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Former Galatasaray baller Jamont Gordon talks about the road to recovery +++ FIBA Europe Under 20 final highlights and top plays +++ VIDEO: Ettore Messina’s coaching philosophy +++ The 24 must-see regular season games in 2014/15 Euroleague +++ Until it matters, it won’t matter +++ Watch all 40 of Angela Salvadores points against USA +++ LeBron, another sign that David Blatt just keeps on winning +++ Better know a Euro – Alessandro Gentile +++ Better know a Euro – Ioannis Papapetrou +++ Better know a Euro – Nemanja Dangubic +++
Oct
0

Sergey Belov: A Soviet Icon

sergei-belov-lifts-euroleague-trophy-for-cska-moscow-in-1971In a guest post, Uygar Karaca reflects at length on the late Sergey Belov and his legacy in Russia and Europe.

On a recent visit to the website of Spartak St. Petersburg club, I found an interesting article with some famous names. It says that the club and players made a visit to the graveyard where legends of Russian basketball, the coach Vladimir Kondrashin and Alexander Belov lays, who died a long time ago, as a remembrance, to show respect and appreciate their contribution once again. I said to myself: I am lucky because Sergey Belov is still there, he’s alive and may be, one day I will have a chance to speak with him.

Russian basketball is still in crisis. The presidency election for the basketball federation is highly controversial and there remains a lot which stays under the carpet. They made a bold decision to replace Fotis Katsikaris with Vasily Karasev just a few weeks before the Eurobasket and the team returned with a catastropical series of results from Slovenia. The Russian media asks for the reasons although there is a variety of reasons suggested; they agreed on one thing: The team lacked a leader.

Everybody knows what a leader is. Despite that, somehow, it is confused by other qualities. Scoring all the points is not what makes a leader. It is not related with the ability to make a 360 turning dunk. It is not about being the star, the popular guy, constantly encircled by media officers, photographers. You cannot be a leader all of a sudden, for instance in a couple of tournaments. The leaders are the memories of the team. When you look at them, you remember how much the team achieved or failed. You can recall how long the team has been struggling to improve. You remember the disastrous defeats or epic victories of them. Leaders are like water to drink. When they are there, you generally do not notice their real contribution. Their true value, however, is best understood when the team lacks them. The leaders are like the older brothers of the team, they suffer the most when the team loses but the important thing is the team and the goals of the team.

Sergey Belov, at the age of 70, on the 3rd of October this year, took his last breath and left us. Was he the greatest player of the Russian or even the Soviet history of basketball? It can be questioned and discussed. Of course I did not have a chance to watch him closely, only from the old vintage records, provided by various sites, downloaded to PC. Here is my conviction: Sergey Belov, is the leader of Soviet basketball during the 70s. The Soviet Union was huge, they were capable of choosing the right player from a rich player selection options from all over the country. However, while new players coming up and older ones are going out. Belov was always there. His national team story began with 1967 and lasted until 1980s. There were new assistants for him all over the way. Zharmukhamedov, Kovalenko, Paulauskas, Edeshko, Mishkin, Belostenny, Tkatchev, Eremin, Jovaisa, Chomicius. They were all great players but always waited for the ball from Belov.
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Jul
2

Podcast: Talking international hoops with GB U20s coach Douglas Leichner, SellOutXBoy

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #45 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes.

This week we’re talking (mostly) international competitions, though Hein does get off a good rant (well, as ranty as the guy gets) on FC Bayern Munich’s apparent moves to sop up all available talent from the BBL, while BallinEurope is in shock and awe over FC Barcelona’s acquisition of Bostjan Nachbar – seriously, just look at this roster.

*Then* we’re on to international competitions. First up in guesting to the show is the tweeter known as SellOutXBoy to explain just what in the name of Naismith is going on with the Russian national program in the wake of the shock firing/quitting/dismissal of national team head coach Fotis Katsikaris as well as the departure of federation president Alexander Krasnenkov. Believe it or not, it’s political. And possibly bleak.

Also joining us is Douglas Leichner, head coach of the U20s Team Britain; Leichner’s young charges ended up taking second place on the podium in the Division B side of the U20 European Championship and thus will move up to the top level for next year. Among other topics, Leichner touches upon Britain’s own Golden Generation of players…

Finally, there’s the sports movie review of the week. Check out the clip below, sort of a teaser-trailer for Mystic Ball, a 2006 documentary about Greg Hamilton of Canada and his attempts to learn the national pastime of Myanmar, Chinlone. In short the game can be described as a ball sport with only one team on the playing field at one time – and with no scorekeeping.

