The sydios of Greek basketball
A country that has the current NBA MVP, which has won six of the 19 editions of the Euroleague, which has a team that always aspires to a medal in major events, which fills halls and who lives in a basketball union. All these tracks perfectly define what is today the sport of the basket in Greece.
The two biggest clubs in history are in a totally surreal moment. Panathinaikos, the team with the largest track record in the country, has decided to get out of the Euroleague the hard way. Its owner can not stand the president of the competition, the Spanish Jordi Bertomeu, and has asked to lose his fixed place – agreed until 2025 – to take your team to another competition. Giannakopoulos, the millionaire owner of the team, has put it up for sale at the same time to test the Euroleague’s ability to bring in investors. Whoever pays 25 million euros will get a club that has 37 Greek leagues and six Euroleagues in its windows.
But if the panathinaikos crawl seems little what to say about his eternal rival, Olympiakos. The club dropped last year to the Greek Greek Second Division after not showing up for a play-offs against Panathinaikos. The team did this as an act of protest for not agreeing with the designated referees, who previously harmed him in the Copa del Rey. The club has played this season in the silver division with the youth squad, while at the same time playing with players premium the Euroleague. The experiment was going well until the coronavirus appeared on the scene, canceled the competitions and prevented his promotion to the top division.
At the same time, the two mythical teams of Thessaloniki –The true cradle of Greek basketball– they have seen as a finger It has saved them from a historical catastrophe. Aris and PAOK were in relegation positions when the coronavirus canceled the season and President Giorgos Vassilakopoulos –famous for recently calling Pau Gasol “retired”– He decided that he was not going to run out of two more historical ones saving them by finger. «I already regretted the descent of Olympiakos, so that now Aris and PAOK left with him»He excused himself.
With everything turned upside down, Barça have taken advantage of the situation to get Panathinaikos star Nick Calathes at a bargain price. The culé club was the first to fish in a place full of talents, but with lousy managers. What players of the stature of Antetokounmpo, Sloukas, Koufos or Bourousis have had to leave To be recognized economically and basketball, he speaks very badly of how things are going in the Hellenic country.
The recent tantrum of Panathinaikos is one more episode to a soap opera which is going to end up turning basketball from that country into something secondary. With delocalized stars, with teams in the disintegration phase and with flawed decisions, Who is going to take these Greeks seriously?