Flirting with the Guys with the Deep Pockets

Did you see Kobe Bryant joking with reporters that he would play in Russia for $40 million a season? Then there is word that LeBron James would consider playing overseas for $50 million?

Josh Childress' signing with Olympiacos has changed the way people think and talk about contracts. There are, several agents have told me in the last few days, at least six or seven teams in Europe with extremely deep pockets, and a willingness to spend. Couple that with a total lack of a salary cap, and a role model in Childress for giving it a whirl, and you have something that is getting people thinking.

If you like money, and if you're about the money, that's an amazing piece of news. No salary cap, and deep pocketed owners, just a short flight away.

This is a very funny week for Team USA. It's about patriotism, in many ways, this team. These players were recently taken on a visit to the Statue of Liberty, by their coach who is a former West Point cadet. They have visited the troops.

Playing for your country is about, in some ways, playing for the things that make this country unique and different from other countries.

But at the same time, from some of these same players we're getting the memo that hey, all those things that make that place unique and different? If the money's right, we could do without those for a while.

I have no problem with people working overseas. Nor do I have a problem with people who create a lot of value making a lot of money. And I love Europe. I don't begrudge Bryant, James, or anyone else taking the best offer they can find, no matter where that may be. (If they paid bloggers $50 million a year in Europe, I have to think I'd be teaching my kids to speak Greek right now.)

Just a little weird to be getting the red, white, and blue memo from the same exact players who are also reportedly willing to ditch that red, white, and blue for some green.

But maybe the whole thing does have its own logic. Maybe somewhere in there between capitalism and free speech, this is the 2008 version of the American way.