NBA insider says Russian teams are trying to attract US players

NBA insider Marc Stein revealed that Russian basketball teams are trying to lure back contract American players with the promise of bonuses.

As war broke out in Ukraine, professional basketball players from the United States tweeted to let fans know that they had safely evacuated the country. In Russia, many players still watched the titles with horror.

WNBA players who spend their off-season in Russia are encouraged to leave the country, that’s how Brittney Griner was arrested by Russian police for allegedly possessing drugs at a Russian airport.

Although the US Embassy in Russia issued Level 4 travel advice at the end of February and encouraged US athletes to consider “leave Russia immediately through commercial options still available,Russian teams are looking to bring American stars back to the competition.

A later update from Stein noted that although Russia is currently banned from FIBA, Russia’s tournament will continue in the absence of some of their biggest international stars.

Russian basketball hopes to continue as they entice American athletes to continue

While Russian basketball may want the Americans back, at the moment this doesn’t seem like a realistic possibility. On March 1st, USA Russian flights are banned from entering US airspace, and current travel advisories from the US State Department note that “US citizens should leave Russia immediately. ”

As Stein notes, it can be difficult to entice any American player to venture to Russia while Brittney Griner remains in Russian custody and could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

Russia has been able to attract WNBA players for years by promising riches they cannot earn in the United States, but may not have any amount of money convincing an NBA or WNBA player. Consider playing in a country that is terrorizing civilians in Ukraine and holding one of the WNBA’s biggest stars. NBA insider says Russian teams are trying to attract US players

John Verrall

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