Thursday, July 21, 2011

Is Going Overseas Hurting the Players?

With Deron Williams officially signing a contract to play over in Turkey, Kobe looking for a million a month to join him, and multiple other players at least pretending to be considering going overseas, there is less talk about the NBA lockout and more about which players are going where. As an avid NBA follower I've been paying close attention and I can honestly say I've heard more about players attempting to find insurance for playing overseas then I've heard about what kind of progress Hunter and Stern have been making behind closed doors.

The optimist in me wants to believe it's just the fact that there aren't nearly as many leaks inside the meetings for the NBA as there have been for the NFL but I think what it boils down to is that basketball players have options while football players can't really switch from league to league without it hurting their performance once they come back to the NFL. No matter the reason, it is very likely that Deron Williams and at least a few other stars will be suiting up overseas for at least a few games while they try and find a way to work out a new CBA.

Other then that though, there has been a serious lack in NBA news but one little argument that has been going on between writers is that players going overseas might actually hurt the union in their efforts to get what they want added into the new CBA. The reasoning behind that stance is that if the players are willing to go overseas for such low salaries the owners will see it as proof that NBA players would be willing to agree to a huge slash in salaries on this side of the pond just to be able to play basketball in their home country.

And although they have a good point and certainly the viewpoint the owners are going to take I just think there are to many variables that the people with this line of thinking aren't taking into consideration. The contracts that the players are looking for include an immediate out clause in case the two sides can settle their differences and an NBA season happens this year. Call me crazy, but I don't think anyone is going to get top dollar if more then likely they will be bolting maybe a third of the way into the season.

But for now that's what news for the NBA is going to be about. Instead of trade rumors and free agent speculation we're going to be hearing about who is thinking of going to place overseas and which side has more leverage. And if you're in the 13-23 age group like I am this is one of the lowest times ever as an NBA fan, mostly because this past season was probably the most entertaining regular season any of us have ever been able to follow as it happened. So instead of the NBA riding that momentum they are going to probably cancel the first half of the season. The situation is so dire that the two sides aren't even having meeting and that can only be bad news for everyone involved. At least the owners and players can each point to different things they have leverage with as they dig in for a lengthy lockout, we as fans have nothing to cling to really at all.

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