Credit: FEB
Credit FEB

Legendary Spanish player Jorge Garbajosa is now the current president of the Spanish Basketball Federation. He's one of the most important figures in the current FIBA-EuroLeague conflict.

Jorge Garbajosa

Jorge  Garbajosa
Position: PF, SF
Age: 44
Height: 206 cm
Weight: 111 kg
Birth place: Madrid, Spain

The former Unicaja, Toronto Raptors, and Real Madrid power forward shared his thoughts on the situation in European and worldwide basketball to a Serbian sports journal "Sportski zurnal". 

"There is a new positive sign, that EuroLeague, FIBA, and NBA are sitting at the table to negotiate, to talk. This is an important step ahead. The communication was closed for a long time and now it’s open. And that’s the best point for a start," Garbajosa said.

"The best for the future is to work together. We saw in 20+ years that working in a different way is not good for our sport," the legendary player told the journal. "FIBA always tries to talk, to find common points, but it was difficult because you were trying to talk and no one is answering."

"But now the dialog is open. My wish is to go together respecting everybody’s competitions, values of every competition, team, player," Garbajosa thinks.

Several notable coaches, including Ettore Messina, Sarunas Jasikevicius, and Zeljko Obradovic, have recently expressed their thoughts about having to play too many games. Garbajosa notes that only the EuroLeague has increased the number of games during the last years.

"FIBA is trying to protect the players first, to not stretch competitions too much. Actually, one summer is free for the players now," the former player noted. "But there is another important player at the table, and that’s the National leagues. They are doing an extremely important effort."

"They are the base, where all the teams are competing, where the basketball in the countries – plus the national teams for sure – are developing the players," the Spanish Basketball Federation president continued. "We have to respect the national leagues."

"The year has 365 days. Do you really think there is no room to play national team games, national league games, and European competition games?" Garbajosa was adamant. "There are! We just need to find an agreement. And then the players would have better conditions to develop their careers."

The EuroLeague draws attention as one of the few closed leagues in Europe which tries to take an example of the NBA. Garbajosa disagrees that the NBA model should be followed in Europe. "I hear that the NBA is a closed league and it’s the best league in the world. It is not a closed league at all," he says.

"NBA has, first of all, a salary cap, which makes everyone move in the same range of budgets, and then they have a draft. And the team which is the worst in one season, in two years could be on the top," Garbajosa explained. "Anyone who wants to use the NBA as an example, to justify the idea that the Euroleague is successful if closed, is not saying the whole story."

We will see the day when EuroLeague players are in the national team windows? Garbajosa is hopeful.

"Our players want to play for the national team, but they want to play for their clubs also. We can’t put them in the situation to choose," Garbajosa elaborated. "They just want to play, to defend their national teams and clubs. I saw that the Greek players will play in this window, which is a good sign of collaboration. But if we put the calendar together, then the players can do whatever they want."

Show comments
Thank you for reporting a comment

Add comment

We have the right to remove comments which are offensive, contains abusive language, or violates other rules of the website