Spain and the others

2012-09-29T12:53:31+00:00 2015-04-10T00:52:54+00:00.

Aris Barkas

29/Sep/12 12:53

The domestic leagues’ season is starting all around Europe and tried to ranked the major European leagues according to their current status and their chances to grow into something bigger in the future

By Eurohoops team/

First of all, we have to make clear that from an institutional framework point of view, football is 100 years ahead from basketball in Europe. And to understand that you only have to take a look at Euroleague (the champion takes 250.000 euros as a bonus for the first place) and Champions League (the champion gets 25.000.000 euros, just for the title), without forgetting to compare Eurocup (45.000 euros -with each team’s expenses reaching around 90.000 euros, per season) with Europa League (15.000.000 euros).

So, there is no economical motivation for the club owners, who at the end of the day spend money first of all cause they adore basketball. For many of them it’s a hobby and not a business. It’s also true that European basketball has way too many leagues (way more than the ones the continent or the market can handle) and some leagues have way too many teams (more than they should have).

However, every team wants local competitions and this weekend the best of the bunch, Spanish Liga Endesa, starts its season. Four editors of (Lefteris Moutis, Niki Bakouli, Aris Barkas, Nikos Varlas) ranked ten different local leagues and produced a total ranking according to their average, but also a detailed ranking for many specific attributes of the leagues. So here are the winners: Spain (photo) is in the first place by leading in most of the sections, Germany has good marks mostly in facilities and marketing, while two last seats belong to Greece and Israel.

Spain (Liga Endesa) 7,8
Germany (Beko-BBL) 7,5
Turkey (TBL) 7
France (LNB) 5,9
Italy (Legabasket) 5,8
Russia (Beko – PBL) 5,7
Adriatic League (ABA) 5,2
Lithuania (LKL) 4,5
Greece (HEBA) 3,9
Israel (Lotto league) 3,4


Spain 8
Due to the fact that you cannot know the teams which are going to play at the play-offs, till the last game day of the regular season, it’s safe to say Liga Endesa has a high level of competitiveness. Which is even higher at the play-offs!

France 8
No team has managed to celebrate a repeat at LNB, since 2004 when EB Pau Ortez kept the crown they got in 2003. A funny fact is that EB Pau Ortez was also the previous example of a French team with back to back titles (1998, 1999). And as you can see, even back then it wasn’t an… everyday thing.

Italy 8
With the exception of Montepaschi Siena’s dominance during the last six seasons (from 2007 when they first reached the top, they didn’t surrender the crown, even for a… second), Lega A, traditionally had a variety of teams which are fighting for the title. And that’s why a dozen of Italy’s representatives have already played at the Euroleague.

Germany 7,75
The home court advantage isn’t actually an advantage, when it comes to BBL, where everything can happen. Twenty-one teams have won the title, since the league’s inception, but each decade has a dominant team, like TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen during the ’90s and after that Alba Berlin, before Brose Baskets Bamberg come to the spotlight.

Turkey 7,25
Every league with more than two teams as favorites to capture the title it’s quite evident it’s a successful league. Actually, Turkish League includes four contenders! Moreover, if you get to the point that you cannot predict the winner of any given play-offs series, for sure you have done your job right. And TBL has actually done a great job.

Adriatic League 6
When you are the primary league of at least 8 countries (all the teams join their country’s leagues, late in spring, after the end of ABA), you owe it to them to be good. And it’s going to be even better, considering the fact that from this season ABA provides three spots to the Euroleague.

Russia 5,75
PBL is going to be three years old this season – with VTB league already being groomed as its possible successor- and CSKA Moscow is the undisputed dominant team. But this is actually the story from 1992 (and the birth of Super league A) till now, with the exception of Ural Great Perm’s back to back titles (2001, 2002). But, if you look below “Army’s team”, you could never anticipate which team will rise .

Lithuania 4,75
LKL belongs to the list of national leagues which have clear favorites (Zalgiris, Lietuvos Rytas) and as a result everybody has to wait till the end of the season, to watch them fighting for the crown. From 1994 till past season these are the only teams which got the title -and mostly they watch Zalgiris conquering the top.

Greece 4,25
You just read about Lithuania, so… you know everything about HEBA! Olympiacos and Panathinaikos are heavily favored for the title during the last two decades. From 1992 to 1997 the “Reds” were first and from 1998 to 2001 the “Greens” were at the top, before AEK Athens broke the duel (2002) and before Panathinaikos dominate from 2003 till last season. When, finally Olympiacos had its vengeance.

