I know everyone wants to go out and average 30 points a game overseas, but let me explain to you how doing so may hurt your chances of playing on a higher level. You may think that scouts, GMs, and coaches only look at your stats as a factor in if you get a job or not but that simply is not the case. Here are some reasons why:
- If you are playing overseas and you are averaging 30 or playing in a league where the leading scorers are averaging crazy numbers like that, then you probably are not playing in a well-respected league. Don’t believe me, go on Eurobasket.com and have a look at the leagues where players are averaging close to 30 per game and let me know if that league has a Euroleague team. There isn’t one. These are the countries represented in the Euroleague and their league leading scorers: Lithuania…17, Italy and Germany…19, Spain, Serbia and Greece…21, Israel, France and Turkey…22
- Scouts, GMs, and coaches do not only judge you by your stats, but they also analyze the competition you are playing against. Here is an example…You play in, let’s say Armenia or Luxemburg, and average 30 points a game. GMs may watch a film of you, but they also want to see HOW and AGAINST WHO you got those 30. For the average GM or coach overseas, the Luxembourg league is not a powerhouse, and GMs realize the stats are watered down because the competition level is not what it is in other countries. They want to see you playing against comparable competition as you would in their league. This is not to knock Armenia, or Luxemburg or any other “entry-level” leagues. This is a fact.
- Scouts, GMs, and coaches also know that in those leagues, you are not making very much money in most cases. You will hardly see a guy average 30 and then the next season is on a Euroleague team earning $15,000 a month. There are levels to this game overseas. It is perfectly ok to start your career at an entry-level league (I did it myself in Austria) but just know it will take time to earn a sizable paycheck unless you were some college All-American or former NBA player. Just because you averaged 30 overseas does not mean Barcelona is gonna call your agent. It is more likely that another entry-level team a little higher up will.
Here is another comparison from the best league outside of the NBA…the Euroleague. This is how much the top 5 scorers are averaging this season: 20, 19, 18, 17, 17. Now, you may look at those numbers and not be impressed, but that is typical in top leagues across Europe. If you are averaging 20, you are a BUCKET GETTER in top leagues where the competition, the defense, and the intensity is just better than in smaller leagues.
Another factor why inflated stats are not taken seriously is because if you are averaging 30, you are probably playing 35-38 minutes a game. In better leagues, top players are not averaging anywhere near those types of minutes, so you have to learn to be efficient. Top teams do not need to live and die with how their foreign players play anymore. The talent is more evenly placed on many shoulders.
Only 2 players in the top 5 Euroleague scorers that I listed earlier are also in the top 5 of minutes played. I do not have the exact statistics but I would go out on a limb and say that the top players on most Euroleague teams average somewhere between 25-28 minutes per game. Role players are going to be at about 15-18 minutes per game. You simply have less time to get your numbers.
All of that being said, I am not trying to take away anyone’s shine or disrespect entry-level leagues. Averaging 30 is still an accomplishment no matter what league you are playing in. If you are playing against Stevie Wonder Team of the Blind, you still have to get that 30. I am just trying to show what agents, GMs, and coaches overseas think about these inflated numbers.
I also want to inform other people that do not know any better that players tend to “exaggerate” when it comes to what they do overseas. 30 ain’t always 30, and sometimes 15 ain’t ONLY 15…especially when ballers get back home and start bragging about what they do and how much money they are making overseas haha.
Understand this when considering your goals and in which country you In the end, you have to play the game to the best of your ability no matter where you play.