Big Doings in Europe

A couple of days ago, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress conducted a fascinating interview with Manos Manouselis, who is an assistant coach for Josh Childress' new European team, Olympiacos.

There is a lot of talk about how Childress wound up at Olympiacos.

And then there is some intrigue, about the future of European basketball.

Quoting Manouselis:

The owners of Olympiacos, Panagiotis and George Angelopoulos, are one of the most financially strong ownership groups in all of sports. ...

We understand that the business model for basketball in Europe is different from the NBA, but there are many things our owners, Panagiotis and George Angelopoulos, are trying to do to improve our model. We have a new arena that we are planning for the 2011 season that will significantly improve revenue, as well as many other ideas to improve revenue streams.

People forget that the NBA was not very profitable before the David Stern era and look at them now...and actually basketball is the 3rd sport in the USA after football and baseball. I have family in the States so I have personally seen this evolution since the early 80's. Is European basketball presently now what the NBA was in the early 80's? Maybe. If that is true there should be tremendous business upside.

Actually, since the Josh Childress signing team sponsorship request are at an all time high, even though that was not our intent. I would never bet against our owners when it comes to getting a monetary return on their investment.

Then read this last part, which drove this whole blog post:

They have a long term plan that everyone will have to wait to see unfold, and that plan does not just include Olympiacos, but rather European basketball as a whole.

So we have some deep-pocketed owners, building a new stadium, and thinking big, secretive, long-term things about basketball in Europe.

I'll bet any amount that that new stadium they're working on will conform to NBA guidelines for what makes a profitable stadium. Even if you plan to compete against the NBA ... at a time when David Stern has talked about European expansion, and there is all kinds of talk about how London and Berlin have "NBA-ready" stadiums, how could you not consider the NBA when spending on a big new building in Europe?

This is just one of a thousand suggestions over the last few years that perhaps one day before too long the NBA may expand to Europe (despite apparent fan apprehension). Then the Hawks might get to avenge their loss of Childress by knocking Olympiacos out of the playoffs.