Much has been said in recent years about basketball as an international phenomenon. Up until a few years ago, the world basketball championship and the Olympic games basketball tournament were played only for second place. Ever since NBA professional players were allowed to join it was considered almost insanity to consider that a different team will be able to go home with the gold medal. Then came recent tournaments in which, not only was the American team beaten several times, but lost the gold medal more than once.
For experts that have been following the Euroleague this came as no surprise. Ever since FIBA introduced the Euroleague Final Four format, basketball in Europe has been steadily improving and in recent years has reached such a high level that teams like Barcelona were able to beat teams like the Los Angeles Lakers. Information
How did this happen? The answer has to do with money, the style of play and the use of American talent. Euroleague tickets sales have seen a steady annual increase ever since the Euroleague Final Four format was introduced. This also brought sponsors and world-wide interest. The truth is, the Euroleague 2012 is so much better than that of the tournaments of the previous decades mostly because teams now have a lot more money to spend.
This brings us to the style of play and the use of American talent in the Euroleague. The style of play in Europe is considered more team oriented than that played in the NBA. If anything, a better comparison would be to American college basketball, where the style of play is also team oriented. European teams seem to find ways in which players that have not been able to bring their talent to the front in America can shine.
If basketball is an international phenomenon now, and this is also true when one is speaking about the European players that are having successful careers in America, it is thanks to the change that occurred in the Euroleague. Information
The familiarity of European players with the American style of play and the fact that so many players from all over the world came to play in Europe, practically eliminated the differences in quality between the NBA and the Euroleague. This is now more obvious than ever with so many European and international players succeeding and developing professional careers in America.
To summarise, one can safely say that the Euroleague had a major role in the fact that basketball is now an international game.North Carolina Tar Heels - Basketball Royalty