"Good afternoon and welcome to this first official event of the 2010 Final Four Paris. Here in Paris we have reached the final moment of a season, our tenth Euroleague Basketball season. And this has been once more a sports success, a season in which our fans have enjoyed the best European basketball. This has been our objective since the first day, and year after year we are achieving it. We are proud to announce that this season 194 countries have followed the Euroleague, which is something that has never happened before in the history of European basketball.
"European basketball that wants to show the world its top quality as a sports product. European basketball that has its own personality. Where each club is the protagonist. Where each club has its own history. Where each club has the passion of its fans for the team. Where each club has the sense of team game. This is our essence. Thanks to the work of the clubs, the technical quality of our players and coaches is a guarantee for the future.
"The best are here today. FC Barcelona, CSKA Moscow, Partizan Belgrade and Olympiacos Piraeus. These teams have been the best after a difficult season and very hard work by all our players and coaches. Today it is their turn. Today, they are the protagonists, because they have made a great effort to achieve that. We would like to thank them for the good basketball that we have enjoyed, and thank them in advance for the great time we will have this weekend.
"Before giving the floor to them, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have contributed to make this weekend special. I would like to thank our partner AEG, for its contribution in making the Final Four become evermore the showcase of European basketball. And for making it the Final Four come back to Paris.
"Special thanks to the Municipality of Paris for hosting us during this press conference and the Awards Ceremony next Saturday. I would also like to thank the Palais Omnisport Paris Bercy, because its past experience hosting great events has been also very helpful. And particularly this year, I wish to thank the French Basketball Federation, which has put at our disposal all its human and organizational resources.
"At this point a special mention to our sponsors. Without the help of Nike, Sportingbet, Efes, GNTO, Mondo and especially for this Final Four, Turkish Airlines, Jacques Lemans, Biola and Intersport, none of this would be possible.
"We are all going to do our best to offer you a great event. The Final Four in Paris will be attended by almost 15,000 fans and this Final Four in Paris we will have 491 accredited media.
"The weekend is more than just games. There is something else. I would like to draw your attention to our Nike International Junior Tournament, which is celebrating its eighth edition and has already become a real European junior championship of clubs. We will enjoy ourselves watching the future stars of European basketball. The Player Development Clinic, where players and coaches will both learn how to improve strength and conditioning. We will also devote time to be closer to our community. Together with our partner Mondo we have conducted a CSR activity to renovate a court where children will enjoy the sport of basketball.
"All this is the Final Four, but the Final Four is especially excitement and devotion to basketball."