Curry, Wright Willing to Play Overseas if Necessary

Warriors point guard Stephen Curry and forward Dorell Wright said they are considering playing overseas if the NBA lockout extends into the season.
Neither has a deal in place or a destination set, but they could end up in the same location.

“China is looking promising,” Curry said via text message. “There’s no deal yet on the table, but my agent is going to entertain offers and see what happens. If it works, I’ll go.”

Wright said China would be his first choice. He has an endorsement deal with Peak, a Chinese basketball shoe company.

“I would definitely like to play in China,” Wright said via text. “But I’m open to other options. I’m going to China for a week (in August), so I’ll definitely see how it is.”

Curry said his priority is rehabbing from offseason surgery on his right ankle and finishing up his degree at Davidson. He also is getting married at the end of this month.

He expects to be 100 percent healthy and ready to play basketball by November. If the NBA is still shut down by the lockout, Curry said, he is more than willing to look elsewhere.

Curry’s agent, Lance Young, cautions that such options aren’t close to fruition. The lockout would have to extend into October before playing overseas becomes an option. Even then, several caveats
would need to be negotiated — such as opt-out clauses in case the NBA commences while a player is playing overseas.

But Curry and Wright expressed eagerness for continued development. Curry, 23, has two NBA seasons under his belt and is the Warriors’ point guard of the future. Wright, 25, just finished his seventh season, but it was his first as a major player on a team. He set career-highs in games (82), minutes per game (38.4) and scoring average (16.4). A year off might be counterproductive for both.

What’s more, if a lockout cancels the 2011-12 NBA season, Wright would lose $3.8 million in salary. Curry stands to lose just over $3 million.

“The money doesn’t hurt,” Curry said, “but it’s more for the competitive edge.”

New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams made news earlier this month when word got out that he had an agreement to play in Turkey if the NBA lockout canceled the season. Now, players all over the league are considering taking their talents abroad, even at the risk of getting injured and jeopardizing their NBA contracts. Why?

“Basketball,” Wright said. “Playing basketball is my job, and I love it.”

Marcus Thompson

  • GSWFaithful

    Playing elsewhere is the player’s leverage over the owners. You know Lacob is hating this.

  • Harp’s Dubs

    A Warriors story – hallelujah! Unfortunately, same old story with different names.
    I had a dream last night that David Lee was shipped to the Hawks for Josh Smith – it was amazing! We followed that up with Monta for Iguodala. Then, we shipped Biedrins to Houston in a 3 way that lost us Udoh to Denver, got us Nene and landed Jordan Hill and Hasheem Thabeet on the Nuggets. Then, we re-signed Reggie Williams. Then, we signed Earl Watson, Reggie Lewis and Jason Collins as free agents.
    The dream finished with me sitting courtside and looking at the line-up that featured:
    Hey, a man can dream, can’t he? It wasn’t totally unrealistic – just the part about Lee for Smith (and me sitting courtside)!

  • Don Cannady

    Lol, all these stories about “going overseas” is an attempt by the players to scare the owners. The owners are not that stupid to fall for this. I am thinking the owners hold the power in this contest even if it costs both sides money with a failed season. The net will be an adjustment to players wages.

    The real problem is that both the owners and players are so far removed from the folks who watch the games. America is out of work and those with jobs are looking over their shoulders. These two groups of people are in a different reality compared everyone else. That’s the real issue: greed.

  • deano

    My guess is that China is much more interested in Jeremey Linn than in Curry. Linn is a player who could really benefit from an extended lockout. If he played in China, he would get much more money and playing time than he ever will in the NBA. He would come back to the NBA, when the new CBA is finally approved, as a more experienced player. In the current situation, Linn can’t lose.

  • oaktownlar

    To gain real leverage over the Owners, the players should hang together, not split off around the world. How about creating a self-owned league and approach arenas around the league (like the Coliseum) with an offer to split revenues 50/50 (as an Oakland and Alameda County taxpayer, I would think we would jump at the chance rather than have the arena dark). Could a TV contract from another network be far behind? The players are the Product–not the league and not the Owners.

  • In the beginnings of this NBA Lockout some NBA and NFL athletes have cooperated to create this hilarious video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51rdAN0Y2xI

  • robtaipei

    I think Jeremy Lin would pick up some bad habits in China’s CBA unless every team recruits one or two NBA players. The intensity level and professional play is obvioulsy not yet at an NBA level, but worse is players’ “think first then execute” MO; that is, if your team is up against a perenially strong team, you are thinking “we’re probably going to lose, so I just want my points and avoid getting hurt or get too tired”. This “play the percentages ‘smart” basketball” is unfortunately endemic in East Asia. Jeremy Lin looks like he will need to depend on all-out hustle and learning the professional game to succeed, and he can onlg get that presently in the NBA.

  • I’m all for the players going overseas to play. First, it’s their business. Second, it shows the owners who REALLY has the power and options. Third, its not about greed, its about making a living. We can say what we want about how much money these players are getting – but it the money being generated ON THEIR BACKS is into the billions!!!! who the hell do you think should get that money?? The problem most people have with this whole situation is they are looking at the players money and not the money being generated.

  • I think it’ll be good for the warrior players to play overseas because it’ll toughen them up a bit. i think they’re too soft as it is now.