Gigi Datome on Dubai: “The EuroLeague isn’t sustainable as today”

2024-02-16T12:10:10+00:00 2024-02-16T12:12:58+00:00.

Cesare Milanti

16/Feb/24 12:10

The Italian legend touched on several topics regarding the future of the EuroLeague

By Cesare Milanti /

TURIN, Italy – Invited by the LBA as part of a legends panel that saw important names of basketball – alongside Gianmarco Pozzecco, Gianluca Basile, and others -, Gigi Datome stopped by in the mixed zone of the Inalpi Arena to touch on some topics regarding the EuroLeague.

Regarding the opportunity for Dubai to enter the landscape of European basketball, Gigi Datome talked about an environment in which sustainability isn’t a reality anymore. “It’s a possibility. I understand that the EuroLeague isn’t as sustainable as today, because a lot of teams are loss-making. It’s something less romantic, but it could be helpful to make the numbers work”, he first said.

“I understand that fans can be upset, but until somebody is willing to lose money, everybody’s happy. When owners don’t want to lose money anymore, everybody will say that it would have been better to search for other incomes. It’s something difficult to summarise in one minute, but I understand the feeling”, he then added about Dubai potentially making it to the EuroLeague.

For the very first time in years now, FIBA and EuroLeague seem to be on the same page. “It’s a first important step because it’s the first time the FIBA window and EuroLeague games aren’t overlapped. It seems little, but it wasn’t like that in the previous years”, Gigi Datome commented about the two worlds of International basketball working together to make the whole movement grow even more.

“It’s important because everybody minds their own business but we should look from far ahead, with foresight, to understand how to grow together. We all want the same thing: a better product, players who are okay on the court, who don’t injure themselves, who play great games. To do so, considering an unreachable competitor like the NBA, we must join forces”, the former Italian basketball player also commented on the restored peaceful relationship between FIBA and EuroLeague.

Finally, having also played for the Boston Celtics during his NBA adventure, Gigi Datome touched on what Joe Mazzulla said about European basketball and NBA learning from each other and sharing knowledge about the game. “I feel like the best coaches do that because they know certain things adapted to a different brand of basketball can be effective. Not everything, but certain stuff”, he said.

“That’s what the best coaches do: watch around, update themselves, and understand what another team’s hints, even in a different context, can give to your game. That’s continued evolution: who does it, it’s a step ahead”, the 36-year-old, who remained within the organization in Milano, commented.

PHOTO CREDIT: Olimpia Milano

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