San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich will be the honorary guest of Turkish Airlines Euroleague at the Final Four in Belgrade, according to a report by mozzartsport.com. Popovich, who recently became the winningest coach in NBA history (he reached 1,336 in March to surpass Don Nelson), will arrive in Belgrade late on Wednesday, as mentioned in the report.
The NBA’s arrival is not aggressive, though. They offer their suggestions based on years of experience, facts, data, and expertise. Although the NBA is neutral in the FIBA-EuroLeague conflict, they have been working with one of the sides for an extended period of time. Together with FIBA, the NBA has been working in Africa, where a league was established three years ago.
New winds are starting to blow in the European basketball world. The NBA has been actively researching the market for quite some time, but it’s starting to be much more than that now. FIBA has already shown an initiative to sit behind the negotiation table with the EuroLeague while the NBA representatives are watching the situation. The NBA is believed to be the power that finally puts the conflict to bed. FIBA has contacted NBA commissioner Adam Silver regarding the opportunity, and the league’s leader has reacted affirmatively. The EuroLeague did not disregard the invitation as well.
The NBA has wanted to join forces with the governing bodies of European basketball for a long time, especially with the EuroLeague. The organization has been exploring the idea of investing in a current basketball product for several years now. According to BasketNews sources, the NBA gave its European organization a task to evaluate the EuroLeague product as a possible investment opportunity.
NBA vice-president of NBA Europe Jesus Bueno: When we look at Europe, a continent where I was born and raised and played in the ACB, we see tremendous basketball culture. Europe has a strong fanbase, and the basketball level is really high here. We want to openly look at how we can benefit the current ecosystem so that it improves even more. We are ready to negotiate with anybody, whether it’s FIBA, EuroLeague, EuroLeague clubs, or representatives from national federations, and find out if we can be beneficial. We are already operating at a ground level, and we’re communicating with more than 28 federations in hopes of developing basketball not only in Europe. We have launched more than 100 Jr. NBA leagues.
Luka Doncic: European basketball is more team basketball, more tactics basketball. But it’s very different because the court is smaller, the fouls are different, the rules are different… Everything’s different. And you have less time. But just playing in the NBA, you have guys they’re almost impossible to guard. And that’s why the NBA is way more tougher to play. I always say scoring is easier in the NBA, just because of the amount of the different rules, the less space, the time, so that’s why I said it. Redick: So you think it’s harder to score 30 points in a yearly game than it is in an NBA game… Doncic: 100%. Redick: … But there’s better players over here. Doncic: Oh, way better players.