July 23, 2008

Josh Childress spurns the Hawks & the NBA for the Greek League.: Childress will be playing for basketball powerhouse Olympiakos. Olympiakos finished as the runner-up in the Greek League, and made the quarterfinals in Euroleague 08.

posted by lilnemo to basketball at 11:43 AM - 11 comments

Childress just wanted to get his. I don't blame him. I'd do the same thing.

posted by igottheblues at 11:51 AM on July 23

This says a lot about where the Hawks are going as a franchise--none of it good. A local look at this from Braves and Birds.

posted by trox at 12:02 PM on July 23

Given the weak dollar, the NBA is going to have to consider bumping the cap. Why take a mid-level exemption for some crap NBA team when you can get more money and play for a contender? If my options are Salt Lake City and Rome, I'm going with Rome.

posted by yerfatma at 01:10 PM on July 23

It isn't mentioned in the story, but I seem to recall that beyond the higher salary on average, and the strength of the Euro, that there was talk of the Greek taxes being "handled". Childress also has opt out options for the duration of the contract, which would allow him to return to the NBA without much fuss. The only snag to a potential return is that the Hawks still own his rights, and he would remain a restricted free agent, meaning the Hawks only have to make a qualifying offer every year to retain his rights, and that if he signs an offer sheet with another NBA club the Hawks have the right to match. However, with so many big name free agents on the horizon for '09 and '10 it is possible that the Hawks may renounce his rights by not making a qualifying offer, so that they can make a run at another player.

posted by lilnemo at 01:36 PM on July 23

That is fantastic. I think the EuroLeague could poach a lot of talent this way. Add that they can also become a college substitute, so that players not wanting to go to college can play over there. It certainly becomes a lot easier to get talent once a few NBA players play over there and spread the word.

posted by bperk at 04:32 PM on July 23

I thought Henry Abbott over at True Hoop had a very good perspective on this. Josh Childress seems more cerebral and open-minded than the typical NBA player, so I'm not sure how likely this is to be the start of a widespread trend. That said, if the economics are good enough, I'm sure folks will be able to get over any culture shock and homesickness pretty quickly.

posted by holden at 11:24 PM on July 23

I thought Henry Abbott over at True Hoop had a very good perspective on this. That he does, but I don't see this becoming a widespread trend among US-born players just yet. International leagues are still stigmatized by mainstream media outlets as inferior in competition, fame & fortune. There are very few players like Sam Clancy, Tyus Edney, Anthony Parker, J.R. Sakuragi, Trajan Langdon, or Josh Childress who can turn down the lure of the NBA and acclimate themselves to another culture.

posted by lilnemo at 12:41 PM on July 24

International leagues are still stigmatized by mainstream media outlets as inferior in competition If the US doesn't beat some ass in the Olympics, can we finally put that to rest?

posted by yerfatma at 02:30 PM on July 24

If the US doesn't beat some ass in the Olympics, can we finally put that to rest? Dear God I hope so. Oh, did anyone catch this nugget from Hawks GM Rick Sund?

"We were informed this morning by Josh Childress' representatives that he has signed with Olympiakos in Greece, and we want to wish him the absolute best with his future career in FIBA." [...] The fact is Atlanta's offer was the best Childress could get - in the NBA. Atlanta chose not to compete with the offer from Olympiacos Piraeus. "I can only compete in the league I play in," justified Sund.
And on the heels of Childress jumping into European waters comes news that Rockets forward Carl Landry is contemplating doing the same.

posted by lilnemo at 02:48 PM on July 24

"I can only compete in the league I play in," justified Sund. F-. If he means he's constrained by the salary cap, fine. But it sounds like he means he doesn't even bother considering anyone but the NBA. Great work. If Josh Childress were a replacement-level NBA player, it'd be one thing. But to let a decent talent go when you have leverage in signing him, at least blame it on the cap.

posted by yerfatma at 03:25 PM on July 24

But it sounds like he means he doesn't even bother considering anyone but the NBA. Yup, thats exactly what he's saying. Does Stern care one way or the other whether teams are bidding against other leagues for talent? So long as they work within the confines of the cap, I sincerely doubt it.

posted by lilnemo at 05:09 PM on July 24

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