Last year, David Beckham signed a 5-year, $250 million deal to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS. In the 1997-98 season, Michael Jordan made $33 million with the Chicago Bulls. When LeBron James is able to opt out after the 2009-10 season, NBA teams already creating salary cap space for “the summer of LeBron” can’t even afford to offer James $20 million a year (from their idiotic free-agent signings). So what does the King have to say about that?
James has reportedly said on Tuesday that he would strongly consider playing in Europe if offered $50 million a year. The source close to James said that he would play for only a year or two if he went abroad before returning to the NBA. Is there any easier way to make $100 million in two years? I can’t see LeBron going, but you can’t blame him for leaving with that kind of money offered to him as well as the opportunity to truly be a global icon. I know there’s not a whole lot you can’t do with $40 million that you can do with $100 million, but you have $100 million!
Several more players bolted overseas, making the number of NBA players who have signed to an international team for next season nine. Josh Childress (3-year, $20 million), Carlos Arroyo (3-year, $7.5 million) and Earl Boykins (1-year, $3.5 million) are the only players of the nine who have played exclusively in the NBA before going abroad for next season.
Brett Favre is a New York Jet. After a roller coaster ride that began after he was reinstated in the NFL by commissioner Roger Goodell on Sunday, the Packers management subsequently said that there would be a quarterback battle with Aaron Rodgers in camp, contrary to what they’ve been telling the public all along. But after a private meeting with last year’s Packers quarterback on Tuesday, the two agreed on one thing – that Favre likely would not be playing in Green Bay. In the wake of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets looking to become the recipient of Favre, the Jets won over Green Bay with a conditional fourth-round pick to the Pack on Wednesday that could become a second-round pick based on Favre’s performance.
The Jets cut starter Chad Pennington on Thursday to clear salary cap space for Favre. Pennington was due $4.8 million this season.
The U.S. basketball team wrapped up their exhibition tuneup with an 87-76 win over Australia on Tuesday and while analysts are saying it’s good they were able to overcome their struggles in a close game when it didn’t count yet, it reaffirms the recent belief that an NBA All-Star team, even with Kobe Bryant, can’t dominate international competition at will like we all think they should. Their first game is Sunday against host China at 7:15p PDT.
Update: The Oakland Athletics’ Brad Ziegler tossed two more innings without giving up a run Tuesday, upping his total to 34 scoreless innings without giving up a run. He is now just three innings shy of the team record for longest streak without giving up a run, and with Huston Street‘s sixth blown save of the year in the same game, Ziegler is reportedly in the closer mix.