If we go by the latest All-NBA selections, they’re all there. Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic, all three selected in the best five in the league, will be present at the next Euro. Joel Embiid, naturalized French since, could have been the fourth and last possible European representative, out of the fifteen players in question. The plateau of this next Euro promises to be exceptional.
” It’s not just about the three superstars mentioned », adds Andreas Zagklis, during a long press conference to which Eurohoops was invited. FIBA Secretary General refers to an impressive contingent of well-known NBA figures announced: Rudy Gobert, Domantas Sabonis, Jonas Valanciunas, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jusuf Nurkic, Dennis Schroder, Dario Saric, Lauri Markkanen, Deni Avdija, Evan Fournier, Goran Dragic, Furkan Korkmaz…
” The expected participation of so many high-level players is excellent news for our sport. “, welcomes the international manager, partly explaining the phenomenon by the new calendar put in place. It is now necessary to count on a summer devoted to the Euro, another to the World Cup, a third to the Olympic Games and a last to allow the players to rest.
National team basketball is stronger than ever
” I’m more convinced now […] that the rotation of the three competitions over four years, makes them unique, exclusive and attractive to players. It is therefore a great summer of continental basketball with the qualifications for the World Cup combined with the Euro and other continental competitions. We can truly say that national team basketball is stronger than ever », Considers the secretary general, referring to a competition that is more open than ever.
The latter thus expected that the percentage of NBA players present would be high. The fact of linking the qualifying matches for the world at the end of August with the European competition at the beginning of September has indeed allowed these players to benefit from a summer rest.
Also, “ the attractiveness of the event, and we saw it during the World Cup in China, brings in more players. We have seen the figures before 2019 and after. And we are also in a very favorable period where the players who participate in international competitions are now world superstars, which was not the case 10 or 15 years ago. »
Result, the enthusiasm for the national selections is growing. ” It is clear that the fans have grown closer to their national teams, thanks to the regularity of the matches, even if all the players who could have been available are not there. Fans have the chance to see their teams in their country, which makes them want to follow them even more during the summer, from the preparation matches to the main tournament. »
FIBA can rub its hands on it: its Euro should be very popular.