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The NBA lockout is obviously disappointing for Sports fans but proving the adage "you don't know what you've got till its gone", players are expressing their love for the game by entertaining the fans in pickup games and honing their skills (and bank accounts) by signing overseas.
Whilst one might argue that some players are enhancing their playground cred more than their basketball acumen, they've shown that its not always about the money. Selfishly the player movement overseas is positive for me as it means I get to see some of my favorite NBA stars playing in Europe under unique circumstances.
As my EuroTrip wraps up, I've had to get selective with my travel destinations. Two places I had put on my to-do list have been reinvigorated with some NBA player movements. I'd shown interest in Turkey as I was curious to see how Allen Iverson was faring in Europe. Though an injury has returned him to the States the Turkish team Besiktas replaced the past-his-prime star with primetime PG Deron Williams.
France, the most glaring omission on my EuroTrip resume has become more compelling with news that several NBA players are returning to play for their hometowns. France obviously has its charms as it is, the cuisine, landmarks and belles we've come to know and love from movies. Having had positive experiences with Les Bleus supporters during EuroBasket and being a fan of the French team myself, adding basketball to the cake just makes it more enticing.
Whilst Batum is the only player officially signed on to a French team, fellow NBA stars Diaw and Parker are hoping to suit up for clubs they have stakes in.
Tony Parker's backup: 'Definitely' FranceBelow are some helpful links on the overseas movements of NBA stars
Speaking about his lockout plans, Parker added: "For me, it's more an emotional decision. It's not enough for me just to play for the money, stuff like that, because I am a student of the game. I am passionate about the game. It would be great for my family, my friends, to see me in France.
- Player movement: Who's going abroad?
- The National Basketball Association's European Vacation
Players I'm looking forward to see in Europe:
Nicolas Batum - Nancy
Boris Diaw - JSA Bordeaux (rumored)
Tony Parker - ASVEL Villeurbanne (rumored)
VIDEO: Nancy makes a move [for Batum]
Deron Williams - Besiktas
Mehmet Okur - Turk Telecom
VIDEO: Deron on Playing in Turkey | Deron Williams | DeronWilliams.com