family life? Andreas Obst smiles, then he says: “That’s just a bit short.” Obst, 26, is a professional basketball player, and a very good one at that, and that’s where the problem lies. Because thanks to his skills, he is employed by FC Bayern Munich, the only German club besides Alba Berlin that appears in the Euroleague. For the players, this means an extremely tight schedule: last season, the Munich players played 84 times in competitive games. The conditions are similar to those in the North American NBA.
After all, Bayern ended a series of three defeats on Thursday with the 97:92 against Valencia. And that’s how challenging it will soon be, in December and January Bayern play every two days. This insane program is made more difficult by the constant trips abroad across Europe.
He would like to go to the Christmas market, says Obst, but so far he hasn’t found an opportunity. Real Madrid made a guest appearance in the Audi Dome on Tuesday, followed by Valencia two days later. The Braunschweiger Löwen are traveling to the Bundesliga duel this Saturday. The players are in a kind of survival mode, Obst finds, in addition to the physical strain, the program also “pushes its mental limits”. Regulated training is currently out of the question; Before the game against Madrid, coach Andrea Trinchieri had even skipped training altogether, which has never happened before. The reason was obvious: only two days earlier, the Munich team lost 68:78 in the top Bundesliga game in Bonn, and again only two days earlier 53:78 in the Basque Country at Vitoria-Gasteiz.
Four games in seven days, that’s pushing the limits, says Andreas Obst
At least there was an improvement in performance against Real Madrid, but Bayern lost 64:68, it was the third defeat in a row. Such a series is well suited to unrest at Bayern Munich, but the coach, usually known for his explosions on the touchline, took the results surprisingly calmly. He knows what his team has to do. “I can’t blame my players,” Trinchieri explained after the clash with Los Blancos from Spain, he constantly has to field a team that he can’t prepare properly. The worst consequence of the insane program are injuries: Bayern have been without two key players in captain Vladimir Lucic and Augustine Rubit for weeks.
The competition has similar problems, of course, but Real, for example, have put together one of those top-class selections whose goal is always the European crown. Indeed, despite all the crises that are shaking the world, big clubs like Madrid, Barcelona, Istanbul, Milan, Tel Aviv and Monaco continue to find ways to lure top-class players with lavish deals – such as Darrun Hilliard (to Tel Aviv) and Deshaun Thomas (to Milan), which FC Bayern could no longer finance.
Of course, FC Bayern, which is financially ahead of the national competition, does not do well to complain. “It’s part of the business,” says Munich’s Corey Walden, who was the top scorer in the win against Valencia with 18 points. But the gap to the European elite is widening. While NBA players come and go among the financially powerful competitors, the Munich team has signed Cassius Winston, 24, and Freddie Gillespie, 25, two highly talented US players to Munich – but only because it is for both talents for the NBA wasn’t enough yet. Playmaker Winston, who is just getting to know European basketball, tried very hard in the game against Madrid, but all too often got bogged down in individual actions and repeatedly hit his limits – or against the powerful Spanish defenders. Trinchieri still gives him a lot of playing time and gives him almost fatherly care: the coach knows that he will need him badly in the playoffs.
Sleep, nutrition, regeneration time – these are the remedies against the chase
There’s still time until then, and a lot will also depend on how healthy the players get through the season. The fact that Bayern are competitive in full possession of their strengths has not only been proven in the last two Euroleague seasons, in which they narrowly failed in the Final Four tournament. The victory against Valencia was the fifth win in 14 games, which leaves the prospect of the playoffs open. However, given the upgraded competition, it will be difficult. In addition, the people of Munich have paid dearly for the international respectable successes in recent seasons: since the titles in 2018 and 2019, Berlin has been German champions three times in a row.
That should change in June if everything goes according to plan. It is important to take care of the body, explains Munich guard Andreas Obst in this context, “to avoid injuries”. Many things have to be considered, “enough sleep, the right diet, regeneration times,” says Obst, “but we have a good medical department.”
The season is particularly strenuous for the national player, because of the European Championship in September the summer break was practically canceled for him. After all, he “put his feet up” for a week. Perhaps there will soon be at least a little time for a detour to the Christmas market.