EYES SHIFT TO EUROPEAN SCENE AS NBA SEASON ON VERGE OF COLLAPSE
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
With stalled labor talks putting the NBA’s entire 2011-2012 season into increasing jeopardy, the basketball world’s eyes are likely to turn more toward Europe, which has been busy scooping up out-of-work NBA stars.
After the players’ union refusal of the final offer by team owners, more NBA stars are likely to take their talents overseas. The development is definitely good news for those teams who were quick to jump the bandwagon in signing NBA players during the lockout. At first, most of them were criticized since they ran the risk of being left without their marquee signings in the midst of the season since the stars signed the deals with the proviso that they could leave as soon as the lockout ended.
Beşiktaş Milangaz fans are likely to cheer the impasse in the NBA labor talks, as the team will be able to benefit from the services of Deron Williams for a longer period of time. The superstar point guard was arguably the biggest star to have chosen to play overseas and led Beşiktaş to a perfect five-match winning start in the Beko Basketball League. Anadolu Efes signed star forward Ersan İlyasova, Türk Telekom purchased Turkish international Mehmet Okur, Galatasaray Medical Park took on Georgian center Zaza Pachulia and Fenerbahçe Ülker bought Thabo Sefolosha during the lockout. French playmaker Tony Parker’s move to ASVEL, Russian forward Andrei Kirilenko’s homecoming to CSKA Moscow and Spanish forward Rudy Fernandez’s transfer to Real Madrid are a few of the other remarkable NBA-to-Europe transfers so far, but more are likely to follow.