Those who think an NBA lockout in 2010-11 could be crazy should check out the situation in Greek pro basketball right now. After seeing the first week of action cancelled due to a player strike called by Greece’s player union PSAK, EΣAKE got underway last night as some of the bigger *teams* broke picket lines while PAOK management employed a unique if self-destructive solution to play ball as well.
Last night’s roundup of news goes something like the following.
PAOK hosted Panathinaikos, one of those teams whose players backed off, last night as planned. However, PAOK ran with an active roster of five: Marshall Rawle, Todor Gechevski, Justin Gray, Donnie McGrath and DeShawn Simms, i.e. the team’s entire complement of non-Greek players. Final score: Panathinaikos, 108-61, in what the national sporting news is calling a “parody” of Greek basketball.
Certainly as a result of these circumstances, PSAK president Lazaros Papadopoulos will be departing PAOK. According to Greece-based BasketNet, Papadopoulos reportedly knows that the strike is causing problems for the PAOK club, but that he wishes to stand by the strikers.
Olympiacos center Ioannis Bourousis has resigned his post as PSAK vice-president, as the Reds took the floor last night as well to handle short-handed Aris in Thessaloniki, 78-65.
Likewise, a Kavala squad patched together with “six foreigners and four teenagers” nevertheless destroyed a similarly-staffed Ilisiakos BC, 99-71, in (perhaps mercifully) an untelevised game.
Oh, and then there was the matter of riot police showing up at the PAOK game, apparently to chase away Greek players still on strike.
Talk Basket claims that “afraid of the boos by 200 fans in OAKA to arrest [PSAK] president Lazaros Papadopoulos, they instead waited for him at the airport with a fake accusation by a riot police member that he verbally and physically assaulted him in OAKA some hours ago.”
Opines The Hoop: “What happens next? All the possibilities are open to exploration at this stage. It only took one day to debunk all the ‘Greek icons’ like [Dimitris] Diamantidis, [Theo] Papaloukas and [Vassilis] Spanoulis. It also took only day to display the true bosses of the league. To them no other team matters.”