Blog Entry

EuroRumors: Ibaka, Landry, Kirilenko in the mix

Posted on: July 4, 2011 2:35 pm
Edited on: July 4, 2011 6:12 pm
Posted by Royce Young

The mass exodus to Europe because of the lockout hasn't happened quite yet and probably won't. There's not nearly as much money there as some think and the risk of injury simply isn't worth it.

However, over the weekend we told you about Rudy Fernandez's reported offer to go back to Spain. Possibly joining him overseas? Serge Ibaka, Carl Landry and Andrei Kirilenko.

Kirilenko is an unrestricted free agent so he can obviously sign anywhere without consequence. Via Talk Basketball:

"I’m in a better situation than the players who have valid contracts with NBA teams. If the lockout ends they will have to return to their teams. As a free agent I can play the entire next season in Europe, or even more than one season."

So that's one fairly big name. Landry, also a free agent, is rumored to have mutual interest with Armani Jeans Milano, via Gazetta della Sporta. Only rumor and speculation though as nothing concrete has been reported there.

But in Ibaka's case, he told a Spanish radio station via the Oklahoman, the he would consider going back to Spain to play professionally.

"If there is a lockout, and there are not many complications to play in the CBA, I would like to return here to play," Ibaka reportedly said. "I would rather play to stay in shape rather than stay idle. We do not know how the lockout will go or the possibility for a player leaving the NBA to come to play here. But I would like an opportunity to play at a site where people like me."

Ibaka, unlike Kirilenko and Landry, is still under contract with the Thunder so it would be a complicated situation for him to go back. There hasn't been a real decision yet whether or not players currently under contract in the NBA would even be allowed by FIBA to play overseas.

But Ibaka played in Spain for Ricoh Manresa before joining the Thunder two seasons ago, so obviously he's familiar and comfortable there. I'd say it's a highly unlikely scenario and more just Ibaka talking than anything else.

Fact remains though, Europe is on players' minds. At least the money there is.



Since: Jun 9, 2011
Posted on: July 5, 2011 1:45 pm

EuroRumors: Ibaka, Landry, Kirilenko in the mix

IMO I think they should go play in Europe.

Since: Mar 29, 2008
Posted on: July 5, 2011 1:32 pm

EuroRumors: Ibaka, Landry, Kirilenko in the mix

I can totally see this becoming a trend for several reasons. First, the European teams have some money to throw around. I've seen major contracts drawn up for these players. I wouldn't be surprised, and there have been rumors, about the NBA seeking to become a worldwide league, where teams could be located in other countries aside from the United States as has been tradition since its inception. Basketball could serve as a major unifying force in the world. It is relatively inexpensive, its indoors so you can play it anywhere, and it appeals to a lot of athletic skill sets (high jumpers, agile dudes, fast runners, etc.). It think basketball could become the new soccer, and China is a major example of this, Yao Ming was a superstar over there. Some Chinese guys are really tall, a fact I was not aware of before Yao Ming came along. His story is really quite impressive. Year of the Yao the movie is a great story about this.

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