Obradovic on the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board: “We wanted to address issues in one voice”

2019-06-12T16:34:36+00:00 2019-06-12T17:05:20+00:00.

Aris Barkas

12/Jun/19 16:34


The head coach of Fenerbahce BEKO is preparing for the first ever EuroLeague Head Coaches Board clinic and elaborated on the issues that are affecting the EuroLeague coaches

By Aris Barkas/ barkas@eurohoops.net

Zeljko Obradovic had won nine EuroLeague titles, however, part of his legacy can be the creation of EuroLeague Head Coaches Board. As he explained to Eurohoops, it’s a joint effort, however, it was only fitting that Obradovic is the first president of the Board, he is having a central role on things moving forward and of course, he will give a master class on the first ever EuroLeague Coaches Clinic which will be held in July at Badalona.

You can sign up for the clinic, which will be a unique and historic experience as the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board has ambitious plans for this event and even bigger for the future, as coach Obradovic admits.

– What urged you to create the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board?

“Well, firstly it wasn´t just me. This has been an on-going conversation that European coaches have been having, be it formally with the Euroleague and the yearly meetings we had or in more informally situations. What became increasingly clear was that we all felt that we were facing or had faced similar issues which we wanted to address in one voice. The crux of the issue started there however it was soon very evident that Europe´s coaches could bring to the table a greater insight into the sport since most of us work for decades in basketball. As an entity, we have a lot of ideas that affect the decision making around the sport be it on the court and off it”.

– Do you feel that this is a move for the coaches to unite during an era in which European basketball remains divided?

“Well, the EuroLeague Coaches are united in the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board. Same as we came together, we believe that all stakeholders can get together on the same table and openly discuss all topics at hand. I think we need to stop hinting at divide and look forward, for the good of the sport. We have a beautiful sport and obligations to our fans, can´t we just enjoy it?”

– What should we expect from the 2019 EuroLeague Coaches Clinic in Badalona?

“It´s going to be a first. Having six of Europe´s most prestigious coaches giving master classes on how they have reached the top of the game is going to be a wonderful kick off the creation of this platform that will start giving back to the basketball community. Our goal is for the future that the EuroLeague Coaches Clinics become a family reunion type of event, where our members of the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board together with the participant and their families stay and spent time together. Every year we will visit another country and city so many destinations for a family trip every summer”.

– The fact that during recent years all the EuroLeague coaches met before the season was a factor for the idea of this clinic?

“I think I am going to draw from what my colleague Xavi Pascual said this Final Four in the press conference in Vitoria; we have a tendency of discussing amongst ourselves our points of view and our ideas, and it´s time for us to openly give back to the basketball community. That is what the Euroleague Coaches meetings taught us; we have something to give back to the community. We aren´t only leaders of our teams but references for the basketball stakeholders. We need to embrace it and foster it”.

– What should we expect in the future from the Euroleague Head Coaches Board?

“There are behind closed doors items that will affect how the sport is managed- from clubs to leagues. Firstly, as coaches, we will feel as though we have a unified representation in any disputes which gives us security. But that is behind closed doors. To the basketball community, we hope we can bring a new and refreshing point of view on some of the conversations around the sport. I think you will see us as part of the conversation. We also see the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board as an opportunity to be closer to the community”.