I really like the original approach made by qiangdade. Not so much because of the resulting score, which is very much a personal view, but describing the league in 10 categories enables to compare strenghts and weaknesses of different leagues.
Germany - BBL
The minimum capacity is 3000. The league's avarage capacity is 4750. There has been a trend to build new, modern, mostly multi purpose arenas in the last years to leave the training hall image of the 1990s behind. Of course Berlin's NBA-style o2-World is an outstanding landmark (14.800, opened 2008). Bamberg (6.800, opened 2005), Braunschweig (6.600, opened 2000) Bonn (6.000, 2008), Trier (5.900, 2003) Oldenburg (3.200, 2005) are better examples of the league's mainstream arena. Other new arenas are currently being built or in the pipeline (Ludwigsburg, 7000; Frankfurt 11000, Ulm 5000). There's not more than a handful of teams playing in traditional sport complexes.
Number four in Europe last season one of the league's assets clearly are the average attendances. Close to 3500 spectators came last season. With new arenas in Berlin and Bonn the numbers will rise even further. Becoming No. 2 in Europe seems to be possible this season. Berlin will show over 10.000 per game now, Bamberg over 6000, Bonn over 5000. More than 100 sold old games with 3000 in a row in Quakenbrück (12.500 population)... But on the downside, there's a handful of teams where average numbers stay around 2.500 and the attendances in European competitions are below the league avarages (except Euroleague in Berlin and Bamberg).
Within the league the competition is high. Possibly, the phrase most often uttered by coaches is that any team can defeat any other. Four different champs in four years, playoff surprises and frequent Cinderella stories make the league close and unpredictable. But on a multi year perspective the league can be seen as divided in three categories, a handful of teams being constant playoff participants, a broad midfield fighting for reaching the playoffs and a handful of teams struggling to stay in the league or being neither a close to playoffs nor have to fear relegation. Additionally when compared to the european level, the league's sportive level is clearly below average quality.
It differs between clubs. The top clubs probably belong to the clubs with the best organization in Europe while the smaller ones are still quite amateurish. The league organization itself increased their professionalism level during the last years building up a branded U19-league, common standards, an excellent Allstar-Event (crowds around 10.000), obligatory (8% of player salaries) and partially joint funding (a fee per signed player is redistributed according to youngsters' playing time) of youth players (approx. >3 mio. €) but it still lacks some seriousness when it comes to building up a league brand and joint marketing and sponsoring.
The league's minimum budget of 1.000.000 € grants a basic stability. With very rare exceptions salaries are paid in full and on time. There has been one insolvency last season (Cologne) but even in that case the team was able to play the season. The current financial crisis in Giessen did only affect player salaries in so far as they were partly paid a week late. There might arise stability problems in small budget clubs once in a while but overall the league is stable, reliable, the clubs have liquidity and the league's office really tries to wipe out any remaining risk factors. The standards are so strict and high, that teams being promoted from the second division waive their right and relegated teams stay in the league. (Evaluation 9) But I have to downrank the evaluation due to the fact that one insolvency and a near insolvency took place. (Eval. 6)
Additionally there's a huge player movement taking place every off-season. The German BBL is something of a transitional stage for a lot of players coming out of the US or minor leagues and wanting to move on to the European top leagues or even the NBA. This affects the sportive stability of a majority of the clubs to a great extent as players with multi year contracts are a rare exception. Many clubs have to start new building a team every single season.
1 Korac-Cup title, one El-Top16, one Ulebcup Quarterfinal, very few other journeys in the elimination rounds. Mostly Germany's clubs internationally lost and showed poor to disastrous performances even in group stage.
7.El level teams
Currently only Berlin as Bamberg is restructuring itself sportively and probably financially right now.
8. Eurocup level teams
Probably any of the top 4-5 teams should have Eurocup level and budgets. Due to lack of success in the group stage in the last years I give this some doubt and say: 2.
It's clearly team sports number four behind Football, Handball, Icehockey... The media at large has some difficulties to get attracted to Basketball in Germany. And even if they feature Basketball, NBA and Nowitzki seem to reach a wider interest. With its own Pay TV channel in cable networks, satellite and internet more than 100 live games (incl. every playoff game) are featured and the public free TV stations use the pictures infrequently in regional sports magazines. No regular free TV coverage. Two monthly print mags have been started within the last two years. The trend is positive, but compared to other sports it's still poor.
ALBA Berlin is the sole champ in this category with close to 8 mil euro. Bamberg had something close to 6 mio euro in the past years. The league average is rumored to be 2,75 mio euro (total budget) with a third of the clubs being constantly over 3 mio, a third having something close to the average and a third being just over the minimum budget of 1 mio euro (in the range of 1 to 1.6 mio). The total amount of gross player salaries is rumored to be slightly above 30 mio. € for 18 clubs. Multimillion-Dollar-contracts are unheard of, the very top players are rumored to have landed contracts for something around USD 600.000.
Final evaluation: 40/100
Caveat: There are some major inconsistencies in the evaluation if you compare the points to what was given to other countries before. The organization (especially considered website etc.) is way better than the Greek league. If Greece with a history of not paying players on time or at all gets 4 points in stability and Italy with two relegated teams 5 points, the BBL has to be evaluated higher. @qiangdade, due to the fact that your old evaluations were mostly based on last season, could you just update a new overview?
Last edited by Gruebler; 10-27-2008 at 11:34 PM.