Goodbye world championships and hello to the Basketball World Cup – and in honesty – it sounds better already.
FIBA have decided to revamp the tournament completely in hopes to create a legacy for the sport and the event itself.
Also the name ‘World Cup’ sounds more official than ‘world championship’ and with the tournament being held in Spain, where basketball is a national sport (second only to football), it has a fairly good chance of succeeding.
While 2014 is two years away, and adding to the fact that we have an Olympics and various continental tournaments to get through, there was concern that the world championships were not taken seriously enough, especially from an American standpoint, who didn’t get the concept of a “world championships”.
FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann said: “We’re in a world where perception is important. David Stern has been telling us ‘no one in he US understands what a world championship is.”
So basically, this is the real reason why FIBA decided to call it the Basketball World Cup. To make it more appealing to the Americans. A country that hilariously still considers NBA champions as the world champions.
Practically all basketball writers in America thankfully know the difference, as they cover the world basketball events as well if the USA are involved, but some NBA announcers still need to be educated, and, like it or not, they must acknowledge the fact that basketball does exist outside of the National Baasketball Association.
It was a fantastic site when the Dallas Mavericks won their first NBA title last season over a heavily fancied Miami Heat squad, but I admittedly cringed a little when Dallas owner Mark Cuban, a man who deserves a lot of respect for taking the Mavs to the top repeatedly called his side the “world champions”. Now, for a guy who publically slates FIBA for risking his players for international competition, this is no surprise.
It then got a lot worse when Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki – a German – called himself a world champion as well. Coming from a guy that has played for Germany in world championships past, that is shocking to say the very least.
Surely, upon hearing this, FIBA decided that enough was enough, let’s change things. It’s been happening for years now, and quite frankly, it’s getting annoying.
Personally, I think the real reason for the name change was because of the NBA’s stupidity in actually believing that their holy grail is a world title. When really, it’s an NBA championship, nothing else.
And when I say stupidity, I do not include David Stern in this, purely for the reason that he recgonises this fact – and he – along with FIBA did something about it.
Thus, ladies and gentlemen: the Basketball World Cup is born.
We don’t know if the Basketball World Cup will gain the prestige it deserves until we properly build it up, we have various international tournaments to stage first. But the name change is a step in the right direction.
Say what you will about the NBA commish about his handling of the lockout and the Chris Paul – Lakers saga. But, at least he’s helped out world basketball.
I will end this mini lecture by saying: Dallas Mavericks = NBA champions. USA = world champions.
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