x

Greece

Basketball’s EuroLeague Cancels Season because of Virus

Europe's top basketball league canceled the remainder of its season Monday because of the coronavirus pandemic, saying health concerns had to be paramount despite numerous attempts to find ways to resume play.

The EuroLeague, which is composed of 18 teams across 10 European nations, had been suspended since March 12. League officials said they "explored every possible option" in trying to find a way to resume the season.

"Without a doubt, this is the most difficult decision we have had to take in our 20-year history," Euroleague Basketball President and CEO Jordi Bertomeu said. "Due to reasons beyond our control, we have been forced to cut short the most successful and exciting season in European basketball history."

The news came only two days after the NBA announced it, along with the National Basketball Players Association, has entered discussions with The Walt Disney Company on a single-site scenario for a resumption of play in Central Florida in late July.

Sports calendars around the globe have been ravaged since March because of the pandemic, with about 5.5 million people worldwide having been confirmed to have the coronavirus — and roughly 350,000 of those dying because of it, according to data culled by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The EuroLeague is generally considered the second-best basketball league in the world behind the NBA. Former University of Miami star Shane Larkin was the top scorer in the league this season, averaging 22.2 points per game for the Istanbul-based club Anadolu Efes.

Larkin made clear in an Instagram post over the weekend that he didn't feel it was prudent for the EuroLeague season to continue.

"It is no secret that since postponing the season players haven't had the ability to remain in top level shape," Larkin wrote. "On top of the risk factor of possibly contracting the virus, the possibility of injuries are extremely high.

"Every team deserves and equal opportunity to win the EuroLeague but because of this pandemic many teams and players don't have the chance to be as prepared as others," he added. "I don't think the EuroLeague champions should be decided by who has the ability to train and who doesn't."

Larkin's team led the league with a 24-4 record this season but will not be recognized as champions, with that trophy simply not being awarded this season.

The EuroLeague, which is basketball's equivalent of a Champions League in soccer with the top teams from various nations qualifying to take part, is planning to have all 18 teams from this season in the league again next season. Plans call for longer-than-usual training camps later this year "to allow players to recover their physical and mental shape in time for the new season," the league said.

EuroLeague officials plan to start the 2020-21 season on Oct. 1.

"All the league's stakeholders maintained their determination and exhausted every possible avenue in trying to deliver a complete and uniquely special season to our fans, whose passion is the driving force for all our efforts," Bertomeu said. "That is our commitment and our passion every single season, and so falling short due to forces beyond anyone's control is what saddens us most."

RELATED

One of America's greatest soccer players is spending the week in Greece working with kids and reminding everyone that the most important moments in sports don't always end with a group of champagne-soaked winners holding up a trophy.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

A Palestinian Baby in Gaza is Born an Orphan in an Urgent Cesarean Section after an Israeli Strike

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Sabreen Jouda came into the world seconds after her mother left it.

SANTORINI – The prestigious sports event of Santorini, Santorini Experience, which highlights one of the top tourist destinations in the world through sports activities, will be held for the 7th year from October 3-6.

ATHENS – The distinguished Greek-American scientist Nikos Kyrpides, biologist, researcher, head of the Prokaryotic Genomics Program at the Joint Genome Institute of the U.

VILLA MADERO, Mexico — As a drought in Mexico drags on, angry subsistence farmers have begun taking direct action on thirsty avocado orchards and berry fields of commercial farms that are drying up streams in the mountains west of Mexico City.

ATHENS – The world-famous humanoid robot Sophia filled the auditorium of the American Community Schools of Athens April 23, fascinating many in the audience.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.