The masses (well, a few of you anyway) have weighed in and i’ve tossed around a few considerations as to my favorite Euroleague team since opened for discussion here at BallinEurope.com and over at Facebook last week.
As you no doubt have noticed, it’s Partizan. The arguments pro and con were weighed, but most impressive was the sales pitch delivered on behalf of the Serbian team.
Longtime BallinEurope loyalist UHG80 noted Partizan’s tradition, mid-range budget, excellent fanbase (well evidenced by response to my posts) and good chance at the Final 16 – all even though he’s “pretty much neutral”! Plus, UHG80 also mentioned one of this b-ball fan’s favorite words, “Divac”; this ultimately may have put Partizan over the top for my heart.
Stefiva, apparently also not a Partizan fan as her comment went without mention of such, described getting in with Partizan as tantamount to “cheering for Golden State Warriors only much more satisfying.” Big plus points there.
Finally, Facebook user Ivan Wani Molerovic from within the hardcore fanbase declared, “Let die everyone who don’t love PARTIZAN … Partizan iz more than a club, it’s our life, hope and biggest love … Forever together…” All right, then, that’s settled.
Runners-up for this fan’s attention included:
• Maccabi Tel Aviv. I loved the display on Maccabi history at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Massachusetts this summer and damn, you gotta dig that yellow-and-blue color scheme. Plus, they do have a killer website in English, great fans, and what NBA fan could easily resist a chance to cheer for Carlos Arroyo and Marcus Fizer?
• Lottomatica Roma. One of this traveler’s favorite cities in the world, fandom would surely give me a great excuse to visit la Città Eterna again, no? Figure in Brandon Jennings with those sweet deep red unis and Roma was tough to pass up. But surely losing Jennings and probably missing the Top 16 in 2010 will suck, and who wants to be around for that?
• Montepaschi Siena. Francesco Cappelletti, BallinEurope’s man in Italy, sent me an email which read, “choose Montepaschi! Not only because it is my team, but also because they probably play the best European basketball after CSKA Moscow, and because Italian basketball was born in Siena in 1871!” Tobias himself also pointed out that Siena is not affiliated with any football club, surely a rarity in Italy. It was tough to pass on these guys, particularly since their play in Euroleague 2007/2008 was so enjoyable, but if I’m siding with an Italian team, it would be Roma.
• Le Mans. Since I’m residing in Hungary, a country with apparently little hope of improving its basketball program within the next 137 years, Le Mans would probably be the closest thing i have to a home team, less than 150 km from the family’s ancestral homeland of Poitou-Charentes. Unfortunately for Le Mans’ hopes, i dithered on this decision until last week, meaning Le Mans had plenty of time to sink in the Euroleague standings and in the race for my Devotion.
Despite these worthy contenders, however, Partizan it is – and what a time to join, eh? Right on the eve of hosting the monsters from Moscow; we’ll see about that awesome home crowd. Go black and white!