By Stefan Djordjevic / firstname.lastname@example.org
Widely considered to be the best Italian player ever Dino Meneghin talked to Walla, about his past with Maccabi, but he also talked about the bitter dispute between the Euroleague and FIBA and other topics.
Exactly 30 years ago Olimpia Milan won their last Euroleague with Meneghin being part of it. In the final game, they beat Maccabi Tel Aviv in Ghent, Belgium. It was the last time that Meneghin lifted the trophy which was his seventh time. After a long time, the Italian reviled a potential cooperation with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
“In the early 1970s, Shimon Mizrahi telephoned me and suggested that I join Maccabi, I was interested, but it could not have happened. In those days the player was the property of the club, so I had to pay my buyout at my expense. Maccabi could have signed three or four players, and it was a great satisfaction for me to know that they wanted me.” he says.
Today, Mengin lives in Milan and is the vice president of FIBA Europe. He still watches the games and gets nervous.
“It’s been a long time since I stopped playing, but when I watch basketball I still feel like an actor. When the team starts losing, I get angry, I get angry, I get excited. It’s hard for me. That’s why I prefer to stay home and watch television. That’s how I can also change a channel when things develop badly. ” However, he dislikes the way basketball changed over the time.
“Today’s basketball is much faster, the players are stronger, but I have to tell you that I do not like the game that is used today, the tendency to throw so many threes has completely changed the game. It is very similar to basketball in the NBA, and sometimes it’s boring for me. In our days the game was more group, with lots of movement, when all the players were involved, the old basketball was a real symphony, the game was more complete, more sophisticated.”
When it comes to a dispute between FIBA and the Euroleague, Meneghin notes:
“The Euroleague does a great job and cares for the teams that are playing in it, but we must not forget that the teams are not the most important. When the team wins the European Cup, it’s a great moment for the players, the club members and the fans, but after the national teams the whole country follows“, says Meneghin
“The main argument of the Euroleague is that the schedule is too crowded and it is not possible to hold selected games during the season. If it can be done in football, a sector where the load is no less big, with much more money involved, and whose popularity is the highest why could be done in basketball? Why can the NBA play three or four times a week, and in European basketball it cannot happen – another six games a season will make the difference?”, asked the famous Italian.