Blog Entry

Childress says playing in Europe isn't all great

Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2011 12:31 pm
Posted by Royce Young

The new most annoying story in the NBA is what players are going to do during the lockout, specifically, if they're willing to play overseas. Virtually every player has responded that he'd be open to it, with some going as far to actually sign (hello, Deron Williams).

The reasons are simple:

1) You get paid.

2) You get to play against good competition.

3) You get paid.

A handful of NBA players, other than Williams, have signed. Sonny Weems and Darius Songaila just put their name to contracts recently, with others still being rumored.

But it's not all it's cracked up to be. One NBA player who went to Europe for a season came back with a number of lessons. Josh Childress knows the system, knows what it's like and knows what players can expect. And as he told, playing in Europe isn't as easy as it sounds or all it's cracked up to be.
"One of the biggest things guys will have to realize is that whatever offer you get, there's no guarantee you'll actually get all that money," Childress says. "If a guy isn't playing well or a team is out of the playoffs, they'll just stop paying you. I know tons and tons of players who just walked away because they didn't want to go through the hassle of going to court to get their money.


"I played for one of the biggest clubs in Europe," Childress says. "But there were still six- and seven-hour bus rides, we didn't stay at the best hotels and we flew commercial nine out of 10 times. And not all coaches care about your body. It's more military style. There's no getting tired. I'll be interested to see how guys' bodies respond."
Basically, it sounds like it's a glorified D-League. Bus rides, subpar trainers, lacking medical attention and no pampering. I can't see any star NBA player being fine with that.

Childress was asked if he'd consider returning to Europe too.
"No, I wouldn't," he says. "And I don't know why guys would. I understand that guys really want to play. But you sometimes have to look at what you have and treat this as a business. The only way I could see it making sense is if you're a player from a particular country going back. But for an American player with a good-sized guaranteed deal here, I can't see why you'd do it."
Remember, pretty much every single player is saying, "I'd consider it," with basically no one saying point blank no. But the one player that's definitively said he won't is a guy that has actually played there. I think that says something.

I recall watching a special on Brandon Jennings who skipped playing a freshman year in college, instead going to Italy to play professionally for a season. He said it was always a challenge to get paid on time.

Yes, Europe is a good option, especially if a player wants or need to continue their stream of income. But by the way it sounds according to Childress, it doesn't sound as wonderful as some have built it up to be. There's not nearly as much money as some might think and the lifestyle definitely isn't one an NBA star would appreciate.

Like many have said, it's probably more talking -- even with Williams -- than anything else. I'm like the opposite of Kevin Love. I'll believe an NBA star playing in Europe when I see it.

Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: July 14, 2011 4:03 pm

Childress says playing in Europe isn't all great

I think it is much more simplified by saying: "It was not all that great because he is not all that great..."

Since: Dec 20, 2008
Posted on: July 14, 2011 1:49 pm

Europe basketball not even close to USA

Maybe all those that are looking for any kind of 'greener grass' during this lockout should experience the difference here in Europe than in the US.  Having attended a couple of the so-called 'professional leagues' here in Germany, it is not quite the same fanfare as that of the US professional leagues.
  I would venture a guess that even the WNBA is more 'fun, exciting and competitive' than the majority of leagues around Europe.  Certainly there are those countries with talented players, but they eventually venture into the US market, thereby leaving quite a void in talent at some top-level teams in particular countries . . e.g. Spain, Italy, Serbia, even Germany.
   Sure, come on over . . see first-hand the difference, not only in Euros vs. Dollars, but in culture, transportation, fan base and all around acceptance of the market here.  It might not be the most positive experience for these multi-millionaires, but it certainly might prove a bit humbling . . and then cause the majority to reconsider their stance on the lock-out and how they support their expensive habits and lifestyles.  Try it . . maybe you'll like it!

Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: July 14, 2011 1:25 pm

Childress says playing in Europe isn't all great

Cal you are thinking like a normal person.  Pro athletes are not normal people.

Since: Jun 25, 2011
Posted on: July 14, 2011 12:14 pm

Childress says playing in Europe isn't all great


Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: July 14, 2011 11:32 am

Childress says playing in Europe isn't all great

All the writers ever talk about is money. If you were offered a chance to play bastetball in a city like Barcelona, the experience would be fantastic. Would it all come up roses? No, of course not, but the benefits and chance to experience a new culture (not to mention beautiful people) would be outstanding. Most of these guys should not really be all that concerned with money (being already set for life). Sure some of the less money savvy should be concerned but someone like Pierce or Nash that already has everything they will ever need, should consider it.

Since: Jan 30, 2008
Posted on: July 14, 2011 10:48 am

Childress says playing in Europe isn't all great

I also find it hard to believe that players who are used to the NBA lifestyle will like it very much in Europe. Basketball is, generally speaking, a second-tier sport in Europe, like hockey in the United States. But unlike hockey in the U.S., the places where basketball tends to be the most popular in Europe are the places where U.S. players would be least likely to want to live; places like Greece, Turkey, Serbia, Lithuania, Croatia, Russia, etc. If I'm not mistaken, outside of Spain and Italy there aren't any other wealthy European countries with anything approaching a decent professional basketball league.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: July 14, 2011 10:17 am

Childress says playing in Europe isn't all great

Good NBA players*

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: July 14, 2011 10:17 am

Childress says playing in Europe isn't all great

A lot of you just sound jealous and bitter. 

Why should the main attractions of a BILLION DOLLAR business not be treated like such? It's like Google employees not being offered insurance or stock benefits. Good NBA aren't replaceable, therefore they should be handled as such if you want a good return on your investment. 

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: July 14, 2011 4:42 am

Childress says playing in Europe isn't all great

Is he saying the NBA players have it made?  Wait a minute there is no way these NBA players have it that good.  They keep telling us how bad it is to work for the man.  I find it hard to believe this story.

Have a good day all

Since: Dec 28, 2008
Posted on: July 14, 2011 2:02 am

Childress says playing in Europe isn't all great

The reason they wont have a NBA season next year because of attitudes like this.  They have to fly coach and bus rides... BOO WHOOOOO WAAAAA WAAAAA I want Lear Jets, groupies, 5 star hotels, trainers, cooks, drivers, body guards, me me me me me....  These guys got spoiled off of what Michael Jordan did for the NBA in the late 80's and 90's  and these new breed of brats will never come to the table and accept reality that the money isn't as good as it once was.

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