A couple of big names in the world of basketball put their expert knowledge at disposal and shared it with the audience of almost 200 people from all over the globe during the 2013 Euroleague Final Four Coaching Clinic at The London Soccerdome on Saturday. The event that brings together some of the most respected names in the world of basketball coaching had Simone Pianigiani, Italian national team head coach, and Donnie Nelson, Dallas Mavericks GM and President of Basketball , its clinician . The presence of Nelson, one of the most respected minds in the NBA, and his 60-minute clinic called “Fast Break and Early Offense”, is another example of the on-going collaboration of Euroleague Basketball with the NBA, and of their devotion to promote the game of basketball.
“Exchanging ideas is great. It shrinks the world and it makes our game better. And when you do those things, there is nothing but good that can result”, Nelson said. “Coming to London to the Euroleague Final Four, I have a chance to expand my game talking to European coaches. And over the years, some of my best ideas have come from the international waters.”
Pianigiani’s one-hour session was titled “Pick-and-Roll Offense”, and he used NIJT Team England players for demonstrations. “It can only be a positive situation every time there is a chance to be together with other coaches, share opinions, exchange different information, and discuss basketball. That is good for everybody”, Pianigiani said. “The collaboration of Euroleague Basketball and the NBA is perfect, because those are the two best leagues in the world. And it is great to be able to hear something, and maybe even steal something.”
The Coaching Clinic is one of the Euroleague Basketball’s educational initiatives for coaches to exchange their philosophies and approaches to the game of basketball. After each clinic, Pianigiani and Nelson held a Question and Answer session with the audience consisting of young players, basketball officials, referees and, of course, coaches. Among others, in attendance were former Euroleague champion as a Panathinaikos assistant coach, Dimitirs Itoudis, NIJT Team England head coach Steve Bucknall and technical director of the UAE Basketball Association Mounir Ben Slimane.
“With coaches like Simone and Don, you get a chance to see things with different perception, and from a different angle”, Itoudis said. “I think there were several clever coaches here in attendance who can accept, or reject, some knowledge they heard today. It is great that Euroleague Basketball organizes such an event.”
One of the referees in attendance, paying close attention, was Euroleague official Luigi Lamonica of Italy. “Coaching and the game is very important from the point of view of officiating. If we don’t know what is going on with the game, with players and with coaches, we are not able to make better decisions during games. And sometimes it is better to anticipate the problem. If we come to events like this, watch practices and how coaches explain things to the players, we can probably have a better reaction and be ready to make the right decision on the court.”