Several weeks ago, Chris Sheridan left ESPN after six years of service to start his won website, Sheridan Hoops. He asked me to cover the international side of things. I said yes. From next week on, look for it every Friday. Here’s my debut column.
Kevin Durant doesn’t seem too keen on spending his lockout overseas. Dwight Howard says he has a soft spot for China, but that’s what Dwight Howard does: says things. And though self-proclaimed Europhile Kobe Bryant has entertained overtures from Italian and Turkish squads (Chinese, too), not even the Black Mamba has inked a deal that would keep him busy while the NBA plays its games in conference rooms instead of on basketball courts.
So no, we haven’t seen the exodus of superstars predicted when Deron Williams left New Jersey for the Turkish club, Besiktas, back in early July. (Besiktas, by the way, did not qualify for the Euroleague, the continent’s most prestigious competition.)
Nonetheless, Europe has taken a generous gulp out of the NBA’s talent pool, skipping past the maxed-out megastars and targeting the league’s working class.
Jim Gray didn’t hold our hands through Alonzo Gee’s decision to leave the Cavaliers for Gdynia, Poland. There was no harshly worded letter in Comic Sans, or any other font, attacking his character. The citizens of Cleveland haven’t set the city ablaze with his #33 jersey, and Alonzo hasn’t had to respond in the third person to rationalize his move to Asseco Prokom.