Jordi Bertomeu: “We Have Conversations With Athens”

With Maccabi Inducting one of the Euroleague’s all time greats Anthony Parker into the Maccabi Hall Of Fame, we at Team Scout had the chance to sit down with the President and CEO of the Euroleague for a short Q&A session:

Did you watch the Madrid OKC Game, what are your thoughts about it, do you think that the gap between Euroleague teams and NBA teams is getting smaller?

“I didn’t watch the game but I’m well aware of what happened, I think it’s clear that in the last years the gap is getting smaller, and it happens more often now that Euroleague teams can beat NBA teams, it’s also clear that we are playing these games at the beginning of the season so teams both from the Euroleague and from the NBA are still not in shape. And it’s even more evident not only because the EL teams beating NBA teams but also because we are seeing more and more European players are moving to the NBA, so it’s safe to say that the gap is indeed getting smaller. ”

Do you think that such results brings us any closer towards a vision of a combined Euroleague-NBA league?

“No I don’t think that in the short-medium terms it’s possible, of course it would be nice to have the opportunity to play on a more regular basis with NBA teams or even in some sort of a competition, but the calendar of then NBA is very complicated and as for now this issue makes it not possible for both sides to participate in such competition both Euroleague and NBA teams.”

Anthony Parker, one of all time Euroleague greats was just inducted to the Maccabi Hall of Fame, what do you think about his contribution to European basketball?

“Anthony helped us a lot especially because that he was playing for Maccabi when the Euroleague was born, so to have such a player with us gave us a standard of quality was simply amazing. We enjoyed the game when he was playing and having such a great personality with us was simply an advantage and we owe him a gratitude for what he has for basketball in and for the Euroleague in particular.”

Watching the competition getting better and better alongside the fan zones that are getting more enjoyable from year to year what does the Euroleague have instore for us?

“The level of the competition is getting better and that is thanks to the level of the clubs which is also getting better, and that’s because teams are investing in their rosters and they are doing the best in order to offer the best quality to the fans. And also from our side of the organization it’s our responsibility to deliver a good event, and the main focus is the fans, we are working for them, because without them it would make no sense. They are our main priority and therefor incorporating them into our activities is critical and fundamental, so it was very nice to see that in our fan zone in Alexander Platz in Berlin a million people came to enjoy.

The fact is that the F4 is becoming more and more global, this is what we need in terms of making this event a centerpiece of European basketball, and I think that the fans are always responding very positively so we are really proud to have this loyalty from them and we want to give them what they are expecting from us. They are our responsibility and it’s our duty to make them happy.”

As we know that there have been talks about Belgrade and Moscow being the cities expected to host the 2018 and 2019 final four, can you elaborate on the matter?

“We have very good conversations with Belgrade, with Moscow, with Athens and with other cities. It’s a matter of establishing a calendar that is convenient for the cities and for us, fortunately the Final Four is a tournament that many cities want to host, we hope that very soon we will be ready to announce the 2018 Final Four, but we still need to finish some conversations and then we will start working for the 2019”

What was your most favorite Final Four Magic moment, and as we know we had quite a few during the years?

“As a basketball fan what happened in Istanbul 2012 was really unique. I have great memories from the Final Four in Prague because we made a jump to a different level. Paris in 2010 was a similar kind of jump as well and also last year in Berlin, Milan was amazing for us because we worked in a very difficult environment and the result was excellent, from the sport point of view I think that Athens 2008 was amazing and we also had a good one in Prague, fortunately we had many result in the Final Four”

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