What Are the Best European Basketball Leagues?
With Team USA’s abrupt end in the FIBA Basketball World Cup, there was a lot of attention placed on teams across the Atlantic. There are a number of excellent European basketball leagues and the game’s global footprint keeps expanding.
Which leagues are the best of the best? Today we will look at the three best European basketball leagues and explain why you should be watching them.
EuroLeague is the top European basketball league
The EuroLeague is the top basketball league outside of the NBA and should be viewed in the same breath as the English Premier League. The best teams in Europe play in this league.
There is also a promotion/relegation system that is run through the EuroCup. During the week teams will participate in EuroLeague games while playing for their domestic countries on the weekends.
A team’s success on both the domestic and international levels will determine if they qualify for the tournament, with the winner getting promoted to the EuroLeague full time.
There have been a number of top players to come out of the league. The most recent addition to have NBA success is Dallas Mavericks budding star Luka Doncic. His playmaking ability has always been a highlight for the league, and he should be a candidate for an All-NBA team this year.
Former NBA player Nikola Mirotic passed up millions during this NBA free agency period to go back to Spain to play for Real Madrid.
Spain’s Liga ABC is not short on talent
Europe’s second-best international League resides in Spain. The league was formed in 1957 and has been dominated by Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Liga ABC also runs on a relegation system, with the bottom two teams getting relegated to LEB Oro, and the top two teams in LEB Oro getting the promotion.
The Gasol brothers, Pau and Marc, also made names for themselves in Liga ABC. The league continues to churn out top tier NBA talent, with 39 former players playing in the league during the 2017 season.
Frances LNB Pro A has future NBA talent
Normally relegated to a top-10 spot, this year could be the best yet for France’s top basketball league. Not only has the league churned out quality players like San Antonio Spurs great Tony Parker (who owns a team in the league), there are also four prospects who could go in the top-10 of the 2020 NBA draft.
The league was formed in 1921 and the team with the most league championships is Asvel, which Parker owns.
The first notable prospect we expect to see drafted from the league is Asvel guard Theo Maledon. He has the height required to be a defensive stopper at the position (6’5) and is a pesky on-ball defender. A comparison to Thunder guard Shae Gilgeous-Alexander would be fair.
The other big time prospect coming from France this year is Killian Hayes. Hayes is another 6’5 point guard that can wreak havoc on opposing defenders. He has the ability to break down the defense with his dribbling, can dish out great assists, and cause problems when playing defense.
His length gives him the ability to swipe at the ball with ease, and he is one of the bright spots on that end of the floor for the French Under-20 national team.