We don’t know about you, but we’re very excited for the European Basketball Tournament that begins Thursday, in Germany, where the French national team will face the locals at the boiling Lanxess Arena in Cologne (8:30pm, to be continued. Live on our site). Because if the NBA remains the most watched basketball tournament in the world, it’s now on the side of old Europe that you have to watch to feast on the world’s greatest talent.
By switching to a new formula, since the 2017 reform, only euros every four years, versus every two years before that, there is no longer any question the stars have to ignore. Jean-Pierre Ciotat, president of the French Basketball Federation, said during a press conference organized in Bercy last week.
In fact, they are all there. From Giannis Antetokounmpo to Nikola Jokic via Luka Doncic or Rudy Gobert, all the NBA monsters met during the first half of September. Who is there to say that it is the highest Euro in history? If many think so, Yvan Fournier would rather remain cautious. “I don’t like issuing cash statements like that, because I didn’t make with other Euros. Since I’ve been playing basketball, I’ve been thinking about Euro 2011, it was a great Euro, but it’s true that it still looks very tough on paper.”
For his part, Vincent Colette also compared him to what happened in 2011, just before the London Olympics. “Everyone there, Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Kirilenko, Juan Carlos Navarro, the coach’s roster. The Euros that have been contested since, including the one we won in 2013, have been less so. There, it’s an extraordinary plateau. Canal+ basketball consultant, former Paris-Levallois coach Christophe Denis has the idea to comment on this competition.
“It’s only my opinion, but I know that Vincent Colette agrees with me: Apart from the Olympics, because there are the United States and Australia, the European Championship is the best thing to do today in international competitions, he says. You still have the best former players in the NBA. Pro, Antetokonmo and Jokic, the best defender is Rudi Gobert, the star for the next 10 years in the NBA is Luka Doncic, how are you?
There is no big favourite
Opening up to the international stage in the early 1990s, the National Basketball Association allowed young European talent to show what they had in their stomachs and the result is clear: Today, the old continent can watch the United States – united in their eyes. “It’s a fact, Europeans are increasingly dominating the NBA,” confirms Yvan Fournier. As the Euro is now rarer, it will become a major event in the world, and the United States will follow on ESPN, it is a good advertisement for European Basketball and will give more credit to whoever will win it. Christophe Dennis continues:
If this Euro is particularly expected, it is also because you don’t have a very favorite team but there are a lot of teams, I would say between five and eight, they can claim a place in the final. There is Slovenia (the title holders) of course, Serbia, Spain, Lithuania and Greece, but why not Germany also playing at home and they are in very good shape at the moment. »
In the prediction game, Evan Fournier also struggles to determine the best favorite player. “We talked a little bit without knowing, he told us on the Percy floor after training last week. The Greeks have never played together, the Serbs and Djokic have not played together for a while either, the Spaniards are new, and the Slovenes are bound to be among the top favorites. There you are, These are the four seeds with us.”