The new FIBA presidency of Yvan Mainini could mean an eventual shift in the international calendar according to FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann, but it will not bring an NCAA-style 64-team knockout World Championship.
The unanimously-elected Frenchman Mainini will be taking over for out-going FIBA boss Bob Ephinston, and Baumann says the switch may bring a new schedule for basketball around the world.
“We’ve been talking for years that the calendar is not right – something is wrong with the calendar. And that’s something that (Mainini) absolutely wants to tackle,” Baumann told heinnews at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
“Once you get this kind of push that comes in, the board will have to follow, the structure will have to follow, and maybe we really get the change.”
But any change would have to be approved by the biggest leagues in the world, including the NBA and Euroleague among others.
Baumann said he hopes a Mainini presidency means other changes as well.
“I would hope so. I would hope that certain things could be changed. It’s not going to be totally upside down. But we can shake up some of the taboos, some of the things people say they don’t want to change because it fits them. And others say it fits them this way too. Okay, let’s just continue. We have to shake a little bit the tree. It’s the only way to grow.”
Another item likely on the FIBA boss’s agenda will be to at least review the system for the World Championship. Baumann however said FIBA would not institute a 64-team knockout tournament ala the wildly-popular NCAA March Madness college basketball spectacle.
“I don’t think it could work. Unfortunately … unfortunately, we cannot replicate he March Madness system,” Baumann told heinnews.
“We can’t play for a month, a month and a half and have teams flying all over the place and playing one game and then going home. It’s just simply not feasible. It’s just too costly. And just impossible to have the players for so long or just for one game. It’s not reasonable.
“It’s unfortunate because sport is about winning or losing and then going home. But that’s an idea of a thing which will not happen. It will never happen.”