Thursday, March 11th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  33 responses

Will Players Jump Overseas During Lockout?

Assuming that we’re headed towards a lockout in 2011-’12, the NY Times proposes an intriguing option for the (star) players: “The superstars recognize that their support and solidarity are vital if the players are to prevail in the negotiations.  For their part, James, Wade and Carmelo Anthony all showed up to the bargaining table as the two sides met over All-Star weekend last month. Could a further show of solidarity tip the balance of power? What if this handful of players plied its trade elsewhere? Is Europe the players’ trump card? Here’s a possible situation: These players (or at least many of them) play out the remainder of their contracts and enter free agency in 2011, just as the current agreement expires. They are joined by other players whose deals end that year, like Anthony, Kevin Durant and even Tim Duncan. They present a united front to the league: ‘If there’s a lockout, we’re heading overseas.’ Think that will get the league’s attention? Remember, these aren’t rank-and-file players we’re talking about here, like Josh Childress (who left the N.B.A. for Europe in 2008). These are the guys who fill the seats and sell the shoes. Would the threat of a defection of this magnitude – even for one season – be sufficient to dissuade the owners from initiating a lockout?”

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  • Chazz Michael Michaels

    what lockout are we talking about here???

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    wow, the effect that would have on the NBA would be so unbelievably huge…

  • http://fdksjlf.com Jukai

    So pretty much the Times brought up a scenario every single basketball fan had already thought about? Good for them!

  • neaorin

    During the NHL lockout lots of players headed for Europe. It could happen with the NBA.

  • Sparty’s Law

    @neaorin: I think it was mainly European-born players that played in Europe during the NHL lockout.

  • neaorin

    Rick Nash, Heatley, Lecavalier, St.Louis, Joe Thornton all played in Europe. I’m sure there were some others that I’m missing right now.

  • Sparty’s Law

    Really? My bad.

  • Boy Sanchez

    Can anyone explain to me what lockout is all about? I think I missed some episodes… Thanks!

  • Fat Lever

    Potential lockouts of the NFL and NBA in 2011. Interesting…

  • MikeC.

    @ Boy Sanchez – At the end of next season the contract that the team owners have with the NBA players’ union expires. This contract states how much players can be paid, maximum lengths of guaranteed contracts, stuff like that. The NBA owners want to have shorter guaranteed contracts with lower annual wages for the players. The players are very unlikely to go for this, which is why there is talk of a lockout. If the players don’t leave a bunch of money on the bargaining table, the owners can lock them out for part of a season like the 1999 season, or lock them out indefinitely. There’s a lot more to the negotiations, but that’s a simplified version of events.

  • letsmotor

    @ MikeC.: how ’bout an even more simplified version of events lol

  • The Philosopher

    Everyone has to be able to make a living.

  • LA Huey

    Now, I love TD’s game, demeanor, and overall nerdness. However, when’s the last time Tim Duncan filled seats outside of SA? When’s the last time The Big Fundamental could sell shoes? And, most of all, why would anyone who follows basketball think Timothy Theodore Duncan wants to play under FIBA rules?

  • Logues

    well if this may happen, the superstars (kobe, bron, dwade, etc) need to step up and do something. ppl will listen to them

  • Hornet

    lol … maybe some of them would come to Romania, because all the americans playing here are second-third hand players.
    They are better though than the romanians .
    Even Stephon Marbury would have a chance here.
    I’m not sure how they will accomodate with that little thing called traveling , which is a strict rule in Europe, but i’m quite positive they will get it in the end ;)

  • celticshomie

    if they head to europe, the basketball fan base in america will fall, if we americans doesn’t have the best, we lose interest

  • dw24

    Do it. I bet the majority won’t but I would love it. Knock Stern off his high horse of him ruining this league. He’s so retarded. I want the old NBA back where it was physical and players didn’t b!tch about every touch foul. LeBron wouldn’t have his way then.

  • ConeyIslander

    It would hurt the NBA really bad if most of the guys who filled “Cowboys stadium” end up yachting around the mediterranean! They would instantly raise the credibility of European basketball exponentially.

  • MikeC.

    @letsmotor – I can go way simpler than that. The potential lockout will be caused by millionaires wanting to be paid more by billionaires, and the billionaires don’t want to pay the millionaires as much. Both sides are idiots in this situation.

  • The Philosopher

    They have to make a deal, even if it’s a bad deal for either side. Can one imagine what could happen if a deal doesn’t get struck? Cooler heads have to prevail. Why wouldn’t players go elsewhwhere if need be? A mass defection? Can one picture the League letting that happen?

