With Nets superstar Deron Williams breaking the ice by agreeing to terms to play in Turkey if the NBA lockout lasts for a long time, will Knicks Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony follow suit? Highly doubtful.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There will not be a mass exodus of NBA superstars to Europe.
For a variety of reasons, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant and/or Amar’e Stoudemire won’t follow Deron Williams to exotic locations like Turkey, Greece, Spain, and Italy.
This trio may listen to offers. Their people may publicly express interest in Europe. And we -the media and fans- will eat it up because there’s nothing to discuss during the lockout.
Bottom line: few, if any, superstars will join Williams.
These high-profile athletes need insurance against injuries. This isn’t cheap, and would negate much of the salary they earned for playing.
In some cases, the risk is too great. Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters, has already said his client head won't risk the remaining $80 million on his NBA contract with the New York Knicks for a few games abroad.
Italy, Spain, Greece, and/or Portugal are on the verge of bankruptcy, and need economic help from the European Union. Can these countries afford NBA superstars? And will their leveraged owners honor these big-ticket contracts?
Expect Kobe Bryant to instead head east –as in the Far East. Bryant will apparently headline a tour to basketball-mad China, where he'll market his brand, shoes, and everything else Kobe-related.
Superstars will use Europe to gain leverage in negotiations during the lockout. The game's biggest names will be reluctant to follow Williams overseas.
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