Every year, the NBA Draft makes dreams come true for some lucky basketball players. Unlike the NFL, NBA rosters don’t have room for many players. Each team only has 15 players, which makes it very difficult to make the cut.
SO what happens to the players who either don’t get drafted, or simply fall out of the league before proving their worth? Usually, they end up playing overseas, hoping to demonstrate their skills to get another shot to play in the NBA.
After the NBA, arguably the next best league is the Euroleague, where many Americans find themselves playing after their collegiate careers come to an end. These teams have strong fan bases, who love their teams and players, making it a highly competitive and intense atmosphere. Below are four European basketball teams that you should know.
Real Madrid is one of the most recognized names in the European basketball world. But their dominance and strong place in the league makes them a necessity on this list. Moreover, for those who only follow the NBA, they might not know very much about this team. The clear favorites to win the European championship, Real Madrid is the first team that you should know about from Europe. They will definitely be among the top contenders for the title.
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
The people in Turkey love basketball. The team that represents Istanbul on the European stage is a fierce competitor, which could take down the title at the end of the season. They have already made five consecutive Final Four appearances, and they appear determined to win the entire EuroLeague this season. Their star players include the potent scorer Nando De Colo, as well as Derrick Williams, who will look to make an even stronger mark on the league in his second season playing in Europe.
Over the last few years, this team has been a brand name across the EuroLeague. They have made a name for themselves by playing great basketball in recent seasons. However, they will have to make some serious adjustments if they want to contend with the top teams in Europe.
They lost the aforementioned Nando De Colo, as well as Corey Higgins and Sergio Rodriguez. But they made some moves to make up for these losses, including the acquisition of Mike James and Johannes Voigtmann. THey also added long-time NBA veteran Kosta Koufos, who just made his way to Europe this season.
Typically when people hear the name FC Barcelona, they immediately think of the football club and Lionel Messi. They certainly don’t think of the basketball team that this city has to offer. But perhaps they should start to get some recognition, depending on what they can accomplish this season. Barcelona hasn’t reached the Final Four in more than five years, with 2014 being the last time they were on that stage. However, they made some serious moves this offseason that could change that trend.
We mentioned that Corey Higgins left Moscow, and he actually joined this team instead. But that’s not all. Nikola Mirotic left the NBA and returned to Spain to join Higgins in trying to get Barcelona back to the top of the EuroLeague. They also signed three other players who can help this team, including Brandon Davies, Alex Abrines and Malcolm Delaney. Together, they actually put a strong lineup on the court for the first time in a long time.