Just as I had finished penning my “Euro Leagues will never threaten the NBA” post, I came across the Ian Thomsen story on SI saying a Greek team may take a run at LeBron when he becomes a free agent. My whole premise was along the same lines as why MLS won’t ever threaten the EPL and European soccer — it’s not popular enough in the country. Until basketball in Europe becomes as big of a business as the NBA is in the U.S., our top level talent won’t be leaving the States to play abroad. And I don’t think Europe or any other leagues could ever approach the type of popularity and revenue that the NBA generates.
Anyway, the basis for Thomsen’s piece is that the owners of the Greek team Olympiakos — for whom Josh Childress has already agreed to play — want to win at any cost. That’s why they signed Childress, who likely won’t generate enough revenue to cover his contract. So when LeBron James does become a free agent, Olympiakos could step in and offer him an uncapped salary that could approach $40 or $50 million a season if they wanted to. It’s not like the league here where the max deal would be around $20 million. I’m still skeptical for several reasons.