The club run by Koc, Ozsoy, Gherardini and Obradovic is an outstanding organization that will stay on top of european basketball.
The logic of the result, correctly ruthless, has given its own verdict: they are not “no titles”, to put it to Mourinho words, but the only National Cup of Turkey cannot be enough for a club ever more ambitious and by now at least inscribed with fully registered with the European basketball elite members.
But that logic of the result will never be able to counteract validly of the work culture and the real enhancement of a technical path with competitiveness objectives which are very often linked to uncontrollable external factors.
Coach, 40 hours after the defeat,you will certainly have thoroughly analyzed the race and you will have a clear idea of the factors that caused it, starting from your mistakes… What about that? “We have certainly played a great race, which in some ways would have deserved the victory, but on the one hand we were lacked by some details that we should have managed better and on the other hand in some things that belong to that sphere of situations that are ours not controllable. We can do nothing against those, if not continue to work seriously according to our principles and make a final evaluation on the long term “. It is a question addressed to a coach like Pablo Laso, defeated in a semifinal game of the Euroleague Final Four,played very well which CSKA prevailed for some details. Russian victory deserved, undeserved the Spanish defeat … but,Often,sport is like that..It applies to all the best coaches and then, returning to the Fenerbahçe topic, what can we say about a season like the one just ended with final of the game 7 against Efes, already winner of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague’s semifinal?
We can say only one thing, which is a great season was closed in the worst way from a point of view of the results for a series of reasons related to injuries that must be evaluated in their entirety, without neglecting the bad luck factor but entering into the detail of each of them for understand if mistakes have been made that may have caused or prolonged them. Because a basic concept must be very clear: until the end of March Fenerbahçe was by far the best team in Europe as a game, results and organization.
Let’s start with some numbers that characterize the management of Obradovic (from 2013/14) which gives us the idea of an organizational level and the growth of this club.
In the 6 seasons of Euroleague at first the missing part of the qualification for the postseason, after which there were 5 Playoff series all won (15-2 record) and their participation in the final act with 1 victory (2017), two defeats in the final (2016 -2018) and two defeats in the semifinals (2015-2019). In total 4 races won and 6 lost during the final act of the event. In the regular season the overall record is 88-32, divided into 64-26 in the new era and 24-6 in the previous three seasons. The TOP 16, played until 2015/16, recorded a record of 28-14. In total, Fenerbahçe has won 135 games during these six years ,losing only 54, which equates to 60%. All without counting 4 Turkish championships, 2 National Cups and 3 of President Cup.
These numbers would be enough to speak of absolute importance, but, as in life, what happens today is often able to put into questioning just like everything was done until yesterday. Cruel logic, but above all very short-sighted; if it is true that a ball that dances on the iron can lead to the point of judging -positively or negatively-the work of months. And it is a logic,which we will never bend, in love with the game…and its own value.
However, the first one that takes this logic into consideration is Coach Obradovic…a man who works to be the first in everything he does, and every task he does;does it with the enthusiasm and love for basketball that distinguishes the kids at the first confrontation with the ball. There is nothing more beautiful and more genuine.
So why did the Fener season end like this?
It’s all very clear. From March onwards at least seven to eight players have faced physical troubles of more or less decisive importance. Among those who have not seen each other (Lauvergne) to those who had to raise the white flag later (Datome) even though heroically present later during the national final, to whom that white flag raised it only to the last Turkish actions (Vesely and Green) to get to those who had apparently minor problems and therefore participated in the decisive races of the season, despite a very rough condition (Melli, Guduric, Kalinic, Sloukas).
Never any tears, just some regrets for not having arrived at the final appointment at best, nevertheless a pride and an organization which never gave up, in front of the European superpowers at the finals. What then, that superpower was only Efes, the great rivals disguised as executioners and holders, however, of a significant 9-6 against the season. This is called sports culture built with work and dedication.
The perfect mechanisms in attack and in defense admired for months, have led to a record at the historical moment in Euroleague, because 25-5 is something to be re-read with respect in so many years. The poor shape due to the injuries of almost all the main protagonists has not jammed the mechanism, on the contrary, however, the overexposure of non-100% athletes has rendered the effort against the most accredited rivals. Suffice it to say that as soon as the season closed, “surgical cleaning” operations were wasted. (Melli and Datome, just to make the two best known examples to the Italian public).
In practice this is exactly what happened to the CSKA last year, when after an absolute dominion it found itself in Belgrade as no longer able to fly because of the broken wings of Hines and De Colo. It is part of the game, we will all say, the protagonists, we know, we will answer, but the cruelty of a muscle, an articulation or a bone remains that in a few moments can dismantle, at least in appearance, the work of months, even years. Is this also the case in other life situations? Certainly, but we do not have the presumption of treating anything other than the ball bouncing on hardwood. Surely, what we have learned is that making judgments based on the mere actuality of the result is not correct, not even for the writer. And knowing more and more high-level protagonists, this belief grows and consolidates. In this case, seeing a training by Obradovic and his Fenerbahçe is a blessing. Admiring the precision and care of every detail is a joy for the eyes and the heart. Listening to competence, tranquility and security, never without humility, with which Maurizio Gherardini talks to you about basketball, “his basketball”, and how he wants it organized and managed, is a very important lesson. Discussing technical situations with Gigi or Nick is a privilege that opens your mind. It will not be a season without a title which is not allowing us to look forward to the big picture.
So the Fenerbahçe, a big club run by world-class professionals, the first thing they did was trying to understand why these things happening and how to avoid them in the next season. Have there been medical shortcomings? Most likely… A serious club will never say it,which is correct, but it works. Has the importance of Tyler Ennis’s injury been underestimated in November, replacing him with a player of proven European experience but not able to support Sloukas in the role of pointguard? perhaps the season finale “in pieces” of the great Kostas makes us think that we were not so far from reality. As we were thinking …
What do you do then? Such an extremely valid roster is confirmed through the important renewals and the confirmations plus the work is being done on the factors to be improved.
Which means growing management from the medical point of view and market research of a profile of 1-2,able to create from the dribble, which knows how to attack. The long-awaited arrival of De Colo is already a guarantee of permanence at the top. Other very important names are on the notebooks of the leadership of the Asian side of Istanbul: targeted, competent and incisive market. And if it happens that Nick goes to make pairs with Zion there is a further need and this will also be covered through the considerations regarding Joffrey Lauvergne, whose ankle seems to never want to stop swelling.
Guduric to Memphis? It is a problem, of course, but even this is managed with a certain spirit of satisfaction, because if Obradovic and many of the Fenerbahçe players attract NBA franchises, there will be a reason. And this reason has its own roots between Caçak and Forlì, to merge beyond the Bosphorus.
If #fromfenertonba is by now a strongest hashtag, #cometofener is a trend topic more than justified: who wouldn’t want to play for Coach Obradovic, under the expert guidance of Maurizio pushed by millions of fans that, as Gherardini told us «made us feel like home even at Barclay Center in Brooklyn»?