Absolutely no news regarding the NBA lockout. Nothing. Checking out news columns on big sites and news networks, watching tv and sport shows – nothing. The only thing happening regarding the lockout is Derek Fisher saying things have been awfully quiet. The players are talking and eyeing moves to Europe, the owners and moguls are cutting staff and handling other business. Nothing to indicate that there’s even thought about the NBA season.
Maybe there are some behind the scene stuff going on. Maybe secret meeting in dark, hidden rooms. I hardly believe that. It’s impossible to hide anything like that. What is mostly in the news is players heading over to Europe. Be it guys already signing, Deron Williams heading the bunch. Mostly its European born players who are less timid about making the transition back to European basketball. The Euroleague for some has its certain allure.
Interested in making the move? Nearly every All-Star and superstar is at least feigning some interest in the cross Atlantic move. Carmelo, Artest, Bosh, Durant, Rudy Gay, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Dwyane Wade. I don’t think any of them, or most of them, will actually go, unless the season is really cancelled. And despite the very pessimistic signs we’re seeing all around us, there’s a long way to go before the season is completely thrown away.
The biggest name in European consideration is Kobe Bryant. Bryant said today that he hasn’t been contacted by anyone in Europe, including Besiktas (Deron Williams’ team). Besiktas representatives have said that there’s a 50% chance Bryant will be making the switch to Turkey, probably on the airline he’s working for, Turkish Airlines. If you ask anyone on the Bryant camp – It’s more like 0%.
Those who have made the switch – Jeff Adrien (Warriors, signed with Benetton Treviso), David Andersen, who has spent most of his career in Europe anyhow, Hilton Armstrong who moved to France, Frenchman Nicolas Batum, who prior to the 2010-2011 season was somehow compared to Scottie Pippen by numerous people (probably on drugs) is moving to Nancy. Nenad Krstic, who played for the Boston Celtics and the Thunder last season signed with CSKA Moscow in Russia. Acie Law signed with Partizan in Serbia, a team Krstic played for way way back. E’Twaun Moore, recently drafted by the Celtics, also signed for Treviso in Italy. Timofey Mozgov, part of the Knicks-Nuggets trade last season signed in Russia.
Chris Quinn will join in at Khimki Moscow. Darius Songalia, Lithuanian, made the Turkey switch as well, to Galatasaray. DaJuan Summer signed with Siena in Italy. Garrett Temple signed with Casale of Italy. Sasha Vujacic, after seven years in the NBa which helped him obtain Maria Sharapova as a girlfriend, signed with Efes in Turkey. Sonny Weems signed in Lithuania with Zalgiris, and last but not least, and actually the first, Deron Williams in Besiktas.
For European fans waiting for the European Basketball championships, the news are great. Hardly anyone will be skipping the tournament this year with no NBA duties to hold them back. At least something good comes out of this lockout. For non-American fans that is.