SBD/Issue 219/Leagues & Governing Bodies

League Notes

Greek Team Olympiakos Reportedly Considering
Pursuing LeBron James As Free Agent In 2010
SI.com's Ian Thomsen wrote Greek team Olympiakos reportedly is "considering a run at [Cavaliers F] LeBron James when he becomes a free agent in 2010." The rumor "was beginning to make its way through the NBA on Friday," and a source said that "it emanates from Olympiakos," which signed F Josh Childress to a three-year, $20M contract on July 23. Thomsen noted "neither the Euroleague nor Greek league impose any kind of salary cap on its teams, which means there would be no ceiling on an offer that the billionaire ownership of Olympiakos could make to James." Also, at the "most expensive levels of European basketball, the club owners are obsessed with bringing glory to their club and their fans as well as to their city and country. Imagine the glory that the recruitment of James would bring to Olympiakos." From James' point of view, playing overseas for a year "could enhance his marketing status and turn him into more of a global star than he is now" (SI.com, 8/1).

POLICY CHANGE? SPORTINGNEWS.com's Mike Florio wrote the NFL's personal conduct policy seems to be "going more easily on players than it arguably should." Lions rookie OT Gosder Cherilus "won't be disciplined for his role in a July 2007 bar fight because the incident occurred before Cherilus entered the NFL," which marks "a dramatic change from a year ago, when [Bengals DE] Frostee Rucker was suspended for one game because of something that occurred before Rucker was drafted" in '06. The Cherilus situation "suggests that, moving forward, NFL teams drafting players who got into trouble before entering the league need not worry at all about a suspension for those pre-NFL incidents" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 8/1).

FURTHER REVIEW: In N.Y., Larry Brooks reported the NHL “will look into the circumstances behind the loan" from Kings Owner AEG to Predators Investor William “Boots” Del Biaggio III and loans of up to $20M to Del Biaggio from then-Predators Owner Craig Leipold. Though NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said that the “burden for revealing those loans fell on Del Biaggio during his application process,” sources indicated that the NHL “intends to look very, very carefully at the behavior of AEG and Leipold.” A source indicated that “even if it is not yet clear that AEG and Leipold violated those rules ... it is clear enough that all parties were obligated to report the loans to the NHL office” (N.Y. POST, 8/3).

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