Apparently everybody on the U.S. Men’s Basketball team is under the impression that China is a country in Europe, because it’s been the only things on their minds lately. While Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have both publicly toyed with the idea of going overseas in a few years, I’m okay with the fact they don’t know China is located in Asia. After all, neither of them went to college.
That being said, Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer went to Duke, so you would think he’d have a better idea about world geography. Of course, going to Duke did teach Carlos a thing or two about having and making money. Which is why when he was asked about the possibility of someday playing in Europe, he admitted to being open to it.
“As a business decision, we definitely would have to look at it,” said Boozer, in Beijing as a second-time Olympian. “But it doesn’t mean that you’re on the next flight out.”
He said he would “absolutely” consider the possibility, “if my wife was down with it and the money was right.”
Boozer can opt out of the final year of his current six-year $68 million deal with the Utah Jazz at the end of next season. Still, even though Josh Childress and Carlos Arroyo recently signed deals to play overseas, and high school baller Brandon Jennings decided to skip college and head for Europe as well, I don’t see this becoming a problem for the NBA.
The lure of the money in Europe is greater for guys like Arroyo and Childress because they’re never going to get the max contract in the NBA, and they can be stars overseas. For guys like LeBron, Kobe, and now Boozer, this is probably nothing more than a negotiating ploy. They’re already known worldwide (the reception they’ve all gotten in Beijing should convince them of that), and have more money than they’ll ever need.
Besides, these guys are competitors and even though there are good players in European leagues, the best players in the world are still in the NBA. Real competitors like Kobe and LeBron want to play against the best in the world, not just make more money.