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Players union pushing idea ‘Melo, other stars might play in Europe

Jul 8, 2011, 10:19 AM EDT

Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony AP

Deron Williams has a deal in principle to play in Turkey should the lockout extend into September (and it almost certainly will be there at the start of the month).

We have our doubts about how many other elite players will follow in those footsteps — but it is great leverage for the NBPA (the player’s union) in negotiations with owners.

So when Newsday talked to union VP Roger Mason Jr., he threw out other big names who might want to play overseas.

“I can see anybody doing it,” said Mason Jr. said. “This is what people have to understand. It’s definitely about earning a living, but we’ve already been so blessed, a lot of guys love the game and want to be able to compete . . . I’ve talked to a lot of the star players, Chris Paul, Amar’e, (Stoudemire) Melo (Carmelo Anthony), I think that those guys are open-minded to everything.”

Again, we have our doubts. In the case of Stoudemire, his agent says in the same article this is not even being considered yet. Stoudemire has four years and $83 million left on his deal that can be voided if he got seriously injured playing overseas. And Stoudemire already has had microfracture surgery and an eye retina problem. You think he’s going to risk the physical play allowed in Europe.

Anthony has for years and about $87.6 million left after just signing and extension with the Knicks. Chris Paul is on the brink of his biggest payday ever as a free agent. Would they really risk all that to make a couple million for a season in Europe?

But it’s good leverage, so expect the union to keep selling it.

  1. ac0117 - Jul 8, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    If star players can:

    A) Get the length/value of their contracts insured against injury by playing overseas
    B) Make money during a lockout
    C) Get better
    D) Actually play basketball in a professional league instead of slumming around local courts or sitting on their @sses
    E) Be able to leave their Euro teams to return to the NBA should a lockout be lifted, like Deron Williams’ deal

    then why wouldn’t they go? It makes perfect sense for the players and the players union.

    As a fan of the NBA I am actually excited about this because it means I can watch NBA players play even if there is a lockout going on (albeit at weird hours) and, more importantly for everyone who follows the NBA, it gives the players leverage that NFL players dont have in resolving the labor situation. If the players have a financially viable alternative to playing in the NBA, it will to some degree incentivize both sides to get a deal done because the players won’t be counting missed checks like the NFL players. Not saying its a huge motivator but it is a factor that must be accounted for.

    • tashkalucy - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:18 PM

      You bring up an interesting point…..

      Will some entity televise live games from overseas during the lockout?

      I’d suspect there are some time change issues,but maybe it can be done.

      I don’t care to watch “Melo” (he’s not) or Amar-apostrophe-e much (as the saying goes – their O and D keeps both teams in the game), but I would be interested in seeing some competitive basketball next year. No doubt the lockout will go on all year…..at least.

    • tashkalucy - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:41 PM

      ac0117,

      I’ll tell you how dumb this story is……

      Last year “Melo” (a legend in his own mind) had his agent (Leon Rose) ruin the 2010-11 season for all the players and fans of the Knicks, Nets and Nuggets. Why? Because 4 years ago he got greedy and signed a max extension through last season. That protected him in case he got hurt, the max money was guaranteed through the 2010-11 season. But once the season started he (and his agent….and every fan with half a brain that follows the NBA) knew that if he went out as a free agent AFTER the season, he could not sign for the old CBA max money, but would rather have to sign for the new CBA max money – which anyone with common sense knows is going to be much lower. So seasons for Knick, Net and Nugget fans and players were ruined to make sure “Melo” could force a trade before his contract expired and sign an extension for the old max money. REASON #87 WHY THERE IS A LOCKOUT AND IT WILL BE EXTENSIVE.

      So now how can those of us with common sense believe this kid is going to play overseas for a fraction of he salary he has locked in and risk voiding the contract he jacked teams and fans around to get? So that if he gets injured his contract will be voided and he will have to sign for the lower max amount agreed to in the new CBA. SO WHAT WAS THE POINT OF RUINING THE SEASON FOR 3 TEAMS IN ORDER TO GET THE CONTRACT HE HAS NOW?

