Jannero Pargo is the latest in a host of NBA players -- U.S.-born and otherwise -- who have opted to play professional basketball in Europe. The others include Josh Childress, Earl Boykins, Carlos Arroyo, Nenad Krstic, Carlos Delfino, Bostjan Nachbar and Jorge Garbajosa.
A couple of thoughts:
1. I laughed when Jannero Pargo's agent, Mark Bartelstein, said that his client was one of the "higher profile" players to go over. That was spoken like a true agent. So Jerry McGuire-ish!
2. Obviously, this has to do with the weak American dollar. So, we can either blame the current administration on the current plight of our economy, or the Fed. Either way, the money marginal players like Pargo can earn in Europe is more lucrative than the money he could make in the NBA.
3. I think this is a good thing. David Stern has been vying to expand and promote basketball throughout the entire world. His master plan has been aided or facilitated by the weak American dollar, but the expansion of high quality professional basketball world wide was inevitable. Let me say "is" inevitable.
Eventually, being a world champion will indeed mean exactly that. I venture to say, with great certainty, that the winner of the NBA will enter into the basketball equivalent of a Champions League at some point in time -- hopefully sooner than later. I envision it being a month-long tournament matching up the very best teams in the world.
4. We've seen by way of recent World Championships and the Olympics, that the world has caught up. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant and the very best the United States has to offer can no longer breeze to victory. It requires practice, dedication and heart to win.
I look forward to the day in which this basketball version of the Champions League holds the attention of the world similar to Euro 2008 last summer. We'll see what happens.