For one reason or another, most of Europe’s best pro leagues impose a two-player limit on the number of Americans teams can sign.
This ‘limit’ has been argued to be to these league’s detriment, as many talented Americans are left to play elsewhere in Europe, often playing above the competition.
Ron Artest, who was in London this weekend for the NBA’s Europe Live tour, thinks the two-player limit is unfair to both European fans and the American players playing overseas.
From Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
When Lakers forward Ron Artest walked off the practice floor of the Crystal Palace in the Bromley section of London on Saturday, he wanted to talk about what he perceives to be a limited population of American players in European and international basketball leagues.
“They need to let more Americans play in the European leagues,” Artest said. “There are only like two [Americans] to a team while Europeans can come to America [and play in the NBA] like the whole San Antonio Spurs team — a whole American team can be full of Europeans. Europe has to be a little more fair to the American players.
“You see a lot of foreign players come over to America to play in the NBA. It’s not fair that a lot of American players can’t come to China or can’t come to Europe to play with as many players as they want, so there’s no balance … They should just make it more even.”
Ron Ron makes a solid point in that teams like the Spurs have benefited from combing the globe for talent. Of course, the imported talent is generally from Europe, Africa and South America, and not the USA. But the point is valid.
The level of play in European leagues would increase if more Americans were allowed to play. And fears of the USA dominating rosters is probably overly worrisome.