By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Messina’s comments about the FIBA World Cup qualifiers triggered a reaction from Baumann. “I’m looking at the future,” the top official of FIBA said, “to give space to new talents, most of which share my point of view.”
When asked about Messina’s position which is against the FIBA World Cup qualification windows, Baumann reacted: “Maybe he is disappointed by not having the opportunity to lead the national team in the future. Using humorous terms seems to me to be out of place. Everyone has to do his job. The coach of the team has to coach, the chairman of the federation has to decide. I think Petrucci (ed. note: the Italian federation president) has clearly stated his position on the windows and since Messina is paid by Petrucci, he should listen to him”. For the record, Messina works for free for the national team.
According to Baumann, there’s no real issue and the national teams level is better than ever. So when asked about the danger there might be of the quality of the games, his answer was the following: “It does not seem to me that this is the case, as even coach Popovich said. We would like to see everyone on the court with the shirt of their country, but for years many people from the NBA are refusing the call. EuroLeague is not the same. They have not denied the presence of the players in the national teams but created a calendar that overlaps their games with the qualifying windows. Leaving the decision to the players is sad”.
Baumann added that FIBA doors are always open for an agreement with Euroleague, “but we can not go back on the fact that the national teams come first. Euroleague must understand that they are not the NBA and they will not be for a long time. We know we are not football, but we can grow, and if the cake becomes bigger, there will be slices for everyone, but if you want to keep it all for you then there is a problem Euroleague is only interested in the elite, it is a very clear strategy, the goal is to devalue national championships for its benefit.”