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David Pick | Nr. 62

Die EuroLeague wirkt ein bisschen in die Jahre gekommen | David Pick über die Prognose von Bayern Münchens Sportdirektor Daniele Baiesi, dass die Top-Klubs in ihren heimischen Ligen bald erst zu den Playoffs einsteigen werden

Bayern Munich Sports Director Daniele Baiesi doesn’t grant many interviews, but when he decides to speak his mind, he tends to make waves. Baiesi gave an interview to “Corriere di Bologna” and shared his thoughts about the potential future of EuroLeague teams bolting from their year-round domestic competitions to then latching on for the playoffs.

“There will come a time when teams of a certain level will have to join the championship from the playoffs forward, as is already the case in Serbia. I understand that small clubs benefit from the incomes with the bigs, but you can not do obscurantism, which is the opposite of progress: We are in 2023 but anchored to 1980”, he said.


Baiesi has grown from NBA scout to elite Sports Director of Brose Bamberg to star Sports Director of Bayern Munich. He started out as a journalist 20+ years ago. My path to becoming an agent began too as a reporter but I’m not quite sure my future has GM or SD in the cards. Time will tell.

All jokes aside. The EuroLeague hasn’t changed its format in years. There have been reformations in the structure of the games from group stages and pools to the Top-16 era, and currently 18 teams in a unified league with a round robin home-and-away format. The EuroLeague hasn’t yet changed its end-of-the-season format from Final Four to series, despite wishes of many clubs, crying out that a series can generate more revenue due to multiple games, selling out multiple arenas, creating more “sports rivalries”.

Many clubs advocated toward going back to playing series versus a decorated weekend event to crown the champions of Europe. So far, nothing has happened.

Checkout what could’ve been a potential Finals series had the format changed. These are just my thoughts, based on the current EuroLeague standings. Olympiacos vs Real Madrid. Barcelona vs Monaco. Partizan vs Fenerbahce. MAMA MIA, I’m loving it.

The game has changed and rules have shifted. The TBT brought the Elam Ending into the G-League and NBA All-Star-Game. The Australian NBL has Play-In tournaments to conclude the 7th and 8th participants in the Playoffs. But the EuroLeague still seems a bit outdated. I’m not going to lie. These games are exciting, but as a 5-Game EuroLeague series?! WOW. Even better. Anyways, we got carried away. Back to our story.

The biggest issues for EuroLeague teams to leave their domestic competitions during the regular seasons, and there are many issues, believe me, but they’re all centered around money. Money is the problem and the solution for everything. Partizan and Red Star Belgrade are the only EuroLeague clubs that join their domestic league after the EuroLeague season expires, and post ABA League games.

“I understand that small clubs sell out their gyms and the city gets excited when we come visit”, said one EuroLeague GM who supports the removal of EuroLeague clubs from their domestic regular season games. “If it’s a money issue for these small clubs, the federation can pay them a little more to cover the loss of not playing a EuroLeague club once or twice a year, and we don’t burn millions of dollars, and avoid these logistical headaches.”

“Off the record, leaving domestic leagues is the best option”, said a EuroLeague coach to BIG Magazine, under the oath of anonymity. “The EuroLeague continues to grow. There’s interest in growing the league with teams from Paris, London and Dubai and expanding to 20 clubs. I see another problem: the return of the Russian clubs will push the EuroLeague to grow to 22-24 clubs. Where do we find the time to play all these games? Someone needs to add more days to the week.”

“This is pure torture”, another EuroLeague playoffs coach told BIG Magazine. “Off the record, for sure the best solution for us would be to join the domestic leagues once the EuroLeague season ends. But it’s a subjective opinion. To get relief as far as load management and balancing the roster would help us a lot. I’m unsure if domestic federations will benefit from losing us for so many months. Fans would miss the opportunities to see EuroLeague players on their local courts. It’s one of those situations where the picture is clear from each perspective, but the perspectives are total opposites.”

A couple years ago, after Maccabi Tel Aviv lost the domestic championship to Hapoel Jerusalem, officials for the yellow-and-blue spoke out on the possibility of building two rosters, one with elite players for international competition, and another roster of veteran Israelis with a mixture of young prospects to develop in the domestic competition. However, the idea died as quick as it came to life.

“This could never happen in Spain. EuroLeague clubs will never leave the ACB”, an Espana EuroLeague manager concluded.

It’s unclear what the future holds for the EuroLeague post Jordi Bertomeu era, but one thing is for certain – Dejan Bodiroga has serious generational problems on his plate.


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