LeBron Not Interested in Playing Overseas

James breaks from other NBA stars mulling a lockout move to Europe

By David Hill
|  Friday, Jul 22, 2011  |  Updated 12:28 PM EDT
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A number of NBA stars have expressed interest in playing in an overseas basketball league this fall if the NBA lockout ends up cutting into the 2011-2012 season. But LeBron James is apparently not interested in taking his talents to Europe in an extended lockout situation.

ESPN.com reported that James "is not looking into playing elsewhere" should the lockout not be resolved in time for the start of the season, citing unnamed sources.

This puts him in a minority among big-name stars, according to ESPN. Heat teammate Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard were listed as "willing to consider playing overseas."

Earlier this month, Wade said of playing in a foreign league, "If there's an opportunity there, I'd consider it."

The threat of playing in overseas could be a valuable bargaining chip for the NBA players' union, but for players like James, there might not be much monetary incentive to play in another basketball league.

According to Forbes, James earns $48 million annually, but his Heat contract paid him only $14.5 million last season. James can ride out the lockout comfortably with his many endorsements and business interests, so he stands little to gain by playing overseas and risking injury.

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