By Milan Lazarevic
People can have different point of views on ULEB – FIBA confrontations, probably most of them don’t care at all – but, besides this main story, truth basketball fan has huge problem to eat everything what’s served from either of these two sides. This time we will skip all FIBA foolishnesses which we were witnessing all these years and concentrate only on some absurd and, let me say, insulting rules made by ULEB. Again, I must repeat: insulting for every ordinary basketball fan… and this game is playing for us, isn’t it?
The only question here is: Why don’t we talk more about problems in European basketball? We obviously accepted to leave with them. We accepted to live life of ordinary basketball fans who are quiet and who are not complaining about anything…
Well, it’s time for a change…
This is a year when Euroleague celebrates 50 years anniversary. It evolved to respectful and quality basketball competition. We remember times when only National Champions played in it, while all others in “Radivoje Korac Cup”… but new time needs new challenges.
24 teams in a League with play-off system is something which modern basketball really needs and there’s no doubt about that. This article will not touch that subject; this article will not even try to describe how fair or unfair is from ULEB to sign contracts with some teams or how fair or unfair is their totally unknown system of making coefficients for number of teams which some countries can give. That’s their system and their competition and we can not do anything about that.
But, in moment when ULEB is giving rights to itself to put finger in domestic competition which one country has, when they try to organize systems in some specific country without asking them anything - then we have problem.
Only few countries (Serbia, Poland…) have that privilege to have interesting domestic competition where the best team at the end of the season can play Euroleague next year. That’s not case with Croatia, Lithuania, Slovenia…
It’s a matter of that country to organize things in own yard and to make competition which will give the best team for Euroleague. But, ULEB made up –contracts- and ruined everything.
That was O.K. in situation when ULEB let mentioned countries to decide weather they will choose one system (read: contracts) or the other (read: the best team is going to EL)
But, obviously that ULEB wants monopoly even in this category and without any sense and healthy logic they totally changed the rules of the game.
A month ago it was published in Serbian medias new system for classifying teams through all competitions in order to find a best one for 3-years contract with EL.
O.K. ULEB doesn’t want currently the best Serbian team in EL – that’s not right - but, they’re organizing competition and we must shut up – still, hey, they’re bosses.
Then, they said: “Well, you know, that system of classifying you can not make by yourself. We will do that for you, because we’re your bosses and you must listen.”
Then they added: “Also, we’re sorry but we must degrade your own National championship and give only 5 pts for a Champion. We know that it’s important for you – but for us there’s no sense to give some privileges to your domestic league because you’re not member of ULEB organization. But, at the other side your teams are playing in Adriatic league which is legal member of ULEB and our decision is to give 15 pts to Champion of that league.”
Yes, they will kill domestic league, but why to bother, it was weak anyway.
By the way, Rade Lorbek, Adriatic league president, is one of vice-presidents in ULEB – so it’s not hard to imagine how big his interest is to give importance to Adriatic league.
Today, everything is money, everything is interest and this article is maybe only poor effort in fight with big bosses, but at least it’s effort.
You will understand if I just say that if Partizan wins Euroleague this year they will win only 15 pts, that’s exact number of points which they will win in case of winning Adriatic league. For example, if FMP wins ULEB Cup this year they will earn only 7 pts?!
At the other side Domestic league title brings only 5 pts to the winner.
It’s easy to conclude that Lorbek and co. were perky enough to use every opportunity which was provided to them with high positions in ULEB.
They’re clever and good businessman. They own Adriatic league, it’s important to say that Adriatic league is their private property and they used advantages of their high positions in ULEB to make private league more important then Serbian National domestic competition. That’s classic confrontation of interests and it’s obvious that things can not function on that way – but when you have monopoly everything is allowed.
Now, I just can be mad, while they can enjoy in perfectly good business they made.
I’m just an ordinary basketball fan and I don’t want to be quiet.