Whenever a couple breaks up, there’s arguing, name-calling and some trash-talking behind the other person’s back. Once you get past that, it’s time to move on. The main goal? Find someone better.
In the break up between the NBA players and owners over a new CBA, the players seem to be moving on. Not only have they found someone better, they found the NBA’s younger, sexier, foreign cousin who doesn’t want any kind of commitment: European basketball.
To NBA players, playing overseas must sound like a dream compared to what they’re going through right now. Sure, they don’t get nearly as much money, but they can get a paycheck and come back to the NBA anytime they want if the dispute is resolved.
New Jersey Nets’ Deron Williams is the first big star to agree to play overseas in Turkey, but if the NBA lockout doesn’t end soon, he won’t be the last. There are rumors that European teams have contacted Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and other big name players, along with some lesser-known ones. Why shouldn’t they go?
Not only will they get paid to play, but it would also give them a huge amount of leverage over NBA owners. The biggest argument the owners bring to negotiation talks is, “If we don’t pay you, who will?” Now the NBA players have an answer.
And you think guys like Dirk Nowitzki wouldn’t love to go play in their home country? How great would it feel to come home after all these years and play in front of your home country fans?
So if the players take this option, they win the break up. They’ve moved on and they’ll force the owners to beg to take them back.
The question is: will this new sense of power force the players to get too greedy? They will have all the leverage, and if the owners are too stubborn, could this mean the end of the NBA? I’m sure the players would much rather play here in the States, but I don’t think they’ll give in to owner demands just to do so.
One thing is for sure, with every All-Star that heads overseas, the more desperation we’ll see from NBA owners. But at what point will we see the owners show up at the player’s door with flowers and brand new diamond necklace?