Nov
2

New Steph Curry, Marc Jackson ESPN promo has — hey, are they ragging on Turkey?

Seriously, is the Golden State Warriors pair disrespecting the TBL in this ESPN promo ad…? Deron Williams played there, you know…

Shout out to heinnews for the tip.

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Oct
1

Podcast: Examining Euroleague week one, predicting week two, speaking with Kenan Sipahi, boxing with robots

Episode #58 (alternatively “Volume II, Episode 6”) of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes.

So you may have heard about the wacky Euroleague thing starting last week and tipping off another slate tonight. David Hein and BallinEurope’s Os Davis weigh in on the week one results, 18-year-old wunderkind/EL debutant Kenan Sipahi of Fenerbahçe Ülker appears in brief interview form, and o boy you bet Official Fearless Predictions™ are dispensed.

The sports movie review of the week focuses on the pleasantly surprisingly good Academy Award-nominated (for visual effects, but still) Real Steel, a story of a down-and-out dude, his estranged son and their massive fighting robots.
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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Jun
1

Euroleague American Tour 2013: CSKA Moscow scheduled for Minnesota, San Antonio visits

euroleague-basketball-nba logosThe Red Army is coming to the US as part of the always fun and interesting Euroleague American Tour 2013: Euroleague and NBA officials today announced that in October, CSKA Moscow’ll be taking on a couple of teams with nice Continental/ international ties in the Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs. No word yet on whether a second Euroleague side might also be making the trip, as is customary on the ‘Tour, but the schedule for NBA team appearances in Europe is set.

Official press release on CSKA Moscow in the Euroleague American Tour 2013 and the schedule for the NBA Global Games follows.

(Euroleague) – Euroleague Basketball and the NBA today announced that CSKA Moscow will make its third trip to North America in the past five seasons this October when the team headlines the Euroleague American Tour 2013. The Russian champion and 2013 Turkish Airlines Euroleague semifinalist will play games in the U.S. against the 2013 Western Conference Champion San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves.

On October 7, CSKA will travel to Minneapolis to play against the Minnesota Timberwolves, whose 2012-13 roster included former CSKA star and Euroleague MVP Andrei Kirilenko, former CSKA player Alexey Shved, as along with former Euroleague champions Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio. On October 9, CSKA will visit San Antonio to face the Spurs, whose 2012-13 squad included another former Euroleague champion, Manu Ginobili, and three-time All-Euroleague selection Tiago Splitter among six Euroleague alumni.

This will be the third trip for CSKA Moscow to the United States and Canada to play preseason games. In 2008, the team Russian powerhouse played against the Orlando Magic and the Toronto Raptors.

In 2010, CSKA crossed the pond again to played games against the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder and the Cleveland Cavaliers. CSKA’s victory in Cleveland made it the first European team to have ever beaten an NBA team on United States soil.

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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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Mar
2

It’s official: Enes Kanter is the toughest player in the NBA — and possibly the world

The most amazing thing about the dislocated shoulder injury that Turkey’s Enes Kanter suffered last night in the Utah Jazz’ win against the Phoenix Suns last night wasn’t the way TV cameras gave the audience such a prolonged view of the visibly excruciating damage or even the manner in which the Jazzmen held on short-handed (or -armed) for the win.

Nope: Most surprising of all, rather, was the Turkish tough guy’s reaction, i.e. To pick himself off the floor and walk off court himself. Can you imagine this reaction from, say, Luke Ridnour? And what exactly is the big man’s threshhold for pain?

Best guesses reckon Kanter could miss up to two weeks of action, but after watching this video, doesn’t anyone else believe he’ll be back out there by the weekend…?

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Mar
10

Turk Telekom does the — ah, you know…

Posting these things is getting addictive. Here’s the Harlem Shake as interpreted by Türk Telekom:

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Jan
1

Simone Pianigiani to leave Fenerbahce Ulker … for $1 million

Simone Pianigiani

Pianigiani: That’s one million…

The whispers from the Fenerbahçe Ülker fan base have become mutterings which have become grousing over the course of a season which their team entered as favorites to take the whole enchilada: The head of Simone Pianigiani’s head is being called for. Fortunately (for the coach), two glaring obstacles stand in the way.

Firstly comes the question of — believe it or not — economics. Beyond a handful of big deals given to players in the off-season, Pianigiani was given a contract of two years plus a third-year option. Showing the Italian the door right now would cost the Turkish team $4 million. While the contract does account for payment by installment, Fenerbahçe would still have to immediately pony up $1 million — and what European club has that kind of money lying around in 2013?

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Dec
1

Podcast: Interviews Chuck Davis, Frank Robinson; also, how the Nazi Party influenced ESPN

Episode lucky number 13 in the “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online over at heinnews.

For this week, Mr. Hein and BallinEurope were graced with the presence of a pair of American ballers set to play in the 2012-13 Eurocup Last 16 round after wins for their respective teams last night: Chuck Davis of Banvit and Frank Robinson of Budivelnik Kiev (also this year’s home of those awesome Red Foxes).

Some truly candid and excellent insight into playing hoops through Europe – the two have played in a dozen countries combined – run throughout both talks. Davis may be most well-known among international basketball fans for his two tours with the unheralded, Cinderellaesque Team Azerbaijan. Check what Chuck has to say on the controversial subject of naturalized players in international play…

Robinson began his professional career after finishing with Cal State Fullerton in 2008 with Union Olimpija and has since moved around The Continent a bit with eyes always on the Euroleague prize. Robinson also contributes to the “Taking the Charge” cause with a couple of musical tracks that Jerel Blassingame and he freestyled together during their mutual time at Asseco Prokom.

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Nov
2

On Barack Obama and basketball diplomacy

Note: This piece was first published in February 2012.

Hosting dignitaries and politicos from Italy this week, U.S. president/basketball devotee Barack Obama recently gave an interview to the visiting media as well, naturally taking time to praise Italia’s representatives in the NBA. As self-proclaimed scholar of basketball diplomacy – perhaps the only one on the planet – Enrico Cellini has noticed that Obama’s effusive acclaim for Danilo Gallinari and Marco Belinelli is in fact quite similar to the prez’s gushy quotes on Hedo Turkoglu and Mehmet Okur back in 2009…

In a rare interview between an American president and an Italian newspaper, Barack Obama went through a wide variety of topics ranging from the state of the current Euro Crisis, through the turmoil in Syria to the importance of Italian-Americans in US society: “Italy can be proud that its sons and daughters continue to make invaluable contributions to the success of the United States and to our bilateral partnership”.

Of course, Obama didn’t miss the chance to deploy his trademark basketball diplomacy and dropped the following grand finale for the interview: “Of course, I have to add that guys like Danillo Gallinari and Marco Belinelli bring some pretty good game to the NBA, too.

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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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