Tag:FIBA
Posted on: July 29, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 5:05 pm
 

Union backing overseas pursuits


The NBA players' association disagrees with me over the usefulness of players signing overseas during the lockout. We can differ over how much leverage the strategy provides in collective bargaining, but there's no disputing this notion: Players are pursuing deals overseas with the full backing and encouragement of the union.

The latest subplot of international intrigue came Friday, with word that Bucks guard Keyon Dooling -- a vice president of the National Basketball Players Association -- was close to a deal with the Turkish team Efes Istanbul. Earlier, we learned that none other than Kobe Bryant was scheduled to meet over the weekend with Besiktas, the Turkish team that previously signed Nets guard Deron Williams.

Seref Yalcin, head of basketball operations for Besiktas, told reporters in Turkey this week that there's a "50 percent chance" that Bryant signs with a Turkish team, according to Reuters. Despite the fact that Besiktas' assets are frozen in connection with a soccer match-fixing scandal, Yalcin said, "Money will not be a problem." He cited Turkish Airlines, with whom Bryant has a promotional agreement, and two oil companies as potential sponsors for a contract that could pay Bryant between $500,000 and $1 million a month.

Williams' deal with Besiktas reportedly is for $5 million, with an escape clause to return to the NBA when the lockout ends.

Also on Friday, FIBA -- the governing body of international basketball -- issued a statement saying it will approve the transfer of players under contract with NBA teams to play for FIBA teams during the lockout. NBA officials have been under the impression for months that one risk of imposing a lockout is seeing players find opportunities to play -- and make money -- overseas. Legally, the NBA has no way to stop them, especially now that FIBA is on board.

UPDATE: Later Friday, NBPA executive director Billy Hunter released a statement applauding FIBA's decision.

"The NBPA and our players are gratified by today's announcement by FIBA, although it comes as no surprise," Hunter said. "We have consistently advised our members that in the event of a lockout they would have the right to be compensated for playing basketball irrespective of whether they were under contract to an NBA team or not. We have encouraged all of our players to pursue such opportunities and will continue to do so. In the face of the economic pressure that the NBA has attempted to exert by imposing a lockout, our players are unified and eager to demonstrate that the NBA's tactics will be unsuccessful."

Whether or not significant stars follow Williams to FIBA clubs remains to be seen, but Bryant would be the biggest fish ensnared by the strategy and could pull others along with him. Whether signing overseas provides actual leverage to the union in showing that the NBA isn't the only game in town for locked-out players, or simply illustrates that stars are going to "get theirs" and leave the lockout to the rank and file, is a matter for debate. But there is no questioning where the NBPA stands on this issue: The union has told players it will support, and encourage their efforts to get jobs overseas.

Who will insure the players' current and future NBA earnings against injury while they're globetrotting during the lockout is an issue that every player contemplating such a move has to seriously consider.

Posted on: December 15, 2010 8:13 am
Edited on: December 15, 2010 8:17 am
 

Karl: World basketball league in 10 years

NBA news has been filled with doom and gloom lately. Lockout rhetoric, decertification votes, the league buying the struggling Hornets, superstars getting traded -- or not. 

Allow me to introduce you to a breath of fresh air and beam of sunlight in the otherwise depraved basketball news cycle: George Karl. 

The day after he became the seventh NBA coach to reach the 1,000-win plateau, the Nuggets’ coach sat down with me after practice in New York City to discuss a variety of topics: Carmelo Anthony’s future, his own cancer fight, and what he’d do if David Stern made him King of the NBA. 

The entire interview can be seen Friday in the latest installment of CBSSports.com’s “In the Moment” series. (Check out last week’s episode with Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews.) In this teaser clip, Karl talks about the growth of basketball internationally and what he’d do to capitalize on it if the commissioner put him in charge. 

Call it the George Karl Plan for World Basketball Unification. 

“International basketball and European basketball and Olympic basketball and NBA basketball, I’d like to unify it,” Karl said. “Does that mean merging a league? I think if that’s a 10-year plan, let’s have a 10-year plan. If that’s a five-year plan, let’s have a five-year plan. I would probably like to make it totally and completely international. Now is that a possibility of adding China and India to that and Australia maybe? I have no idea.” 

Stern has spoken often of globalizing the game, a dream that was advanced immeasurably by the success of the original Dream Team and enhanced by the Redeem Team’s gold-medal performance in Beijing in 2008. In October, Stern reiterated his prediction that the NBA will have a European division within 10 years. Speaking to Miami business leaders, Stern took the opportunity to poke fun at himself; he made the same prediction, oh, about 10 years ago. 

The quest for globalization comes at a delicate time for the NBA, which claims it has lost nearly $400 million in each of the past two seasons and is seeking radical reductions in player salaries and benefits to the tune of $750 million to $800 million a year. Finances are grim in many cities, especially small markets like New Orleans, where it was so bad the league had to step in and buy the team. Key figures on both sides of the labor debate are entrenched for an anticipated work stoppage after this season. When confronted with the fact that the league enjoyed record revenues last season and expects to do the same again this season, Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver counter that revenues aren’t the problem -- expenses are. 

