Suproleague (also known as FIBA Suproleague) was the FIBA European Basketball Champions' Cup for the 2000/01 season. Up until then there was one cup, the European Champions' Cup (which is now called the Euroleague), though in this season of 2000-01, the leading European teams split into two competitions: the FIBA Suproleague and the ULEB's Euroleague 2000-01.

European Champions' Cup Teams Divided

The Euroleague (or historically called, the "European Champions' Cup") was originally established by FIBA and it operated under its umbrella from 1958 until the summer of 2000, including the 1999/2000 season. That was when ULEB, short for the Union of European Leagues of Basketball, was created by the 24 richest club teams, most of them from Spain, Italy and Greece.

Amazingly, FIBA had never trademarked the Euroleague name and ULEB simply used it without any legal ramifications because FIBA had no legal recourse to do anything about it, so they had to find a new name for their league. Thus, the following 2000/2001 season started with 2 separate top European basketball competitions: the FIBA Suproleague (known previously as the FIBA Euroleague up to that point) and the brand new ULEB Euroleague.

The rift in European club basketball initially showed no signs of letting up. Top clubs were also split between the two leagues: Panathinaikos, Maccabi Tel Aviv, CSKA Moscow and Efes Pilsen stayed with FIBA, while Olympiacos Piraeus, Kinder Bologna, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, TAU Cerámica and Benetton Treviso joined ULEB.

uproleague 2000-01 Season

Maccabi Tel Aviv, CSKA Moscow, Efes Pilsen and Panathinaikos reached the Suproleague final four in the lone year of the Suproleague's existence. Maccabi won the Suproleague championship after beating Panathinaikos in the final game 81:67. Ariel McDonald was the league's MVP for the Final Four.

In May of 2001, Europe had two continental champions, Maccabi of the FIBA Suproleague and Kinder Bologna of the ULEB Euroleague. The leaders of both organizations realized the need to come up with a new single competition. Negotiating from the position of strength, ULEB dictated proceedings and FIBA essentially had no choice but to agree to their terms. As a result, the Euroleague was fully integrated under ULEB's umbrella and teams that competed in the FIBA Suproleague during the 2000/2001 season joined it as well. It is today officially admitted that European basketball had two champions that year, Maccabi of the FIBA Suproleague and Kinder Bologna of the ULEB Euroleague.

The Current Euroleague is Formed

A year later, ULEB and FIBA decided that ULEB's Euroleague competition would be the main basketball tournament on the continent, to be played between the top level teams of Europe. FIBA Europe would also organize a European league for medium level teams, known as the EuroCup competition, while ULEB would also organize its own medium level league, combining FIBA's long-time Korac Cup and Saporta Cup competitions into one new mid-level competition, the ULEB Cup. In 2005, ULEB and FIBA decided to cooperate together from then on for the Euroleague and have been jointly cooperating on running the Euroleague since then.

In essence, the authority in European basketball was divided over club-country lines. FIBA stayed in charge of national team competitions (like the European Championships, World Championships, and the Olympics) while ULEB took over the professional club competitions. From that point on, FIBA's Korac Cup and Saporta Cup competitions lasted only one more season before folding, which was when ULEB launched the ULEB Cup.

External links

* [,Uz02qBnJiADOq5VntEf53.html Suproleague in FIBA Europe site]

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