When someone leaves the NBA for whatever reason, it doesn’t mean that his playing days are over. There are so many opportunities all over the world that you’ve probably heard about how some ex-NBA hooper is playing like a superstar and getting the superstar treatment in his new surroundings.
Let’s take a look at 5 people who are proving to us that there is basketball life outside the NBA…
NBA Start: 2008
Popular Draft-mates: Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Goran Dragic
NBA Exit: 2014
Post-NBA Highlights: EuroLeague Champion (2018) and Two Spanish League Championships.
Randolph said that joining Real Madrid was one of the best things that happened in his career. He is fighting for championships in Europe and would have been fighting for playing time if he stayed in the NBA. Don’t expect Randolph in the NBA soon. He’s living the basketball dream right now.
Mike James (Michael Perry James)
NBA Start: 2015 (Summer League), October to December 2017 (Regular Season)
Popular Draft-mates: Undrafted
NBA Exit: 2018 – Waived by the New Orleans Pelicans after 4 games.
Post-NBA Highlights: Italian Supercup Champion (2018) and 2 Greek League Championships.
Mike James, currently a CSKA Moscow player, just won the MVP award for the month of November in EuroLeague. James had a scoring spree last month including a game-winning 4-point play. He now leads the league in points per game.
NBA Start: 2011
Popular Draft-mates: Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard
NBA Exit: 2016
Note: Fredette had a 6-game NBA stint in 2019.
Post-NBA Highlights: Greek League Champion (2020) and Chinese Basketball Association International MVP (2017)
Fredette automatically became a champion when his Greek team, Panathinaikos, was declared the winner. The winner was based on rankings when the Greek League decided to end the season due to the pandemic.
Fredette’s highlights in China included games where he scored 75 points, 73 points, and 51 points. He wouldn’t be able to score that much if he stayed in the NBA.
NBA Start: 2012
Popular Draft-mates: Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Draymond Green
NBA Exit: 2019
Post-NBA Highlight: Best Import (Philippine Basketball Association 2019)
Jones was the man during his stay in the Philippines. Here’s a quick look at some of the games he had:
-43 points, 22 rebounds
-40 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists
-17 points, 14 rebounds, 16 assists
-49 points, 18 rebounds
-33 points, 21 rebounds, 13 assists
The team Jones played for lost in the finals. His NBA-like stats made him an instant celebrity and fan favorite. He would go on to win the Best Import Award.
NBA Start: 1996
Popular Draft-mates: Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen
NBA Exit: 2009
Post-NBA Highlights: Chinese Basketball Association champion (2012, 2014, 2015) and a Marbury Statue.
Marbury already achieved NBA stardom. His performance and highlights combined would be enough for someone to assume that he had a successful NBA career. The only problem is that Marbury made headlines off the court as well. His stint with the New York Knicks included feuds with his coaches, receiving boos from the fans, and getting banned from practice sessions.
Marbury’s move to China was a blessing since it resurrected his career. He won three titles and even became a head coach after his playing days were over.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images