Fearless Predictions: 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball +++ It’s Jet-er not Jee-ter, watch Pooh get ready for the World Cup +++ EuroBasket 2015: Romania the odd team out on the final night +++ Gran Canaria gets the Phantom treatment for USA vs Slovenia +++ TrueHoop breaks down how David Blatt will work with LeBron James +++ FIBA World Cup Preview: Group D +++ BiE’s editor takes the ice bucket challenge, nominates Basketball Ireland boss +++ Žydrūnas Ilgauskas considering a comeback? Wow LeBron has power +++ The Dream Team’s children +++ Highlights: Belgium beat Belarus, Germany stay alive +++

The BBL experience – Rowdy in Frankfurt

Quantez Robertson's last ride

BiE’s editor headed to Frankfurt to catch a supposedly nothing game between Fraport Skyliners and medi Bayreuth on Sunday. It was 11th vs 15th, the atmosphere was like a playoff spot was at stake.

The stakes could hardly have been lower. Fraport Skyliners were all but eliminated from the playoffs and medi Bayreuth only faced a relegation threat in the mathematical sense. A few hundred miles away Bamberg and Bayern were going to duke it out in the battle for home court advantage but the fans in Frankfurt didn’t care for the bigger picture. They had one foe, one goal, help their team get the W by being as loud as humanly possible. No-one is going to confuse the Fraport Arena with the OAKA any time soon but when you head to a mid-table game, you don’t really expect this:

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New Yorker Phantoms win at highlight videos

Total credit here goes to Christophe Ney of European Prospects for finding this. New Yorker Phantoms of Germany’s Bundesliga has put tremendous work into delivering arguably the best game highlights in Europe.

The videos are produced by @yourmoodmood in Braunschweig and they deserve plenty of props for the work they are doing.


Bundesliga: Bayern stay perfect, Mike’s Stock is falling

FC Bayern moved to 4-0 as their impressive start to Bundesliga continued while Artland Dragons claimed the scalp of Brose Baskets Bamberg.

This is what you call ideal preparation for your debut season in Euroleague. FC Bayern already had a win over fellow Euroleague side Bamberg to their name in the Bundesliga this season and continued their hot start with a 103-70 win over BC Bayreuth. Bayern had 6 players in double digits as they comfortably maintained their perfect start to the season. Malcolm Delaney wasn’t one of the big scorers, he was far too busy dropping dimes as he dished 11 assists on the day. Bayreuth were short-handed for the road trip and their eight-man rotation finally caved in the third quarter when Bayern busted the game open with a 34-16 frame.

Germany’s other Euroleague team, Brose Baskets Bamberg, isn’t enjoying the hot start of their Bavarian neighbours. The reigning Bundesliga champions dropped to 2-2 on the season after losing 71-68 at Artland Dragons. Brandon Thomas chipped in 14 points, 5 boards, and 3 assists for Dragons in the win.

ratiopharm Ulm is fast becoming one of the favourite teams of Ballineurope, mainly because they post highlights of their games promptly after they have finished. Unfortunately for Ulm, being in our good books counts for squat and they went down 77-74 at home to Telekom Baskets Bonn. Cameron Long’s 0 for 7 day from deep didn’t help the home side out but Per Gunther was an impressive 4 of 5 from three point range. Inconsistency was the undoing of Ulm, even Gunther had a horrible day on the inside, and they eventually succumbed to a more efficient Bonn team.

We never meant to have a Mike Stockton watch on these pages but after featuring the Ludwigsburg player last week, we simply have to follow up and see how he got on at the weekend. Stockton and his MHP Riesen team got stuffed in Berlin, losing to Alba 83-52. Stockton had 6 points, 3 assists, 3 steals, but 6 turnovers in the loss. David Logan starred for Berlin with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.


Germany: Bayern contain Stockton, Bamberg rolls, Ulm squeeze it out

It was a busy night in the Bundesliga and FC Bayern maintained their perfect record with a comfortable 95-71 win at Ludwigsburg.

Bayern didn’t stop Mike Stockton but they managed to contain the new favourite son of Ludwigsburg. Stockton scored 12 points, picked up 3 rebounds, and had 3 assists but this was well short of the crazy numbers he put up in his first two games at his new home. Bayern’s variety of options was on full display as 6 different players scored in double digits. Malcolm Delaney led the way with 18 points, 7 dimes, and 5 boards, but his was just won of several impressive showings from the Bavarians on Wednesday night.

Brose Baskets Bamberg rebounded from their weekend loss to Bayern with a crushing 85-62 win over Walters Tigers Tubringen. Darmir Markota had 8 boards and 6 assists while scored 22 points and dropped 5 dimes in a dominant home display by the Bundesliga champions.

The was a thriller between s.Oliver Baskets and ratiopharm Ulm. Despite strong starts to both halves, Ulm couldn’t shake the Wurzburg club and the battle went down to the closing stages. On a night where free-throw shooting was iffy, it was Ulm that held its nerve at the line to hang on for an 81-80 victory.





Diagramming an impressive debut for Mike Stockton, son of that Stockton

We’re not quite at the stage where if Simon Jatsch of draws it up we’ll share it but we’re not far off. This chart from Ludwigsburg’s first two games of Germany’s Bundesliga season shows just how impressive a debut Michael Stockton, son of hall-of-famer John Stockton, made for his new team.


