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Tight knit Iceland too much for Great Britain +++ EuroBasket 2015: Round-up and Highlights from Wednesday’s qualifiers +++ FIBA dropped a sweet promo for the World Cup +++ Basketball World Cup of Beer – Bronze Medal Match +++ Rudy gets iced, the internet rejoices +++ FIBA World Cup Preview – Group C +++ CSKA Moscow’s Kyle Hines and Sonny Weems take the ice bucket challenge +++ Tony Parker does ice bucket challenge but his friend can’t use a camera phone +++ Basketball World Cup of Beer: Semi Finals +++ EuroBasket 2015: Wins for Macedonia, Belgium, and Georgia +++
Jul
1

Just because: A look at some mock 2014 NBA Drafts (a.k.a. Way too early Saric-, Hezonja-watching)

From Fox Sports via the syndication wire, BallinEurope’ll put this one up here for the sheer audacity of it. Below runs exactly what the BiE headline advertises: The sports network’s admittedly “way too early” 2014 mock NBA draft.

And though it is indeed way too early to be thinking about June 2014, BiE’s already looking forward to seeing the exportation of Croatian ballers Dario Saric and Mario Hezonja to the NBA. Hezonja chose not to participate for Team Croatia in the FIBA U19 World Championship wrapping today, ol’ Super Dario has done his dominant-level best, ranking first in rebounding (12.3 per game), second in points (22.4), second in assists (5.5), plus Worlds-leading marks in minutes played (36.6), free-throw attempts (8.0) and makes (6.1); check out LiveBasketball.TV-produced highlight clip from Saric’s 30-point effort against championship-contending Team Serbia run below.

Naturally, specialists NBA Draft and Draft Express also have their mock drafts up (as do many others in the blogosphere, but only Draft Express appears not to pencil in the various teams with their finish for 2013-14). NBA Draft likes Hezonja and Saric to go at nos. 15 and 17, respectively, while the ‘Express has the guy Fox calls “potentially the next Drazen Petrovic” (really?) landing with a lottery team at no. 8 and Saric hearing his name called at … number 22? (Really?!?)
Roll the tape!

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Jun
10

Kobe says Dirk best non-US player ever; BallinEurope respectfully disagrees

No disrespect to Dirk Nowitzki and what he’s accomplished in his 15 NBA seasons and international play, but BallinEurope felt obliged to respond to a 141-character length injustice this afternoon.

Said Kobe Bryant, via FIBA:

But BiE begs to differ. Again, no disrespect.

BallinEurope suspects a few readers might agree. Of course, there’s also…

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Jun
5

Podcast: Interviewing NBA Draft prospect Dario Saric, San Antonio Spurs writer Matthew Tynan; also Forgetting Paris

(Dario Saric image courtesy Draft Express)Episode #38 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes. Hein and yours truly zip through a roundup of rolling-on European league tournaments, including brief commentary on what’s happening in the VTB United League, Germany, Turkey, and those French playoffs guaranteed to be giving Jordi Bertomeu nightmares already…

Thereafter, Taking the Charge presents a chat with Dario Saric, a.k.a. The Next Big Thing Out of Croatia. Saric is surprisingly frank about his plans for the immediate future with regard to the NBA Draft and possibility continuing on with Cibona Zagreb. And by the way, yes, he expects his fully-loaded Team Croatia side to take the gold in the upcoming FIBA U19 World Championship – and honestly, BiE’s gotta side with the wunderkind on this one.

Also joining the show this week is Matthew Tynan of the San Antonio Spurs-centric ESPN TrueHoop Network site 48 Minutes of Hell. Tynan weighs in on Tony Parker’s awesomeness, Tim Duncan’s legacy, Tiago Splitter’s recent emergence as a key factor in San Antonio’s success and the bittersweet difficulty of having to interview Gregg Popovich. Tynan offers us his own Official Fearless Prediction for the NBA Finals, as does Hein himself – and BiE must say that both are surprising, really.

Finally, the movie of the week is a gem of a basketball-centric romantic comedy from the 1990s, Forget Paris. This one was directed, written and co-produced by that no. 1 Los Angeles Clippers fan Billy Crystal in an apparent attempt to get the sports-obsessed guys out there to check out what might be otherwise considered a “chick flick.”

Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.

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May
8

Spanish media: Bogdanovic coming to Brooklyn; Splitter rebuffs wacky Real Madrid overture

It’s good news for international hoops fans into the NBA in a pair of stories via Spain-based Marca today.

Earlier this morning, the outlet reported that Mikhail Prokhorov and his Brooklyn Nets will buy out Bojan Bogdanovic’s contract with Fenerbahce Ulker for some $570,000. Bogdanovic was originally drafted by the Miami Heat at no. 31 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, and his rights subsequently bounced to Brooklyn through the Minnesota Timberwolves in a series of trades.

For Fenerbahce this season, Bogdanovic was good for 15.9 points in 28.25 minutes per game in Euroleague cumulatively – and 20.5 in just over 32½ in the Top 16 round. Back in Turkey, Bogdanovic averaged 13.0 in 25.3 minutes.

Any buyout of Bogdanovic’s contract would become official on July 1.

