LOS ANGELES -- With the NBA lockout going on since July 1 there has been much speculation about who and how many NBA players will take their skills abroad.
The Sixers' Lou Williams had an opportunity to play in Europe for a team he would not disclose, but did say was in Europes top league. He turned it down. He had his reasons for rejecting the offer but he thinks for many of the guys choosing to go overseas, the reason is obvious.
I think it is financial, Williams said on Sunday in Los Angeles, where eight Sixers have convened for off-season workouts. I think a lot of it is also just wanting to play basketball. I think with the overseas thing, I think it comes down to personal preference. Me personally I am not a big traveler, the NBA season kills me as it is so I am not really a fan of going overseas and playing, but some guys like to travel and see different things and on top of that get an opportunity to play basketball.
Andre Iguodala would be one of those I-like-to-travel guys, but extenuating circumstances factor in to his decision-making process.
I would have enjoyed going over there and playing but I have other things as far as the length of my contract and what is at stake for me makes that not a smart decision, Iguodala explained. I would have to have everything written in paper as far as being insured and being covered. As of now we are not at that crunch time where you have to make that decision but when it gets closer then I will know and that will never be off the table and I will always look at that option because I enjoy going overseas and just spending time there.
Iguodala spent five weeks in Europe last summer with the U.S national team. It made a stop in Madrid before going on to Turkey, where it captured the gold medal at the World Championships.
As for the no-longer-rookie Evan Turner, he has only one place he wants to play in lieu of playing for the Sixers during the work stoppage.
I am going to Henry Avenue with Herb Magee to work on my jumper, Turner stressed, referring to his new best teaching friend and Hall of Fame coach at Philadelphia University. I am not going anywhere else.
Jodie Meeks, a two-year veteran who assumed the starting two guard spot in early December of last season and held it for 64 games, seconds Turners thoughts.
I dont think I will do that this year, he said. I considered it a little bit and thought about it, but for the most part I am going to be working out in Atlanta and letting my body rest."
Meeks has a good running mate when he works out; he meets Williams every day at the gym.
Second-round draft pick Lavoy Allen, who played his college career at Temple, has agreed to play with a team in France. Considering Allen has yet to make the Sixers roster and is not guaranteed to, most would agree that was a wise decision.
Following in Allens footsteps is little used second-year forward Craig Brackins, who has agreed to play in Israel for Maccabi Ashdod.
I am excited for a good opportunity and I get to play, Brackins said. I think just the lack of play from last year and then it was an opportunity to get some overseas experience, which would allow me to work on another aspect of my game because overseas is a totally different contact sport -- they dont call a lot of fouls. I think it will help me in the long run whenever the lockout does end.
Brackins, who leaves on Sept. 5 to join his new team, played in just three NBA games his rookie season. He did make two trips to the NBDL and performed well, but if he wants to earn regular minutes when the 2011-12 season gets underway being better and stronger will bode well for him. Playing overseas will certainly give him the competition to work towards those goals.
Brackins has never been to Israel but he has spent time abroad visiting Germany and Serbia.
Going with Brackins to his new home is his new do -- an ever growing mohawk.
I had it in college and that was a time when I was grinding, so back to the grind time, Brackins said, ready to embark on the unknown quite far away.
E-mail Dei Lynam at email@example.com