Following the disappointing news that came this week regarding the NBA lockout and the lack of a new deal being agreed upon by the players and owners, Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade is beginning to seriously consider alternative options for playing basketball over the next several months. He, along with the rest of us, was hoping that a new CBA would be in place by now, but instead he's staring at a work stoppage that could consume the entire 2011-12 NBA season.
During an interview with South Florida's Sun-Sentinel, Wade said that his plan is to play some kind of competitive basketball this season. Obviously he would prefer doing that right here in North America, but if the lockout eliminates that as an option then he'll consider playing somewhere overseas. Said Wade:
"I can't imagine going a year without basketball and I don't think that will happen. Some way, some how, I'm going to be part of a team. I can't see myself sitting out a full year, not playing basketball, at some kind of high level. Obviously, the level I want to be playing on is the NBA level and that's what we're going (to) continue to try to do, but if that is not the case, I will try to find a way where I can play at a high level."
That somewhere could be across one of the massive oceans that surround the United States, an option that I'm sure many NBA players will be considering as the lockout moves towards its 6th month. For me, the last thing I want to see is any members of the Heat packing up and heading elsewhere to play, for no other reason then risking injuries that could keep them from playing here whenever the lockout finally comes to an end.
Wade isn't shy about saying that he prefers to play here in the U.S., and its pretty clear that he has been patiently waiting to get that opportunity. However, at this point, he has to start exploring other options if he truly wants to play for a team at some kind of high level. Wade said this regarding playing somewhere overseas:
"I have gotten on the phone with my agent, saying, 'Listen, maybe we need to peak our head on the other side and see the possibilities.' Obviously, to have a season and go back January 1st and to know you need 30 days once the deal is complete, something's got to be done soon. But you've got to open up the possibility, so I am looking."
The longer the lockout went on the more I knew this would eventually be coming. Even though these players get paid a lot of money to play basketball, that doesn't mean they don't enjoy playing the game. They love this game, and I'm quite sure that only a small fraction of NBA players will just sit out the year should the lockout end the possibility of an NBA season. My only hope is that nobody gets hurt...