Here is an interesting new article I just read about the Euroleague.
3 Steps to exposing a longstanding problem in European basketball - Feb 27, 2009 (by Eurobasket )
3. Acknowledge that players haven't been paid. There are two sides to the long-running marriage of American players to European basketball. At the high end is the contract Josh Childress (6'8''-G/F-83, college: Stanford) signed with Olympiakos S.F.P. Pireus of Greece, paying the former Atlanta Hawk $32.5 million over three years. The Euroleague club outbid the NBA for Childress, leading to speculation that Olympiakos S.F.P. Pireus and other European powers could make offers of $30 million or more to lure LeBron or Kobe as NBA free agents.
But there is another less attractive side to basketball across the ocean. For as long as the sport has been played professionally in Europe, players have been at risk of not receiving their money. The stories include the excruciating tale of Danny Vranes, a former NBA player who told me that his Greek club in the late 1980s not only refused to pay him but also forced him to play in a big game by kidnapping Vranes' friend and not releasing him until the game was finished, at which time Vranes left Greece without his money.
Most of the stories of jilted players tend to the routine: The European team responds to a losing streak by changing its roster, or the American player is injured and replaced. In many of these cases, the displaced player is not paid the salary that was promised to him. The expatriate American players have had no recourse, and to this day they face a foreign legal system weighted to the benefit of the local club, the absence of a European players' association and an inherent conflict of interest in which the player's agent is paid by the European club. David Falk received his income from Michael Jordan, but in the European system Falk would have been paid his salary -- and essentially be working for -- the Chicago Bulls.
So who looks out for the best interests of the player?
2. Seek civil judgments against the club. In 2000-01, former NBA player Chris Morris underwent knee surgery in Greece as a player for Olympiakos S.F.P. Pireus. When the knee failed to heal quickly enough, Olympiakos S.F.P. Pireus replaced Morris without further pay. In 2003, Morris won a civil judgment against Olympiakos S.F.P. Pireus in U.S. District Court in Houston that awarded him close to $1.3 million (including attorneys' fees and interest to date). Morris' agent, Tom McLaughlin, won a similar action in U.S. District Court in Boston, ordering Olympiakos S.F.P. Pireus to now pay him close to $500,000.
Olympiakos S.F.P. Pireus did not defend itself in these cases and has not paid the money, so Morris and McLaughlin have upped the pressure. On Feb. 18, a U.S. Federal Court subpoena was served on Coca-Cola demanding the company to turn over all records of its financial dealings with Olympiakos S.F.P. Pireus since 2004. With the help of the international law firm Yormick & Associates, Morris and McLaughlin plan to serve similar subpoenas on all of the American sponsors of Olympiakos S.F.P. Pireus, including Nike and Citigroup.
When Morris went unpaid by Olympiakos S.F.P. Pireus, the club was owned by Greek magnate Socrates Kokkalis. The club is now operated by the Aggelopoulos brothers, a pair of ambitious, young billionaires who are to European basketball what Mark Cuban is to the NBA. They are being held accountable for the actions of their club, and McLaughlin hopes that other jilted players will follow this example.
'The idea is to get the American sponsors to know about this mistreatment of American athletes. I would think they would like to know about that,'' McLaughlin said. 'It's like trying to deal with these deadbeat dads who are not paying child support. When the cases are publicized, something like 80 percent of the dads wind up paying. But if there is no publicity, they don't pay. What we're really trying to do is to get the deadbeat teams to pay.''
1. Form a players' association. The American International Players' Association (AIPA) is positioned in Europe to help resolve disputes between players and clubs, to 'represent equal and fair accountability on both sides,'' according to co-founder and chairman David Rivers, a former Notre Dame star who led none other than Olympiakos S.F.P. Pireus to the 1996-97 Euroleague championship. With thousands of American men and women playing and coaching basketball professionally around the world, the AIPA could become a powerful clearinghouse of information as well as a force to improve the operating standards of the sport outside the United States.
Apparently Childress landed a deal for more than 10 million a year.
It does sound like there are some risks involved though. Shyt aint gauranted like the NBA, hah.