Rave reviews about the Euroleague Final Four!

May 15, 2003 by Euroleague.net Print
Rave reviews about the Euroleague Final Four!
A sampling of what the international press wrote about the Final Four: 

"The original 'Dream Team' made history in Barcelona in 1992, becoming the first group of NBA players to take part in the Olympics. At the time, many believed the rest of the world would eventually catch up ... in 40 to 50 years. Last summer, in Indianapolis, the international community arrived at the doorstep about three decades early, knocking the U.S. to a devastating sixth-place finish in the World Championships. Spend three days here at the Euroleague Final Four and you'll understand why.
"Soccer might still be the sport of choice among most international sporting fans, but basketball is quickly gaining ground. The atmosphere here in Barcelona says it all. Combine the excitement of the NCAA Final Four with the party atmosphere of the Super Bowl and a quality of basketball that is surpassed only by the NBA Playoffs, and you have perhaps the most exciting basketball event in the world."
 ESPN.com, Chad Ford

Chad Ford, ESPN.com (USA), May 12

"Can you imagine 16.670 tickets? Come on! And the atmosphere? It was the closest basketball event to the NBA ever held in Europe, and real proof that Euroleague is a great competition." Triponto

TRIPONTO magazine (Greece), May 14

"...Let's be conscious about what a mighty event we saw at Sant Jordi: a sports show of world-class magnitude, perfect in its organization and development, with only one dark spot: the fact that the public state television has virtually ignored the Final Four. With journalists from several continents and half a hundred NBA representatives, the soil has been scratched and we found oil..."as.com
Martin Tello, AS (Spain), May 15

"Barcelona fans chant their idol's name every time he stops by the free throw line. "Bo-di-ro-ga!" blasted in a Palau Sant Jordi more full than ever (...) Bodiroga, does it ring a bell? The one who led Yugoslavia in the World Championship final and frustrated the title options for Ginobili in the last Euroleague, the one who kicked Tau out of the King's Cup in Spain... A nightmare."blic.co.yu
Jorge Lopez. Ole (Argentina), May 12

"...Barcelona touched the ceiling in Europe. In a span of barely six months, Svetislav Pesic has fulfilled two dreams which had been lasting for decades: to beat the American professionals with the Yugoslav national team and to offer Barcelona fans the biggest of satisfactions by winning the first European crown those fans were so hungry for. The link between those two dreams is Dejan Bodiroga, the captain of the Plavi team and the MVP of the Final Four. In this great environment such as Palau Sant Jordi, only one team could win: FC Barcelona."politika.co.yu
Politika (Belgrade), May 12

"...the basketball fever shakes Barcelona, Catalunya and Spain. After clinching the first European champion title, and after five lost finals, Barcelona fans named their two new saints on Sunday night: Dejan Bodiroga and Svetislav Pesic."blic.co.yu
Blic (Belgrade), May 12

"...One more time, Dejan Bodiroga was a huge and merciless European champion with his baskets... Last year, he wore the green jersey of Panathinaikos and led his team to fly to the title in Bologna at Virtus's home... Now he has transformed the eternal aspirant into the new queen..."corriere.it
Corriere della Serra (Milano), May 12

"...Dejan and Gregor themselves. The first continental win for Barcelona after five lost finals, has the signature of two big players forged in Italy. Gregor Fucka gave his courage to Barcelona in the hardest moment, when the legs become heavier... Dejan Bodiroga arrived at the moment when Benetton was starting to scare Barca. With an angel face, he is in fact a killer, and when their team was 12 points ahead, Barcelona fans started to close their eyes and dream..."gazzetta.it
Gazzeta dello Sport (Milano), May 12

"The wait was worth it. It's been 19 years already since the first round. 19 years! It was in Geneva and an American called Larry Wright was responsible for what happened that year. Now the aim has been reached. When the fans wanted it the most. When the club needed it the most. And at Palau Sant Jordi, with 17,000 spectators. With the best atmosphere that a European basketball arena has ever witnessed."sport.es
Sport (Barcelona), May 12

