I realize that is a rather provocative title so let me explain before the hate mail starts flooding in haha. Of course, I am sure we can all agree that the best players in the world play in the NBA. There are bench players in the NBA that would be top players on most European teams. Some of the top Euroleague players have either never made it to the NBA, never stuck around too long, or are on the backside of their careers. That being said, I still hold the opinion that the Euroleague is the better basketball…until the NBA playoffs start. Hear me out.
In the NBA, they play 82 regular-season games before the playoffs start. The teams in the Euroleague could play 34 regular-season Euroleague games, and a maximum of 7 additional games if they reach the Final Four. Of course, they must also play in their domestic league games as well. The NBA regular season honestly does not mean too much besides the playoff seedlings, so these days players take games off due to “load management”. Whereas, in the Euroleague, teams still take the regular season seriously because they all want to move on to the playoffs. Each game is incredibly important. Load management is almost non-existent except for teams with huge budgets such as Bayern Munich which has a huge roster with 18 players. They can rotate players for Euroleague games and the domestic league games. That means they are sitting 6 full-time professional players each game. Other teams without such a budget must play their top players all the time.
Once the playoffs start in the NBA, the quality and intensity of the basketball games rise incredibly. In the Euroleague, the quality and passion are constant because every game matters. That for me is the difference. Because each game is important, the fans are also more passionate, the players are giving everything and not taking possession or two off. I think we can all agree that the “product” of the NBA is unmatched, but the Euroleague regular season games are more exciting. It is almost as if the passion of March madness college games has been transported to each Euroleague game. Once the playoffs begin in the Euroleague, the quality also rises to rival what the NBA produces. If you don’t believe me, be a student of the game and judge for yourself.
Thank you for taking the time to read my words!