Israel 2,5
It wont be an exaggeration to say they can change their league’s “name” from Lotto league to “Maccabi Tel Aviv‘s league”. They have 50 titles and they were the runner up six times, in total of 56 seasons!


Spain 8,25
The last 14 years, they had four different champions. Everybody, however, has its share of losses during the season.

France 8,25
Their system has one-title game, so everything can happen. To prove that, usually the team which gets the championship, isn’t the one which got the full home court advantage, after being the top team of the regular season.

Germany 7,5
All the favorites lose games (and points), during the regular season, with the play-offs having a best of five series from the first round till the end.

Turkey 6,75
No one is safe, from the beggining of the season till… the playoffs, where during last years is never easy to guess who is going to play in the finals.

Italy 6,75
The schedule has 30 games for the regular season, where every team faces a great level of danger and can’t never relax. But, at the end, the favorites are the ones who are getting to the finals

Adriatic League 6,25
Partizan was the… master of ABA for 5 straight years but six different teams have won the title, in the 12-year Adriatic League’s history. But we are talking about a league which always has to give something to the fans in each game day.

Lithuania 5,25
OK, there are times that Zalgiris and Lietuvos Rytas loosing games, but it’s not so common and it’s not something which can destroy their road to the Finals.

Russia 4,5
The only result which deserves the title of “surprise” is when CSKA Moscow is losing. But you don’t see that, often.

Greece 4
This year things might change. Until last season, the rule was Olympiacos and Panathinaikos losing points… when they were playing against each other. And when one of them happened to lose another game, it was… a miracle!

Israel 2,25
Maccabi Tel Aviv is… the CSKA Moscow of Israel (read above).


There are countries which have money to spend and they spend millions (Russia and Turkey), others which have money, but they know the importance of getting the best with what you ‘ve got without spending like crazy (Germany, France) and the ones which don’t have that much to spend, so they have to get creative (Adriatic League, Lithuania). And then they are waiting to see, if… their visions were right or not! History has toughed all of them you don’t need to lose the count of millions you spend in order be successful.

Turkey 8,5
Russia 7,75
Spain 7,25
Germany 5,75
Italy 5,25
France 4,25
Greece 4
Israel 3,25
Lithuania 3,25
Adriatic League 3,5


When every single team in Europe would choose to have your players in a blink of an eye, if they had the chance to afford them, you know you have a great deal of quality. When you manage to put together a… fine puzzle (with players who are completing each other), then you can have a champion team. When you just filling the empty spots, you have no luck. And of course, we take account every team in the league and not only the best of them.

Spain 8
Turkey 7,25
Russia 6,5
Italy 5,25
Germany 5
Greece 4,75
Adriatic League 4,5
France 4,25
Israel 4
Lithuania 4


The three following categories are going to be combined in one, cause after all there are all about money and how you can use it the best possible way. The German League (BBL) has the best facilities in Europe and after the rise of their revenues last year, for sure they can teach all the other leagues how they can get better with simple… maths. They can also talk about marketing and the actual use of this department, in favor of each team and in the long run of the league.

Keep in mind that the Greek league is the only one, which gives money to their teams, from when HEBA was… born (1992-93). And that’s why most of the clubs didn’t even try to have a marketing department in order to find other sources of income besides the league’s money. Last year this amount reached to 500.000 euros for each one of the 12 clubs, excluding Olympiacos and Panathinaikos. The two of them have their own sponsoring deals with OPAP – the state’s betting and lottery company which is the main sponsor of the league – and they are selling their TV rights in a bigger price

Growth prospects

Germany 8,75
Spain 7,5
Turkey 7,25
France 5,75
Russia 5,75
Adriatic League 5,75
Italy 5,5
Lithuania 5
Greece 3,25
Israel 3,25


Germany 8,25
Spain 7,5
Turkey 6,25
Italy 6
France 6
Adriatic League 5,5
Russia 5
Greece 5
Lithuania 5
Israel 4,25


Germany 9,5
Spain 8,5
Turkey 6
Russia 5
France 5
Israel 4,5
Adriatic League 4,5
Lithuania 4,25
Italy 4
Greece 1,5