As the NBA lockout rages on, more and more poor, starving, unemployed NBA players are fleeing overseas in search of work in order to feed their families. But how are these players faring in foreign lands? Here’s our first update, featuring Andrei Kirilenko, Deron Williams, Tony Parker, J.R. Smith and Danilo Gallinari.
Danilo Gallinari – Olimpia Milano (Italy)
One positive of the lockout is many of the NBA’s European players are able to go back home and play in front of family and friends. Take the Nuggets’ Danilo Gallinari, for instance. Gallo is back playing for Olimpia in Milano, which is who he played for from 2006-2008 before he entered the NBA. So far Gallinari helped lead the team to victory in it’s first Euroleague game (23 points, seven boards) and has them near the top of the Italian League standings with a record of 2-1 (9.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg).
Andrei Kirilenko – CSKA Moscow (Russia)
Andrei Kirilenko also has enjoyed a homecoming, playing for the Russian (and European) powerhouse CSKA Moscow, who he also played for from 1998-2001. AK47 had a monster first week in the Euroleague, winning the week’s MVP award by posting 17 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and four blocks in CSKA’s win over Zalgiris.
Tony Parker – ASVEL Villeurbanne (France)
Tony Parker isn’t just playing for some run-of-the-mill team in France’s Pro A League - he’s playing for the team he owns a part of (heis also the team’s Vice President of Basketball Operations). Hence why he is playing for the minimum salary of $2,000 per month, despite having to pay $250,000 every three months for insurance. Unfortunately his sacrifice hasn’t translated into wins on the court, as the team is 1-2 in Pro A, despite Parker putting up 19.5 points, 4.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds in the two games he suited up for.
J.R. Smith – Zhejiang Golden Bulls (China)
The Chinese Basketball Assosociation hasn’t tipped off its season yet, but J.R. Smith is already overseas, lamenting the time zone differences and hating the Chinese government’s censorship of the internet. ‘J.R. Does China’ would be a TV show I’d tune in to.
Deron Williams – Besiktas Milangaz Istanbul (Turkey)
The biggest name to bolt overseas was definitely Deron Williams, who is netting $5 million to play in Turkey this season. After struggling to adjust to the rougher (aka dirtier) style of play overseas, Williams has come into his own, earning Player of the Week honours last week. He’s among the Turkish Basketball League leaders’ in points (17.5 ppg,) and assists (7.5 apg).
Got an NBA player overseas you’d like to see an update on? Make a request in the comment section below and we’ll do our best to include him in a future update.