Well, guess how expensive it is to have NBA offices throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America, with plans for offices in Africa and India by 2012? Guess how expensive it is for NBA teams to schlep to Mexico City, Milan and Beijing for meaningless preseason games? Very, very expensive. But as Stern and Silver will gladly tell you, it is necessary to spend money to make money. There is a fine line between keeping the electricity flowing at the league’s Fifth Avenue office tower and investing around the globe to grow the game and capitalize on its international appeal. The NFL is still the king of American sports, but it’s merely a curiosity internationally. When the NBA goes to Latin America or Asia, everyone speaks the same language -- basketball. 

A European division? Lofty goal. A World Basketball League, as Karl proposes? That’s dreaming big. Really big. Even Karl admits he doesn’t have all the answers. 

“Well, I don’t know how you do that,” Karl said. “But that would be someone I would hire to try to figure out what the best plan is, because I think the game is great and it’s been an amazing game. Soccer is still No. 1 in the world, but I still think basketball is growing and progressing. And I actually think the more we make it international, the better it will be.” 

Viewed through the prism of the sport’s current labor stalemate, maybe this can be part of the answer of a long-term financial plan for the NBA. If nothing else, there would be more jobs.
Posted on: December 15, 2010 8:11 am
 

Karl: World basketball league in 10 years

NBA news has been filled with doom and gloom lately. Lockout rhetoric, decertification votes, the league buying the struggling Hornets, superstars getting traded -- or not. 
Allow me to introduce you to a breath of fresh air and beam of sunlight in the otherwise depraved basketball news cycle: George Karl. 
The day after he became the seventh NBA coach to reach the 1,000-win plateau, the Nuggets’ coach sat down with me after practice in New York City to discuss a variety of topics: Carmelo Anthony’s future, his own cancer fight, and what he’d do if David Stern made him King of the NBA. 
The entire interview can be seen Friday in the latest installment of CBSSports.com’s “In the Moment” series. (Check out last week’s episode with Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews.) In this teaser clip, Karl talks about the growth of basketball internationally and what he’d do to capitalize on it if the commissioner put him in charge. 
Call it the George Karl Plan for World Basketball Unification. 
“International basketball and European basketball and Olympic basketball and NBA basketball, I’d like to unify it,” Karl said. “Does that mean merging a league? I think if that’s a 10-year plan, let’s have a 10-year plan. If that’s a five-year plan, let’s have a five-year plan. I would probably like to make it totally and completely international. Now is that a possibility of adding China and India to that and Australia maybe? I have no idea.” 


Stern has spoken often of globalizing the game, a dream that was advanced immeasurably by the success of the original Dream Team and enhanced by the Redeem Team’s gold-medal performance in Beijing in 2008. In October, Stern reiterated his prediction that the NBA will have a European division within 10 years. Speaking to Miami business leaders, Stern took the opportunity to poke fun at himself; he made the same prediction, oh, about 10 years ago. 
The quest for globalization comes at a delicate time for the NBA, which claims it has lost nearly $400 million in each of the past two seasons and is seeking radical reductions in player salaries and benefits to the tune of $750 million to $800 million a year. Finances are grim in many cities, especially small markets like New Orleans, where it was so bad the league had to step in and buy the team. Key figures on both sides of the labor debate are entrenched for an anticipated work stoppage after this season. When confronted with the fact that the league enjoyed record revenues last season and expects to do the same again this season, Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver counter that revenues aren’t the problem -- expenses are. 
Well, guess how expensive it is to have NBA offices throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America, with plans for offices in Africa and India by 2012? Guess how expensive it is for NBA teams to schlep to Mexico City, Milan and Beijing for meaningless preseason games? Very, very expensive. But as Stern and Silver will gladly tell you, it is necessary to spend money to make money. There is a fine line between keeping the electricity flowing at the league’s Fifth Avenue office tower and investing around the globe to grow the game and capitalize on its international appeal. The NFL is still the king of American sports, but it’s merely a curiosity internationally. When the NBA goes to Latin America or Asia, everyone speaks the same language -- basketball. 
A European division? Lofty goal. A World Basketball League, as Karl proposes? That’s dreaming big. Really big. Even Karl admits he doesn’t have all the answers. 
“Well, I don’t know how you do that,” Karl said. “But that would be someone I would hire to try to figure out what the best plan is, because I think the game is great and it’s been an amazing game. Soccer is still No. 1 in the world, but I still think basketball is growing and progressing. And I actually think the more we make it international, the better it will be.” 
Viewed through the prism of the sport’s current labor stalemate, maybe this can be part of the answer of a long-term financial plan for the NBA. If nothing else, there would be more jobs.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com