FIBA calls to the individualistic tendencies of NBA players and foils the ‘teamwork’ machinery and mindset necessary to ‘beat the owners’ in this ‘championship series’ of debits and credits. In this ‘series,’ the players, without the familiarity of ‘home court,’ have been overmatched from the beginning and are likely to get ‘swept’ unless they figure out how to become greater than the sum of their parts by becoming a better ‘team.’ Stars and scrubs alike jumping to lesser leagues to make less money instead of facing the NBA legal and PR machinery and fighting until the buzzer rings is a product of a basketball culture, perpetuated by Stern and Silver themselves, that glorifies the individual above the team, even in a team sport.
The elephant in the room that everyone but Billy Hunter politely declines to acknowledge is that a fundamental part of the Stern-Silver strategy to change the economic landscape of the NBA is to have the rank and file members of the NBA miss a significant number of paychecks.
Enough to be lifestyle disrupting and future transforming.
The overseas option today’s NBA players enjoy supplies enough fool’s gold to insure that the lockout will extend into the summer of 2012, when the financial carnage will begin in earnest. Fool’s gold because the FIBA calendar is much shorter than the NBA calendar, and there is much more time between seasons. When NBA players return from abroad Stern and Silver are betting their money that most players will begin to feel the economic pinch in the spring and summer of 2012, with no imminent overseas option to save them.
A pennies-on-the-NBA-dollar FIBA paycheck, if they get paid at all, will only delay the inevitable collapse of most NBA players’ financial house of cards. With no recourse in the spring, the players will be much more willing to take what Stern-Silver will be offering. Let’s hope, for their sakes, that the current offer from the owners doesn’t shrink.