Covid-19 and the economic crisis brought in some different circumstances that will change the face of basketball in Europe. One of these major changes will be the focus on homegrown players, the most important thing at the moment in order to rebuild a sustainable basketball in every country.
Greece was always in the frontline of introducing local players on the court for 2 main reasons. First, they have a good basketball school that produced every year many talented players and second, they are very proud to stimulate their national sportsmen, giving them many minutes on the court. It is a healthy mentality and this is happening as well in other basketball countries like Lithuania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro.
Last days 2 related things happened in Greek basketball. Ifaistos Limnos and Ago Rethimno decided to voluntarily relegate from the first league due to lack of money. Then, probably as a consequence, the Union of Greek Professional Players asked for the decreasing of the number of foreign players in the domestic league. Instead of 6 to be 4 per team. I think reducing the number of foreigners is a good idea for Greek basketball because:
- it will create a real possibility for the local players to grow
- small teams could afford 4 foreigners, but 6 is too much for them, especially now because the budgets of many clubs are almost empty
- it is preferable to have fewer foreigners but of higher quality, than to have many foreigners of questionable quality. The case of Aris, PAOK or Panionios last season showed us how poor teams brought in 6 lower quality foreigners just to have 6! They played awful, being useless on the court in many games. Like many other foreigners, including here some of Olympiacos’ or PAO’s ones.
The focus on reducing the number of foreigners in Greece and everywhere in Europe is the solution in order to regain stability.
Image: Basketball Champions League