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 SI.com:
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…