Monday, July 21, 2008

The decline of the dollar

Okay, economics has finally bled into sports enough for me to cover this topic. There are some very good players who could definitely play in the NBA, but will be playing in europe this year instead. Why? Cash money (and more playing time). Josh Childress, a player for the Atlanta Hawks, is considering signing a 3-year, $20 million dollar deal (I'm pretty sure that's in U.S. dollars, not 20 million Euros) to play in Greece. The best part - thanks to the NBA's salary cap, there's almost no team that could possibly offer him that much money.

On top of that, tax rules are different for athletes over there, and I believe they actually pay less in taxes than they would in the states.

One of the best high school prospects recently announced he will be playing overseas as well. Brandon Jennings couldn't declare for the NBA draft (high-schoolers are no longer allowed, and he didn't have the SAT scores to get into college), so he signed a contract to play for an Italian squad.

What's this all mean? Unfortunately it's likely that the quality of play will decline in the NBA for the time being. It's the quality role players and glue guys who will most likely get squeezed out rather than the superstars, who will always make boatloads of money. It's too bad, as it's often those guys who set up the amazing plays and contribute the most to winning teams.

A guy like James Posey, for example, will not take the mid-level exception (as he did this year) in a few years. Posey plays great defense, can knock down shots, gets hustle plays and has won 2 championship rings in the last 3 years. In terms of dollars, he makes 1/4 of K.G.'s salary. He probably got some offers to play overseas, but he's staring down the barrel of a wonderful NBA legacy right now.

Alright, gotta split.

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