NBA Lockout Watch, Day 15: Foreign BBall Federations Scramble to Insure NBAers
Several foreign basketball federations are “grappling with high insurance costs in the weeks leading up to regional Olympic qualification tournaments, one piece of the ‘collateral damage’ that NBA commissioner David Stern spoke of when he announced on June 30 that the league was imposing a lockout,” according to Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com. The federations are “trying to find ways to shoulder the enormous financial burden of insuring their star players' NBA contracts, an expense that could force several of the top international players to sit out FIBA tournaments this summer.” In a normal offseason, an agreement between FIBA and the NBA “provides an infrastructure that holds down the cost of insuring players' contracts in case they are injured in an international competition.” But that agreement “has been suspended” as part of the NBA lockout. The Australian federation “already has announced that it will not have Andrew Bogut on the roster for the FIBA-Oceania tournament, and the Spanish federation has said it will cost as much as $5,670,000 to insure the contracts of players including Pau and Marc Gasol, Rudy Fernandez, Jose Calderon and Ricky Rubio.” Many NBA players are reporting to their national team training camps in the hope that a CBA resolution "will come before the qualification tournaments begin." Sources said that FIBA is “exploring several possible solutions, including an option being spearheaded by FIBA Europe to find one insurance company to insure all European NBA players regardless of their national affiliations” (ESPN.com, 7/14).