We saw this summer that 3 coaches moved to the nba. What are you thinking about it? Are you proud that european coaches make it and joined to the NBA? Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu: I think that there are two factors that should be evaluated when talking about not only coaches but also players going to the NBA. First of all is the globalization of basketball and of our society, in the global expansion of the NBA one of the key actions was increasing the number of players coming from different countries;the other factor that we should also take into account is the progressive improvement of the basketball level in traditional basketball regions like Europe but also in other parts of the world as South-America, Asia or Australia, making the gap between the NBA and the rest of competitions smaller. I would personally like to wish the best of the luck to David in this new project that I am confident will be successful.
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How do you feel with leaving of European talents to the nba? Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu: I believe the main problem is not that players go away, because they go and come back, too. We have to grow and make Euroleague Basketball attractive enough that they don’t go away. That’s our job. Our main concern in that aspect is not if players go away but when players go to the NBA, this is the main point that we consider should be evaluated as in some cases players make this change too soon which is something that makes a negative impact in their careers.
You just return from the Intercontinental cup. Whats are the odds that all the continental champion will participate in this tournament in the future? Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu: We would be more than happy to participate in that project as we have done during the last two seasons with the Intercontinental Cup, but we must be realistic and I do not think that we will be able to watch it in the near future. First of all we have a calendar problem, every year is more difficult to find a spot for these kind of competitions. Another reason would be the impossibility of having each continent champion, as it is very difficult that the NBA takes part in this kind of games as they have a completely different economic and organizational reality, a fact that will make that hypothetic competition something without a real sense, a fake, the Intercontinental Cup on the other hand is something fair, clear, the Champion of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague against the Champion of Ligade Las Americas.
Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu was present in Athens, Greece, and before the game between Olympiacos and Anadolu Efes he spoke about almost every matter of Euroleague. However the most important part of the press conference was the way he presented the possible expansion of the NBA to Europe under the terms of the American league as almost an impossible plan. That’s why according to him the cooperation with Euroleague should be considered the only way for this to be done. Jordi Bertomeu: “My answer is the same with David Stern’s answers. Every time this subject comes up, he says that he will think about it for the next ten years and every one starts to talk about it. In order for the NBA to come, there should be 5-6 really strong teams in Europe in league with a 130 million USD financial turnover. That means tickets which will cost 100 euros per average and at least 150 sold outs. Our television partners should pay ten times more for the rights. And we also have to answer how the salary cup will work under a possible six different taxation laws. There are many legal issues. A lot of people talks about NBA in Europe, but not about those matters. My place is to give answers. It’s easy to make the questions. Adam Silver, the new commissioner, is a great contributor to the sport. We have met and I think that we have a future together. We want to increase our cooperation and we want to see things realistically”.