San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs vs Alba Berlin Preview

By Matt Graber

After a long offseason, NBA basketball is finally back, with the preseason kicking off this week. The San Antonio Spurs’ preseason opener should feature plenty of intrigue, as the team will face an unusual opponent, traveling overseas to face off with German powerhouse Alba Berlin.

So, who are Alba Berlin, exactly? The team is considered one of, if not the, most successful and well-known teams in German basketball history, winning eight German championships and serving as regular contenders in the German Bundesliga

The team is also apparently very well-run, as their manager, Marco Baldi, was named the 2014 Euroleague Executive of the Year. With their long-running success and a great front office, the team sounds a bit like our very own Spurs.

This won’t be the first time that Alba Berlin will compete against an NBA powerhouse, as the team was the first European club to play against an NBA champion, facing off with the Dallas Mavericks in 2012.

The team has also seen a degree of exposure in the United States, as they were featured on the ESPN documentary series Basketball Capitals. With their success, national prestige and international exposure, it’s obvious that Alba Berlin is a big deal in Germany.

How will the game go? Not well for Alba Berlin. A lot of notable European teams, such as Maccabi Tel Aviv, schedule preseason games with NBA teams, and the results are never particularly close. There’s just a big talent gap.

The San Antonio Spurs are the defending NBA champions, and the best known player for Alba, unless you’re an international basketball junkie, may be former Uconn guard Niels Giffey, who was a member of the school’s last two national championship teams.

The Spurs roster has a distinctively European flavor with guys like Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, and Marco Belinelli, so it will be interesting to see the reception they get in Europe,

Nevertheless, it should be interesting to see how the San Antonio Spurs fare against an international team playing a different brand of basketball. It will also be interesting to see how the Spurs’ rotation looks after a week of training camp. But really, it’ll be great just to see the Spurs back on the court once again.

What do you think of the San Antonio Spurs first preseason game? Let us know in the comments!

Also, don’t forget to follow Air Alamo on Twitter @AirAlamo for live updates during the game!