Greek Federation president: “The NBA determines who will be European champion”

2018-04-30T19:31:02+00:00 2018-05-01T13:32:22+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

30/Apr/18 19:31

Some rather interesting opinions by the president of the Greek Federation.

By Eurohoops team/

Greek Basketball Federation president Giorgos Vassilokopoulos discussed the direct and indirect influence of the NBA to European basketball on all levels, even when it comes to which national team will be crowned continental champion.

Here’s what Vassilakopoulos said in an interview with Greek radio station Sport-FM:

On national teams: 

“The bosses don’t allow their players to play in the national team. It’s not coincidental that EuroLeague increases the games.Then the player himself comes and says that he can’t pull through and the first thing he does is abandoning the national team. National team success brings people (in the sport) not club success.”

This isn’t a Greek phenomenon but a European one. There are good and bad General Managers that allow or don’t allow the players (to play in the national teams). NBA determines who will be European champion. Just take a closer look at Slovenia the team that won the EuroBasket. Who were missing from Italy or France? They (NBA) indirectly determine who will be European champion.Spain is a team in decay. (Pau) Gasol has already filled out the stamps for a pension fund and they let him play. Gasol isn’t a player.”

On the level of European Basketball:

“Basketball in Europe doesn’t get any better. Why? Unfortunately, we don’t have European basketball. Basketball in Europe has been “Americanized” in all levels. Americans produce players and they want to get rid of them so they send them to Europe. At the same time, they take the best European players there in order for their product to become interesting to the different expatriates and minorities.”

On the dispute between FIBA and EuroLeague:

“There isn’t dispute. Let’s not equate perpetrators with victims. European basketball is the victim. Who is officially representing European basketball? There are two sides in this dispute but they are not equal and they are not the same. People want to see basketball, Greek, and European. The popularity of the NBA is in constant decline. Now there is an excessive imposition of “spectacle” on the sports result. There’s a huge difference with the USA in the production process. The main feature of European basketball is the sports result, but in the NBA it’s the economic (result).”

On Giannis Antetokounmpo and whether he’ll join the Greek national team in the June-July window of the World Cup Qualifiers:

“We are in contact with the players and the NBA. Come to my office and check my mail with the Bucks.We talk with Giannis, Koufos, Dorsey, Papagiannis and I hope that they will all be present. Unless they load them with more obligations. Unless the NBA bosses decide differently.”

Photo: FIBA