Last year, The commissioner confirmed the NBA’s plan to move the league across the waves within the next decade.
Problem being, the players are beating him to it.
Today Josh Childress signed with Greek squad Olympiakos.
OK, it might not seem like much. But this is probably the first spot of rain in an eventual downpour. The worth of the Euro has changed and players can now get a good deal overseas. This appears to be the final reason needed for players to start packing up.
Let’s look at Childress’s case. In Greece, though the culture may be different from America, especially Atlanta, but its not exactly a bad place to be. Would you rather Iran or somewhere? And josh is a cultured guy, he’ll survive. As mentioned, he’s going to get paid a hella lot more over there than back in the U.S. Then there’s the actual basketball. Josh is a real good player, possibly a potential all-star if put in the right situation. Over in Olympiakos he’ll get to be the man.
Obviously, Josh Childress’s case made such a splash because
a) He’s American.
b) He’s a good player, this isn’t his only option in order to play pro ball
c) It’s a slow news day.
There have already been a flourish of NBA players heading back to Europe, and also Brandon Jennings being one of the first major prep stars to head overseas as opposed to the NCAA.
Anyway. That’s the beginning. There’ll be more packing to do over the summer.
And next summer there might be more.
And more after that?
Eventually an all-star is going to head to Europe.
This is when it will hit people.
The NBA is going to change. Soon.
I’ve mentioned it before, this will be the biggest change since the merger.
Obviously I want it to work. We all do right. We do not want the league to try this for 5 years, realise it won’t be possible for another ten, and come back with a shrivelled league?
This would be awful.
But most importantly, the game has to remain intact.
It’s about basketball. I see money as secondary. I see travel, culture and time difference as secondary. Basketball is primary.
The game has to survive first. Everything else can come after.
Now, obviously a lot of this is circumstantial. As I mentioned earlier, this recent onslaught is mainly because of the change to the Euro. Perhaps it’ll change back and none of this will be a factor for a few years. Perhaps Josh will be the only major American to change for a few years, and perhaps he’ll return to the NBA next year. (he has opt-out options in his contract). Perhaps the Brandon Jennings experiment will fail and no other high scholars will want to take the risk.
Most likely, it will be a mix of these scenarios.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the change. I can see the benefits of having some kind of league that introduces NBA teams into consistent competition with European teams. Something along the lines of letting NBA teams into Euro league competition.
But the NBA should remain, I think, the NBA. I don’t want anything to interfere with that. What do you think?
Of course there are benefits to an expansion. But there are also drawbacks. The difficulty lies in weighing up which are bigger. Which is extremely difficult to do without experimentation.
But you can see that people are starting to think about the change, due to the player’s jumping onto the Euro Bandwagon.
Myself, I just want to enjoy the basketball, and hope that this subsides enough that it can wait for at least a few years.
David Stern’s mind is racing.
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