NBA Player Defections Overseas Only Fulfill David Stern’s Dream Of A Worldwide Basketball Association
When Deron Williams made it official that he was going to sign with Besiktas of the Turkish league it seemed to spark the interest of other players throughout the NBA. Everyone from Kobe Bryant to Dwight Howard has been rumored to be headed abroad this fall/winter. With the encouragement of the NBA players union to continue making a living and little resistance from the opposition - NBA players are only fulfilling the vision of David Stern for a Worldwide Basketball Association.
Without possibly seeking a more effective alternative.
Dwight Howard and Steve Nash could be headed to China while Kobe Bryant could return to Italy where he honed his skills as a youth. These are very real possibilities if the NBA lockout continues well into the latter part of this calendar year.
Many of the players are focused on maintaining a steady income while the owners and players union try to come to what seems insurmountable terms, they’re only expanding the NBA brand on a worlwide scale - a quest of NBA Commissioner David Stern’s for over two decades.
A Global Vision
The Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies, the Tournament of the Americas Basketball Challenge and the drafting of Yao Ming #1 overall. These are all tools of David Stern’s NBA global expansion. There was discussion some time ago about teams in remote countries around the world that would be financially backed by the NBA and have their own leagues sort of like what there is now but with more financial stability – more on that later.
Regarding next summer’s Olympic Games, the Chicago Bulls Joakim Noah and several other players have reported to the training camps of their respective national teams in preparation for upcoming qualifying tournaments. Problem here is that the lockout suspended a program that allowed these teams to purchase insurance policies for the NBA contracts of their best players. Players are hoping that a resolution comes about before the tournaments take place.
The lack of resistance from David Stern or the owners in regards to the possible player defections supports the notion that this is something that Stern - if no one else is willing to toy with if only temporarily. Lets say that 40-45 percent of NBA players choose to play abroad, many of these teams struggle financially to support the salaries of their respective rosters let alone one NBA superstar. The league would be in severe need of financial support.
An anonymous player on the Besiktas team stated that Williams will more than likely be the only player recieving a paycheck (approx. $200,000/month) while the remainder of the team has not been paid in months. It’s very possible that some of the NBA owners would be willing to “rescue” many of these teams by making a financial investment in them while undoubtedly cashing in on a portion of the revenue the NBA players are sure to generate?
With no negotiation timetable set things are looking bleak for an 82-game schedule, despite the league releasing its 2011-12 schedule today.
It looks like the players had a Plan B in place to combat the lockout – which may ultimately play into David Stern’s master plan.