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Krstic: NBA players will not be flocking to Europe

Jul 1, 2011, 11:40 AM EDT

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce high-fives recently acquired teammate center Nenad Krstic in Boston Reuters

It is every player’s favorite threat — “I can always play in Europe.” Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, a ton of players have pulled out the Euro card as an option.

It’s not really an option, not like they think.

So warns Nenad Krstic, who spent the last several seasons in the NBA (Thunder and Celtics) but signed with powerhouse CSKA Russia to play for them next season. Krstic spoke with the Boston Herald.

“I don’t think you will see a lot coming here,” Krstic said yesterday from his home in Kraljevo, Serbia. “Europe is not in a great situation financially. There are only four or five teams now that can offer much to NBA players, and those teams right now are almost full.

“That’s a problem for NBA players, I think,” he said. “It was a reason why I had to go right away. I got maybe the best contract in Europe because of that.”

That doesn’t even get into how players who are under an NBA contract need a special waiver from FIBA to play overseas, even during a lockout.

Talk to players that play overseas ad they will tell you that playing for the big names teams you know the names of — CSKA Moscow, Barcelona, Real Madrid — and playing for most teams are different experiences. The farther down the food chain you go, the more you run into teams that struggle with payroll, coaches on massive ego trips (and coaches have more power there) and more. It’s not exactly the NBA on the other side of the pond. And on the top teams, there will be few if any spots left by the time NBA players come knocking.

Just know that while it makes a good threat, it’s not such a practical option.

  1. chargerdillon - Jul 1, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    People really dont recognize the fact once you sign an NBA contract YOU ARE RICH compared to any normal american living middle to middle upper to upper.

    None of these players should be hurting at all, if anything they have tons of money and tons of free time to enjoy their money. They arnt going to go work elsewhere, they arnt hurting in the first place which is why they feel they can be unified and hold out.

    The players are overpaid to a disgusting level

  2. worldbfree4me - Jul 1, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    I concur @ChargerDillon
    These players will not and should not get any sympathy from fans on work stoppage. Personally, I hope the NFL gives us fans a break this year by canceling the up coming season.

  3. mistercharitystripe34 - Jul 1, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Problem is the WRONG players get huge amounts of money. If some of these owners who are “hurting” so badly would carefully examine their GM’s spending decisions, they could put a stop to some of their awful salary decisions. I could be wrong, but Rudy Gay (ex.) has NEVER made one All-Star team, and yet he got a max deal for around $80 million? Rashard Lewis, Gilbert Arenas, Baron Davis, Eddy Curry, Hedo Turkoglu, Vince Carter….? The list goes on and on of players who range from totally overpaid to robbing the owners/GM’s blind. If more GM’s were better talent evaluators and truly understood market value for some of these players, there wouldn’t be so many garbage dollars handed out to stiffs or over-the-hill veterans who clearly do not contribute to the level of their contract.

  4. silk32 - Jul 1, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    They had better not. Most of them skipped college so they wouldn’t get “exposed”. They had better keep their butts (and their “suspect” games) in the U.S. where it’s safe.

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