The EuroLeague is considering a future with no Russian teams in the wake of the nation’s invasion of Ukraine, according to EuroHoops. League CEO Jordi Bertomeu said in a radio interview with Serbia’s “Maxbet” that the topic will be addressed after the season ends.
“It is too early to talk about that, we need to see what the situation will be like,” Bertomeu said. “It will be clearer after the Final Four. We see what the circumstances will be like. If it stays as it is now, it will be very difficult for Russian clubs to return. We will suggest some things to the club.”
Last month, the league suspended its three Russian squads — CSKA Moscow, Zenit Saint Petersburg, UNICS Kazan — for the remainder of the season. They were also banned from all European competitions and the games they have already played won’t count in the league’s final standings. Zenit St. Petersburg and UNICS Kazan have single-season EuroLeague licenses, but the situation may be more complex with CSKA Moscow, which has a longer commitment with a multi-year A license.
Here’s more from around the basketball world:
- Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wants to see Team USA go back to using college players in international competitions, per Steve Bulpett of Heavy. Some NBA players have said that playing for the national team requires too much of a commitment because it involves the Olympics and the World Cup as well as qualifying tournaments for both events. “I would start our own World Cup and get us out of the Olympics for players over 21,” Cuban said.
- Players and media members are both uncomfortable with having contract values affected by All-NBA voting, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. A provision in the 2017 CBA makes players who sign max contracts eligible for a larger share of the salary cap if they’re on two all-NBA teams in the final three years of their rookie contracts or if they just earn a spot in their fourth season. That means the voting can be worth millions of dollars. “There’s no criteria set for the media, for the voters, who they should vote for,” Celtics star Jayson Tatum said on J.J. Redick’s podcast earlier this year. “It’s all opinion-based. There’s no ‘he should have to play this many games or make the playoffs or average this many points.’ It’s all like, ‘Well, I like this guy a little bit more,’ or certain things like that. There’s just too much on the line for that.”
- Perimeter players such as Marcus Smart and Mikal Bridges want more consideration in Defensive Player of the Year voting, states Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Centers have won the award in 25 of its 39 years.