There is no greater euphoria than that of a newly crowned champion. It’s raw. It’s consuming. But it’s also temporary. The champagne gets sticky, the confetti is swept away and our champion wakes up the next morning with the spoils of victory behind him.
Unless he just won the Eurocup, in which case his reward renews itself daily for an entire season and maybe more. Because as the second best intra-European competition, the prize is a chance to move up and play with the continent’s best in the Euroleague. Only a game away from qualifying earlier this season, Alba Berlin would have loved to get back on top, but Power Electronics Valencia wasn’t having any of it.
The notes from the Eurocup Finals in Vitoria, Spain:
– To say Kosta perovic “won” the tip is overly generous. He and Blagota Sekulic both whiffed, landed on the ground, then Kosta flailed as the ball rolled down his forearm. Luckily for Valencia, Kosta’s forearm plays for their team.
– Victor Claver just did a terrible, heartless, disgusting thing to Sekulic. Not even 12 seconds in, Nando de Colo directs the one-handed touch pass Victor’s way. Fakes left, drives middle and BOOM. I haven’t seen any basketball posters for sale in my two months here, but this image should be plastered on the first.
– Judging by the confetti, the fans enjoyed Claver’s dunk. If Portland loses one Spanish dunk contest participant this off-season, they’ve got another in their back pocket.
– After an assistless semifinal, Spurs property Nando de Colo is looking to dish. Might not get the scorekeeper love on the Claver jam, but he certainly will with the behind-the-head drop off to Kosta Perovic. Perdy.
– Thomas Kelati into the game now for Valencia. As off-seasons go, his was quite embarrassing: signed by Olympiacos, then cut two weeks later due to fan backlash. They wanted someone with more clout like a Rimantas Kaukenas or a Sarunas Jasikevicius. The Lakers signed him long enough to bolster his ego and then they fired him, too. Kaukenas is only days away from his release from Real Madrid and Jasikevicius hardly played as Panathinaikos crashed and burned in the Euroleague. I wouldn’t say Kelati has “the last laugh,” but at least a faint chuckle.
– These guys are really pouring it in. It’s 8-8 after 8 minutes of play. On pace for a 40-40 draw.
– Carl Landry made chipped teeth cool. Marko Marinovic is turning them into the new pimp cane.