Looming NBA Lockout Forcing Players To Weigh Their Options Overseas

With the possibility of an NBA lockout happening with each passing day, NBA players might be starting Daylife/Getty Imagesto weigh their options should the lockout occur. One option is to play with foreign teams, something New Jersey Nets’ Deron Williams said recently:

“I’m already looking into playing overseas,” said Williams, who was in Santa Monica, Calif., Tuesday taking part in an event featuring his favorite video game series, Call of Duty. “I haven’t looked anywhere in general; I’m just looking into the possibility of playing over there. But I’m not going to make a decision until after the CBA.”

Is this an option more NBA players might follow in the event of a lockout? Quite possibly.

Take for example what Indiana Pacers’ TJ Ford had to say:

“It’s something I definitely thought about and I wouldn’t rule it out, but I’m at a point in my career where I still want to play in the NBA,” he said. “It would take a lot for me to go over there and play. I’m hoping nobody has to cross that bridge and things get resolved because the interest in the NBA is at a great level.”

There are the positives of players earning a paycheck, staying in game shape, continuing to develop their game, and still play at a high-level while the lockout continues.

This all sounds great but there is also the drawback of players, or even stars like Williams, risking injury thus hurting their respective NBA teams once the lockout is over. Considering the burden of relocating, it may likely be older NBA players who will consider playing overseas seeing how their NBA shelf-life is drawing near, though any players opting to move away will not be in the NBA’s best interest.

However, the players’ biggest hurdle is insurance. Should players head overseas, their NBA club may want to secure insurance on them, which is what San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili and Houston Rockets’ Luis Scola are dealing with as they must negotiate with the NBA Player’s Union and the Argentinian Basketball Confederation as the upcoming Olympic qualifiers in Argentina draws near.

According to canchallena.com, the Argentina Basketball Confederation is worried that the potential NBA lockout could prevent Argentina from securing insurance for players such as Ginobili and without such insurance, Ginobili and other Argentinian players in the NBA cannot play at this summer’s Olympic qualifier.

Also according to the report, Ginobili and Scola are talking to the NBA player’s union on playing this summer even if a lockout occurs:

“Right now it may not authorize the players,” Vaccaro shot. But he said that the Argentine players are trying to mediate: “Luis (Scola) and Manu (Ginobili) are talking to the players’ union to resolve,” he said.

In the end, a lockout will be devastating to the NBA and more importantly, the fans. Should players leave to play with international squads, this will leave a blemish on the NBA as a league where squabbling millionaire owners and players can’t agree while their fans cannot relate to, let alone understand, multimillion-dollar owners and players.

It will be a huge boon for the international game, and a huge blow for the NBA.