The Euroleague enters the season with a new president, Dejan Bodirog, and many challenges, both financial and organizational. On the floor, eyes will be on Anadolu Efes’ three-point attempt, which is on the threshold of Jugoplastika’s feat from the golden era of jugo basketball.
The second strongest basketball league in the world experienced a change at the very top after 22 years. A Spaniard Jordi Bertomeu despite the support of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Fenerbahçe and Anadolu Efes, the legendary Serbian basketball player replaced him as president Dejan Bodiroga. His right-hand man will be the sports director Marshall Glickman, a seasoned businessman and former president of the Portland TrailBlazers. While Bodiroga will take care of the competition’s image and growth, organization and new connections, Glickman will focus on the financial part.
Big deficits in club coffers
Although the Euroleague’s revenues last year amounted to more than 100 million euros, the participating clubs have little in the way of rewards. Only Real Madrid and Barcelona showed a loss of 30 million euros last season. Financially, from 18-Eric covered only by Alba Berlin, all other clubs work with minus and they are dependent on financial injections from either football clubs or wealthy individuals or even politics. The fact is that the Euroleague has not been able to establish a sustainable financial model since its establishment in 2000.
When will the war with Fiba end?
One of Bodiroga’s main tasks will also be ending the war with Fiba, due to which the best European basketball players (outside the NBA) cannot play for the national teams in the WC and EP qualifiers. The first signs of a thaw are already showing, as a few days ago Fiba moved the qualification windows by one day so that basketball players from the Euroleague could also participate in them.
The main favorites are Anadolu, Real and Barcelona
From the offices to the dance floor, where the “old suspects” will also be among the main favorites this season, those who have cut the top in previous years and with the highest budget. First and foremost, these are the Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, Turkey’s Anadolu Efes and Fenerbahce, and Milan, which have budgets higher than 30 million euros. Virtus from Bologna, Maccabi and Monaco are not far behind.
Along with Šišek, this season also features Tobey, Quail and Glas
This season, there will also be a larger lineup of Slovenian representatives in the Euroleague. While last season, only Bayern carried the flag Jean Marc Šiško (Zoran Dragić also played a few matches for Žalgiris), they joined him this year Klemen Prepelič (Valencia), Mike Tobey (Barcelona) and Gregor Glas (Partisan).
Russian clubs will not be in the Euroleague due to the attack on Ukraine. Instead of CSKA and Zenit, Partizan and Valencia got invitations. Virtus entered the competition as winners of the European Cup.
Anadolu Efes (title odds 4.5)
Under the leadership of Ergin Ataman, the Turks will win their third consecutive title, something that only Jugoplastika (1989-1991) and Riga (1958-1960) managed in the distant past. On paper, the team is even stronger than last year. Shane Larkin extended his contract for two years, again delaying the departure to the NBA League last season’s MVP Vasilije Micić. They came Will Clyburn (Czech Republic), Ante Žižić (Maccabi), Achille Polonara (Fenerbahçe) and Amath M’Baye (Pinar). The veterans are gone Chris Singleton, Krunoslav Simon and Adrien Moerman. Last season, they were only sixth in the regular season, then eliminated Milan and went all the way.
Real Madrid (4.5)
After a year off, the record holders after winning titles (10) last season came to the final tournament again and lost in the final. Due to the large losses – which amounted to more than 30 million euros last season alone – wages were reduced in Madrid, but they did not give up on new reinforcements. The new members of the royal club became the Bosnian national team Džanan Musathe Croatian representative Mario Hezonja and a former member of Real Sergio Rodriguez. Pablo Lasa was replaced by an assistant on the bench after heart problems Chus Mateo. All the main players remained in the club, so Real is stronger than last season, at least on paper.
Barcelona has been the main favorite for the title for the past two years. Both times she reached the final tournament, but in 2021 she stopped in the final and in 2022 in the semifinals. Coach Šarunas Jasikevičius he blew last year’s team quite a bit. They came Jan Vesely (Fenerbahçe), Mike Tobey (Barcelona), Nikola Kalinic (Red Star), Tomas Satoransky (Washington) and Oscar da Silva (Alba). They left Brandon Davies, Rolands Smits, Nick Calathes, Nigel Davis-Hayes, Dante Exum and Pierre Oriola. Everything but the title would be for the team with the most expensive player in the Euroleague Nikola Mirotic, Corry Higgins and other celebrities failure.
Basketball players from the city of fashion met Anadolu Efes in the quarterfinals last year and were left without a final tournament. Coach Ettore Messina he got a mandate for another two years and once again took care of the purge. He brought as many as eight new basketball players, among whom are the most famous names Kevin Pangos, Brandon Davies, Billy Baron, Johannes Voigtman and DeShaun Thomas. The contract was extended with Kyle Hines, Luigi Datome and Devon Hall. The others are too Nicola Melli and Shavon Shields. When the team gets together, it will be a thorn in everyone’s side.
