NBA AM: Warriors’ Curry Rules Out Overseas
Stephen Curry Rules Out Overseas Option: The ongoing labor dispute and failure to agree on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) has already postponed training camps and led to the cancellation of preseason contests through October 15.
With the way things are headed it appears the cancellation of regular season games will be the next announcement unless significant progress is made during negotiations in the immediate future.
However a lot of players have been solicited by foreign clubs looking to bolster their respective profiles with NBA talent.
While the pay is nowhere near as lucrative as the current NBA wage scale, the overseas option has been an attractive alternative for middle tier players looking to keep their games sharp, earn playing time, gain additional experience and maintain cash flowing into their bank accounts.
During the early stages of the lockout Golden State Warriors starting point guard Stephen Curry, who underwent surgery on his right ankle back in May, stated he’d be willing to play international ball in the right situation.
However, the emerging guard backed off those earlier comments yesterday and is no longer viewing foreign ball as a serious option this season.
“Playing overseas would make sense if I was healthy, but I don’t have enough time to prepare myself to be effective over there,” Curry told Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle at charity golf tournament on Monday. “I’m a basketball junkie and love to play, but I’m not bored. I’m working out and getting the details in order of taking my game to the next level.”
The Warriors are hoping either Curry or high scoring guard Monta Ellis can make the All-Star leap next season under new head coach and former NBA guard Mark Jackson.
If both players raise their games as expected it will make Jackson’s playoff guarantees for the franchise come to fruition sooner rather than later.
For now, players and team officials cannot communicate due to the ongoing lockout.
But this hasn’t stopped the Warriors from trying to strengthen team chemistry.
A total of ten Golden State players, including Curry, Ellis, David Lee and Ekpe Udoh showed up at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas earlier this month and spent four days with each other on and off the floor.
“It was chaotic getting everybody together in Las Vegas, but it was worth it,” Curry said. “We got a little bit of work in and some important team-building and we can use that as a starting basis for what we’re going to do down the road.”
The event was such a success there are plans to organize another training camp over the next few weeks. Most believe the Warriors are still one piece away from being a true playoff team in the competitive Western Conference – but the question is can their dedication to improving team chemistry be enough to offset those widespread beliefs?
Memphis’ Randolph Stands By Players Union: All-Star power forward Zach Randolph has enjoyed a career rebirth in Memphis. The forward was always thought to be a very solid talent but not a guy a franchise could build a team around.
But last season the Grizzlies, behind Randolph’s stellar play, came up just one game short of reaching the Western Conference Finals – dispatching the heavily favored and top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the process.
This on-court success contributed to Memphis rewarding the 30 year old Randolph with a $66 million deal.
Despite the possibility of losing a portion of those new funds due to the lockout, the tenth year veteran is content with the players union holding out for the best labor deal possible.
“If that’s a sacrifice we have to make (in order) to make it better for the future then, yeah, I’m OK with it,” Randolph told Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal in a phone interview. “I’m definitely prepared financially.”
It was reported earlier this summer that Randolph was one of the players who proactively restructured their 2011 season salaries to be distributed over twenty-four months as a proactive step to keep earnings flowing in the event of a lengthy lockout.
Although progress in labor talks haven’t made significant strides, Randolph is as confident as ever in union chief Billy Hunter.
“I sent a text to Billy Hunter two weeks ago and told him he has my full support,” Randolph said. “I’m definitely supporting the union. And we all should. This is something I’ve never been through so it’s frustrating, but all of the players should stick together.”
Randolph also didn’t shut the door on playing international ball this season if the NBA schedule is scrapped, though he does prefer playing with his frontcourt mate center Marc Gasol if he had to temporarily change addresses.
“I’m going to wait and see what’s going on Nov. 1,” Randolph said. “That’s when I’ll make a decision. And then I’m going to see what Marc [Gasol] is doing. I’d like to go wherever he goes. I’d want to talk to him and stick with my big fella.”
Ginobili Narrows List To Virtus Bologna: The recent offer Virtus Bologna delivered to Los Angeles Lakers guard and future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant continues to receive the bulk of the headlines, but the Italian club also pitched a lucrative deal to San Antonio Spurs All-Star Manu Ginobili as well.
While Ginobili hasn’t fully committed to playing overseas in the event the regular season is cancelled, the Argentinean star did admit Virtus Bologna is the only club in the running for his services.
“I did not say NO to the proposal,” Ginobili stated according to Sportando. “In Bologna I had great time and my wife Marianela loves Italy. There is a possibility that I will join Virtus Bologna during the NBA lockout. I have to give an answer by the end of the month. I had also an offer from Brazil but if I leave San Antonio Spurs during the lockout, I am going to play only with Virtus Bologna. It would be just for few months and then I will be back to Spurs”
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