NBA: The New Soccer?
As the NBA and the game of basketball have become increasingly global, the new trend of players following the money has begun, just as it has been the case in the sport of soccer for some time now.
As of today, Carlos Arroyo, formerly of the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic, is joining a growing list of players that are leaving the NBA to take higher paid contracts in the Euro league and around the world. As Arroyo is going to Israel, Delonte West will be playing for Moscow, and Josh Childress for Greece.
Younger players in high school are also being rumored to search the possibilities of these contracts as an alternative to playing college ball. Maybe that rule barring players right out of high school wasn't such a good move (not to mention that it denies kids an education that have real intentions of finishing school, but that's beside the point).
Right now, the exiting players are not superstars, but still valued players in the NBA. Arroyo, West, and Childress could be desired depth for any NBA team.
And how long will it be before the growing markets in Europe have the funds to acquire big names? In a recent interview with CBS sports, Dwayne Wade laughed at the possibility, but did say jokingly, "$30 million untaxed? I'd have to think about it."
As the game is growing, players leaving might be great for the sport, but not the NBA. If David Stern wants the league to continue as the premier basketball league in the world, he's got to find a way to keep the talent there.
For now, that's what he's doing. For now.
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