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W.N.B.A. Stars to Head Overseas Despite Griner’s Arrest

 
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pilight



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PostPosted: 08/25/22 10:22 am    ::: W.N.B.A. Stars to Head Overseas Despite Griner’s Arrest Reply Reply with quote

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/24/sports/basketball/wnba-brittney-griner-russia-wnba-salaries.html

Quote:
Playing overseas remains extremely popular for W.N.B.A. players seeking to earn more money or gain more pro experience, but several agents and players told The New York Times that, because of Griner’s ordeal and the war, they did not know of anyone who would be playing in Russia this off-season.



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PostPosted: 08/25/22 10:48 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Yes, shockingly enough they're still willing to go to places like Italy and get paid for it. Not all European countries are the same, crazily enough.



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HomerCecil



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PostPosted: 08/25/22 11:19 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Yeah, and the headline is a bit fraught. "WNBA Stars to Head Overseas Despite Brittney Griner's Arrest in Russia." But... none of them are going to Russia. I particularly enjoyed the mention of Emma Meesseman "going overseas" when she's, you know, Belgian.

I have appreciated what Stewart has said about going overseas in the past. Yes, some people don't like it and would prefer to be able to stay in the US in the offseason, but some people *enjoy* their time in Europe and don't see it as some sort of punishment. If I could go to Europe for six months and keep my same salary (let alone raise it!) I'd be on a plane tonight.

When I visit Europe, my family here always tells me to "be safe." OTOH, the question I get most frequently in Europe is whether I'm afraid of being shot to death in the United States. There are places to avoid -- like Russia, which everyone in the article claims they're doing -- but otherwise, there are pros and cons to living most anywhere in the world.


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PostPosted: 08/25/22 1:12 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

A significant majority of players going overseas are probably going to somewhere that's statistically safer than the American city they're leaving.



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myrtle



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PostPosted: 08/25/22 6:30 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
A significant majority of players going overseas are probably going to somewhere that's statistically safer than the American city they're leaving.


It's been awhile since I've been abroad, but back in the day, so long as you didn't act like the proverbial ugly American (and yes, I did see and cringe at examples of that), people were generally more friendly and helpful than in most American cities.


awhom111



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PostPosted: 08/26/22 12:21 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

It's still weird that there are never mentions of the foreign basketball players playing in Russia's men's leagues, which at this point includes 30 or so Americans already announced. I would not expect media to get a quote from one or anything, but to pretend that a fairly substantial number of Americans are not still planning on going there to play basketball seems to be ignoring part of the story. Enisey and Samara have top division men's and women's teams and are signing American men. Even though FIFA allowed the breaking of contracts, plenty of foreign men are still playing soccer in Russia. There do appear to be some North American hockey players signing with KHL teams too.

People may have seen other reports of women from places other than Russia or Belarus playing in Russia this season, but the only two announced by teams at this point are Eva Lisec returning to Dynamo Kursk and Democratic Republic of Congo post player La Mama Kapinga Maweja joining Dynamo Novosibirsk.
huskiemaniac



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PostPosted: 08/26/22 1:07 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

wtf w/ the WperiodNperiodBperiodAperiod?


pilight



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PostPosted: 08/26/22 1:24 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

huskiemaniac wrote:
wtf w/ the WperiodNperiodBperiodAperiod?


That's the NY Times style book at work



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PostPosted: 08/26/22 4:22 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

huskiemaniac wrote:
wtf w/ the WperiodNperiodBperiodAperiod?


The New York Times has a fetish for putting periods into every initialism.

Look, at least they’re not doing whatever that is the Washington Post uses for the University of Connecticut.



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RavenDog



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PostPosted: 08/31/22 7:35 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
A significant majority of players going overseas are probably going to somewhere that's statistically safer than the American city they're leaving.


+1 Including Russia!


Davis4632



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PostPosted: 08/31/22 12:37 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

RavenDog wrote:
Richyyy wrote:
A significant majority of players going overseas are probably going to somewhere that's statistically safer than the American city they're leaving.


+1 Including Russia!


Which Russia cities you would rather live in than the current WBA cities?


Luuuc
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PostPosted: 08/31/22 5:22 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

"Rather live in" ≠ "Statistically safer"



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Ex-Ref



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PostPosted: 09/02/22 9:19 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Behind a paywall article.

Quote:
USA TODAY Sports has identified at least 31 men and one woman who are expected to play – with the signings confirmed by either the player's representation or the team itself – in Russia’s top professional league, a development that several basketball executives and global security experts view as highly risky considering the ongoing tensions between the American and Russian governments.


