One night we were watching basketball game in tavern and a discussion came up about differences of European basketball and NBA.
Kevin Durant does not watch how many rivals close to him in the road to a ring. The forward easily gained speed, made a jump from the free throw line, hanged in air – bank. Easily, without excess movements and concern “it will go in – or not”. As if it at practice session, and before that – not team of Euroleague, but only basketball hoops.
It is an exhibition game of NBA team “Oklahoma City Thunder” in Istanbul against local Fenerbahçe-Ulker within the NBA Global Games tour. Well, this match showed that, as has to: NBA – the strongest basketball league on the planet.
But prior to a match players of Oklahoma met the Turkish children suffering from various diseases played with them basketball. Perhaps, these children not up to the end understood who before them, but Derek Fischer, Hashim Thabit and others with pleasure stole the balls which fell from hands, placed cones for the following task, showed as how to do.
In general, in Istanbul you will not call basketball as sport number one. The rare taxi driver will reach to the hall where there took place the training of team of NBA. Local show, we will tell correctly, reserved interest in arrival of masters of an orange ball. Nevertheless, the audience without agiotage and a pomp filled practically all 14-thousand Ulker Sports Arena.
Game goes as if according to the scenario. Oklahoma gives to the local team “suddenly” to take advantage and even to make the difference in the account which is expressed two-digit number. The audience is happy: their favorites adequately look against the background of Durant, Serge Ibaka and even (it is terrible to tell!) five-time champion of NBA Derek Fischer. Guests do not play in protection, allow owners to stand out both throws from above, and fast separations. And here when already at the audience the thought creeps in: “And it is team of NBA?!”, in the play there is an abrupt turn of a plot, somewhere closer to the end of the second quarter. Oklahoma joins in a game a little, and comes – to beat understanding them is unreal. Without rage, without bewilderment, without surprise. So, has to be.
Further Oklahoma admits Fener was closer, keeping visibility of an intrigue, comes off again. The total difference in +14 points suits all: the one who is objectively stronger won, the home team lose by the shameful number of points, the prime of the match – Kevin Durant – became the MVP, the audience saw the most beautiful dunks, is more scarlet-up performed by stars.
Of course, then there will be a press conference of the head coach of Fenerbahçe Zeljko Obradovic where he will tell that his team has ahead very intense schedule – 11 games in October that literally in two days a game on the Supercup of Turkey against the basic rival that this exhibition game against one of the best clubs of NBA – a holiday for the audience … But and Oklahoma played not in the final of NBA against Miami.
The NBA is other basketball world, another Universe. Yes, therefore center “Thunder” Steven Adams cannot know who such Zeljko Obradovic who won five tournaments of Euroleague as a coach and won silver medal in the Olympic Games. Therefore, Derek Fischer without irony, with a lovely open smile can tell: “I know nothing about Fenerbahçe, tomorrow there will be a match, here and will look what these guys are capable of”. Almost in the spirit of Charles Barkley times of the first DreamTeam at the Olympic Games-1992 who gave out before a match with the African national team: “I know nothing about Angola. But I know that it has big problems”.
And the best basketball league of the world “shows it to good effect”, brings players to Europe, plays a show, wins new fans who will watch NBA games and will buy Kevin Durant and Lebron James’s undershirts in sports shops.