Hi teammates…Both those who have played overseas and those who have never ventured beyond their home country, often find themselves wondering about the unknown aspects of overseas basketball. I will try to shed light on some of the things players may never know about their experiences abroad, catering to both audiences. From the diligence of agents to the uncertainties surrounding contracts and team dynamics, these are some of the things you never know, until you know them in overseas basketball.
1. The Unseen Efforts of Your Agent:
Especially for those of you who have never played overseas, it can be easy to overlook the tremendous dedication and hard work that (good) agents invest in their clients. Agents tirelessly negotiate contracts, scout opportunities, and navigate complex international markets to find the best fit for their players. Their efforts often go unnoticed, but they play a crucial role in shaping a player’s overseas career.
I have said it many times, if you do not have a camera following your agent around like a reality series, you have no idea what your agent does (or does not do) for your career. There is no point in worrying about it and trust that your agent are actually doing their job.
2. The Multitude of Interested Teams:
You will never fully know how many teams have asked your agent about you. The global basketball landscape is vast, and numerous teams from different leagues and countries may inquire about a player’s availability. Normally, an agent will not tell you each time a team inquires about you. Why would they if no contract is on the table.
If they did, but no contract came, you would seriously doubt the selling abilities of your agent. The one thing that you can be sure of is that your agent will usually only tell you when the advances of the club are very serious. Negotiations will have already taken place and a contract offer will be imminent.
3. The Real Reasons Behind Contract Offers:
Understanding why a team does or doesn’t offer a contract can be baffling. Factors such as team dynamics, budget constraints, playing style preferences, or even visa limitations can influence a team’s decision. Sometimes, it’s not solely based on a player’s skills or abilities but rather a complex interplay of various factors that go beyond the court.
This game is a buyer’s market. That means there are way too many players available compared to how many open jobs there are. Teams know this. They will not only looking for talent, but a certain fit for their team and they can afford to seriously look at many players.
Your agent, even if he/she has a great relationship with the team, has next to no influence on the end decision of the team.
4. The Perception of Former Teams:
When transitioning to a new overseas team, players often wonder how their previous teams spoke of them. It’s essential to remember that opinions can differ, and what one team values, another might not. While some former teams may sing your praises, others may have different perspectives. Understanding this can help players navigate the intricacies of the international basketball landscape, but once again, you may never know what a former team said about you.
5. The Finances Beyond a Successful Season:
Even if you have played a successful season, you will have no idea how your next contract will look like. Just because you made a certain amount one season, does not mean you will earn that same amount or more. You are not entitled to earn more.
It may take you many years for you to earn a considereable amount more money. It is not an easy lifestyle to adjust to, especially in the stressful months between seasons. You will have to learn to adjust and not spend money you have never earned
6. The Fit with a New Team:
One of the biggest unknowns for players transitioning overseas is the question of whether they will fit in with their new team. Every team has its unique style of play, coaching philosophy, and team dynamics. Adapting to a new environment can be challenging, but it also presents an opportunity for personal growth and development.
7. The Quality of Your Agent:
For players who have already played overseas, the question of whether their agent is effective and trustworthy might arise. Evaluating the quality of your agent’s performance is crucial to ensure you receive the support and guidance you need throughout your career. It’s essential to maintain open communication, seek feedback, and regularly assess whether your agent aligns with your goals and aspirations.
Overseas basketball is an exhilarating journey filled with unknowns and hidden complexities. Whether you’re a player who has never ventured beyond your home country or an experienced overseas veteran, understanding the nuances of this realm can empower you to navigate it more effectively.