Overseas Player: Deron Williams In For A Rude Awakening

By: 07.20.11  •  16 Comments
Deron Williams

Deron Williams

Lance Allred might be known more for being the first legally deaf player to ever play in the NBA. But he’s also forged a basketball journey from Croatia to Puerto Rico to Australia to China to Cleveland and everywhere in between. Put it this way, he’s played in every continent outside of Antarctica, which I would guess has approximately zero basketball leagues. So Allred knows, much as Josh Childress does, what NBA players will be facing should they sign in a different league.

Allred told the Sake Lake Tribune that Williams better be feeling lucky with his $200,000 a month contract.

“I saw that number, and I laughed,” he said. “Deron could be above the fray with that sort of high-profile signing. That team might not want to have the reputation of not paying him, but that increases the chances that the other players will leave. If Deron gets his money, a lot of other people on that team aren’t going to get theirs.”

Allred said he’s taken a poll of his peers playing overseas for the past two years: “They’re averaging about half of what they were guaranteed to make. … The finances are going to be risky. Always.”

A few years ago, Allred signed a deal to play in Italy for $160,000. “I didn’t receive a dime of it, even though it was FIBA-guaranteed. The team folded two months later. It’s such a crapshoot.”

Allred went on to say everything is completely different besides just the money – the living conditions, the travel, the focus on team over individual. Allred knows NBA players are used to having their freedom; Basically, after work, they go about their business like a normal person. Not in some of the places he’s been. Allred says teams have itineraries pretty much every day. Meet here. Eat here. It’s totally different.

As for the money, Allred told the paper at one point he was just given $20,000 in straight cash from the team in the middle of a mall and then had to bust out of there as a few characters chased him. That’s crazy.

Allred also said to the paper:

“Deron likes to run the show, he doesn’t really listen to coaches much. But if you thought Jerry Sloan was tough, these European coaches are lockdown. When I was in the Ukraine, we practiced twice a day, five days a week. People say, ‘Oh, you only play one game a week, you can relax and rest your body.’ Not the case. … It’s ultracompetitive with the team, plus the coach wants to control everything.”

As support and warnings from both sides continue to pile up this summer, it will be interesting to see exactly what happens with all of this. Maybe Williams has insurances that things will be different. Perhaps he doesn’t know. I guess we will all find out in due time.

What do you think?

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