LILLE, France -- EuroBasket 2015 has come to an end. And with only the FIBA Asia Championships left this summer, the focus of international basketball now shifts to next summer and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
But here's a few final notes and quotes from a memorable few weeks in France and elsewhere.
EuroBasket All-Tournament Team
Deviating from the official FIBA All-Star Five that had some positional voting glitches, here's my supreme quintet.
Guards: One of France's backcourt deserves a spot, but it's definitely not Tony Parker. Nando de Colo had an outstanding tournament at both ends of the floor, rounding it off with a game-high 20 points as the hosts claimed the bronze medal Sunday with an 81-68 victory over Serbia. Although he got buried in San Antonio behind his compatriot and Patty Mills, de Colo plans to take another look at the NBA once his deal with CSKA Moscow expires next year. "I will see what happens," he said.
The other pick is less obvious with Czech playmaker Tomas Satoransky and Spain's two Sergios, Llull and Rodriguez, stepping up here, and Dennis Schroder a bright spot amid Germany's first-round exit in Berlin. But let's go for Serbia's Mr. Reliable, Milos Teodosic, despite a 0-for-9 horror in their bronze medal loss to the French.
Forwards: For sheer consistency, Danilo Gallinari averaged 17.9 points per game and was clutch in Italy's vital wins over Spain, Germany and the Czechs. While Lithuania's Jonas Maciulas had his hot spots, Czech big Jan Vesely notched a mammoth 19.3 points and 9.1 rebounds to underline the potential the NBA once saw in him.
Center: Sorry, Jonas. While Valanciunas was the standout among Lithuania's lineup of bump-and-grinders, and Rudy Gobert's efforts for France (14 points and 14 rebounds in the playoff for third place) should have Jazz fans super-psyched, Pau Gasol single-handedly dragged Spain to the final with an historic run.
MVP: Gasol, by a country mile. The Chicago Bulls forward, standing tall in the middle, ended with averages of 25.6 points and 8.4 rebounds. It's the third time he's been the leading scorer of these championships. He may be 35 but he has rarely looked better.
Biggest surprise: Other than Spain's unexpected revival, you have to enjoy the potential of the Czechs, built around a solid developmental system that could see them move into Europe's elite over the next decade.
Biggest disappointment: Croatia has talent in abundance. But boy, were they less than the sum of their parts in not advancing past the Round of 16. A culture of under-performance has set in since the glory days of Toni Kukoc and Drazen Petrovic. Will it ever recover?
Ones to watch: Satoransky, expected to come to the Washington Wizards next summer after being chosen 32nd in the 2012 NBA draft, has really looked a composed presence handling the ball and at 23, he has ample room to improve.
Turkey's Osman impresses
Looking a little further ahead, it was impressive the way Turkey's small forward Cedi Osman wasn't overwhelmed by getting handed a regular start at the age of 20. He averaged 12.7 points, just a year removed becoming the MVP of the European Under-20 Championship.
With his NBA rights belonging to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Osman is still a work in progress.
"Osman's a good long-term prospect," ESPN's international analyst Fran Fraschilla said. "He won't really be physically mature for another three or four more years. But he's 6-foot-8 and can play three perimeter positions."
Turkey ended up missing the quarterfinals, but Osman, who told ESPN.com he likens his game to Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, soaked up the opportunities.
"I learned a lot of things here in this tournament," he said. "I think I can improve how I run the pick and roll. Before, I did it. But here, I got more experience of it."
Cleveland will be happy to let him season a little more overseas where he remains under contract at Turkish League power Efes Istanbul. But Osman is already thinking about the chance to link up with LeBron James.
"It will be a great day for me," he said. "That's my dream, to play with him. I think I will be the happiest man in the world if I do that. During the playoffs, I watched all their games. I liked what I saw."
One of the more intriguing suggestions during the past fortnight came from Real Madrid's president Florentino Perez, who has claimed he is ready to approach NBA commissioner Adam Silver with a proposal to move the cash-rich club into the NBA.
