By: Nick Gibson / @euro_adventures
For anyone who thought Bertomeu and Co. were kidding with this We’re playing basketball this season business, think again. In a gaudy display of power, the Euroleague CEO gathered members of the basketball community and made them watch as Eddy Vidal presided over a mass untwisting of tiny metallic globes which held each team’s destiny. It looked a little something like this (and yes, they play that same eerie techno stuff for the entire ceremony).
The video first, then we break down all 24 Euroleague teams. One by one.
And now, a Tweet’s worth about each team. Rosters are still half empty, so make sure and hold me to these ten months from now.
Olympiacos Piraeus: With Greek rosters crumbling in on themselves, Spanoulis might become the first member of the 30/30 club. (Minutes and shots.)
Caja Laboral: When people want to get rid of a Stank, usually they light a match. Caja lit a Lampe.
Bizkaia Bilbao Basket: They’ve extended Coach Katsikaris and four members of their core. Now it’s time to invite some fresh blood to the party.
NGC Cantú: I drafted David Lighty in our Reject Draft, so of course I think he’ll contribute.
SLUC Nancy Basket: France has put five teams in the Euroleague over the last three seasons: Cholet, Le Mans, Entente Orleanaise, Asvel and Nancy. Not a single one has advanced, and they’ve combined for a 13-37 record. Time to step it up, Nancy.
Panathinaikos Athens: Give Obradovic a deck of cards and he’d find 12 that could beat you on a basketball court.
CSKA Moscow: Krstic, Teodosic, Ponkrashov, Voronov. All new faces. I guess somebody in the organization didn’t like missing the Top 16 last year.
Unicaja Malaga: We’ll likely be seeing a differently constructed Malaga club ext year. I wonder if they’ll invite Terrell McIntyre’s ghost to the party again.
Zalgiris Kaunas: The goal, as always, is to have more Euroleague victories than coaches this season. Place your bets.
Brose Baskets: After pulling off the Olympiacos upset last season, I was a fan. A 32-2 record in Germany did nothing to dampen that affection.
KK Zagreb: I think Cibona can bounce back after a…oh…wait, this is a different club from Zagreb? Ah. I see.
Real Madrid: They should be the least active team in free agency, if you ask me. Time to pick your guys, whittle it down and let Pablo Loso coach ’em up.
Maccabi Electra: They lost Chuck Eidson. They kept Jeremy Pargo. As long as they’ve got David Blatt, though, we’ll see them in the quarterfinals at least.
Partizan mt:s Belgrade: Nathan Jawai is with Unics, James Gist is with Fenerbahçe and Jan Vesely is chilling with John Wall and kissing his girlfriend. I weep for you, Belgrade.
Anadolu Efes Istanbul: I’m loving the defensive possibilities of a Balbay-Güler backcourt. But is Anadolu still a beer?
EA7 Emporio Armani: …and for that matter, are EA7’s still jeans? Omar Cook can’t go barelegged.
Qualifier A: On paper, I really can’t pinpoint a weakness.
Barcelona: They miss the Final Four, consider it a down year and then go sign Chuck Eidson. What makes me think they won’t find replacements for Lakovic, Grimau and Rubio? Nada.
Montepaschi Siena: I tell you what, if they can keep Bo McCalebb healthy then they’ve got a real shot at the Italian League.
Unics Kazan: Marko Popovic trimmed the hair after a scinitllating performance off the Croatian bench last summer, but it only made him more aerodynamic. I see big things for the little man and his Kazanites.
Asseco Prokom Gdynia: This team seems to follow a particular trend, so I imagine they’ll be signing a big name American scorer soon, then they’ll forget to play defense and crumble down the stretch. Sounds about right.
Union Olimpija Ljubljana: I had fully intended on witnessing these games in person, but instead I’ll hope to catch another spirited season in Stozice through my computer screen. Maybe that will make Davis Bertans appear 15 pounds heavier. So that comes out to around 78 pounds, I guess.
Qualifier B: I really like the moves they’ve made this offseason. Very flexible roster.
And that’s that, for now. Looks like we’re having a season, after all. Damn you, Jordi. If you prefer this format, then feast thine eyes.
Remember to Tweet it: #EuroleagueLockin