Dear Santa Claus,
First of all, thank you for existing. Because during such a crisis as this, I’ve been worrying that Christmas might also be reserved for the Chapter 11 treatment. But you’re not still dead, maybe you’re searching for money like General Motors and Chrysler are (oops…maybe you’re healthier, up there in Lapland). I’m writing you this letter in the hopes you’ll satisfy my wishes. I think I won’t pretend too much: We are talking about basketball here. This is my list:
• 24 elite teams in the Euroleague. I can’t see Panionios or Le Mans playing Europe’s most important competition. The best with the best: That’s my opinion. And Ljubljana, Nancy, Zalgiris getting 20 or more points on the road? Mentality, people. They don’t have enough to face the Euroleague, so they can stay in the Eurocup, full stop. So, dear Santa Claus, if you would carry to me an Euroleague reserved for Italian, Spanish, Greek, some Russian and Turkish teams, I’d be the happiest boy you’ve ever pleased! A recommendation: Don’t say anything to Patrick Baumann; call only Jordi Bertomeu to hear what he says about this idea.
• Less perimeter-oriented basketball. My basketball is not catch-and-shoot style, it’s not target practice. I want hesitations, spin moves, and mid-range plays back! I would see big men able to score back to the basket, getting the ball on the low post, scoring tap-ins and fighting for rebounds. I’m bored to see power forwards and centers who shoot only beyond the arc. Should I be pleased to have Ksistof Lavrinovic here in Siena? OK, you win there. But I’d be satisfied if you equipped Montepaschi with a Greg Oden-like player: That way I’d be sure of the European title. Cheers.
• Endless changes in the NIKEID Fantasy Challenge.
• New and better arenas – no more gyms. Build them on your own, ’cause my feeling is that the economic crisis could stop owners from investing a few euros in new palaces, despite Bertomeu and his calls for 9000 seats per squad.
• CSKA’s cheerleaders on every court.
• Responsible agents who are honest in managing contracts and do the best they can for their clients, rather than themselves. Brandon Jennings’ case should teach us something, because with the season going on, the thought that B.J. would develop his skills much more in the NCAA instead on the Lottomatica’s pine consistently increases. Two reasons: the great combo-guard class (UNC’s Ty Lawson, Gonzaga’s Jeremy Pargo, Davidson’s Stephen Curry, UCLA’s Darren Collison, Memphis’ Tyreke Evans, Kansas’ Sherron Collins) we are now admiring in college basketball, and the resignation of Jasmin Repesa. If a 19-year-old in his first experience outside the US, has two or three different coaches during the season, well, you add further confusion to your mind
• A team for Dimitris Itoudis: Zelimir Obradovic can’t stand his unstoppable talking anymore.
That’s all. Have I made requests you can’t attend to? OK then, give me the latest Air Jordans. But please, pledge yourself to help people keep their jobs, so they might forget all their problems at least while watching a basketball game.