Basketball players can be a superstitious bunch. One such player is FC Barcelona captain Pierre Oriola. His coach last season, Svetislav Pesic, touched the Spanish League championship trophy in a photoshoot during the ACB playoffs and then Barca came up short in the championship game against Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. After that, Oriola decided that as the Barcelona captain, he would never lay his hands on a trophy before his team had won it.
Thus on Wednesday morning, when the captains of Anadolu Efes Istanbul, AX Armani Exchange Milan and CSKA Moscow gathered with Oriola for the traditional photo shoot and Dogus Balbay, Andrea Cinciarini and Nikita Kurbanov all modeled with the trophy, Oriola kept a distance from the hardware. The photographers had Balbay, Cinsiarini and Kurbanov pose in all sorts of positions with and next to the trophy. Oriola, though politely declined when asked to raise the cup.
Despite Oriola's superstition, the photos came out just right as you can see here. And for the readers who believe in such superstitions, enjoy this tidbit and let's see how it affects the Final Four!