Thursday, July 14, 2011

Globalization in the NBA is an Obvious Route

Last season, opening night rosters for the 2010-2011 NBA season featured a record 84 international players from 38 countries, as the 2011 NBA finals was aired in 46 languages in 215 countries. Nurtured by communications technology, and fueled by high-profile professional athletes and commercial interests, the globalization of the NBA appears inevitable.  If you asked an average NBA fan a year ago what they thought about David Stern’s prediction that there would be an NBA team in Europe within the decade, they would have called the Commissioner crazy - but just one year later, the lockout is expediting that reality, and it’s not about the money.
"It's a great opportunity to spend some time abroad in a new country"
Take Deron Williams. At 27, this guy is in the prime of his career, and the New Jersey Nets owe Williams $34 million on the 2 years remaining on his contract, that is, if he doesn’t get hurt playing in Europe. Williams has made headlines this week for becoming the biggest NBA star in history to announce plans to play in Europe during his prime.  On September 1, Williams will report to the training camp of the Turkish league’s Besiktas.
AI spent some time in Turkey at the same franchise, but for different reasons
Risking $34 million in exchange for making $2000 a month in Turkey is a huge decision for the Nets’ point guard, and his decision shows that the globalization of the NBA is about more than the money. 

To be continued…

Conor S. Quire

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