EuroLeague CEO Marshall Glickman suggested that expansion of the league is inevitable, and two groups based in Paris are showing interest in building EuroLeague teams.

Credit: Alfonso Cannavacciuolo/EuroLeague Basketball via GettyImages
Credit Alfonso Cannavacciuolo/EuroLeague Basketball via GettyImages

It's been four months since the new leadership of the EuroLeague took over, and some changes may be on the horizon.

Free throws this season

Points made: 13,7
Accuracy: 77,2%
Place in standings: 10
Record max: 22
Record min: 1
Most made FTs: Nemanja Nedovic

In an exclusive interview with BasketNews, CEO Marshall Glickman mentioned a few modifications that will likely occur in the upcoming seasons.

"It goes hand in hand with the expansion," Glickman said.

Six of the 18 teams in the EuroLeague, including AS Monaco, Crvena Zvezda Meridianbet Belgrade, Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade, Valencia Basket, Virtus Segafredo Bologna, and ALBA Berlin, do not have a guaranteed spot in the competition.

When considering potential expansion teams, Glickman identified the top markets that are being considered for a long-term spot in the EuroLeague.

"We have two credible, legitimate parties right now in Paris that want a EuroLeague team in Paris. The existing Paris Basketball ownership group wants to be a EuroLeague team. And there's another group out there that wants to be a EuroLeague team. And I'll just leave it like that for now," he said.

According to Glickman, "the London Lions want to be a EuroLeague team as soon as possible."

He confirmed Monaco is working on a new arena project to become a permanent participant in the league. EuroLeague CEO also mentioned Crvena Zvezda, Partizan, Virtus Bologna, and Valencia, which will soon play in a brand new arena, as clubs that show a strong desire to play in the competition consistently.

Regarding the Dubai market, Glickman mentioned they're "still talking whether they can work out a deal that makes sense for everybody."

"Kind of hard to run a business when you're in one year and out next year. But we have to be an open league to some extent, so the EuroCup champion gets promoted. I do think that expansion, meaning more teams, is inevitable," he confirmed on BasketNews Talks. "More teams mean more games. But there are only so many days in the year, and FIBA wants two windows. Domestic leagues play playoffs, and there are Cup competitions. Probably, going to conferences at some point is going to be necessary."

According to EuroLeague CEO, the league is considering expanding the number of teams that play in the postseason and possibly implementing a play-in system similar to the NBA's.

"I'm very much in favor of playing a play-in system. I happen to like the NBA system because if you're a bottom club, you need to win twice. The other clubs only need to win once. I think that's cool. It adds drama," he said with a smile.

He also supported the idea of a EuroLeague All-Star game: "I would like to see the All-Star game. I really do. I think we should have it in the right market."

Additionally, the league is exploring opportunities to play regular season games outside the current EuroLeague cities.

"Maybe it's New York City. Maybe it's Tokyo. Maybe it's Mumbai. It could be in a lot of places," Glickman teased.

"But I think that's going to help to get the word out about the quality and intensity of our game. This whole slogan we're using, that 'Every game matters,' I think is really accurate. It's one of the best slogans I've heard in sports. It's like every game is the Super Bowl. It's like, 'Whoa, this is it, man!' So I love that about our sport. And that's something that we have [as] an advantage. That's something different. In the NBA, I would say every game doesn't necessarily matter, or it doesn't matter as much," he said with a smile.

Glickman is firmly in favor of keeping the Final Four as the ultimate deciding event of the season.

"Oh, no, I like the Final Four a lot. I think it's cool," Glickman stated.

"Obviously, I come from the States. The NCAA Final Four and single elimination allow a Cinderella to come through. The one game is everything, and I think that's kind of nice. I think people are comfortable with it," CEO expanded.

"I know some people like to change it. But the issue is the calendar. At the end of the day, even if we want to lose the Final Four and go to the playoffs, it comes down to the fact that there aren't so many days. The Final Four is a compact way to determine who's going to be the champion. And from year to year, I like that drama," Glickman concluded.

Glickman acknowledged that certain changes to the league structure would need the cooperation of FIBA.

The EuroLeague team is currently developing potential solutions to present to FIBA representatives during an upcoming meeting, which is expected to take place in March.

"I think we will have to take a look at the format. I think we're going to have to be creative about it," Glickman said on BasketNews Talks. "It's really tough on the players to have to be playing on Thursday night somewhere and then have to travel back to their home market to play on a weekend. And they may have to go back on the road the next day. That's tough, and I'd like to find a solution to that."

"It's not easy, but my friend Diego across the hall has some pretty good ideas around this, and we're working on a whole range of possible solutions. And then we'll start talking to FIBA again, I think, in March, and see how they feel and what their reaction is to different ideas," Glickman continued.

A month ago, Glickman and Bodiroga had an informal meeting with representatives from FIBA in Brussels.

Both sides are now working on a more specific agenda to discuss potential changes.

"Now we're putting together a committee that is going to include representation from four of our clubs, myself, Dejan (Bodiroga), and other people internally here. And we're putting ideas together that we would like to talk to them about. But we're not going to come in with the attitude of, 'It's this way or that way.' We don't want to come in with hard proposals," Glickman admitted. "We want to come in with ideas. And hopefully, they'll bring ideas. And maybe here's a window that we can make work. I don't know yet. Maybe there are two windows. Maybe there are no windows. I think it depends. There are so many factors, and it's admittedly complicated."

Glickman reassured that they are positively approaching the negotiations, taking into consideration the importance of national team basketball and not undermining domestic competitions.

"The bottom line with FIBA is we would like to collaborate and coexist in a friendly, cooperative way. We respect the idea that our players should have the opportunity to play for their countries and in national competitions. But it's complicated. We also have a business to run, so we have to look out for our business interests. But we're also interested in looking out for the interests of the domestic leagues and FIBA as well," Glickman concluded.

Check out the entire BasketNews Talks conversation with Marshall Glickman, which includes insights from ULEB president Tomas Van Den Spiegel, who stated that EuroLeague is 'killing basketball.'

Also, learn about other changes and innovations the new leadership plans to implement and how they aim to re-establish a partnership with the NBA:

Audio interview:

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