So far, it's been an interesting summer for David Stern and his beloved NBA. Mr. Stern has watched as one of his former referees was sent to the butt-farm, and as nearly half of his League fled for the Euro-lined courts of, well, Europe. To Stern's relief, undoubtedly, no major stars have fled across the pond (with all apologies to Josh Childress and his afro), but that might not be the case in a couple of years. SI.com's Ian Thomsen penned an interesting (if wildly speculative) column yesterday about Olympiakos of Athens, the same Greek team that recently snatched up Childress, possibly offering LeBron James an insane amount of money when he's a free agent in the summer of 2010.
Here's the buzz I heard Friday: Olympiakos is considering a run at LeBron James when he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2010. As a free agent in 2010, his new contract in the NBA would start at less than $20 million annually. What if Olympiakos were to offer him $40 million per year? Or $50 million? Who knows how much the Greeks would be willing to pay? The point is that the limitation on his salary is entirely up to them.
The column is thick on speculation; even Mr. Thomsen admits as much. But the idea is not as far-fetched as you may think. After all, one of LeBron's stated goals in life is to become the first billionaire athlete. Based on the fact alone that he'll never be able to make that kind of money in the NBA (at least not in one season), LBJ and his reps have to at least consider this, don't they? Greek team may make $eriou$ run at LeBron after 2010 season [SI.com] Forget New York. What About Europe? [WaitingForNextYear]