Column: Remme's Take On This Summer's EuroBasket And FIBA Americas
Remme's Take On This Summer's EuroBasket And FIBA Americas Championship Tournaments
We were standing with new Wolves center Ronny Turiaf in the Clear Channel lobby waiting for the elevator on Wednesday morning when the conversation changed over to EuroBasket hoops. Turiaf, a native of Martinique in the Caribbean, regularly plays for the French National Team and did so in the 2012 Olympics. He did not participate in this year’s EuroBasket tournament, however, and like the rest of us has watched from afar.
And just like everyone else, he was surprised by the parity.
One thing Turiaf mentioned was that anyone really could beat anyone in this year’s tournament, and he’s right. The field was wide open. For instance, Spain is the two-time defending EuroBasket champion and won silver in the past two Olympics. In this year’s tourney, they lost games to Slovenia, Greece, Italy and France. France, who is playing in today’s championship game, lost to Germany, Great Britain, Lithuania and Serbia. There was no running the table this year.
What I enjoyed most about EuroBasket holds true with the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship games that ended earlier this month. There really was no telling who was going to come out on top. It’s no secret the game continues to expand globally, and with that comes a great crop of players all across the world playing for their respective countries for spots in next year’s World Cup, national pride and the chance to put themselves on the map. In both Slovenia and Venezuela, we saw some excellent basketball over the past month.
So what did we take away from it all? I compiled a few notes I thought I’d share before we close the chapter (briefly) on international ball and open up Training Camp in less than two weeks. Just a few tid-bits both near and far that I found to be noteworthy about these tournament.
By my estimation, we’ll have the balance of the roster back in Minnesota by Sept. 27. When they get here, they—and the rest of us—will flip the switch to NBA mode. But we’re already pretty primed because of the tournaments we just got done following. Both in Europe and South America, Wolves and other NBA players put on quite a show over the past month. Now it’s time for the next show to begin.