The NBA lockout appears to be getting worse despite David Stern’s best efforts to continue bargaining. Rumors swell and ego-jabs continue. One of the more interesting discussion points so far during this stoppage in NBA events is the so called “Player exodus” to Europe.
Call it what you will I think it’s a bluff for the most part. Now, are players signing overseas in the hopes of earning some paycheck? You bet yourself. Ron Artest, Deron Williams, Sonny Weems among a variety of other players (namely lesser known ones) have all decided that signing overseas with an opt-out clause in the event an NBA season returns, is the best means of staying afloat.
But will we see guys like Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade or even Lebron James go? I doubt it.
The reason I say this is because of the risk involved for these high priced players. If they signed overseas the best contract they would likely get is one worth about $5 million dollars, not much when you compare it to the $15 million-plus they get in the NBA. Insurance appears to cover it as some investigate whether injury could void their contract in the NBA. However, saying that the players will leave and never return Lion King style is quite preposterous.
These guys all want to play in the NBA, not in Europe. I laugh when I hear people thinking it’s only a matter of time before Europe is on the same level for basketball competition as the NBA. The fact remains that Chris Paul would much rather play in the US for 10 million dollars more AND against better competition, than in Europe.
Maybe now that these guys have actually looked into the European option and discovered that it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be both financially and competitively then they’d seriously push Billy Hunter to work on a new CBA pronto.
For those European fans I’m not trying to be demeaning to your league, it is the second best in the world after all, not doubt about that. Heck, my NBL is a laughable joke at times, even if I find it fun and exciting. I just think if we start talking about big names going to Europe their going to have to be assured similar contracts and insurance deals to that of the NBA, because in a lot of ways they are world’s apart in similarity.