Bookmakers place Olympiacos, who was already in the last final tournament, as the first challenger to participate in the Final Four. Coach Georgios Bartzokas he brought Joel Bolomboy (Czech Republic), Alec Peters (Baskonia), Tarik Black (Bahcesehir) and Isaiah Canaan (Galatasaray), who will replace Tyler Dorsey (Dallas). He finished his career Georgios Printezishe left Hasan Martin. Kostas Slukas, Saša Vezenkov and Moustapha Fall remain in the core of the team.
They started a new chapter in Fenerbahce, which fired the coach Sašo Đorđevića and brought in his place the former coach of CSKA and the Greek national team Dimitris Itudis. Among the eight new basketball players, there are the most famous names Nemanja Bjelica (Golden State), Nick Calathes (Barcelona), Nigel Davis-Hayes (Barcelona) and Scottie Wilbekin (Maccabi). The pillars of the team are gone Jan Vesely and Nando de Colo.
They opened a financial tap in the principality and increased the team’s budget to over 20 million euros. They retained the core of last year’s team led by one of the biggest stars of the Euroleague To Mike James. Coach Saša Obradović got a new contract and bought at the market John Brownone of the best defensive players in the league, Elie Okoboj, Jordan Lloyd, Jaron Blossomgame and Adrien Moerman. The team is perfectly duplicated in all positions. Some experts mention them as one of the potential surprises of this season.
Last year, the Israelis qualified for the playoffs for the first time in seven years. In the hope that the rise will continue, they increased the budget to 25 million euros. The main reinforcements are the newly crowned European champions Lorenzo Brown, Wade Baldwin, Josh Nebo, Alex Poythress, Darrun Hilliard and Austin Hollins. The completely renovated team will be led by Oded Kataš.
Scariolo and Obradović also have strong teams
This is the eight that the bookies give the most chances to reach the playoffs. They have big plans in Bologna, where Virtus (21) will be in command of the European champion with Spain Sergio Scariolo. Miloš Teodosić, Tornike Šengelia, Marco Belinelli and to Daniel Hackett have joined, among others Ifa Lundberg (Phoenix), Semi Ojeleye (LA Clippers) and Jordan Mickey (Zenith).
Partizan (26) is even stronger than last year. Željko Obradović he brought to the team Danilo Anđušić (Monaco), Dante Exum (Barcelona), by James Nunnally (Maccabi) and Ioansia Papapetrou (Panathinaikos). The black and whites are sure to have the loudest fan support, having already sold 11,500 season tickets.
A new start for Panathinaikos and Red Star
Panathinaikos (34) will try to return to the path of old glory Dejan Radonjić, the coach of Crvena zvezda last season. Among others, the team was strengthened by the Slovenian executioner at the EP Mateusz Ponitka, Marius Grigonis, Nate Wolters, Derrick Williams and Arturas Gudaitis.
In Valencia (41), Slovenian basketball fans will mainly be watching Klemno Prepelić. He will lead Red Star (51) into the new season Vlado Jovanovićwhich will also have new reinforcements in the team, such as Nemanja Nedović, Miroslav Raduljica, Filip Petrusev, John Holland, Hassan Martin and Ben Bentil. The biggest handicap is departure Nikola Kalinić.
Baskonia (51), Bayern (67), Asvel (101), Alba and Žalgiris (151) are given the fewest chances.
Changes to the rules
The Euroleague introduced some new rules. A personal foul in the last two minutes of the game or overtime before the ball is in play will be penalized with one free throw and possession.
Coaches can now request a video review of a referee’s decision for sixteen different situations. However, they are no longer limited to just the final quarter or final minutes, and will continue to be limited to one check request per game.
Coaches will now be able to decide for themselves in the last two minutes of the game after the one-minute break, from where his team will send the ball into play, and referees will have the right to stop the game at any time and watch unsportsmanlike fouls or unsportsmanlike behavior of the participants on the floor or bench.
EUROLEAGUE 1ST ROUND
Thursday at 20:00: ASVEL – OLYMPIA MILAN PANATHINAIKOS – REAL MADRID At 20.05: MACCABI – ŽALGIRIS At 8:30 p.m.: VALENCIA – BASKONIA BAYERN – FENERBAHC
Friday at 19:30: ANADOLU EPHES – RED STAR At 20:00: ALBA BERLIN – PARTISAN At 8:30 p.m.: VIRTUS BOLOGNA – MONACO BARCELONA – OLYMPIACOS