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
May
0

Highlights: Top five plays from VTB United League quarterfinals

Flawed, top-heavy and not exactly consistent in attendance it may be, but the VTB United League still garners BallinEurope’s attention – particularly come playoff time when ages-old rivalries add new chapters to stories first begun in the days of the Soviet Union.

Besides, who needs an excuse to run another YouTube highlight clip…?

From the VTB folks, then, running below are the top five plays from the recently-completed quarterfinal round, starring Unics Kazan’s Mire Chatman, Zalgiris Kaunas’ Robertas Javtokas, Lokomotiv Kuban’s Mantas Kalnietis, BC Khimki’s Sergey Monya and CSKA Moscow’s Anton Ponkrashov. Three-pointers, blocks, alley-oops – they’re all here. Enjoy!

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May
0

Quote of Euroleague Final Four tournament: “I think I did a great job of being Sonny Weems this season”

The eminently quotable Sonny Weems was in fine form before his club’s matchup with Olympiacos in Euroleague Final Four play. See below for his talk with media members in which he downplays the revenge factor going into tonight’s game (of course, Sonny was not one of the half-dozen players who ended up on the wrong side of the big league’s biggest championship upset ever) and speaks of the difference between playing for CSKA Moscow and Žalgiris Kaunas.

And finally, for those who assume that any player worth his salt would automatically eschew European basketball for the NBA, watch to the end for a hint on Weems’ future with the Red Army. (Hint: CSKA fans should be stoked indeed…)

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May
0

Aaron Jackson on one-and-done tournament style

Talk about your focus. It was evident at media day that CSKA Moscow’s Aaron Jackson couldn’t wait to get down to the business of prepping for his team’s Euroleague Final Four game against Olympiacos. Nevertheless, he elaborated for about 20 seconds on the prospect of facing his highest-level one-and-done tournament game since his days at Duquesne…

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May
0

Milos Teodosic: What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger

A sober and thoughtful Milos Teodosic spoke with media in the leadup to his CSKA Moscow’s Euroleague Final Four meeting with Olympiacos. The mercurial Milos relates that his team, despite rumors, is not overconfident heading into the match and takes a Nietzschean stand on The Red Army’s shocking loss to the Greek side in the 2012 championship.

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May
2

Podcast: Talking Euroleague Final Four basketball with Talk Basket

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #34 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Talking the Charge” podcast series is now available online and is downloadable from iTunes.

With the Euroleague Final Four overshadowing all else in Continental hoops this week, Dave Hein and yours truly were naturally set to chat up the big tournament – after BiE tees off on a sports-related pet peeve (Hint: Go Washington Redtails!), that is.

Just skip the first 10 minutes of the ‘cast if you’re not particularly enamored with American football, as Britain-based John Hobbs of TalkBasket.net discusses the impact (if any) this tournament will have on the British sports landscape. Plus, he offers his take on the CSKA Moscow-Olympiacos match happening tomorrow and BiE is forced once again to defend his choice for 2013 Euroleague MVP.

All this plus a review of one of the best worst basketball movies BiE’s ever seen (and that’s saying something), the hilariously-entitled Michael Jordan: An American Hero.

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.

Thanks for listening and talk to you next week!

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May
0

Euroleague Final Four: Five burning questions on the CSKA Moscow-Olympiacos match (plus Official Fearless Prediction™)

BallinEurope is sorry that CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos, finalists of that memorable 2012 Euroleague Final Four (one of this association’s best tournaments ever – and readers know just how much BiE hates sports-historical hyperbole) won’t get to repeat their matchup in the climactic game again this year, but at least we get a heckuva revenge game on Thursday.

Once again, Olympiacos goes in as underdog of both this match and to take the tourney – but this out, media members (by which BiE means an overwhelming majority, including BiE) won’t be expecting a bunch of overachievers to be steamrolled by squads apparently more talented on paper. Doesn’t it still seem like the factors are all in Moscow’s favor, though? Here are BiE’s five key questions going into the London grudge match…

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May
2

Poll: Who wins CSKA Moscow-Olympiacos, FC Barcelona-Real Madrid Euroleague Final Four games?

Right, so let’s get a week’s worth of Euroleague hype started the democratic, opinionatin’ way. BallinEurope wants to know: Who do you have winning in the first pair of games and advancing to the championship?

Euroleague Final Four: Who wins, CSKA Moscow or Olympiacos?

  • CSKA Moscow (55%, 37 Votes)
  • Olympiacos (45%, 30 Votes)

Total Voters: 67

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Euroleague Final Four: Who wins, FC Barcelona or Real Madrid?

  • Real Madrid (51%, 35 Votes)
  • FC Barcelona (29%, 20 Votes)
  • It doesn't matter; either will lose in the finals (20%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 68

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