In the lead up to Boston and Atlanta's first round match up I wrote the following about Josh Childress:
"Josh Childress is one of those guys that catches me off guard in the sense that he's playing in his 4th NBA season. I did not see that coming. He is athletic, a solid foul shooter (79% on his career), capable of playing disruptive defense and gets bonus points for rocking the Afro. While his numbers are down from the career highs he set in points, rebounds and assists last season, that may be due to Childress averaging 7 minutes less per game. Also his field goal percentage this season (57.2%) is outrageous for a guard/forward combo. Furthermore, Childress has averaged a respectable 11.1 points per game over the course of his career. Still would you take him over Luol Deng, Andre Iguodala, Al Jefferson, teammate Josh Smith and Kevin Martin? The Hawks did."
While he was not lights out in round 1, I thought Childress played well. On top of that he did it with a dysfunctional organization that can't decide whether or not to fire its coach. Moreover the Hawks love power forwards and athletic swing men far more than point guards. Long story short there are some teams out there that would benefit from having Childress in the rotation. In fact the Spurs come to mind. He could do some damage and fill some of their holes. But therein lies the problem. The Spurs would never give him as much money as the Greeks did. Less games, more money, nice climate. What's not to like? Good for him.
Of course Childress' move grabbed headlines in the US and may have started a trend - Carl Landry may be next. I can't stress enough how diverse reactions have been thus far. Just compare recent posts by Kelly Dwyer and Red's Army. I tend to agree with the former. In fact the whole episode reminds me of Thomas L. Friedman's best seller and makes for some great debates. Yet all of the sudden international expansion of the NBA does not seem so bad to me. And this is coming from a guy who wrote this (sorry Eastern Europe) not too long ago. Once again there is a reason David Stern is a millionaire and I'm, well I'm me. Meanwhile, for the time being it is now more important than ever for NBA teams to learn from some of the awful contracts* out there and avoid such egregious mistakes in the future. Seriously look at what Steve Francis makes.
* Not all of those contracts are awful. Just some.