There is no denying that basketball in Europe is a thriving sport, but it is equally true that the US still leads the way in terms of fan-base, financial muscle and career prestige. But one man who is keen to remind his fellow Americans that they’re not necessarily having it all their way is one of their own: Boston Celtics coach, Brad Stevens.
Stevens is certainly well-placed to comment on the differences between the two styles of basketball after leading his Celtics side on a pre-season tour of Southern Europe earlier in the year. After fixtures against Real Madrid in Spain and Olimpia Milano of Italy, he heaped praise on his European counterparts, describing the game played on the continent as “beautiful” and “selfless”.
With less of the ego-plays that are so common-place in the NBA, where stars seem to be in constant competition against even players on their own team to impress sponsors, appease fans and ensure that journalists focus column inches on them in a bid to raise their own profile, the game has flourished and remains somehow purer.
Admitting that his side were exposed at times against such a radically different style of play, he has even suggested that the NBA have started taking lessons from European Leagues. With a number of recent NBA champions (the Spurs, the Warriors, the Heat and the Mavericks) all successfully adopting a ‘pace and space’ style of play that is more focused on reads than calls, it seems that the master has somehow become the student in many respects.
That said, the majority of the money in the sport is concentrated within the NBA, and European players still tend to see the USA as the Promised Land of basketball. On the back of an incredibly competitive league, America sees $400 billion gambled on professional sports (around 2% of the nation’s overall economy) each year – and with that much money in the game, the Europeans are going to continue breaking their backs to get there.
too, and you can take advantage of this trend at Betway, whose website – accessible from your phone, PC or tablet – will give you the opportunity to keep up with live streaming and in-play betting, as well as offering generous joining bonuses for new members.
Why not take it out for a spin this week by betting on Stevens’ Celtics to triumph over the Atlanta Hawks in Georgia on Wednesday? The Celtics are currently 7/5 to win by any margin, or 20/1 to win by more than 21 points – not such a crazy bet considering the relative form of the two sides in question.
With such a forward-thinking coach, the Celtics are well-placed to take advantage of playing in the ‘YouTube Generation’ (by watching games or highlights online, you can scout players and research tactics with just the click of a button) – so why don’t you do the same by getting up to speed and then put your new-found knowledge to the test with a tasty wager?