Stockton scored 20 points and had 8 assists in an impressive first outing for his new home, an 83-75 win over Bremerhaven. After spending last season with Karlsruhe and clocking time in the NBA Summer League with the Utah Jazz, Stockton stepped up on his debut with Ludwigsburg. A health warning should be attached, Bremerhaven aren’t noted for their pick and roll defence, but the Westminster College product followed it up with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists in a 74-64 win at Rasta Vechta.

Next up for Stockton and Ludwigsburg it’s a home date with unbeaten FC Bayern.



Bundesliga best bits and Bayern vs Bamberg highlights

Good morning. Want to see what happened in the Bundesliga in Round 2? Here’s the Top 10 plays and game highlights from FC Bayern’s 84-74 win over Brose Baskets Bamberg as well as ratiopharm Ulm’s 87-47 shellacking of Bremerhaven.

Unsurprisingly, a big play from FC Bayern’s win makes the Top 10 list but it isn’t top of the pile.

Nothing is won in October but the mental boost from beating Bamberg won’t be lost on FC Bayern. Just check out the excitement down the stretch in these highlights.

ratiopharm Ulm utterly routed Bremerhaven on Sunday. This was a laugher but check out the cool tribute by Ulm fans at the start.


Germany: First blood for Bayern between Bundesliga big guns

The first round of Basketball Bundesliga in Germany pitted the league’s two Euroleague participants against each other in the Audi Dome and it was FC Bayern who came out on top 84-74 over Brose Baskets Bamberg.

It’s that time of the year where every game is begging to be over-analysed and the Bundesliga served up the perfect match-up for such a purpose. FC Bayern, whose hype has only grown over the summer with their admittance to Euroleague, struck first blood over reigning Bundesliga champions Brose Baskets Bamberg with a 10 point win in Munich’s Audi Dome.

The home side took the lead from the off against Bamberg, moving to a 9 point advantage by the break, but the reigning champions were back on level terms as the game entered the final frame. Chevon Troutman and Nihad Djedovic came up big for the home side with 14 points each as they pushed for the finish down the stretch. Casey Jacobsen’s 17 point contribution wasn’t enough to take the W for Bamberg. Bayern win to move to 2-0. Please remember, it’s very early in the season.

Artland Dragons overcame an ugly day from the field to sneak a 67-66 win over Alba Berlin. The Dragons managed to shoot just 36.5 per cent compared to a more palatable 41.3 from Berlin but it was success from deep and on the board that pushed the home side over the line. Anthony King was in fine from with 15 points and 11 boards in a game-leading display for Artland Dragons.

EWE Baskets Oldenburg didn’t let the sting of their exit from the Euroleague Qualifiers affect them back in domestic action. Oldenburg eased to a 72-63 win at Skyliners Frankfurt, getting back on track after falling at the second hurdle in Vilnius. Ricky Paulding hit four three-pointers en route to 18 points for Oldenburg with Nemanja Aleksandrov providing ample support with 11 points.

Due to their participation in Vilnius, this was Oldenburg’s first game of the season and they are one of six teams with perfect records at this early point. In addition to Bayern and Dragons, Phantoms Braunschweig, Ludwigsburg, and Phoenix Hagen all moved to 2-0 to start the 2013-14 season. The number of perfect records will go down by at least one on Wednesday as Ludwigsburg host FC Bayern in the mid-week round of games. Bamberg are also in action on Wednesday as they host 0-2 Tubringen. Alba will have to wait until Saturday to try and pick up their first win of the year when they host Ludwigsburg at the O2.


From the free-for-all: Last week’s top five Euroleague acquisitions (plus one from the NBA)

Has it really been almost two months since the Euroleague Final Four? And when did the seasons in Spain, Greece, Italy and the NBA finish up? Time gets exceedingly relative and outright bendy once offseason transactioneering begins as memories of the previous year are quickly disposed for a look to the next and the money starts flying around.

Last week was a particularly noteworthy, headline-making span, particularly over here in Europe and especially if you’re interested in any player not named Dwight Howard. Here are BallinEurope’s five favorite moves of the previous seven days. (Is it wrong to say BiE already can’t wait for October?)

• Adam Hanga to Laboral Kutxa Baskonia. The career arc of the player destined to become Hungary’s all-time greatest continues: After developing in the Hungarian league followed by two seasons with Manresa of Liga Endesa, Hanga is set to make his Euroleague debut at age 24½ with Baskonia – and seems certain to surprise those not in-the-know with his across-the-board contributions; while Hanga will be having some minor surgery this week, he expects to miss no regular-season games. The four-year contract with Baskonia may yet keep Hanga here in Europe and out of San Antonio for a bit longer, which can be construed as good news (certainly for Continental ball followers) or bad (for the NBA supremacists).

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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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Weekend tipoff for Reality Check streetball tournament in Frankfurt

Fans of streetball in Germany will want to mark Saturday, June 15, in their calendars: In Frankfurt that day the annual Germany’s Reality Check tournament tips off with a qualifying round tournament to compete in July’s finals in Cologne.

The upcoming tournament will represent the sixth edition of the professional streetball competition which draws teams from all over The Continent – and produces some pretty swell highlight clips; see below. The second round of qualifiers happens the following Saturday, June 22, in Düsseldorf.

For more information on Germany’s Reality Check, visit

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