NEWS: If you didn’t catch it in our previous post, the Euroleague announced that the Euroleague’s best will gather in Torino, Italy (or Turin, or any one of the bevy of names slapped on during the 2006 Olympics) for the 2011 Final Four. Some additional information we might have glazed over: The games themselves will be held in the 6,600-seat Palasport Olimpico. Also of note is the fact that 2011 will be the 150th anniversary of the Italian state, as mentioned the article. Italian hoops legend and President of the Italian Basketball Federation, Dino Meneghin, couldn’t make it to the ceremony but he sent along this message: “In 2011, Turin has the chance to host one of the best Final Fours in Euroleague history. I can say it not only from the fact that I am the President of the Italian Basketball Federation, but also because I am fully aware of the magnificent way in which our friends in Turin manage the infrastructures inherited from the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. It is nice to see how Turin, the first capital of the Italian state, identified as the city of Fiat for many years, has been raised again to the world’s attention by making sports the steering wheel of a cultural and business renaissance. I also would like to thank Mr. Jordi Bertomeu for choosing an Italian city as host of the 2011 Final Four.” See you there, Dino.
IMPACT: From where I sit, this is all coming as a somewhat strange coincidence. I’m at the Olympics right now and as part of my job, I’ve had to go back through hours of Torino footage from 2006. From Shaun White’s halfpipe heroics to Armin Zoeggler’s Gold medal run in the luge (I didn’t forget about you Italy). So when I saw the word “Turin” in a Euroleague.net article, I blinked furiously and thought to myself, “OK, Nick. This is it. After hours of staring into bright screens in dark rooms, you’ve officially cracked.” But, alas! This was far from a hallucination, and it turns out T(o/u)rin(o) will once again be a hub for international sports come May of 2011. Not sure if I have the authority to praise nor scold anyone for this decision, as I’m completely unaware of the other cities that were nominated and I’ve never been to Torino. But I’m pumped. For Torino? Sure, I guess. But even if they held the F4 in a toxic wasteland, I’d grab a gas mask and and my Mac and be on my way.*
*Just to be clear, I am not comparing Torino to a toxic wasteland. From what I’ve seen and heard, it’s astonishingly beautiful.