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Feb
0

Mario Hezonja slams home Dunk of The Weekend, compiles one-game highlight reel

The NBA All-Star What Contest? Over in the ‘States, basketball superstars created highlight-reel clips while facing little opposition … so forget canned exhibitions (especially Flight White’s sad showing) and check out a show most missed: Croatian wunderkind Mario Hezonja submitted the dunk of the weekend with an incredible one-handed finish to an alley-oop pass from fellow youth-ball player Joan Creus in FC Barcelona’s 67-66 squeaker of a LEB Gold league victory over Leyma Basquet.

The 17-year-old Hezonja went on to put in a game-high 17 points, most of which were highlight-worthy. See the man-among-boys for yourself below — and remember the name.

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Jan
0

Report: Brooklyn Nets to take on Cibona Zagreb in Croatia in October

Drazen PetrovicSome exciting news for folks in Zagreb from the English-language section of the news portal Croatia Week: Basketball fans in the big city may be treated to a unique Brooklyn Nets-Cibona Zagreb exhibition match in October in observation of the 20th anniversary of the death of all-time great Drazen Petrovic.

And according to the ‘Week, little stands in the way of such an eventuality: “The Brooklyn Nets, who were called the New Jersey Nets when Petrovic was a star there in the early 1990′s, will play a match against Petrovic’s former club Cibona in Zagreb if there is enough interest…

Gee, do you think the first-ever appearance by an NBA team in the basketball-mad land could generate enough interest? Start looking into hotel deals now, sports tourists!

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Dec
8

Cibona Zagreb to announce Smush Parker, give coach vote of confidence, blasted by Predrag Saric

Now who saw this one coming? According to Croatia-based news outlet Jutarnji, Cibona Zagreb, having just activated the previously in-limbo Dario Saric (not to mention already eliminated from Eurocup play and in a 6-7 hole in the ABA), will announce the signing of Smush Parker.

Perhaps best known nowadays for serving as Kobe Bryant’s media-side scratching post, Parker has logged court time in China, Greece, Russia, Iran, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic since last playing in the U.S. with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in 2008.

Further making things interesting are comments made by Saric’s bombastic father Predrag. As translated by Sportando, father Saric opined that “Cibona owe money to everyone, they don’t have a coach and they expect Dario to save them. The best option for Darius was KK Split…

(For the record, the same story telling of Parker’s arrival also notes that current head coach Daniel Lutz will in fact remain in the position through 2012-13.)

Predrag further went on to comment that at least 10 clubs were willing to sign his son and immediately loan him back to KK Split; apparently, Predrag had little say in the matter after all, however, since relations among family members has become a bit strained.

And BallinEurope asks could the downward spiral of this legendary European basketball club continue? Kobe’d probably say yes…

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Dec
0

Video: Dario Saric’s debut with Cibona Zagreb

While embeddable Adriatic League game clips are somewhat hard to come by through traditional online methods, the folks at the ABA have nicely provided entire game clips on their official website.

As noted by BallinEurope, Dario “The Next Big Thing Out of Croatia” Saric debuted for 2012-13 on Sunday with Cibona Zagreb in the storied club’s win over Euroleaguers Cedevita. European basketball fans and NBA mock draft addicts will certainly want to watch for no. 9 in the video; despite an 0-of-5 mark on threes, Saric contributed eight points, five assists, four rebounds and one steal in a nice display of his array of skills.

The full game may be seen here, while below runs a sliver.

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Dec
2

On Hezonja, Todorovic plus a couple of Swedes: FC Barcelona’s future as bright as the present?

Barcelona’s future: Alex Abrines, Mario Hezonja, Marko Todorović

As though FC Barcelona’s red-hot play – they’re now at 14-4 overall after an 0-2 start in Spain – weren’t enough to keep European basketball devotees watching, here are two more reasons for you: Mario Hezonja and Marko Todorović.

At just 17 years old and despite missing the entire 2011-12 regular season, Hezonja finally got a taste of the action in Barça’s 78-48 laugher over Beşiktaş in Turkey last Friday night. His Euroleague debut stat line read five points, two rebounds and one steal in a few ticks under 12 minutes of play.

Hezonja again did not play in Spain this weekend, unlisted on the roster for Barca’s 81-64 win over Cajasol in Liga Endesa play; the 12th-man spot was filled by 20-year-old Todorović of Montenegro. In the Beşiktaş game, Todorović’s 12 minutes of court time was the most he’s gotten all season and the national teamer was good for four points, four rebounds and two blocks.

Potentially the nucleus of a shiny new Barca frontcourt? Continue Reading…

Nov
1

Rumor: Anadolu Efes to pay for, transfer Saric to KK Split

Now here’s an encouraging rumor about Dario Saric’s potentially disastrous contract situation: According to Euro-Step, one team which can afford to do so will step up to foot the €550,000 transfer fee demanded by KK Zagreb to release the Croatian wunderkind.

As rumor has it, “Nikola Vujcic is acting as an intermediary” in a deal which would have “Saric sign[ing] with Anadolu Efes before joining KK Split on loan.”

Saric has reportedly been working out with Split for the month he’s been in contract limbo. Originally slated to play for Bilbao Basket of the Liga Endesa this season, the transfer was stopped when the now-second division Zagreb club demanded at least €1 million to win the prospect’s services. FIBA arbitrators ruled that the price would be €550,000.

Hopefully things will work out for The Next Big Thing Out of Croatia, who had been looking at the prospect of a Kanteresque sat-out season as Saric looks to continue moving up his basketball career ladder.

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