Picture this: You belong to a union that is in a labor dispute with your employer, so you're currently unavailable to work your normal job. You get a call from one of your co-workers who invites you to join him and others overseas as you perform your regular tasks in front of thousands of adoring onlookers who have anxiously awaited your arrival. Oh, and you'll be getting paid $400,000 to do so, and it's tax-free.
Sounds like a fantasy, right? Not for NBA stars Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose, who were reportedly paid $400,000 apiece for their appearances in some exhibition games in the Philippines, according to Sam Amick of SI.com.
Being an accountant or school teacher (or journalist) doesn't attract an arena of attention, but being a professional basketball player does. While the NBA is in lockout, stars like Bryant, Durant and Rose are free to pursue their own money-making endeavors. This weekend the trio played in some exhibition games in the Philippines, and apparently made out quite well money-wise.
The love affair of fans in foreign markets could be used as leverage by NBA players threatening to play in Europe if the league cannot come to an agreement with the players association on a new collective bargaining agreement.
As evidenced by the big paydays, there is a lot to be gained in foreign markets for hoops players, but sadly, not for NESN.com writers.
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