Bring on the best referees!

EThere are several good reasons why Luka Dončić from Slovenia is the most spectacular player in world basketball. But also someone who speaks against it: He constantly complains to the referees. In the North American NBA. And currently in Cologne, where he is playing the European Championship with the Slovenian national team. When he was asked about the referees there again, he replied: “I think you can see for yourself.” And even if you should always be skeptical about such words in his case, you have to say this time: Yes, we can see for yourself !

Almost everything is right at the European Basketball Championship games, which are currently taking place in Cologne, Milan, Prague and Tbilisi. Mood, excitement, level of play. With Dončić, Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece) and Nikola Jokić (Serbia), even the best of the NBA can be seen. But one thing is wrong: the performance of the referees.

In the Germany vs. Lithuanian game, the referees awarded a technical foul against the Germans, but not the Lithuanians the free throw that such a foul entails. In the Georgia-Turkey match, the referees didn’t stop the clock, as the rules require, when a Georgian and a Turkish player pushed and argued, leaving 22 seconds gone.

The Lithuanians and the Turks, who lost the games, protested – and failed at the basketball association FIBA ​​Europe. “You can see from this that the referees are too busy with themselves to find their own line and then something like that is forgotten,” said the German international Theis. “More is allowed here than in the Euroleague, the FIBA ​​referees whistle a lot less,” said Croatian international Jaleen Smith. And that brings you to the core of the referee problem.

In European basketball there is an eternal dispute. The opponents: FIBA ​​Europe, the European governing body, and the Euroleague, a private organizer that owns the Euroleague, club basketball’s premier competition. These days you realize again how much this dispute damages the sport.

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