Thursday, December 31, 2009
Ex-NBA Players Experience Money Woes in Europe
By Chris Broussard
Former NBA players continue to find out that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the pond.
Damon Jones, Robert "Tractor'' Traylor and Travis Best are on the verge of leaving their Italian League team, Martos Napoli, because they haven't received their paychecks for the past month, according to several sources with knowledge of the situation.
After returning to the United States for Christmas, the three players have decided not to go back to Italy until they are paid. Representatives for the players are in discussions with Martos Napoli to work up legal documents that will allow the players to leave the squad and become free agents.
Jones, who was averaging 14 points per game for Napoli, received a contract worth $500,000, but he has not been paid for the past month.
Traylor, 32, was averaging 10 points per game, and Best, 37, was averaging five. Napoli's record was 0-11.
Jones, 33, is hoping to latch on with an NBA team. A veteran of 11 NBA seasons, he played for 10 teams, most recently Milwaukee in the 2008-2009 season.
This experience has become a fairly common one for NBA players who have been lured to Europe with lucrative contracts. Nenad Krstic and Jannero Pargo were among the players who returned to the NBA last season after not receiving payments from their European clubs.