By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
The Intercontinental Cup in any sports is the holy grail of all events. You can call it World Cup, or Mundobasket, but the essence remains the same.
Teams from different continents with different backgrounds are stepping on the same court. They are not just facing each other. They are introduced to different cultures, to different playing styles and they prove that a sport can really be a global language.
And while you can argue that this is already happening with the national team tournaments or even the Olympics, things are even more interesting when you have clubs involved in the mix.
That’s why the revamped FIBA Intercontinental Cup is a very interesting experiment. Successful clubs from all two different continents will have the chance to meet and fight for a trophy, proving that basketball has taken strides all over the Globe.
While there’s no comparison to football’s popularity yet – soccer if you are a US reader – all metrics are indicating that basketball is on the rise. And while it remains second to football on a global level, more and more athletes and fans are following the sport.
That’s why the fact that a new page for the Intercontinental Cup will be written in Brazil, one of the most football-crazed countries in the world, makes things even more intriguing.
The Basketball Champions League champions from Europe, AEK, the champions from the G-League, the Austin Spurs, the Argentinian champions of the FIBA Americas League, San Lorenzo, and the Brazilian hosts, Flamengo will meet on the court and they will create buzz all around the world.
We are living in a digital world, the traveling distances are getting smaller and smaller and basketball is mainstream for most countries in the world.
That’s why all the basketball stakeholders will take a close look in the Rio event. Imagine a future in which the FIBA Intercontinental Cup will be the bridge between clubs from Europe, the Americas, Asia, Oceania, and Africa.
We are not there yet, but a first bold step towards this direction is just days away.