« There are too many matches »

While the Euroleague has formed a semi-closed league since the 2016-2017 season and FIBA ​​has established international mid-season windows, the inflation of the European basketball calendar worries Zeljko Obradovic, who calls for a reform.

Zeljko Obradovic is a powerful voice in European basketball. The coach of Partizan Belgrade, who got the better of Boulogne-Levallois in the Eurocup at the beginning of December, has a record that speaks for him with nine Euroleague titles with five different clubs but also four Olympic, world or continental medals. at the head of Yugoslavia then of Serbia. In other words, when Zeljko Obradovic gives his opinion, he deserves to be listened to and at the turn of an interview recently granted on a daily basis The team, the Serbian technician returned to the European basketball calendar and did not mince his words.  » There are too many matches, between international windows and clubs, he confided. For the players, it is a source of stress. “Indeed, while the clubs engaged in the Euroleague must play 34 regular season games and then the play-offs, they remain in contention in their national championships with as many if not more matches to play.

Obradovic urges FIBA, Euroleague to discuss schedule

If he says he is « proud » that his players are leaving for selection, Zeljko Obradovic concedes that « they came back mentally tired » and that this plays on the level of performance of his training. In order to find a solution, 61-year-old coach calls on FIBA ​​and Euroleague to put aside their differences and « discuss schedule, number of teams ». But beyond that, the Partizan Belgrade coach is pushing forward with an idea that could cause controversy.  » Closed League teams must only enter the play-offs of their national championships, so that sponsors and TVs can meet there, ”he says. In his eyes, the calendar of European clubs should be articulated with six months of Euroleague, two months devoted to the play-offs of the national championships but also two months devoted to the national selections. But, above all, Zeljko Obradovic calls for leaving « two months of rest for the players », who are very strained by a calendar which is not infinitely extendable. It remains to be seen whether this appeal will be heard or go unheeded.

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