Last week it was Budweiser that was sold to the Europeans, this week it is the NBA that fell victim to a global economic shift that’s seen the dollar nose-dive vis-à-vis the euro. Respected young forward Josh Childress accepted a fatter offer from a Greek club than the one his U.S. team reportedly was making. He may not be the last.
The deal is the most lucrative current contract in European basketball and the biggest in Euroleague history, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which first reported the signing. It follows the decision by top prep prospect Brandon Jennings to sign with an Italian club team rather than play a season at Arizona.
The newspaper reported Monday the Hawks had a deal on the table worth nearly $36 million, with a first-year salary in excess of the midlevel exception of $5.6 million.
“I’ve talked to a few guys, and it could become a trend,” Childress said on a conference call about other Americans following his lead. “I’m not so sure it won’t. It’s different. We thought out of the box a little on this one.”