Quote:
Unique Thompson, whose deal is not yet signed, was on the Dallas Wings' training camp roster this spring.


Quote:
The State Department has been unequivocal in warning Americans not to enter Russia under any circumstances, noting that private citizens “have been interrogated without cause and threatened by Russian officials,” and could become victims of harassment or extortion and be convicted of crimes without transparency or credible evidence.


Quote:
“I think we should be boycotting the place. It’s not right," said NBA agent Aaron Goodwin, who told USA TODAY Sports he promptly alerted the NBA Players’ Association and Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, once Russian teams and agents contacted him this summer while trying to sign one of his clients.

The NBPA and Colas had no comment on the signings. The WNBPA did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story.

“We shouldn’t support it no matter how much money it is," Goodwin said. “To sign new deals is totally disrespectful to Brittney Griner and to USA women’s basketball.”


Quote:
Julianne Dinda of Shark Sports Managements, Thompson’s agency, said that Thompson, who is currently playing in Australia and not available for comment, “supports Brittney and we support Brittney, too. At the same time, her (Thompson’s) goal is to get back into the WNBA” and playing in Russia gives Thompson the best chance to do that. Dinda said Shark Sports has been in regular contact with the U.S. government to assure players’ safety, adding that she’s heard of “multiple (American) women” who have signed to play in Russia in the coming months. She did not provide any other players' names.


Quote:
The other factor for American players, particularly on the women's side, is the risk of being shunned by their peers. Though the WNBA cannot and will not dictate where players play in the offseason, it would be difficult to reconcile the league’s “We are BG” campaign to protest her detainment with her colleagues taking money from Russian teams.


https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/wnba/2022/09/02/brittney-griner-americans-russian-league/7948566001/



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Howee



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PostPosted: 09/02/22 8:13 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
Yes, shockingly enough they're still willing to go to places like Italy and get paid for it. Not all European countries are the same, crazily enough......A significant majority of players going overseas are probably going to somewhere that's statistically safer than the American city they're leaving.


Luuuc wrote:
"Rather live in" ≠ "Statistically safer"


We need more of you guys here. I always appreciate your insightful logic. Cool Very Happy



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awhom111



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PostPosted: 09/02/22 11:44 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Ex-Ref wrote:
Behind a paywall article.

Quote:
USA TODAY Sports has identified at least 31 men and one woman who are expected to play – with the signings confirmed by either the player's representation or the team itself – in Russia’s top professional league, a development that several basketball executives and global security experts view as highly risky considering the ongoing tensions between the American and Russian governments.


Quote:
Unique Thompson, whose deal is not yet signed, was on the Dallas Wings' training camp roster this spring.


Quote:
The State Department has been unequivocal in warning Americans not to enter Russia under any circumstances, noting that private citizens “have been interrogated without cause and threatened by Russian officials,” and could become victims of harassment or extortion and be convicted of crimes without transparency or credible evidence.


Quote:
“I think we should be boycotting the place. It’s not right," said NBA agent Aaron Goodwin, who told USA TODAY Sports he promptly alerted the NBA Players’ Association and Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, once Russian teams and agents contacted him this summer while trying to sign one of his clients.

The NBPA and Colas had no comment on the signings. The WNBPA did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story.

“We shouldn’t support it no matter how much money it is," Goodwin said. “To sign new deals is totally disrespectful to Brittney Griner and to USA women’s basketball.”


Quote:
Julianne Dinda of Shark Sports Managements, Thompson’s agency, said that Thompson, who is currently playing in Australia and not available for comment, “supports Brittney and we support Brittney, too. At the same time, her (Thompson’s) goal is to get back into the WNBA” and playing in Russia gives Thompson the best chance to do that. Dinda said Shark Sports has been in regular contact with the U.S. government to assure players’ safety, adding that she’s heard of “multiple (American) women” who have signed to play in Russia in the coming months. She did not provide any other players' names.


Quote:
The other factor for American players, particularly on the women's side, is the risk of being shunned by their peers. Though the WNBA cannot and will not dictate where players play in the offseason, it would be difficult to reconcile the league’s “We are BG” campaign to protest her detainment with her colleagues taking money from Russian teams.


https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/wnba/2022/09/02/brittney-griner-americans-russian-league/7948566001/


Yahoo is carrying the non-paywall version:
https://news.yahoo.com/despite-brittney-griners-imprisonment-americans-004930568.html

All in all, this is pretty good reporting on this situation.

