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The Greeks Want LeBron

RedsArmyAdmin August 2, 2008 Uncategorized 4 Comments

Everyone knows LeBron James becomes a free agent in 2010. In fact, some teams (the Nets) are already clearing cap space to make a run at King James. You can add Olympiakos to the mix. According to SI.com's Ian Thomsen, the popular Greek team has interest in LeBron. Before you laugh them off, consider this: They can offer him $40-50 million per season because there's no salary cap in their league. That's double what he'd make from any NBA team.

At the most expensive levels of European basketball, the club owners are obsessed with bringing glory to their club and their fans as well as to their city and country. Imagine the glory that the recruitment of James would bring to Olympiakos. At the very least, he would destroy their cross-town rival Panathinaikos: The value of that alone would be priceless to Olympiakos.

The owners of Olympiakos already lose millions annually on their player payroll. It may be worthwhile to them to lose $40 million or more in exchange for the grandeur of LeBron.

From James' point of view, playing overseas for a year could enhance his marketing status and turn him into more of a global star than he is now. He could build up his name in an entirely unprecedented way and then return home as a free agent to sign with the NBA team of his choosing.

I can't imagine this happening for this simple reason: No one in the U.S. would be watching LeBron play. And that wouldn't please any of the companies paying James millions upon millions of dollars to endorse their products.

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  • Papa Irish

    I see very soon the nba putting clauses in players contracts that doesn’t allow them back into the nba if they take money and go over seas
    at the very least i see a clause that will allow teams like the atlanta hawks to match european offers without taking a huge cap hit or paying a big luxury tax, the problem with this would be is that it would drive up players salaries through the roof
    but i can see the nba just start blackballing players like josh childress by barring them from the nba cause after all no american born player grows up dreaming about playing for the euroleague championship

  • Eli

    I also don’t think Lebron would take the deal but I disagree with the last point about the games not being televised. The media frenzy that would come with he signing would gaurentee that some of the games get on TV – kinda of like when Lebron was in highschool.

  • http://nbakingdom.wordpress.com/ Julien

    they lost their mind! That being said, Lebron is a wise businessman so playing in Europe could be interesting for his endorsements…

  • Fonitilogikis

    “I can’t imagine this happening for this simple reason: No one in the U.S. would be watching LeBron play. And that wouldn’t please any of the companies paying James millions upon millions of dollars to endorse their products.”
    That’s not really the case. What’s the population of the US? 300 m? The population of europe (and thus the euroleague fans) exceed 1billion. For a company that wants to be advertised lebron is a good way to reach the european basketball fans that do not really have much tv access to the nba. If lebron advertises the products of nike the company will have no problem selling more in europe. Furthermore the publicity that a transfer of this magnitude will draw will make up for any loss caused by disappointed nba fans. Very soon european clubs will be able to offer the money needed to get one of the most popular nba stars to europe and trust me nike will not be an obstacle to such a move.