It’s nice to see arguably the best basketball coaches in the world from different areas at the same place. And what it makes even more special – it doesn’t end up with a formal handshake and a couple of timeworn friendly words to the ear.
The meet between coaches like Gregg Popovich from San Antonio Spurs and Zeljko Obradovic from Fenerbahce Istanbul is like the wisdom exchange between two sages – even the most experienced coach feels like he learned something new and untouched.
Although you cannot take the words of five-time NBA champion Gregg Popovich for granted, but sometimes he feels like a student when he meets European club basketball genius Zeljko Obradovic or International basketball Zen master Dusan Ivkovic. Probably Ettore Messina, who made his name at the time feels like a gentle student next to Coach Pop.
However, it’s a pity that only a few NBA coaches have a friendship with basketball specialists from Europe or anywhere else. Let’s make it clear – some European coaches are much better than the NBA ones, no contest. Maybe a word “some” is too soft to describe the situation.
The main reason of this situation in the NBA is because the players are above the teams or franchises. If the player moves his talents to somewhere else, his fans are likely to jump on the bandwagon and they’re not a fan of a player’s previous team anymore.
Only a couple of the franchises put the team over the superstars, like the most decorated team in NBA history, the Boston Celtics and the best consecutive regular season run having San Antonio Spurs. Now Celtics have a young coach, Brad Stevens, who’s probably the most respected coach nowadays.
Spurs have Coach Pop, who didn’t let any star be above him. In fact it was the opposite – he made some stars and put them in team basketball.
Speaking about unmentioned ones, it would be cringeworthy to watch David Blatt, Andrea Trinchieri, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Igor Kokoskov sharing their thoughts with NBA coaches, like Tyronn Lue, who made his way to become a head coach of Cleveland Cavaliers probably because of LeBron James, de facto man in charge of the team.