Friday, August 8, 2008

Stop Euro-Stealing Our Players

I am seriously tired of all the NBA stars who will be “going to Europe in 2010” or whatever. Actually scratch that, they’re all going to be going to the same team, Olympiakos (Greece) in the future. It’s true that European clubs have no salary cap, and sure Olympiakos might be owned by two billionaire brothers (pictured below)…

…but still, they can’t possibly employ Kobe, LeBron and Dwayne Wade each for 50 million dollars a year. Even if they could, do you really think any of those superstars would be willing to move themselves and their family to a foreign country where they don’t speak the language or know the location of the hottest nightclubs?
It’s one thing when Josh Childress, Earl Boykins and Carlos Arroyo or geared up to leave the U.S. but NBA players who can actually find employment here would be more inclined to stay.
I’ll admit that global branding would probably be improved by, you know, going around the globe, but it’s not like Nike and Adidas don’t use these guys overseas to sell sneakers.
Call me old fashioned but I just don’t see superstars leaving the NBA, even if it means 30 million more a year in salary. It would be kind of like when David Beckham came over here. Sure he makes more money, and it got us sort of excited about soccer for a little bit, but ultimately he sacrificed being in a country where people really cared about what he did on the field. Besides, the Europeans have a very different definition of athletics than we do:

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