Real, which plays the Boston Celtics in preseason next month, has one of the largest basketball budgets in Europe at around $12 million per season. That would, of course, need a huge increase, and probably some advances in the long-talked about idea of a European Division of the NBA. But the head of FIBA, Patrick Baumann, is not inclined to stand in Perez's way, even if it would be a huge blow to his plans for upgrading the current Euroleague.
"This is not an uncommon view from a club that invests a lot into basketball with relatively little return at this stage," Baumann told ESPN.com. "The NBA gives a certain credibility that you can invest and over time you can get a better return than today. And you're aligning with the best brand equity that exists."
Jonas Valanciunas has had a whale of a time as the idol of Lithuania's crazy, passionate endearing fans, despite a relatively quiet showing in the final. And by all accounts, the Toronto Raptors center is happy to return the favor when he's gets back to his homeland, where he has been a major star since the age of 19.
Being an A-Lister is no big deal, he says.
"I just live my life. I enjoy my family, my kid. I'm normal," Valanciunas said. "I can walk down the street. If someone wants an autograph or a picture, why not? If they ask nicely."
Valanciunas agreed to a contract extension with the Raptors which ESPN's Marc Stein reports is worth $64 million over four years. But it doesn't kick in until 2016, meaning Big JV is still showing some rookie restraint, despite a fondness for cars. "I didn't get the money yet," he said. "I'm not planning to spend my money. I'm just planning to play for Toronto."
Several countries have already signaled their interest in hosting one of the three Olympic qualifying tournaments to take place in July. Any nation that has played in a continental championship this summer, including FIBA Americas, is eligible to bid if they pony up the $2 million host fee.
The winners of each one will complete the field for Rio. But FIBA has revealed that if any of the teams who have already secured a berth in the qualifiers opt to host, then the next-ranked team from their continent will also get a spot.
So, say, Canada, Mexico or Puerto Rico, land host rights, then the Dominican Republic -- ranked sixth in the 2015 FIBA Americas -- gets a reprieve. Ditto for Latvia in Europe, and so on.
The trio of tournament hosts is expected to be confirmed by December and while Europe is likely to get at least one, there is to be no geographic criteria when drawing the groups.
"It will be an open draw," FIBA executive Kamil Novak confirmed. "There will not be one group for Europe or Africa or any other continent. And then we will see how many tournaments will take place. It depends on the number of candidates. And what the bid situation is. The money is one criteria but not the only criteria."
Tony Parker plans to suit up for France then, even though the qualifiers would start barely two weeks after the NBA Finals end. With his disappointing play here for the bronze medalists, he will be motivated to retire from international ball with a flourish.
"In the history of French basketball, we don't have a lot of medals," Parker said. "Now it's four in five years. We're motivated to come back strong and try to qualify for the Olympics next year. Of course, my story with the French national team has one more summer."
The bidding process to stage EuroBasket 2017 will open in October with a decision to be made in December. FIBA sources expect that, despite the logistical issues inevitable in this year's four-country hosting, it is inevitable it will be a two-country bid from within "11 or 12" interested parties. However Ukraine, which was originally to host this summer's tournament before its political conflict ruled it out, has not taken up its option to land the subsequent one.
The 2015 class of the FIBA Hall of Fame was officially inducted Sunday with Michael Jordan the only absentee for the ceremony from the nine added this year. The current coach of the WNBA's Connecticut Sun, Anne Donovan, was the other American to join with her international career including two Olympic golds as a player and one as a coach with the United States in 2008.
The other former players inducted were: Sarunas Marciulionis (Lithuania), Antoine Rigaudeau (France), Ruperto Herrera Tabio (Cuba), Vladimir Tkachenko (Russia/Ukraine). One-time Australia women's coach Jan Stirling and French referee Robert Blanchard also got in, along with Noah Klieger, a French-born, Israeli journalist who survived the Nazi death camps in Auschwitz before later becoming president of the Maccabi Tel Aviv club.