Olympiacos and Pinheiros will shortly play the second leg of the Intercontinental Cup. Emmet Ryan explains that while it’s great to see such an event take place, it brings with it the most moronic of debates.
I blame America. Well no, that’s unfair. I’m blame marketing and these marketers happen to be based in America. Well even that’s not entirely accurate as the marketers worth blaming are all very dead. Dust in the wind now. Organised sports as we know it are little over a century old. When professional sports started growing in the United States, those pushing them needed to go beyond national champions as that phrase was associated with college teams. Seeing as no-one else really played basketball, American football, or baseball at the time, it made sense to crown the kings as world champions.
While the latter two are still dominated almost exclusively on a professional level by the United States, the sheer weight of basketball leagues across the world leads to the NBA champion being called the ‘world’ champions a little awkward. Yes, the Miami Heat are the best basketball team in the world outside of national teams. It’s hard to argue that a single team from outside of the 30 NBA franchises would crack the 30 best rosters in the game but believe me there are those that will make the case. That’s fine the problem is the haters. Whenever anyone tries to push Euroleague beyond its own fine merits in our comments section, there is always someone there basically out to bully them for having an opinion. I have a piece of advice for those on both sides.
Let. It. Go.
There is one thing to be grateful for with the Intercontinental Cup. We get to see a Euroleague team play a Liga SudAmericana team twice. Superb. That’s all I really want, it’s great to see some crossover. Just remember what this weekend is actually about. It’s the weekend the bulk of Europe’s leagues return. I don’t care if they aren’t the best in the world, you don’t have to be the best to entertain and engage. There is no line where if you are not the best it means you suck. If that were the case I wouldn’t have spent my formative years going to watch UCD’s soccer team, who by elite definitions are a team that sucks in a league that sucks. I wouldn’t have got up early on the Sunday of the Euroleague Final Four back in May to watch the NIJT final because who wants to watch a bunch of kids if I had that attitude.
So feel free to call Olympiacos world champions after today or not. It doesn’t really matter. The ABA is back. The LKL is back. The Bundesliga is back. I’m happy. Basketball is back. Enjoy the games.