Blog Entry

Report: Stern to meet with head of FIBA

Posted on: July 18, 2011 11:53 am
Edited on: July 18, 2011 1:34 pm
By Matt Moore

Update: reports that the meeting has been scheduled for months and is only to discuss the 2014 World Championships, not to cover anything specifically related to the lockout. Great, David Stern gets to know what it's like to have a conversation where you can't talk abou the elephant in the room for once. 

Original report: Deron Williams is headed to Istanbul. Every NBA player on the planet has  mentioned considering going abroad to play. But the question is, can they? 

Well, the answer is, "yes of course." There's nothing to stop a team from signing a player for their individual league or exhibition play. However, when those teams enter into international competitions such as EuroLeague or EuroCup, that's when FIBA gets involved. FIBA is the governing body for determining the eligibility of players for those international competitions and as such, they have a huge say on whether NBA players can play overseas during the lockout. FIBA has yet to rule on the matter, but HoopsWorld reports that the head of FIBA, Patrick Baumann, will meet with David Stern this week to discuss the issues. The ramifications could be astounding.
Baumann is expected to meet with NBA commissioner David Stern this week in hopes of crafting guidance for its member teams and federations on how to handle not only NBA players seeking jobs abroad, but also how to deal with the insurance issues that are surfacing with regards to national teams and the upcoming Olympic qualifiers.

Under a long standing agreement between the NBA and FIBA, the NBA covers one-third of the insurance costs associated with NBA players playing in national team competitions and tournaments. Another third is covered by the national team and the final third is covered by FIBA.

Since the NBA's self-imposed lockout on July 1st, the NBA is no longer willing to cover those costs.
via NBA AM: FIBA To Meet With NBA - Basketball News & NBA Rumors -

Now before we go too far down the conspiracy lane, keep in mind that the league has repeatedly said it will not do anything to prohibit players from playing in Europe. There's good reason. Locking out the players to prevent them from earning a living and then doing anything to threaten their ability to earn a wage elsewhere goes against that whole "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" gig that we're so big on here in the states and opens up the league to a lawsuit. 

But the conversation is significant. Insurance is a huge concern for the players, though the stars can easily get insured thanks to their status. But if FIBA were to rule against the players' eligibility after meeting with Stern, it would immediately quash the players' hopes of going overseas (teams wouldn't want them if they were unavailable for those competitions in most cases) and create more anomosity between the league and the players, even if Stern himself had nothing to do with the decision. 

It's a delicate meeting, is what I'm trying to get at. 


Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: July 19, 2011 2:13 am

Report: Stern to meet with head of FIBA

So this sounds like a lose-lose meeting. Whether they discuss the lockout or not, they will be believed to have done so. If FIBA rules against teams signing players under contract (a precedent they have held for many years) then the players will cry collusion. If FIBA rules for teams to sign NBA players during the lockout (without doubt requiring an cancellation when the lockout ends) then players are suddenly faced with the spectra of actually finding a team that has slots and money available. Most countries limit their basketball teams to two non-countrymen per team. Teams want those key players for the whole year. And most have already signed their players for next year in the 'A' leagues.

The money is a big issue. Most European players get paid far less than NBA players. The veteran minimum in the NBA is too much for most of them to pay for a part-time player. So the players end up with no contracts and egg on their faces. D-Will got a contract for publicity purposes. Now that team has its bank accounts frozen from an official charge of cheating in their football (soccer) club.  Williams may never see a dime.

Beyond the money, as the article says, the insurance issue is huge. An NBA player will need to be insured for his whole NBA contract remaining and that is really costly. Insurance might be the killer to these flights of fancy.

So good luck, Mr. Stern, with your FIBA meeting. May you somehow find a way to wriggle out of the trap.

Since: Sep 20, 2008
Posted on: July 18, 2011 9:11 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: July 18, 2011 2:55 pm

Report: Stern to meet with head of FIBA

The players need to play elsewhere for a whole year, not Derron's sign a deal and I will come back since that is the only real leverage the players have.
The problem is that this puts the player, other than free agents maybe, in a bad situation legally.  If he signs such a contract and the lockout ends early then he  either has to breach his contract with the European team and face financial liability there OR breach his contract to his NBA team and (1) potentially be sued for damages for not playing AND (2) losing the rest of the NBA contract which will almost certainly be for better money and benefits than the player would get in Europe or China.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: July 18, 2011 2:10 pm

Report: Stern to meet with head of FIBA

The players need to play elsewhere for a whole year, not Derron's sign a deal and I will come back since that is the only real leverage the players have.     This is not the NFL or MLB where there really is not a good option for players.     If the players have some leverage than this might get settled sooner than later since right now the owners believe the players will fold since they do not manage their money well.  

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: July 18, 2011 12:50 pm

Report: Stern to meet with head of FIBA

Who cares! Go play in Europe, sit at home and play video games...I don't care and neither does a large majority of sports fans. The truth is everyone cares about the NFL missing a season but the NBA...not so much. Plus the players (as a whole) are so pampered and spoiled that the thought of them having to have a hard lesson about how lucky they got it sounds like the icing on the cake. See ya chumps...I'll let you know if I even noticed the lack of the NBA in a year or two...if it even crosses my mind then.

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