Sunday , Apr , 12 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Declining ‘Euro’: Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury, and other NBA stars won’t get paid in Europe

Like real estate and stocks, the international market for American basketball stars has collapsed. Or, at a minimum, it has softened. The current climate is very different than last summer. Remember, eight months ago, fans were expecting European clubs to chase and perhaps sign some of the NBA’s biggest stars because they could offer 50 million dollars tax-free for a single season …


Declining 'Euro': Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury, and other NBA stars won't get paid in EuropeLike real estate and stocks, the international market for American basketball stars has collapsed. Or, at a minimum, it has softened.

The current climate is very different than last summer. Remember, eight months ago, fans were expecting European clubs to chase and perhaps sign some of the NBA’s biggest stars because they could offer 50 million dollars tax-free for a single season.

Even Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Chris Paul had publicly discussed heading abroad for big money.

Europe had two things going for it. First, there is no salary cap. Unlike the NBA, Real Madrid, for instance, doesn’t have to worry about the CBA and maximum contracts. They can offer any amount without triggering the luxury tax. Second, European owners had grown filthy rich off Petro-dollars. And the high oil prices were expected to continue, which would support toys like professional basketball teams.

Well, the commodity market has collapsed. And overseas owners have had their net worth reduced, so sports teams are now expensive liabilities.

Of course, Bryant, James, and Paul will still get paid in America. However, the declining star suffers. The veteran looking for one final ‘max’ level contract can’t thumb his nose at the NBA and head overseas. The dollars, or Euros, aren’t there.

Consider Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury’s situations. Both are free agents come July and, with a slow market for their services in the NBA, were likely counting on large paydays in Europe as a backup. However, the big European clubs can’t afford Iverson or Marbury. And their tendencies to dominate the ball wouldn’t fit in a league where players are expected to make the extra pass.

One possibility is Jason Kidd. The Hall of Fame point guard will likely leave Dallas as a free agent this summer and sign a cheap, one-year deal with a contender like the Los Angeles Lakers or Cleveland Cavaliers. In two seasons, he could head abroad for big money to make up for his reduced salary in 2009-2010. Kidd’s style would mesh with any team in any league.

With so much economic uncertainty, older American stars can’t rely on Europe as a fallback.

Do you think Iverson and Marbury will get paid in Europe? Get at us in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of MacClure.