NBA insider says Russian teams are trying to lure American players
NBA insider Marc Stein reveals Russian basketball teams are trying to bring American players back under contract with the promise of bonuses.
When war broke out in Ukraine, American professional basketball players tweeted to let fans know they had safely evacuated the country. In Russia, many gamers stayed as they watched the headlines in horror.
WNBA players spending their offseason in Russia have been encouraged to leave the country, which is how Brittney Griner was jailed by Russian police for alleged drug possession at a Russian airport.
Although the U.S. Embassy in Russia issued a Level 4 travel advisory in late February and encouraged U.S. athletes to consider “immediately leaving Russia via business options that are still available,” Russian teams are already working on ways to bring America’s stars back to the game.
A later update from Stein noted that although Russia is currently banned from participating in FIBA, Russian league play is expected to continue in the absence of some of its biggest international stars.
Russian basketball hopes to carry on as he urges American athletes to carry on
While Russian basketball may want the Americans back, at the moment that doesn’t seem like a realistic possibility. On March 1, the United States banned Russian flights from entering US airspace, and the current US State Department travel advisory notes that “US citizens should leave Russia immediately”.
As Stein notes, it could be difficult to entice American gamers to risk traveling to Russia while Brittney Griner remains in Russian custody and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Russia has been able to seduce WNBA players for years by promising wealth they can’t earn in the United States, but there may not be any amount of money that could convince a NBA or WNBA player to consider playing in a country that terrorizes civilians. in Ukraine and holding one of the biggest stars in the WNBA.