Dusko Ivanovic’s Baskonia 2021-22 is too reminiscent of Velimir Perasovic’s two seasons ago. He walked through Europe, conceding blushing defeats and falling in the ACB League against much smaller rivals.
One Christmas day, and because of who he was in the club’s history, Dusko Ivanovic, his partner in the legendary Jugoplastika, was fired and landed at the club. Not a bad word between them, quite the opposite. Had he not been called Perasovic, he would have been cut off much earlier.
Falling in a sport like basketball has no crime but doing it 83-69 in Kazan, 83-54 in Saint Petersburg and 65-83 with Real Madrid is very painful. Curiously, in the three games last week, the Vitoria team have conceded 83 against. But they have a hard time scoring.
“We have to defend, close our rebound and run because that can give us ten or more points per game. In the five against five it is clear that it costs us a lot,” says Ivanovic.
The first thing to analyze is the financial issue. A year and a half with hardly any box office income, advertising (the club has moved relatively well there) or marketing has fatally wounded many entities.
And Baskonia is no stranger to it and that he sold Luca Vildoza to the New York Knicks and was about to do the same with Rokas Giedraitis.
But he had problems with TD Systems since the television company considered that the compensation agreed in the contract was worthy of a prepandemic and that the club did not comply with them, so it stopped paying. That marriage ended in divorce.
Now Bitci has arrived, a cryptocurrency company based in Turkey that pays a fixed amount to Baskonia and another amount in variables depending on the price in the international market.
He has also closed a contract with Zotapay for Alavés, which has been sailing alongside the basketball club since Josean Querejeta, president of Baskonia, took over the majority shareholding of the soccer team.
In football, television revenues, box office, subscribers and advertising have also dropped considerably. In theory, less money, lower budget and worse staff.
Nonetheless, during the summer, very exciting signings were made that delighted the fans. Baldwin IV, Costello, Fontecchio, Nnoko, Enoch, Marinkovic with Granger’s return after his successful year in Berlin. Players like Giedraitis, Peters or Sedekerskis continued in the Vitorian franchise.
But, from there, the squad seems short and effective like Kurucs or Barrera do not have the highest level and when you travel through Europe the seams are noticeable. “In some positions we are not giving the level required to play at this level,” says Dusko.
They face opponents with much more experience and talent. Obviously, with so many new faces, it usually takes time for the pieces to fit together. But in professional basketball, time is lacking.
Another issue that generates debate in Vitoria is the decision of the coaching and management team to sign mobile but “low” pivots. Ilimane Diop, Tonye Jekiri and Youssoupha Fall left the club and Matt Costello, Landry Nnoko and Steven Enoch have arrived.
Ivanovic likes these types of players for defensive changes or the 2v1 that he likes to execute on defense in the head of the light bulb. But, of course, he loses rebound, possessions and confidence. If you defend well, then you tend to attack better.
During the current season, in addition, the team commits many losses. But in reality, what he does is concede a huge number of offensive rebounds. Yes, on top of that, you don’t score, the formula is explosive.
Josean Querejeta does not tend to shake his hand, but with Dusko Ivanovic he has a weakness. He considers him the best coach in the history of the club and, although his style has been softened a lot, he values him a lot.
Let’s not forget that he was able to get the last ACB League, that of the Valencia bubble. But the results dictate sentence and the Montenegrin coach acknowledged on Sunday night that “nobody knows when you can get to a club and when you can leave. What you have to do is work every day and try to do your best ”.
Ejecting Dusko, in addition, would mean having to take charge of his salary until June 2,022 and face the payment to a new tenant on the bench. And the economy is not ready for large disbursements, as happened recently to Javier Calleja at the Alavés bank.
Perhaps that is why the football club coach fought. That decision would have been wrong looking at the latest results.
You also have to consider the issue of injuries, where this club has been unlucky this year. Alec Peters received a severe blow to the knee in the preseason and conservative treatment was initiated with him, which was not successful.
Finally, he has undergone surgery in Chicago because there is meniscal involvement. Lamar Peters, who played for the Turkish Frutti Extra Bursaspor, has arrived to cover his loss. Sander Raieste is also in dry dock and Giedraitis has already missed three games due to a sprained ankle: Joventut, Unics and Zenit. Against Real Madrid he played quite diminished.
And finally, there is the Baldwin issue. Called to be the differential player, he hardly contributes in direction and points. Ivanovic wants him two and that is why the market is being probed in search of a point guard who, after Peters’ injury, could be from outside the community.
Baldwin became a father a month ago and did not travel to Piraeus or Manresa because his wife was about to give birth. That bothered the club because it took him a few more days to become a father and he could have participated in those duels without major complications.
His desire to take paternity leave also bothered the higher authorities, which led to speculation with a fine or even being cut. The last word is always Josean Querejeta and the truth is that he fumed during those days.
Now comes a key week for the evolution of decisions. The talented Maccabi is received tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. and is played, also in Vitoria, against Unicaja in the ACB League. The owner of Baskonia wants the change immediately because it would be difficult for him to have to dismiss Ivanovic.
What it is not going to do either is that the team enters a dead end and dies of starvation. The start is bleak in terms of sensations, although the balance on the table is totally reversible. In Euroleague it has 3 wins and 4 losses and, in ACB, the matter goes 3/5.
In total, he has played 15 games, won six and lost nine. In addition, it is classified for the Copa del Rey because, in the absence of official status, it will be held in Vitoria and will dispute it for being the host. “You have to be self-critical to see what each one can do to help the team.
We have to be positive and wash the image for our pride, that of the club and the fans, and you have to fight until the end of the matches “, points out Granger, one of the heavyweights, who stressed that” the attitude and the image must always be given.
“That people trust the process. We will do everything in our power to improve,” said the point guard.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.