The documentary “Rebotes” (translated as “Rebounds” in English) is a documentary which follows two pro basketball players as they land in Chile to play for a team they know little about, in a country where they are completely out of their element. The entire film can be viewed above; it shows the realities that many basketball players face when their collegiate careers end and the NBA doesn’t give them a shot.
Too many basketball players think that there are easy riches by simply “playing overseas ball” if the NBA does not work out for them. The life of a professional basketball player trying to make a living outside of the NBA is not an easy one. First, there are no guaranteed contracts – you might land in a country, play two games, get cut from the team and stiffed on your payment. In the NBA, players ride in luxury jets across the country and stay in five-star hotels before their games; internationally, players may ride 16 hours on a cramped bus, play a game in a gym without heat, then jump back on the bus for another long ride to their next game.
Are there players who make a nice living outside of the U.S.? Sure. But it’s another reminder that when you are a player in high school and looking to land a college scholarship, it’s important to recognize that once all of your playing options are over, that degree might be what pays the bills, not your ability on the court.
Rebounds is a documentary that shows how players have to cope with life in another country, in a league not loaded with big salaries. While the players in the film do have some success on the court, it’s a far cry from the bright lights of the NBA.