By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The season is upon us and the head coaches of the EuroLeague clubs had their annual meeting in Barcelona with the EuroLeague management.
The meeting also included the presence of New Euroleague Basketball Officiating Director Daniel Hierrezuelo.
Per the press release: The annual EuroLeague Coaches’ Meeting was held in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday, which gave the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague head coaches the opportunity to sit down with Euroleague Basketball representatives to converse about several topics before the new season gets underway. The meeting took place at Euroleague Basketball’s headquarters, as the coaches were able to see the roadmap the competition has set as we enter the 2023-24 season.
Euroleague Basketball President Dejan Bodiroga and CEO Paulius Motiejunas were the first people to take the floor, welcoming everyone to the meeting.
“It is a great pleasure to welcome you here. Thank you for coming. We have this meeting to talk about and reflect on the last season, and also to discuss the present and to talk about our future. It’s not a secret that we are coming off one of the most competitive seasons in the history of the EuroLeague,” Bodiroga began.
“It’s a great pleasure to have you all here before the season,” added Motiejunas. “I know myself how difficult it is for you to travel and leave your teams in preseason, so we really appreciate you all being here.”
Next, the introduction of the new play-in tournament was brought up by Euroleague Basketball Competitions Senior Director Diego Guillen d’Arlot de Saint-Saud, who also discussed the season calendar.
New Euroleague Basketball Officiating Director Daniel Hierrezuelo had the chance to meet the coaches away from the court for the first time in his new role, too. Hierrezuelo explained some of the new changes that have been made, particularly in relation to how referees will be assigned moving forward.
“I want to share with you the vision for the next three years. Talking about the project, we want to achieve our own identity and improve referee quality,” stated Hierrezuelo.
Understandably, the coaches want to be on the same page as the referees in order to avoid any tense moments during the season, which makes meetings such as these so important.
“I think it’s crucial. I think every day, every year and every season, we can get better in that regard,” commented EA7 Emporio Armani Milan head coach Ettore Messina. “There have been changes in the officiating department and, like every change, it brings excitement, curiosity and definitely energy.”
Alex Ferrer Kristjansson, Euroleague Basketball Marketing and Communication Senior Director, presented to all coaches in attendance a breakdown of the competition’s fan engagement through television, social media and digital avenues, which were all all-time records. From there, the coaches themselves offered some thoughts on some potential changes and new features.
This meeting gives the coaches a unique opportunity to offer their thoughts to representatives of Euroleague Basketball, which allows them to better understand the current situation of the competition, as well as the picture moving forward.
“I think it’s very, very important,” noted Anadolu Efes Istanbul head coach Erdem Can. “We coaches see each other, yes, but especially talking about the common topics for the EuroLeague season, [it’s crucial] not just to get better as an organization but also to show the sense that we want to get better as basketball: talking about the rules, how to develop that, communicating with the referees’ department, communicating with the administration department.”
Last season was arguably the most competitive season in EuroLeague history, which goes to show the excellent work being done not only by Euroleague Basketball but also the clubs, the coaches and the players. For Real Madrid head coach Chus Mateo, the EuroLeague is the best it has ever been.
“I think there is no competition like the EuroLeague right now. A sport competition like this is very tough to win. It’s very tough to reach the final. It’s very tough to reach the playoffs,” said Mateo.
“It’s good to know that the teams are going to start from zero and run to try to reach one of the positions which can give you the opportunity to be involved in the Final Four. It’s great to know how many teams are going to fight. The last EuroLeague [season] was an unbelievable competition, not only for our team but for all the teams and for all the fans.”