"...When we talk about the atmosphere in the arena, I have to say it was phenomenal. I have been to various Final Fours, but the atmosphere that those 17,000 spectators generated during the two semifinals and the final I have never seen in any other place. A few years ago I went to the NBA Finals between Houston and Orlando, and the atmosphere in Sant Jordi seemed very much the same. At some moments, it was still more intense. Nobody was silent for a second and the fans were on their feet more than seated."Ekipa
Peter Vilfan in Ekipa (Slovenia), May 14

"'When on your team, he is God; when on the rival team, he is a demon'. This sentence is already famous in the basketball world. It could be read last night in a sign at Palau Sant Jordi, and defines the level that Dejan Bodiroga has achieved in European basketball. That level was confirmed again against Benetton in case that somebody still doubted it: 20 points, 8 rebounds, 6 drawn fouls, 2 assists, MVP of the FInal Four and most of all, the key player in Barca's first success in the top Europan competition...The NBA wanted him this very same season. Well-paid in Greece and now also in Barcelona, Bodiroga is a rara avis who still prefers the euro to the dollar. He was picked with number 51 in the NBA draft of 1995 by the Sacramento Kings, and this year he has rejected the offers from the Toronto Raptors and the Houston Rockets."elpais.es
El Pais (Madrid), May 12

"... at Palau Sant Jordi, 17,000 Barca worshippers chant his name (Bodiroga) by syllables, and with increased rhythm, every time he hits the free throw line." L'Equipe

L'Equipe (France)

"Flawless, to the sardana rhythm. That's how Barcelona played the Final Four in its city. Everything looked perfect, especially under the pace of a brilliant Dejan Bodiroga, who gave the fans what they had been waiting for for so many years, the European championship. Bodi Bond 003."Vecernje Novosti 

Vecernje Novosti (Belgrade)

"... Barcelona finally, backed by 16,600 fans, got the title it was missing. Moreover, it becomes the fifth European team to have won all the three Euro cups. Before Barcelona, four teams had done the same: Real Madrid, Limoges, Milano and Cantu. Dejan Bodiroga was the MVP, even though this writer and some of his Russian colleagues voted for Gregor Fucka." Sport Express

Sport Express (Moscow)

"The capital of Catalonia was on fire until the late in the night. The club, with the fame of the biggest teams in Europe, finally reached its main goal and got the most desired trophy. The atmosphere created in Palau Sant Jordi was taken to the streets where everybody felt as the winners. The key man was Dejan Bodiroga, a man who has won absolutely everything during his career. Barcelona made a two-million dollar investment, but winning the Euroleague, they got every last cent back." Sportske Novosti

Sportske Novosti (Zagreb)

"Barcelona finally won 'its' Euroleague. A team which arrived last Sunday, but which also had been worked on since the days of the historical players like Solozabal, Epi or Jimenez, to mention only three of them. A title that the club had deserved to win before, but fate wanted to keep it for the most brilliant moment. In Barcelona, in a singular and special setting with thousands of fans that filled the arena one hour before the games, and stayed there one hour after. Because after so many years of waiting, nobody wanted to put an end to this party which went on until dawn. Congratulations Barca." Gigantes del Basket

Gigantes del Basket (Spain)

"The king of the Final Four is Barca. The Spanish team beat Benetton Treviso in a kind of 'dream final' in Barcelona with the extraordinary performance of Yugoslav star Dejan Bodiroga. He is the man of the Final Fours. Barca ended the nostalgia with a deserved win after 19 years. The crowd, which was hungry for the trophy, made the athmosphere like a carnival. You had to be there and see it..." Fanatik Basket

Burcin Badem, Fanatik Basket (Turkey)

"It was a night to remember in Barcelona. The Olympic stadium in Barcelona, which was packed mostly with the noisy Spanish fans, had a 'happy ending' finally after 19 years of waiting. Dejan Bodiroga was again the man of the match for another European trophy with a tremendous performance in Sant Jordi hall. After the win last year with Panathinaikos, the Yugoslav star again did what he knows best to do and added another medal to his career sheet."Milliyet Daily 

Milliyet Daily (Turkey