EuroBasket 2022 has just ended and, as usual, it caught the attention of many professional basketball fans in the United States and NBA executives who observe European Basketball and its stars.
It’s no news that the level of basketball has been constantly increasing, with countries like France, Spain and Greece reaching degrees of professionalism and strength comparable (if not higher in some cases) to the NBA.
After this year’s EuroBasket, quite a few players have been publicly outspoken as to how European basketball may be superior in terms of athlete’s development and teamwork,that sometimes, even having a limited number of high-profile players, they are able to equally confront a US National Team for example.
Antetokounmpo recently said that there has been a growing number of players who see EuroBasket as a way to better prepare for the NBA season and he added:
"The game in Europe is way harder than the game in the NBA," and I don't want to disrespect the NBA, individual talent is obviously higher in the NBA and distinctive, but team games seem to be of a higher level in Europe. Players pick you up full court, double-team you, they start from zone and then go man-to-man at the last second, they double-team you in the post, there's no lanes to drive, they're more physical... playing in Europe better prepares me for the NBA. There is less space on court, and you simply must do more.
Luka Doncic has been voicing exactly the same opinion since his rookie years, saying that technical advantages in European basketball grow collectively, that is, different than in the NBA, whose results most of the time are based on the talent of individual players and therefore, down the road, international competitions will become even harder for US national teams. It’s interesting to see that this is exactly what has been happening. At least since 2014, every game the US has against a European team, when all talents are present, it’s always a close game, like France X USA in the last Olympics.
Here is the full interview of Antetokounmpo:
Giannis explains why "the game in Europe is harder than the NBA" even though "the talent in the NBA is way higher." pic.twitter.com/curvd2FIuK— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) September 26, 2022