Of course Chandler Parsons has a girlfriend. But the only way to get people who aren’t that interested in basketball get a bit interested in basketball is to let the ball players do some outreach program in the Philippines (where basketball is popular, and gossip equally so by the greater half of the population). So a good way of making the bigger half of the population get interested in basketball is to create some buzz.
Like KC Concepcion finding a foreign boyfriend at last. A boyfriend who is not (known to be, or always suspected to be) gay. But the spin witches and wizards cannot claim Chandler to be the new boyfriend. In the age of Instagram, where half of the date took place, the best that they could claim, without being too obvious about it, is that he is boyfriend material. So they made the date happen, and viola! all the newspapers (even the broadsheets) are suddenly talking about the non-event that is the coming of the NBA superstars.
Yes, basketball is popular. In fact it is too everyday in the Philippines that getting front page treatment is very difficult to get. Not so when the Ambassadress of Hunger (and unofficially, the Ambassadress of the Broken Heart) is involved. This is news.