By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2022-23 EuroLeague season has a special significance no matter how you look at it. You have a new president in Dejan Bodiroga, a new CEO in Marshall Glickman, interest from Arabs and Australians for the league, but first and foremost, a perfect line-up of competing teams.
No matter how you measure it, with Russian clubs out of the competitions because of the ongoing war, all the European clubs that are EuroLeague ready are part of the competitions this season. And this is both good news and bad news.
On one hand, there’s no club that could have been considered EuroLeague material and it’s out of the league this season. On the other hand, unless the Russian clubs somehow return, there are no more teams of this level left all around Europe. Even the clubs which are EuroCup contenders don’t seem ready for the EuroLeague level like it usually happened with a couple of EuroCup teams.
So while the focus right now is on the potential money from Arabs, or on the experiment of the Paris and London clubs in the EuroCup, which in both cases have a long way to go, the real big issues that the EuroLeague has first and foremost to settle our two.
The obvious elephant in the room remains the ongoing debate with FIBA, which despite the contact between the two sides doesn’t seem near a possible resolution. And on a business level, this might not even be the priority of the EuroLeague.
The other is the expansion, which obviously has been delayed by COVID. Necessity is the mother of invention and in the near future, EuroLeague may need more than 20 teams in order to keep all top clubs under the same umbrella.
However, for the next nine months, things are set and on the court, a “perfect” EuroLeague line-up will produce the best basketball show in the old continent. So sit back and enjoy.