That the NBA is the best league in the world, no one doubts it. That the best players are, let alone. But is it the best competition for all players? There are European stars who do not see it that way and decide to leave the NBA.
More and more fans and little by little athletes too, start to see the NBA more as it is a money-making machine than as a sports competition. An organization that feeds on itself and uses players like oil and gasoline, that does not stop the machine.
We have all attended a very strange event with the return of Nikola Mirotic. Rare, because he is not a player who occupied a residual role in his franchise, and even more, because he had an offer to sign a millionaire contract. Recall: 45 million in three years with Utah Jazz. But not only that, it was in all the rumor mill to reinforce candidates for the ring in the east or west.
However, he has returned to Europe. And he does it for a lot less money, with a long-term contract, 3-4 years, and with huge expectations around his figure. It will have to be equal to other precedents, of Legends like Navarro, Spanoulis, Jasikevicius or if in the end it is concrete, of Teodosic.
From MVP in Europe to specialists in the NBA
Some time ago we talked that the increase of the salary limit in the NBA would be a problem for European clubs, which can not even come close to competing in salaries with the NBA. A minimum of veteran was equal to the salary of a star in Europe, and thus we witnessed a massive exodus of European stars towards the NBA. Chacho Rodriguez, Milos Teodosic, Ekpe Udoh, Brad Wanamaker, Shane Larkin, Mike James … They were not just young Americans doing the Americas, but contrasted players, with many years of career.
However, these players, who were everything in Europe, came to be, in the best of cases, one-dimensional. The famous role players, and in most cases, with a relevance in the residual team.
Empty minutes and numbers
If you are also part of franchises where the aspiration is to see the year go by, earn money, but lose matches, make your numbers, but without any impact inside or outside the team beyond the ego itself, there are players who succumb to indolence, others to frustration and in the case of some of those cases, they move looking for a leading role in a Euroleague team.
It's another club, competition culture, and Mirotic cases now, together with the aforementioned, share the same characteristic, they feel underutilized.
They would like to be in their teams what they were in Europe
There are other cases in which there is no real opportunity to demonstrate the quality they treasure. They are assigned to a specific role that an experienced European player has difficulty assimilating.
I do not know if we will see more similar situations in a short term, the money is the money and in basketball is in the NBA. However, it is possible to open an exit door for many players if the emoluments that Mirotic will receive in the F.C. Barcelona generate the economic and sports benefit enough for the main teams to consider trying certain players in the NBA.
Possibly players like Marjanovic, the brothers Hernangomez, Ante Zizic, Osman, Furkan Kormaz, or even Goran Dragic, with diminishing roles or relevance, or almost nonexistent in the league, can choose the way back to Europe.