Antonio Martín: "Gasol's return is a gift for the ACB"

The president of the ACB reviewed the past, present and future of the Endesa League at the Europa Press Sports Breakfasts. He believes that there will soon be an audience in the stands.


Antonio Martín, president of the ACB, participated in the Europa Press Sports Breakfasts. "The ACB is trying to take off his tie metaphorically speaking," said the president who reviewed the past, present and future of Spanish basketball. “The bug came to us and the effort has been greater. Keeping the competitions alive. The protagonists of this are the more than 240 ACB players. We believe that in offices or other areas where the momentum is generated, but the players are the ones who put the passion and transmit the need to watch this sport ”.

Martín insisted on the importance of the players and the need to listen. “When we had to set up the Final Phase in Valencia, he had a meeting with 50-60 players to listen to. It made us have a more sensitive skin to your needs and doubts. We listen to the player-coaches and the fans ”. But he explains that "the base of basketball is the 8,000 boys and girls from the ACB quarries." “97% of the players in the lower categories of the National Team come from those quarries. Many times we see clubs for their elite teams, but there is much more behind it. ”

With Jorge Garbajosa, president of the FEB in the act, the president of the ACB stressed that "there is only one basketball." "The fans do not understand if there are disputes and they should not be confused. Of course we have differences with the FEB, but we have more meeting points. What the FEB is trying to do is that we see the importance of summer basketball. We have to give feedback. Since 2008 we have the same agreement and now we are very close to signing the new one, in this exercise of understanding each other. It is in bad moments that we see it. "

Martín spoke about the success of the bubble of the Final Phase of Valencia when 18 clubs had to agree to change everything. “The act of generosity from the clubs was enormous. The Association of Doctors is in the backstage but they were the great protagonists. And the players too, who agreed to be locked up again for 21 days. Sportingly there were doubts, but he had a very high level and with a final that was decided in the last second. Then summer came and we had a kind of truce. We did the Endesa Super Cup in Tenerife, where there were no surprises either. Perhaps what we are most happy about now is having taken out the Copa del Rey, when there were no more bubbles. How to celebrate the hobby tournament without them? Nature, DNA, we are missing. We create a very audiovisual event and try to make them participate. What did this translate into? Interactions passed 20 million and the share rose to 17%. ”

But the ACB has had to face more challenges. "Since September we have been keeping the Endesa League alive." And without an audience. According to ACB accounts, more than two million spectators have not been in the stands. That, translated into money, is a great impact on the coffers of the clubs. “The impact on soccer and basketball ticketing is not the same. The average is a 23% reduction in income, although some reach 40%. ”

The ACB has proposed to generate community through new content. "We want to tell the truth," says Martín. The Endesa League has miked referees, coaches, players this season ... "The response from the fans has been extremely high." And it has also generated current content (American players talking about the problem of weapons in the US, for example) and on new social networks. "If you don't do Tik Tok you are nobody." But the ACB wants to leave a greater impact on society with its campaign against bullying. “That we use the ACB for this is something very gratifying.”

"I wish there was a public before the end of the season"

Impacto de Pau. "It's a gift. What players with that charisma, the best player in the history of our country ... coming back after 20 years in the NBA is very satisfactory. What worries me is that he's okay and having fun. I hope you feel good and that you enjoy yourself, because if you do, all of us are going to do it. ”

Economic impact of the pandemic on clubs. “We have done a study on the impact of the pandemic on income. What surprises me is that the clubs have maintained a competitive level with all this. The clubs have a maximum tension, circumstantial and not circumstantial. ”

Public. “First you have to put how it works in context. The ACB and the Football League are governed by the Government and the rest, by the Autonomous Councils. We comply, but it is difficult for my clubs to understand this inconsistency. When speaking of 500 followers, I speak of 10% of the smallest field of ACB. But the CSD is the first interested in that the professional sport takes that oxygen. When we met the last time, she already told us what could happen in January. One wave comes after another. It is not easy for anyone. We are now at a time when we can look more positively at the medium term. But it's hard for everyone. ”

Meeting with the CSD. “Communication with the CSD is not from time to time. The next meeting is shortly. I'm not talking about weeks. I wish there is an audience before the season ends. If the numbers of the pandemic help us, the Ministry of Health and the CSD will be for the job. They are the first to want to normalize. And it is not true that we have asked the CSD for a bailout of 12 million euros. ”

The NBA looks at the bubble. “We were the first and any reference for the second was good. Everyone wanted to know how we had done it, maybe to correct mistakes ... But we did it well together, without the discipline of the players, the generosity of the clubs ... We are happy with how it turned out. ”

The power of the NBA. “The ACB has to sing the mea culpa. Know when that separation with the fan arose. We work on two axes: one is that of the fans and the other that of the protagonists. Hopefully in a while we will see children with Darío Brizuela jerseys and other ACB players. ”

Fernando Martín. “If I have something to be thankful for, it is the affection that everyone has shown for the figure of Fernando, because it has been infinite. Maybe at a certain moment he was hurt, because because he was in the NBA he couldn't go to the National Team and there I lost the opportunity to play the Seoul Games with him. My brother broke down a door at a different time and setting. That takedown was even more necessary. ”

Copa del Rey. “A Copa del Rey in these terms is difficult to get. At an economic level, without an audience, it has its consequences, but not doing so would have had worse consequences. ”

ACB Competition. “You no longer talk about the giant killers because it happens every week. The alternatives are healthy, but what is healthy for me is that those who are at the top have to make more and more efforts to be so. ”

Relations with the FEB. "I'm not talking about the past, but the relationship is good now. Jorge and I have understood that our protagonists and our audience are the same. We have differences, but if there is no communication it is difficult for this to improve. I do not give extra value to having been a former player, it is not necessary to understand how this industry is going. Spring has just started, I think the new agreement will be signed. ”

Community third party in the new agreement. “We cannot refuse to see the reality of our clubs. We are giving way to a more extensive market, but we will protect the training player. ”

Euroleague. “It is never too late for dialogue and in this case we are obliged. Not only ACB and Euroleague, but also with FEB and FIBA. It is necessary to sit at the same table. The ACB wants a spectacular Euroleague and if it is spectacular it is because that is born in the domestic leagues. Living together is measuring how far each one goes. And it's never too late. ”

Hall of Fame. “They have postponed it until there is some more peace of mind. It is a very intelligent idea and a way of paying tribute to those who have helped Spanish basketball, I have always said that Spain has a short and selective memory ”.

Games. “I bet on Spain. I want to get up early to see the National Team in the final. ”

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