Josh Childress is gone but not forgotten -- in case the trademark 'fro and the Greek uniform didn't tip you off, that's him in the video above (via Skeets) putting two on the board for Olympiacos. Childress was also the subject of a wide-ranging interview with Pete Thamel of the New York Times in which he discussed, among other things, why he made the jump overseas:
I did it because it was a better situation for me. Regardless of what people say. A lot of people said "he's not a competitor" or "he's going to the J.V. league." I read it all over the place. I think it was a lot of chat room stuff and in a few papers.Before this summer, not many people considered European teams as serious competition for NBA free agents, but Childress is helping change that perception. Part of the concern some players have had is the lack of an international player's union, which has occasionally resulted in some teams refusing to honor contracts.
To those guys I would say, "I'm in situation where I get paid double, my role increases, I have no expenses and I move to a nice city." How many guys wouldn't do that, regardless if you're a lawyer or a doctor? In a business sense, if I were to tell people that I passed on that deal, I would be stupid.
Thamel also spoke with Panayiotis Angelopoulos, one-half of the billionaire brothers who own Olympiacos, who hopes Childress' experience will help convince other American players that there's no reason to be concerned, at least not if they sign with him.
"He came informed," Angelopoulos said. "He was not asking, 'Do you have enough money?' and other questions that make me angry."In order to pursue more players in the future, Angelopoulos told Thamel that he plans to open an office in New York next season. He's lost some of his negotiating leverage now that the Euro is no longer as strong against the US Dollar (which makes it that much more unlikely we'll see a mega-deal for the likes of Kobe or LeBron) but he definitely seems committed to giving NBA role players the option of playing a starring role in Europe.
Angelopoulos, whose family owns shipping and steel companies, said he does multimillion-dollar business deals, and no one asks if he has the capital.
"I lose my sleep to try to convince Mr. Bartelstein that I have money," he said of Mark Bartelstein, who represents [James] Posey, [Charlie] Bell and [Jannero] Pargo.