      I don’t know who’s dumber – NBA players or some of the fans. But I do know that the players are out for nothing but themselves, and there are a vocal segment of fans that make excuses for them.

      • hystoracle - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:22 PM

        All this talk of going to Europe should be a sign of a probable lost year in the NBA.

      • tashkalucy - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:00 PM

        The zero ups and four downs illustrates what P.T. Barnum said…..

        “Nobody ever lost a dollar by underestimating the taste of the American public.”

        He’s also reported to be the person that first said…..

        “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

        And…….

        “Never give a sucker an even break.”

      • theghostofwillisreed - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:19 PM

        you truly have quite an exaggerated sense of your own importance.

  2. captainwisdom8888 - Jul 8, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    I call bluff…

  3. LPad - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    One thing that’s being overlooked is that the chances of a owner voiding a star player’s contract because of a basketball injury is pretty slim. For two reasons, one owners really don’t appear to care about injuries. For example, Greg Oden just got his option picked up by Portland. Brandon Roy got a max extension despite the fact everyone knows his knees are shot. Gilbert Arenas, a player whose is a shadow of his former self because of injuries, brought a gun into the locker room and pulled on a teammate and the Wizards didn’t even try to void his contract. Given this it’s just hard to believe that a Kobe or a Melo that generate tons of money for their team off the court in local tv contracts, advertising, etc. would have their contract voided because they tore an ACL.

    Second, the owners would have to go through litigation to void these contracts. This isn’t the NFL where they can just cut you. I think it’s going to be hard to go to a judge and tell them that you want to void this basketball contract because a basketball player got hurt playing basketball. Quite frankly, this should be a risk the owners take when they decided to lockout the players and stop paying them.

    • tashkalucy - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:24 PM

      Greg Oden did NOT have his option picked up by Portland. They made an offer that was far below the salaries he’s been getting.

      What star players have on the owners is what you see in the comments here……

      If an owner lets a player go for nothing as a free agent, then many fans in his market will stop following the team. So owners are blackmailed into resigning their stars or a replacement, no matter what the cost. A reason that this CBA will demand a franchise is compensated equally if a player is lost.

      As far as the owners not being able to void a players contract if he plays overseas – please post an NBA contract that you have read. And furthermore, if the players want to take legal action in the event of an injury, you can just add that on to the time it’s going to take until this lockout is over.

      As Hall Of Fame Cav announcer Joe Tait said before the season – “the inmates are running the asylum.” This is a guy that has announced the NBA in two markets and very probably was the best local NBA announcer this season as Chick Hern and Johnny Most have passed. Joe retired this year after over 40 seasons of announcing, and when asked if he would be following the NBA in retirement he has always bellowed out “NO!”.

      For people older that have followed the NBA for decades and saw guys that played 100% every game and took responsibility for what they did, the NBA is painful to watch. The lack of fundamentals, the disrespect for most coaches, the disrespect of the game and the fans. And we can add that bench players from 30 years ago are better than most starters now and that most rotation layers have no business being in he league. But for the younger group of Americans that think the object in life it to get yours and screw the other guy, they just love the showboat and hotdoging that ESPN puts on the highlight films nightly. (If Bill Parcells were a basketball coach instead of a football coach he would have died 15 years ago of a heart attack from watching this garbage.)

      It didn’t work in The Finals, but hey, it’s not about winning anymore and doing it with class…..it’s all about ENTERTAINMENT.

      The NFL is the only true professional sports league left in America, and when that lockout is over America could care less about the NBA. And the younger generation of NBA watchers can switch the cable station over and see if one of the Kardascian/s has a new sex tape for sale. And when you’re turned down for a job because you can’t speak and write Spanish by your Chinese overlords, you can stare at your large screen TV, eat your Doritos and wonder how this happened.

  4. georgeanderson2 - Jul 8, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    Knicks and Nuggets made the playoffs, plenty of teams would have liked to have a post season apperance.Nets picked up their potential PG of the future, they drew national pop culture media attention by one player dating a Kardashian. Business side for the teams didn’t do awful.

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