EuroLeague Basketball has presented a proposed calendar that aims to accommodate the so-called ‘FIBA windows’ that aim to globalize Basketball by introducing international qualifying games for the World Cup and Olympics.
The proposal was presented to FIBA, clubs, domestic leagues, players, officials, and coaches on September 21. EuroLeague Basketball says the plan reflects its understanding of the nature of basketball globalization and the importance of international Basketball. The organization believes the proposal can create harmony between all governing bodies by making all players available for national teams when needed.
Last month, there was doubt whether the EuroLeague would comply with FIBA windows. The sports governing body has set aside windows in November, February, and July for international qualifying games. However, all of these windows clash with the NBA, and two of them with EuroLeague. November and February are heavily scheduled in global Basketball’s two biggest leagues, while the NBA Free Agency is underway in July. It was believed both the NBA and EuroLeague would not bend for FIBA, meaning the best players in the world would be missing from the qualifying games.
Whether the NBA makes changes remains to be seen, but EuroLeague Basketball is at least working with FIBA. In a statement, the organization said the proposal attempts to make all parties happy:
“The proposal reflects the long-standing position of Euroleague Basketball and its clubs that national teams are one of the cornerstones for the promotion and growth of basketball. Euroleague Basketball’s calendar proposal emphasizes the importance of having the best players participating with their national teams in the FIBA Qualifiers, FIBA EuroBasket, FIBA Basketball World Cup and Summer Olympic Games whilst respecting the traditional clubs competitions calendar, and opens the door for Euroleague Basketball’s clubs competition calendar to be adjusted in its start dates, end dates and preparation periods to better accommodate national teams’ games and to reach a consensus between all different bodies. ECA had already sent a similar counter-proposal to FIBA on 23rd April 2012 with the aim of reaching a common agreement; unfortunately, no response has been received to date.”
The proposal is based on the following principles:
1. National Federations need their National Team to have the best players available for all official games
2. National Federations need their National Team to play official qualification games on home soil
3. National Team calendar should occupy four weeks per season, in addition to a two-week preparation period
4. Club calendar should occupy thirty-eight weeks per season
5. Professional basketball players need at least four weeks of complete rest from official activity per season.
Euroleague Basketball and its clubs are open and willing to have a profound debate amongst all basketball stakeholders with the objective of reaching a long-term agreement that is beneficial to all parties and to the growth of the sport of basketball at all levels.