  • The Philosopher

    And it could be appealing to players. Shorter seasons, rock star treatment one would not believe. I hear they’re going to build a statue for Marbury over there in China. (not) LeBron would be a demigod, then.

  • http://slamonline.com d.j.

    i dont think there will be a lock out to be honest but even if there is it will be for a month or two and once both sides realize what they are losing they will give in and just have a really short season again like starting in dec or jan like that one time in the 90′s i forgot what year it was 98 or 99 some help ? but ya i agree that is stupid because 9 mill a year int enough cause ” i gotta feed my family man ” so i want 10 mill a year !

  • tomtom

    Go mike. Havnt heard it put any better than that (the millionaires vs billionaires argument)

  • therighttoremainsalient

    @dw24 – Actually, you bring back a more physical style of NBA ball and I bet you LeBron would thrive. The guy is 6’9 and 255 pounds (on a lean day!). Which PG/SG/SF is going to want to play physical against him??? He would OWN it on a physical game. This isn’t your little French Maid Kobe we’re talking about… THE NEXT GENERATION OF NBA FANS ARE HERE…who am I talking about? The young teenagers, who don’t know about the LOCKOUT that happened this time a decade ago, where the NBA season went for 50 games and Tim Duncan got David Robinson his FINALS HARDWARE…Look it up peeps.

  • therighttoremainsalient

    and the lockout… is like: You go and see your boss about a raise, because you got your bills coming in and you feel your underpaid anyway, but what usually happens? Your boss says, lets compromise; you get a choice, either walk out the door and someone else can have your job. Or you come back here tomorrow and I’ll give you the exact same money your on now.. maybe even less seeing as you be b1tchen about it today. Thats what happens to you and I. Well not me, I got a great job. I’ve got a job like an NBA player, where THEY get to say… hey, your a BILLIONARE Because I play THIS SPORT and do these great things in your ‘employment’, how about you give me an incentive to re-up on long term contracts…?? Or I’ll go somewhere else where the pay is what I want….

  • guts

    tim duncan hates fiba!

  • nastierthanu

    Are we all forgetting the most import thing here? Am I the only one to think of this. I would love this move for 1 season JUST TO SHUT DIMITRI’S MOUTH. Oh the glory watchin his precious euro ballers get pushed to the back burner. Whatchin his euro princes with nightly updates of nuts in their mouths. Oh it would be sooooo sweet. Let’s stay focused people

  • Danny23

    How about the players and celebrity fans set up a new league if the owners play tough? Jack Nicholson buys the L.A. Stars, Spike Lee the NY team? Who wouldn’t want that? Ex-players could get in too like Oakley, Magic etc.

  • Son of Shawn

    Mmm, I supposse that the “I´m going to play overseas” menace, it´s only a menace, unless Nike and Adidas take a deep think at it (and get tired of paying the athletes during the lockout) and flight Lebron to the China Basketball League, Melo to Japan, Dirk to Germany, Pau to Spain, Parker to France, etc. Can you imagine the huge marketing campaign that a month tournee would mean?, Can you imagine the amount of money and shoes, shirts, etc. sales?

  • http://www.euroleagueadventures.com Nick Gibson

    This would be gigantic, clearly. The problem is, there are only a handful of teams that can pay anywhere close to the amount of money that a VERY GOOD player makes (rank and file, as the article put it). Teams can’t pay LBJ, Wade, or Melo. Now if all of the league’s high-end role players (like the rest of the Von Wafer’s, Linas Kleiza’s and J-Chil’s) all up and left, then that would be a serious and more realistic concern for the league in my opinion.

  • http://myspace.com/mcnarrative Kieran

    But we all know thanks to greek dude that they wouldnt cut it in the powerhouse that is Euro basketball. Kobe and Bron probably arent even top 10 players

  • http://theurbangriot.com/ NUPE

    Even with this economy, the U.S. is still the biggest market in the world. The superstars will make more off the court playing in the U.S. than anywhere else. If they go overseas they lose endorsement value. Do fiba teams have salary cap limits etc. like they do in the NBA? If Bron/Melo/Wade etc. were to go overseas, they would risk thier largest current fan base (not that they couldn’t make up for it in China) but the political ‘issues’ in China and may not make it an ideal place for an American superstar. If they left for just a year and came back, not sure how well they would be embrased. The Owners have the upper hand hear. The NBA will be fine with or without the current crop of superstars because they can be replaced with others.

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