The rumor first popped up a couple of days ago on Talk Basket and an intriguing bit of gossip it is, too. According to that website, the Hellenic Basketball Federation (EOK) and former FIBA Europe president George Vassilakopoulos are advancing the idea of a Mediterranean basketball league which would include teams from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Serbia, and Turkey.
This is an excellent idea indeed in BallinEurope’s opinion, for, as Talk Basket points out, most of the domestic leagues in the above-listed nations are dominated year in and year out by a select team or two. We’re talking perennial championship teams like Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, Efes Pilsen, Fenerbahçe Ülker, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Partizan Belgrade, Montepaschi Siena and Apoel Nicosia: Franchises which would appear to have evolved beyond fair competition in their leagues.
Unfortunately, this story is thus far highly unsubstantiated beyond some shaky forum mutterings. No reportage on the prospective Mediterranean Basketball Association has been printed on the websites of the Greek Basketball Federation, the Greek League (which under the theoretical plan would shed altogether four top-division teams that would be devoted full-time to MBA play), or Greek-language sports media site Sport.gr.
Just in case you were wondering, the MediterraneanLeague.com domain name is already taken and cleverly redirects surfers to SportVideo.gr.
Of course it’s totally possible that Talk Basket has a clean scoop on this story: The folks there have bagged some big headlines previously. For the present, however, BiE readers would be prudent to take this story with a grain of salt or two – after all, this league might be too logical, too rational, too exciting … and maybe even a bit too competitive for some of these perpetual runaway championship clubs…?
If you hear/read anything on the MBA, please give BiE a shout.