Basketball geography in coaching: still a huge gap

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.

Coach Pop and Zeljko

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.

Ettore Messina and Gregg Popovich
© Getty

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.

Oct 30, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt (center) and assistant coach Tyronn Lue (right) stand near forward LeBron James (23) against the New York Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena. New York won 95-90. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Valentas Virmauskis

Valentas Virmauskis is a 22-year-old journalism student from Lithuania, currently studying at Glasgow Clyde College. His first steps into journalism started in 2015, after his attempts to publish his thoughts on basketball sadly ended with no response from the Lithuanian news services. From this he began building up his own audience on Facebook by launching a personal blog, called “Krepsinio Filosofija” (eg. Basketball Philosophy). Which consists of more than 1700 likes already. Valentas is also passionate about sports consisting of strength, such as strongman, weightlifting and powerlifting. This made him want to broaden his knowledge in nutrition and fitness by turning these into his routine. Currently Valentas is a keen writer for the sports department, of The Clyde Insider. Along with this, he is also a social media strategist (focus on Facebook), a member of the digital team and a designer for The Clyde Insider newspaper.

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