World Club champions BasketballI am as excited to see this year’s NBA finals (I am still going with Utah vs. Boston), as I am excited to see the Euroleague final four in Madrid this weekend (which will be CSKA vs. Siena – at least I think so).

It is just a different style of basketball – entertaining – and everybody who tells me he does not like entertaining things is probably not telling the truth, right?

Although there is one thing about the NBA I don’t like: The winner of the NBA finals calls himself the World Champion of Basketball, which is totally wrong unless you think the United States plus Canada is the world. I am not sure about that.

It looks like FIBA and the NBA weren’t so sure about it either, and did something many Europeans have been dreaming about for years: a tournament where the best clubs of the world will play each other – like a world champions league.

Our friend Maku, who wrote many articles about Final Four team Tau Vitoria pointed out that FIBA just released this:

The Central Board approved the creation of the FIBA World Club Championship in 2009, a new competition that will feature eight of the very best clubs in the world, subject to finding an appropriate host city.

The participating clubs will be the organiser, one representative from Africa, two from the Americas, one from Asia, two from Europe and one from Oceania. The Zone club champions and/or runners-up in each of the continental championships will be invited to participate.

The 1st FIBA World Club Championship will be played over a five-day period in the third week of October 2009 and bidding for host cities will be issued in June 2008.

The first question, of course, will be if this is a tournament in which each team can and will give their best to say they are the true world champions. My answer: They could. The NBA as well as the Euroleague are at the end of their preparation stage – some of them already playing in their domestic leagues.

One thing I am still curious about: the rules! As we told you over the past few days, we will have rule changes in Europe but not before 2010 – so what’s going to happen at this first tournament in 2009?