Giannis, Doncic, Jokic,… Constellation of NBA stars at EuroBasket

Whether in Cologne, Milan, Prague, Tbilisi or Berlin, the 5 cities hosting the Euro Basket 2022, the show will be up to par. Never has the level of a European Basketball Championship been so high. For this 41st edition, the biggest European nations of the orange ball, such as Spain (3 victories in the last 5 editions), France, Slovenia (defending champion), Serbia and Greece, will be present with their best players. Which was not always the case in previous editions. As a result, we can expect a very high-flying Euro with a host of stars. The show can then begin.

35 NBA stamped players

This EuroBasket 2022, which promises to be thrilling, will certainly have an American accent. There are indeed no less than 35 NBA stamped players. Unheard of at a European Championship. It must be said that of the 24 teams participating in this Euro, 18 have players who play across the Atlantic in their ranks. Better, three of the four best players of the last NBA championship, will participate in this Euro. Giannis Antetokounmpo, double MVP and champion with the Milkwaukee Bucks in 2021, should lead Greece to the top. Another NBA star, the Serbian interior Nikola Jokic, two-time reigning MVP with the Denver Nuggets. He will undoubtedly be the figurehead of Serbia. Finally, Luka Doncic will not be outdone with Slovenia. The back of the Dallas Mavericks is there to defend his title of European champion won 5 years ago after a victory in the final against Serbia. If these three players are the headliners of this Euro, we will find a total of thirty players who play in the prestigious North American championship without forgetting elements experienced in Euroleague games. We told you, this European championship promises to be spectacular, exciting but also very undecided.

Who to succeed Slovenia?

A question that is difficult to answer as the top teams have been reinforced with the presence of players who are used to being close to the top with their club or their franchise. Spain, still 1st nation in the European ranking, will still have a say even if la Roja doesn’t seem as dashing as it did in the brothers days Paul and Marc Gasol, Sergio Rodríguez and Ricky Rubio. That said, with its experience of major events, Spain, which can still count on Usman Garuba (Houston Rockets) and the brothers Hernangomez will still be the team to beat. France (victorious in 2013), with NBA players like Rudy Gobert (Minnesota) or Evan Fournier (New York Knicks), will also have a good card to play. This will also be the case for Slovenia (current European champion) with its pillars like Doncic but also Goran Dragic (Chicago Bulls) and Vlatko Cancar (Denver). These three teams, which have shared the last six European trophies, would still like to enrich their record with a new title. But other nations, like Serbia with Jokic, Greece with the God Giannis and his brother Thanasis as well as Tyler Dorsey (Dallas), the naturalized American leader, will be formidable competitors, as will Croatia with Bojan bogdanovic (Utah Jazz), Dario Saric (Phoenix Suns) and Ivica Zubac (Los Angeles Clippers) or the Lithuania of Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento Kings) and Jonas Valanciunas (New Orleans), without forgetting Germany which will be an outsider in this tournament. The Mannschaft will have the significant advantage of playing all their matches at home. First in Cologne and then, in case of qualification, in Berlin. Germans who now occupy 8th place in the European ranking and who also have leaders with NBA experience with Daniel TheisFRanz Wagner and especially Dennis Schröder. This Euro therefore promises to be very open and there is no shortage of candidates for the title.

And Belgium in all this?

Faced with these tenors of European and even world basketball, Belgium, which does not have NBA players, looks like little thumb. The Belgian Lions yet participate in their 5th consecutive Euro, which is not to be neglected for a country like ours. If the ambitions are necessarily limited, a qualification for the final phase would already constitute a very good performance. For this, the Belgian players will have to finish in the Top 4 of their group. A group made up of… Spain, Georgia, Turkey, Montenegro (which replaced Russia), Belgium and Bulgaria. A complicated but playable mission despite everything for the Belgian Lions who will start this tournament against Georgia, this Thursday evening, at the Tbilisi Arena.

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