Forget New York. What About Europe?

If we thought that the NBA/European basketball salary cap issues were bad with Delonte West, you may want to sit down for this one. 

Reported by Ian Thompson at

Olympiakos is considering a run at LeBron James when he becomes a free agent in 2010. […]

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.

Forty million large, eh?  Of course, Thompson continues with the fact that this is all pure speculation and something that is purely unconfirmed – especially from the standpoint of an actual amount.  But in all honesty, the last thing that we need these days is more speculation on where LeBron James will go when his current contract expires in 2010.  New York, New Jersey and now Athens, Greece.  It all makes sense given the lack of a salary cap coupled with billionaire owners and their desire to bring talent overseas.  This is definitely something that can trump “Bird Rights” from a contract standpoint, but would it be enough to get the Icon to jump the pond? 

The next thing we will see is all of the Olympiakos fans hitting the message boards talking about how their towns are better to live in and how James could truly be the “Global Icon” that he’s always wanted to be.  And don’t forget the whole Euro versus the dollar argument. 

Let the rumors commence…

Greek team may make $eriou$ run at LeBron after 2010 season []

  • JordanB.

    OUCH! You boys better pray this doesn’t happen or you will be wishing you had Ricky Davis back……………………..

  • Jeremy


    There is a part of me though that thinks Lebron wants to set some NBA records. Awfully tough to do sacrificing part of the brightest point in your career overseas.

  • joe

    theres a part of me that says if lbj leaves for NY, it would leave a gaping hole in my heart. but if he leaves for Greece (or another Euro), oh well. it wouldnt hurt nearly as bad for some reason.

  • Tom

    What if some multibillionaire owner in Russia or somewhere else decides to offer him upwards of 100M per season for say 3 years? How do you turn that down? Some of the owners there have no problem spending that kind of money and couple that with the noteriety they would gain, and there are going to be at least some offers. It might not get him NBA records but it could make him a billionaire.

  • SambofromOH

    He did say he wanted to be the first billionaire athlete, what if he went out there for a few seasons and then came back to Cleveland? Just dreaming of how to get more young talent without trading for a new team every year.

  • CJG


  • Amar Panchmatia

    Complete garbage…I’ll be sure to punch Ian Thomsen in the face the next time I see him.

  • Scott

    I love comments at 2:30am :)

  • I’m ron burgundy?

    I agree that somehow Greece wouldn’t be as bad as NYC.

    Amar I’d be willing to hold Thompson while you take a swing.

    Back in Ohio for the weekend and can’t say I miss DC at all.

  • Max J.

    joe and ron burgundy, welcome to the mental world of soccer fans everywhere.

    Honestly, it would be pretty amusing if American players started jumping ship to Europe for the cash, realized generally how much more interesting the experience is over there, and started staying. Maybe it would encourage the NBA to allow a half-decent fan experience again.

  • nicko

    Will I ever go a week without reading this? I am so tired of all of this. He is going to do, what he is going to do….

  • kiddicus maximus

    omg! i jest herd that Bron-Bron is going to quit the NBA and start the LBJBA and takers all the bestest players wit himz!.

    I understand these people get paid to write articles about Sports for a living, but if I sucked this bad at my job I would be unemployed in a week.


  • Gabriel

    if Lebron is frustrated with his teammates in Cleveland not being able to support, his head will explode in europe. there’s no way he will leave the NBA. doesn’t matter how much they’ll pay him. he’s all about records…NBA records.

  • DP

    Other than the ruins in the center of it on the big hill, Athens is a crime-ridden dung-hole of a city. It would have to be for an insane amount of money, one would think.

  • Bridgecrosser

    The bigger story is Lebron’s supersized inferiority complex where he loves hearing these stories and does nothing to downplay any story with his name on it. You’d think somebody making the mad jack he does would feel a little more secure… I think he underestimates how his legacy would go from pantheon-level player [should he stay and win title(s)] to attention needy/money-whore if he left…

  • EZ

    I totally saw a story the other day in which Lebron was eating a gyro, so that totally means he’s going to Greece. Of course I saw him eating spaghetti a day later so I think he’s switched over to an Italian team.

    Of course, that’s only if we discount his legendary love of bratwurst…

  • Kostas

    It’s not that bad in Athens…. And considering that Olympiakos has just signed another NBA superstar it would not be that kind of a deal. Imagine the effect that his transfer to Olympiakos would have to the whole Greek community…

    Europian basketball is arising