Here are the men who have been announced as signing in Russia with a lot of them already starting preseason training camps and a couple teams are playing in an exhibition tournament in Turkey this week:
https://vtb-league.com/en/news/vtb-united-league-transfers-2022-offseason/

Unique Thompson's agent is doing her best to justify the situation, but I am not sure how many signings can be expected. I wonder what team she signed with as there are some clear openings with Dynamo Kursk and Nadezhda Orenburg, but there are some teams that pretty much are operating under the assumption that their roster is finished with no players from countries other than Russia or Belarus as I am sure financial issues are affecting some teams. Dynamo Novosibirsk has some openings too and I heard Chloe Wells on a podcast earlier this year telling the story of her leaving as they tried to convince Kayla Alexander and her to stay by pointing out that once all the other foreigners left, they would have a reasonable shot at a title.
Davis4632



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PostPosted: 09/04/22 2:20 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Luuuc wrote:
"Rather live in" ≠ "Statistically safer"


Money> statistically safer.


awhom111



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PostPosted: 09/07/22 11:39 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Mya Hollingshed was just announced as a signing by Dynamo Novosibirsk today. She's with the same agency as Unique Thompson.

Another announcement today came on the men's side as Partizan and Mega will play something between an exhibition and a real tournament in Russia. Given that the players did not know that travel to Russia would be on the cards when they signed their contract, I wonder if some will opt to not go and how their teams will feel about that. Presumably the Serbian and a few other players will not have any issue doing so, but the teams have their fair share of Americans and citizens of other countries.
awhom111



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PostPosted: 09/08/22 11:59 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Jalen Reynolds participated in a propaganda piece, err, interview with the league website:
https://vtb-league.com/en/news/jalen-reynolds-people-in-russia-are-very-hospitable-and-welcome-you-with-pleasure/

Key quotes:
Quote:

— Due to the political situation, many people thought that foreign players would not go to Russia. Why did you come anyway?
— Because I think only about the sports. I am riding around the World and something is happening somewhere, this is a common situation. Moreover, I have already played in Russia, I know what kind of people are here – they welcome you with pleasure.

— Were you confused about Brittney Griner situation?
— It’s an unpleasant story, but I don’t want to go deep into politics.

— There is an opinion that one of the reasons why foreign players still go to Russia today is good salaries.
— And I don’t see anything wrong with that. For any player, this is important when moving to a new team – both in Europe and in the NBA. Your career is not so long and you want to provide your family with everything you need and are looking for the most attractive option. And in Europe traveling to different countries is also a good bonus, you can travel all over the World when you play outside the USA. Yes, this season UNICS will not play in the Euroleague, but it will be possible to travel almost all of Russia.
awhom111



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PostPosted: 09/14/22 11:17 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Another foreign player was announced as Saicha Grant-Allen signs with Nika Syktyvkar. She is not with the same agent as the other two players. Like Unique Thompson, she played in Russia last season and ended up leaving early.
awhom111



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PostPosted: 09/22/22 12:03 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The New York Times had a pretty good piece with multiple interviews of men playing in Russia right now and lots of details. The article says that Alex Bentley is returning to Ekaterinburg, which has not been announced elsewhere.
Howee



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PostPosted: 09/22/22 9:51 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

This becomes even more ill-advised, as Putin ramps up the rhetoric....things are going from Bad to Badder Yet. Apparently these kids aren't listening to informed news media.



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undersized_post



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PostPosted: 09/22/22 5:24 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

awhom111 wrote:
Mya Hollingshed was just announced as a signing by Dynamo Novosibirsk today. She's with the same agency as Unique Thompson.


Is there a press release about this somewhere?



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awhom111



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PostPosted: 09/22/22 11:41 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

France's federation does not look smart after they had Thomas Heurtel sign a statement that he would not sign in Russia or Belarus. Of course, after EuroBasket finished, he immediately signed with Zenit St. Petersburg as had been rumored for a while.

American players on Partizan Belgrade did travel to Russia with their team. Again, it is not clear whether their players had any knowledge that the team would play exhibitions there. Australian Dante Exum did not play, but it was not clear if he traveled.

undersized_post wrote:
awhom111 wrote:
Mya Hollingshed was just announced as a signing by Dynamo Novosibirsk today. She's with the same agency as Unique Thompson.


Is there a press release about this somewhere?


Yes, right here:
http://dinamovki.ru/news/1497-majya-khollingshed-v-dinamo

Thanks for making me look, because they just announced Ashley Beverly Kelley as their third foreigner:
http://dinamovki.ru/news/1503-eshli-beverli-kelli-v-dinamo
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