Euroleague coach Sarunas Jasikevicius explains why he thinks the NBA is unbearable: ‘It’s a business in its purest form’
It’s been a long and heated debate over the years if the NBA is truly the best basketball competition in the world, with the Euroleague being its biggest competitor. But even though the U.S. league is arguably the strongest, one former NBA player, thinks the competition’s regular season is unbearable to watch.
We are talking about Sarunas Jasikevicius, a controversial figure who once dreamt of playing in the NBA (and did with the Indiana Pacers for two years), and now is a coach in the EuroLeague. In a recent interview, the Lithuanian has compared both tournaments and stirred up polemic with his remarks on how to improve the American league.
EuroLeague HC Šarūnas Jasikevičius on the NBA:
“For me, basketball is unbearable there. The playoffs are something else but you can’t watch the regular season.”
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— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) April 25, 2023
“The NBA is a type of basketball where only the owners should be happy,” he started. “Because the value of the franchises is skyrocketing and money comes from all over the world, especially from China and India. But I’m a basketball person, and for me, basketball is unbearable there. The playoffs are something else, but you can’t watch the regular season.”
According to the current Barcelona manager, the NBA does little to improve the sport, only business. “You can’t go with the mentality they have,” he said. “They don’t practice. It’s a completely different world. It seems they do little to improve. It’s a business in its purest form. There are 22 franchises that always have problems getting into the playoffs and are constantly improvising.
“And there are eight who do know what they are doing, who follow a plan and an idea together with the players and coaches.”
One of the main issues, according to Jasikevicius, is that the NBA gives too much power to young talent, as not every 19-year-old is LeBron James.”The environment is very important for any player,” he assured. “Taking all the power away from the coach, who’s the person who thinks about the team the most, doesn’t make sense.
“They’re giving power to 18- or 19-year-olds. With Lebron James, you have to take off your hat. He has been able to manage all this and get good results wherever he has gone. But how many cases like this are we talking about?”
“They change coaches and general managers just for the boy to be comfortable, but the first thing is to teach this boy what the path is, how to be a normal person, what the values are, and all this. You cannot give him the key to the city right away at 18, and when you sometimes see this in the NBA, it’s very hard to take.”
Sarunas is well-known for his temper and controversial points of view in Europe
Sarunas Jasikevicius has shown great potential as a strategist from the bench in the Euroleague, and is regarded as a legend of the game from Lithuania.
As a Pacers athlete back in 2005-2007, he averaged 7.4 points per game over 112 contests for Indiana. However, mid-way through his last campaign there, he was sent to Golden State and played 26 matches in San Francisco that season.
Take a look at this hilarious compilation of his craziest reactions on the basketball court:
Just two years ago he began his career as a coach in Spain, with his first full campaign coaching for FC Barcelona after training his country’s BC Žalgiris in the past five seasons.
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