As we all know, everybody who is anybody is “considering” playing overseas. Deron Williams and a bunch of low level bros have already made the jump. You know this. You’re so smart.
But here’s the thing — if FIBA, international basketball’s governing body, isn’t OK with it, then the plans are off. No defectors, no overseas cash money, no nothing if you’re hoping to return to the NBA after the lockout’s over.
So this is kind of big news. From the Chicago Tribune:
Basketball’s world governing body said Friday it will clear NBA players under contract to play overseass during the lockout, as long as they return once it’s over.
FIBA agreed with NBA and players’ association officials that players are free to sign anywhere but do so at their own risk of injury.
“As the world governing body for basketball, we strongly hope that the labor dispute will be resolved as soon as possible, and that the NBA season is able to begin as scheduled,” secretary general Patrick Baumann said in a statement.
“In view of our role to promote basketball worldwide, we support any player wishing to play the game, wherever and whenever. We do so while obviously taking the interests, rights and obligations of all parties into account.”
Well, that’s good. Otherwise, all this super exciting talk about players playing in other leagues would be a total waste of time. Glad to hear that these guys are still going to have a chance to put food on their families.
Not a surprise that this sort of thing was OKed. As Baumann says, FIBA wants to “promote basketball worldwide,” and having the world’s best basketball players playing all over the globe will do just that. Besides, since they’re making the NBA’s players promise to go back to the NBA when the lockout finishes, there’s nothing to lose. (Well, catastrophic injuries that can destroy careers, teams and franchises are a slight possibility, but never mind that.)
This is good though. At the very least, FIBA just ensured that we’re going to have basketball highlights come this fall. Good enough for me.