BON VOYAGE

Posted: July 18, 2011 in NBA

NBA fans rejoice, there will be NBA action this year, however it may be taking place half way around the world.

This past weekend it was reported that All-Star center Dwight Howard is the latest NBA star considering taking his talents overseas to play in a foreign league while the NBA lockout is in place. This got me thinking, wow Prestononsport’s, what a great opportunity to write another blog, so I did.

The recent craze of going overseas all started when New Jersey Nets star point guard Deron Williams announced he had signed with the Turkish team Besiktas for a reported $5 million. Not a bad cheque while most other stars will be making $0 from basketball.

I also read that fellow Nets player Sasha Vujacic signed with another Turkish team Anadolu Efes, although terms of that contract have not been provided as of yet.

Now these contracts they are signing contain clauses that will allow them to leave once the NBA lockout is over, which obviously makes sense for them. However how would you feel as a player on these non-American teams if you’re being replaced by a star? Would you not feel completely slighted by your team because your spot is being taken by someone who didn’t earn it in that country?

No one has brought up this point from what I have read yet. The main point being looked at is that it will be great to help grow the NBA brand outside of North America. Stars will be able to reach out more and brand themselves globally, but what about the player whose spot in the line-up has now been taken by the NBA star? Is the NBA star going to share some of his NBA millions while playing just to stay in shape?

If anything these guys should be going overseas and playing for free, considering what they have made thus far in their careers from the NBA. Is this idea insane, probably but it’s still an idea. These players are used to making millions upon millions of dollars from a faulty CBA they agreed to years ago that finally has bit them in the butt, well more so the owners’ butts. However, why should a foreign not-so-recognized athlete who works hard for every minute he plays bear the burden of the NBA players’ greed?

This is another example of the player’s having their cake and eating it too. Not only are they allowed to demand to keep their already inflated salaries and player dominated league set up, they get to go make money in another league while waiting for their better paying job to figure itself out. Albeit at the expense of some end of the bench player who probably thanks his lucky stars every morning that he gets to wake up and go to a gym to play the game he loves.

I feel like I’m constantly raining on the parade of our professional athletes, but isn’t it time that someone did? Where’s the standard of higher expecatations?

Besides the fact that I think it’s unfair for them to be able to earn income while waiting for their demands for more, or at least maintained excessive income to be settled, it’s also odd that these teams are willing to bring in ringers for an undetermined period of time.

Besides the obvious money grab move of bringing them in to sell tickets, do the owner’s and coaches honestly feel that this will improve their team’s chances of bringing home a title?

I for one might be concerned about chemistry within the locker room and on the court. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of these guys will be ecstatic for the chance to play with stars such as Deron Williams, who wouldn’t be? But Euro basketball is much different from the NBA and I can’t help but think that a) NBA style of play may not fit with their accustomed methods of play, and b) there is always the ego to deal with and hogging of the spot light.

Allen Iverson tried to resurrect his NBA career by going to play in Turkey, which did not last very long. Now for what reasons I am not sure, but I can only imagine they are what every problem has been with The Answer, attitude and ability to perform with any teammate.

Deron is no Iverson however, neither in skill nor attitude, but I imagine that the same difficulties will appear at least at the beginning.

What does this now say about the NBA, are the owners in trouble? I personally say no, and simply for the reason that they are all rich and they are upset with the CBA and the status of the league. If I was an owner and the player’s would rather go play for an inferior league with inferior talent I would say go for it, be ready for the repercussions when you get home.

This is like saying “hey, this is your problem you deal with it and call me when it’s happy time again.”

Correction NBA player’s, this is one of those “our problem” situations and running away to Europe or Asia while it’s going on will not help. The idea of the lockout is for the player’s to see what it’s like without an NBA. Hopefully they realize that the life they had here was much more lavish and cushioned than it could be elsewhere.

If I was an owner I would want my star players contacting me, expressing displeasure with their boredom, or their frustrations with the negotiations. I would not want to be reading that because one league is closed, for now, they’ll run off to another. If they got hurt I would be tempted to sue, although I did lock them out so I’m not sure that would be legal.

The point here is I’m bothered for some reason why they can keep making money, while trying to get as much blood from the NBA stone as possible. Why is it that in these negotiations income equality is never talked about? Or the lack of income distribution, the gap between the highest and lowest earners keeps growing yet no player is ever concerned for their fellow employee.

The term business keeps being brought up in these lockouts, yet not a single player wishes to be treated as if they are an employee of a typical business. Again, having their cake and wanting to eat it too. If these selfish and inwardly thinking attitudes don’t desist, the bakery will soon be closed and they’ll have no cake at all.

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