Kobe Bryant is playing in the Philippines for buckets of cash. Deron Williams has signed in Turkey. LeBron James is paying some visits to friends in Cleveland, the few he still has there. And what about the league, the NBA? Locked out. Nothing happening. Besides some lower level guys from the owners and union met to finalize numbers related to the 2010-2011 season, revenue sharing and such. Stern and Hunter? Nope, not any time soon it seems.
The union is doing the inside work so far – Sessions in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta Chicago and others. The topics? Well, discussions for players, something like a crash course of how to conduct yourself during the lockout, certain insurance issues which are very needed for all the players, from their exhibition games around the world, to the European Championship in a very short time to the options of playing overseas while the league is locked out.
Despite Deron Williams making his move, the dreams of lucrative offers from Europe isn’t exactly becoming reality. Very few teams can actually pay the money NBA players think they can get. Olympiakos are in financial mayhem, Besiktas are currently tied to their clubs football team which has found itself in the middle of huge match fixing scandal. Russian clubs don’t pay the mega bucks they used to. Spain? Maybe Barcelona, maybe Real Madrid.
The fear of the players bolting right back to the NBA once the lockout ends is probably a huge setback, and will be. For now, as there is no meeting between David Stern and Billy Hunter waiting to happen. The best option for cash, it seems, are these exhibition games. A nice income from the side for players who can draw crowds, sponsors and interest. For the rest? A role in Europe or the hope of the lockout ending very soon. Which isn’t very likely. And there’s always a career change, or going back to college…