Monday, July 21, 2008

FIBA is not a threat to the NBA

The latest over-reaction by NBA writers has been the impending collapse as a result of a devalued dollar and tax-free contracts in Europe sap the NBA of talent. What crap. First of all look who's leaving to Europe -- Juan Carlos Navarro and Bostjan Nachbar. Chicken Little, the sky is really falling! Both are eminently replaceable talents who don't merit the pay they're getting from the European clubs. JCN couldn't be a star on perhaps the worst team in the NBA and Nachbar was a 6th man on a bad Nets team. Put him on a team in the West or on the Celtics or Pistons and the guy doesn't get off the bench unless it's 'garbage time'. In fact they should take the money because they have no chance of being a star in the NBA. Two years from now and people will forget they were even in the league. And don't discount the fact that neither are American-born players.

Now Adrian Wojnarowski, a normally respectable writer for Yahoo Sports writes that Josh Childress may flee to Europe too and this could spell the end for the NBA. Yes, this would be a move by an American, but come on Wojo, you're better than this. Childress is a nice player, but he'll never be a great player. With tax and euro implications 3 years/$20M is like 3/$40M. Put in NBA terms, this is like Max Contract money. And no one in their right mind -- even if Billy King was still calling the shots in Atlanta -- would ever fork over that kind of money for a player of Childress' stature...or lack thereof.

So maybe Europe becomes a place where mediocre talent cashes big checks, but it's not where the best America players go, and it won't be. If LeBron signs with Belgrade instead of Brooklyn, call me. Otherwise, this is a complete non-story.


Anonymous said...

You forgot Carlos Delfino goin' to Russia too.

Brandi said...

I think the more interesting angle of this story is Brandon Jennings. Seems to me that the NCAA has more to fear from European teams than the NBA does. The NBA is still the premier league in the world and will nead to poach a lot more top quality players to overtake the NBA before the difference in money makes the Euroleague a serious threat. On the other hand, the NCAA is not paying its players anything and any savvy agent or top quality player knows that the scouts have penetrated the European market, so there's nothing to lose as far as notice goes by going to Europe.

If Jennings works out and is drafted next year in the first round, look for more players to forego the NBA and NCAA's one year moratorium...

Glenn Gruber said...

Delfino is the same as the other guys. He's easy to forget about.

Regarding Jennings, there are far more cautionary tales of high school or underclassmen who come out and think they're all that and end up bagging groceries. It's just as likely that Jennings bombs in Europe and comes home with his tail between his legs, he may be the last guy who tries this. We'll see.