By: Nick Gibson / @euro_adventures
Accountability is not a common theme among American pro sports leagues. With 32 wins in their last two seasons, the Minnesota Timberwolves will live to die another day in the NBA. The last time the Pittsburgh Pirates made the playoffs, the Dream Team had just won Gold in the 1992 Olympics. You win, you stick around. You lose, though? You still stick around.
This leniency has no place in the Euroleague, whose goal is to put out a collection of winners each and every season. Consistent success (and some degree of financial prowess) can even earn you an A License, and the permission to fight for the Continental Trophy so long as you stay competitive back at home.
Lottomatica Roma couldn’t cut it, finishing 14-16 and 9th in the Legabasket, a game out of the top half. Now there’s a noticeable absence in that 13th A License spot, and the EL will fill it with a team they deem worthy.
Other folks who are leaving the party include Lietuvos Rytas, AJ Milano, BC Khimki Moscow, Cholet Basket and Spirou. Rytas, Khimki and Cholet are the only three that currently own spots in the EL Qualifying Round.
The draws for both the Regular Season and the Qualifying Round field will be drawn in Barcelona on July 7.
And I’d like to now take the time out to welcome Bennett Cantu, Sluc Nancy and Bizkaia Bilbao Basket to the league. It will be nice to have y’all around. Now it’s time for the busiest offseason known to man. It’s adventure time.
Go forth and fill needs, everyone. Or you just might end up like Lottomatica Roma.
Charts Courtesy of Euroleague.net
…and our brave qualifiers are as follows:
Draws for both the Regular Season and Qualifying Rounds will be held on Thursday, July 7 in Barcelona, Spain.