Wednesday, October 15, 2008

NBA Threatened By European Market

What do Josh Childress, Dee Brown, Earl Boykins and Boston Nachbar have in common?Apart from being role players in the NBA, they now share the distinction of having been the part of recent trend of NBA players migrating to Europe for bigger contracts.

The latest wave of offers threatens to shake the face of the NBA. The Greek suited Olympiacos- has reportedly stated that they are prepared to pay Kobe Bryant around 80 million for three years, perks included. It doesn' t take a beautiful mind to realize that paying that sum of dollars to any player at any time to play basketball for three years is just downright despicable.

Maybe this trend is what the NBA and David Stern should get used dealing with. Make no mistake, it's the NBA stars that Europe is after. Add LeBron James to that European wish list with his contract expiring in 2010; and we just might be looking at an international bidding war.

I think in the next few years we are going to be seeing more and more role players and even broderline stars heading overseas for big money. The NBA is slowly losing it's grasp on a game that has gone completely global. Basketball could very easily become like soccer, where you have several different leagues with the best players in the world spread out evenly.

It's a scary thought for those of us who love the NBA and its rich history.

David Stern is going to have to expand the league into major parts of Europe to be able to keep the NBA as the premier league. Cities like London, Rome and Paris are likely venues but after that it's anyone's guess and it could get a little dicey. The last thing you want is D-Wade waking up in Prague missing a kidney.

The salary cap is also a big issue. NBA teams simply can't compete with the outlandish offers being made by these European suitors. Throw in the struggling U.S economy and things get even more complicated. Higher salaries mean higher ticket prices, which means everything skyrockets while the American economy plummets.

Let's hope D- Stern has a plan, because the NBA is going to continue to lose players to the competitive european market and who can blame them, they have mouths to feed too. But without Kobe and LeBron in the NBA, there is no NBA.

Or am I wrong? Should I be happy that the sport is doing so well? Shouldn't basketball fans be glad that basketball has truly gone global? Or was it never about the sport... Is basketball to North Americans like a favorite tv show that we stop watching as soon as they kill off our favorite characters?

I can't call it. But I know I won't watch a game if Kobe suits up for the Olympiacos and I'll hate him for doing it.

What kind of guy would leave his team for 80 millions dollars and an European villa...


Suicide Squeeze said...

I don't think we have much to worry about in the near future. Yes, the European market is appealing for second tier NBA players, but the big name players like Kobe, Bron and Wade etc, they know how to market themselves. The NBA builds legends, and ultimately there is more to be made from having your name enshrined in the NBA Hall of Fame and folk lore than having a butler, chef, villa, and wheel barrel of Euros.

Most of these guys grew up wanting to leave their legacy and their stamp on the NBA. Kobe wants to win one without Shaq, LeBron wants to be the greatest of all time and so on. Plus, let's not forget, it can be one hell of a culture shock going to Europe for an All American kid.

John Boateng said...

This is a great post from Casey Archibald, a Salmon Arm BC native, and UBC alum, now balling overseas...

couple things.. first off I will bet everything im worth that kobe doesn't leave for europe. I know there are a lot of fans of kobe but im unable to jump on that wagon.. as you said john i would be the one kicking the back tire. how can you root for a man who has no sense of man hood??? throwing shaq under the bus like he did? i got caught being an ass so im gonna tell the world that shaq does it all the time as well??? anyways... he is too wrapped up in the record books, being thought of as the greatest of all time (of course behind Mike), and getting more scoring titles, who knows he might even want to win another ring. I don't think he will give up all that to go live in athens, in a villa on the mediterranean with his own yacht. don't forget, whatever they offer him is tax free, so thats equivalent of making about 160 million over 3 years.. the NBA can't do that. Unless they bring the soprano's into the mix. with that said i dont think he will take it... unless he starts thinking like sprewell and feels he needs to feed his family.

anyways, childress was on TV the other day. Looks good in the open court but hes pretty much a role player over here. don't forget his jumper looks like a broke version of marion's two handed push shot.

with that said, i think europeans who are in the NBA will have a lot more bargaining power with their agents dealing with NBA teams. NBA teams WILL be forced to pay more to pull these guys away from home when they can make millions staying at home. For americans i think the european market will open up to to the josh childress' of the world but i dont see prime time guys making that move.

unless of course they see this video and feel like he's living the dream.. doubtful