The Money Men, The NBA, and Overseas Ball

August 30, 2008

A great article by Slam Magazine covers some of the new ground involving NBA players jumping to overseas teams. To be fair, a lot of the media has discussed this as a mass defection, but in reality only two middle tier players have recently gone to Europe, and those guys were, quite frankly, somewhat replaceable.

However, this is still a good discussion for long ranging business, and the two agents interviewed by Slam were the negotiators for Josh Childress’s move to Greece:

[…]Olympiacos contacted us. We got a call from the owner, and I think he was the one who identified Josh to the coaches and general manager, and I think the first reaction was they didn’t expect that Josh would leave the NBA to come to Europe.

The agents would not take credit for the idea, but they openly admit that they pushed Josh to consider the move. And why not? Josh Childress would never command that amount of money in the NBA, unless he became the beneficiary of some infamous GM blunder like the Jon Koncak debacle in 1989 (interestingly enough, also involving the Hawks).

Overall these events are great for basketball players, because they create more options. Basketball players have a lot of leagues all over the world, unlike football, and although it makes it more difficult for college recruiters and pro teams in the United States, those organizations will have to adapt.