Playing professional basketball overseas is an enticing opportunity for many aspiring athletes. However, several misconceptions surround this path that can mislead players and affect their decision-making process. I hope to debunk the top five myths about playing professional overseas basketball in order for you to make informed decisions about your career.
Myth 1: Overseas basketball is of lower quality compared to the NBA.
Reality: While the NBA is highly regarded, professional basketball overseas offers a high level of competition. Leagues in Europe, Asia, Australia, and other regions feature talented players, strategic gameplay, and passionate fan bases. Is the NBA the best league in the world? Yes, it is but not everyone can play in the NBA.
Myth 2: Only NBA rejects or fringe players go overseas.
Reality: Overseas leagues attract a diverse range of players, including NBA veterans, international stars, and emerging talent. This summer, some top level European teams made moves for players who were still quality NBA players. Many players choose overseas basketball to gain experience, develop their skills, or showcase their abilities to NBA scouts. It is a competitive environment that provides ample opportunities for growth and exposure.
Myth 3: Overseas contracts are not financially rewarding.
Reality: While salaries vary across different leagues and countries, playing professional basketball overseas can be financially lucrative. Top-tier leagues offer competitive salaries, endorsement deals, and additional benefits such as housing, transportation, and healthcare. It is crucial for players to research and negotiate contracts to ensure fair compensation.
Myth 4: Language barriers make it difficult to adjust to a new country.
Reality: Yes, adapting to a new culture and language can be challenging, but it is also a valuable learning experience. Many teams provide support, including language lessons and assistance with daily tasks. Embracing the local culture and being open-minded can help players overcome language barriers and foster positive relationships with teammates and the community.
Myth 5: Playing overseas hinders NBA opportunities.
Reality: Playing professional basketball overseas can enhance a player’s chances of getting noticed by NBA scouts and teams. Overseas success demonstrates adaptability, skill development, and the ability to perform under different playing styles. Several players have used their overseas experience as a stepping stone to secure NBA contracts and establish successful careers.