, nemesis of Nash and his fellow Suns, is known as Stone Buddha.

"Stone Buddha" is one of those nicknames so perfect that it actually makes you like the player himself more (and I was a Duncan fan to begin with). So please, David Stern, get that NBA branch office open in Guangzhou ASAP. I can't wait to see what they decide to call Iverson...

--Christopher Orr