By: Nick Gibson / @euro_adventures
It seems that nobody in the Euroleague has had the good sense to dispose of one of its most archaic and illogical rules: the relegation system. A team’s ineptitude, though dragging down the competitive nature of the league, should not be cause enough to banish them from the system. Right?
Let’s throw a bone to the weak, offer up a second chance. It’s only the league’s reputation at stake. For example, let’s pretend as if there’s a team called, oh I don’t know, Real Timbervölff Minnesöta. In two years, the team has gone 32-132. Dreadful, I’ll admit. But boot them altogether? Overkill. Perhaps a firm talking to, maybe an early draft pick to get them back on their feet, and we can just pretend the whole thing never happened.
Now the league has announced that two of those wounded warriors, Belgium’s Spirou Charleroi and Lithuania’s Lietuvos Rytas, will fight for their Euroleague lives in front of their own banners, to the tune of their own chants. They line up like this:
Group A in Vilnius, Lithuania
Siemens Arena. Capacity: 11,000
Asvel Basket Lyon Villeurbanne, BCM Gravelines Dunkerque and Cholet Basket of France, Galatasaray of Turkey, KK Buducnost of Montenegro, KK Cibona Zagreb of Croatia, PAOK BC of Greece and the home team, Lietuvos Rytas.
Group B in Charleroi, Belgium
Spiroudome. Capacity: 6,000
Alba Berlin of Germany, Banvit BK of Turkey, BC Donetsk of Ukraine, BC Khimki Moscow Region of Russia, CEZ Basketball Nymburk of the Czech Republic, PGE Turow Zgorzelec of Poland, VEF Riga of Latvia and Spirou Basket.
I’ve got my money on either Rytas or Galatasaray in Group A, barring a Tony Parker sighting in Villeurbanne. Meanwhile Group B is looking like Berlin’s for the taking.
Or we could save ourselves time and jet fuel and just hand out free passes to the inferior clubs. Your call, Jordi.