Not too long ago, pundits were touting Europe as serious competition to the US in pro sports. They could pay more to their basketball and hockey players, and were attracting stars at a growing rate. Well, it looks like there’s still a ways to go before the US loses its role as the premier sporting nation. Just ask Alexei Cherepanov. Or ask Brandon Jennings, who’s alive and talking about how terrible it is over there.
Jennings isn’t getting paid, isn’t getting to play, and isn’t getting to work on his game the way he would had he stayed in college. Add to that the language and cultural barriers, and Jennings is sending up a big red flag for any athletes who are thinking about going for a quick and easy payday.
Hurricane Ike caused a lot of damage when it struck on the Gulf coast, costing many people their homes, and for some, even their livelihoods. Still, I don’t think any of us knew the real extent of the damage done by Hurricane Ike until right now.
Former NBA star and three-time Father of the Year Shawn Kemp had recently made plans to return to basketball, and signed a one-year contract with Montegranaro Premiata, a team in Italy. Kemp had been practicing with the team for nine days, and had played in three preseason games before heading back to the States to check on his home in Houston. Now, after seeing the damage, there’s just no way Shawn can return to Italy to play this season.
Ballers could be making the Euro trip on a regular basis soon, if NBA commissioner David Stern follows through on rumors reported to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’S Ian Thomsen.
(London mayor Ken Livingstone is optioned to the Celtics to help their thin bench.)
Essentially, this sounds like one of the ideas that gets dumped around by most sports around every All-Star (or Pro Bowl) weekend, when there’s not much else to actually talk about.