Greek Basket League featured in ESPN’s International Rankings
ESPN have released their rankings for basketball leagues outside of the NBA, and the Greek top flight is featured in the top 10…
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The Greek Basket League has been named the eighth-best league in the world outside of the NBA by ESPN.
The rankings, which were compiled by Fran Fraschilla, feature the top 14 leagues outside of the NBA and include divisions from three continents.
It’s no surprise that Europe dominates the list with 12 out of the 14 leagues ranked coming from Europe, while the top flights from Australia and China also made the cut.
In fact, the top eleven leagues are all from Europe with the top-ranked league being the illustrious EuroLeague. The second-rate EuroCup is ranked second by ESPN, while the top domestic league is Spain’s Liga ACB – with the regular trade of players between the two leagues in free agency a likely reason for the Spanish league’s high ranking.
Franschilla insists that the Greek Basket League is down to the lack of competition in the Greek top flight, citing that Olympiacos and Panathinaikos have won 24 out of the last 25 domestic titles.
Still, Franschilla acknowledges that the Greek game owns one of the best rivalries in basketball as he marvels about the intense showdowns between Greece’s two powerhouses in “The Derby of the Eternal Adversaries.”
Franschilla goes on to predict that Olympiacos will get the better of arch-rival Panathinaikos and capture the Greek Championship this season.
Overall, Franschilla rates Greece’s top flight the sixth best domestic league behind the top divisions in Spain, Turkey, Russia, Italy, and France.
The FIBA Basketball Champions League, which features AEK, Aris, and PAOK was ranked tenth by Franschilla.
No statistics or calculations were provided by ESPN alongside the release of the rankings, although Franschilla did provide justification with various explanations for each league.
ESPN’s Top Leagues Outside of the NBA:
- EuroLeague (continental tournament)
- EuroCup (continental tournament)
- Liga ACB (Spain)
- Basketbol Super Ligi (Turkey)
- VTB United League (Russia)
- Lega Basket Serie A (Italy)
- LNB Pro A (France)
- Greek Basket League (Greece)
- Basketball Bundesliga (Germany)
- FIBA Basketball Champions League (continental tournament)
- Adriatic League (comprised of teams from former-Yugoslavian states)
- National Basketball League (Australia)
- Israeli Basketball Premier League (Israel)
- Chinese Basketball Association (China)
See full rankings here...