By Nikos Varlas/ email@example.com
Duda, who is a EuroLeague legend from last night and also a member of FIBA’s technical commission, believes that the European basketball is currently at a crossroad with the NBA taking even “kids” with talent in the States and the sport in danger of declining in the old continent.
“We are in a difficult moment and the pinnacle of difficulties will come in November with the World Cup qualification games”, said Duda. “There’s a war between FIBA and EuroLeague and the victim is basketball. I believe that we will reach such a low point, that there will be no alternative that the two sides to meet. I have talked to both sides. At this moment they don’t seem to be ready and they don’t understand where basketball is heading to”.
The direction is the NBA. “I repeat that despite what I have seen in the recent EuroLeague and the recent Eurobasket, despite so many good players, the European basketball is in a great crisis. We would be happy as coaches and clubs if we have players who leave for the NBA because they would have a defined role in the league. And when they will be presented before the game and the name of their country will be mentioned, or even the name of the club that “produced” the player. However, we can afford losing kids, because of the situation in European basketball and the growth of the salary cap. We will soon have players leaving for the G-League. I am a member of FIBA’s technical commission and we were talking about we will improve the women’s game. I believe that we have the same issues in men’s game. Europe can’t afford this situation”.
Ivkovic believes that in the end a solution will be found, but never in the past things were not at this point. “I am optimistic, even if things for the European players will be more difficult than ever with so many games scheduled, the NBA players not competing in the qualification games and the EuroLeague clubs and their players being in the middle of this. I hope that basketball will find a way, I always believed that basketball has the best men serving it, but this is the most crucial moment ever for European basketball”.