Tonight, with the Champions Cup opposing the Euroleague team Brose Baskets Bamberg and Koeln 99ers, the German Basketball Bundesliga will start its 2007/2008 season. The return of several German National Team players to their home league is announced as a sign of the success of the American dominated league.
4 actual or former players of the German National team will return this year after having played several seasons in foreign leagues. But when you take a closer look, these players are either ageing (Patrick Femerling, Ademola Okulaja) or mid-level caliber guys like Misan Nikagbatse. But the German league is announcing this in a party-time way that you could think that the BBL is talent-wise highly loaded. But this is unfortunately not the case.
Of course, there is some young German Talent present, but the league is defined by the very large foreigner rule. In fact, there is a need to have only 3 German born players on every team. So this is the reason that some teams will play with 9 US-born players and only 3 Germans, and these Germans are just there to fill the roster and won’t get any playing time. I don’t know if this is the best way to develop young players for the future of the German NT that will probably suffer from an After-Nowitzki gap in the upcoming years.
For the two teams competing today, there is some hope though as I could see in the first half already interesting minutes for youngsters like Tim Ohlbrecht, Philipp Schwethelm or Sajmen Hauer.
I will follow the German league very closely and will give regular update concerning the development of the brightest young kids form the different team that play this year in the highest German league.