Damn the NBA better get its shyte together before everyone goes overseas to play…SMH.
It appeared that Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar Kobe Bryant(notes) was close to finalizing a deal with the Turkish basketball team before word broke that they’ve landed themselves in some hot water. It was reported by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express that Besiktas’ coach and deputy chairman have been jailed as a result of allegedly being involved in soccer match-fixing. The team’s bank accounts have been frozen in the process. Bryant was nearing a deal with Besiktas that would pay him $450,000 a month for his services. With the NBA lockout looming over the heads’ of the entire league, multiple players have been searching for other ways to pay the bills and stay in shape. Some of the NBA’s biggest players, like Bryant, have been searching overseas for opportunities.
Despite the fact that this puts a kink in Bryant’s plans to continue his hardwood domination during these uncertain times, it may just be a blessing in disguise.
Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams(notes) recently signed with Besiktas for $200,000 a month. The team had been pressing hard to bring in Bryant as well in hopes of forming a dynamic duo that would skyrocket popularity and entice numerous sponsorship opportunities. However, paying Williams may become an issue considering the fact that the team can’t access their bank accounts. He may never even get a chance to play for the team if things are as bad as they seem.
Now that Bryant’s contract talks have fallen through, Besiktas’ future with any remaining NBA players out there is looking dim. On an even bigger scale, NBA players could start to be a bit more skeptical about playing overseas in general since no one really wants to be caught in the middle of some sort of similar scandal.
There’s still a possibility that Bryant could look past Besiktas’ shadiness if they are cleared and decide to sign with them anyway, but chances are slim. If he does, it could mean a lot for the NBA lockout scenario and the power that the players will have over owners. The migration of players, especially stars, from the states to Europe and other countries could be a big hit that the owners aren’t willing to take.
$450,000 a month for a lil extra pocket change must be nice. SMH.