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LD V2.0
11-06-2008, 11:48 PM
The expectations for Childress are as humongous as his eight-figure contract. There are ten daily newspapers in Athens devoted entirely to sports. The press has already anointed him as the savior for an Olympiacos club that has not won the Greek league title in more than a decade.

"They will talk about Josh every day," says Maurizio Gherardini, who spent 25 years as a general manager in Italy and is now a top executive with the Toronto Raptors. "They will analyze his performance very, very carefully."

Childress embraces the pressure and sees himself as a pivotal figure.

He knows many NBA players will await word from him before they decide to follow him across the pond.

"Some people say 'groundbreaker.' Some say 'trailblazer,'" says Childress, while gazing at the sparkling Aegean Sea. "I say I'm the test dummy. I'm the guy who's gonna test it out for everyone else. See if I enjoy it. Then obviously I think a lot of other guys will maybe make the transition."

There is no salary cap in Europe, and Childress expects Olympiacos and a handful of other flush European teams to open their pocketbooks each summer to lure NBA stars.

"There's tons of money. Tons of money here," he says. "These teams are very wealthy."
ESPN.com (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?page=jchill-081106)