This story isn’t about the posturing; it’s about two NBA stars, namely Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant, actually playing overseas. No, they didn’t sign a contract. And no, they won’t be there for a couple of months. Actually, they were only there this past weekend. But they got paid like they were there for a couple on months. $400,000 to be exact. All tax free, of course.
Star-studded exhibition games like the two taking place in the Philippines this weekend are proving to be quite profitable as well, with one source with knowledge of the deals saying the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Chicago’s Derrick Rose are being paid more than $400,000 apiece for their weekend of work (reminder: tax-free). Worthwhile ventures like these are a less-explosive strategy on the labor front, though there is — as reported by Yahoo! Sports on Saturday — an impatient contingent of agents who is pushing for a more aggressive approach that involves the decertification of the union and subsequent antitrust lawsuits.
This may seem harmless at first, but it does prove that teams around the world are indeed willing to pay to grab a few superstars from the NBA. Because we all know, all it takes is one big name to sign overseas and the flood gates will open.
NBA owners, you’ve been warned.