At this writing, 41 professional NBA basketball players are crossing the pond to go balling outside of America. Some are long-term deals, some have opt-out provisions.
Is it smart?
On one hand, the basketball players leaving the states during the ever-continuing lock-out will be playing in a competitive forum and keeping their skills hot.
That’s not to say that many of the professionals are not going full out in their own private practice sessions, but it’s just not the same. When you are practicing at game-like intensity against the best in the business – that’s skill-honing.
Driving hard, drilling three-pointers, free throws and rebounds and defensive moves keeps the body moving – but is it the same as hours pushing against your teammates? I think not.
If you don’t believe me – just look at how your kids play on their own Goalrilla Goal Basketball system at home. When there are a couple of kids shooting some baskets or skirting around each other to lob the ball at the hoop they play with less intensity than when there are two opposing teams who are driving hard and long to score points and win bragging rights.
(I digress to mention that we are asked here at the Basketball Goal Store whether the Goalrilla Goal basketball goals can withstand hard play by big burly teenage boys or adults and the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Especially with the one-piece pole system that is not susceptible to deterioration at a joint and the flex break-away rim, a Goalrilla Basketball Goal will last a lifetime.)
But getting back to the issue of our NBA players going to play in Europe and beyond, the other side of the coin is that some of the contracts are not opt-out. The players have, in essence, moved out and on to something else. It’s a drain of talent.
There is never a perfect solution when opposing sides dig in their heels and refuse to budge. Who’s right? I don’t know the answer to that. What I do know is that the repercussions of the disagreement will leave a mark on the sport for years to come.
-Pat of the Basketball Goal Store Blog Team