Episode #29 in the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced podcast series Taking the Charge is now online. Lots of time this week is devoted to sorting out Euroleague Top 16 tiebreakers (it’s a tad more interesting than it sounds, hoping) and some general stuff about the March Madness – which BiE has taken to calling “March Manic Depression” ultimately for fans of all but one team…
Podcast: Interviews with Per Gunther, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia; plus riffs on Rodman in North Korea, the Harlem Shake, Space Jam (P.S. Win a free T-shirt!)
Episode 25 in the Taking the Charge podcast series is now available online, and in general this one reflects the wackiness of the week in basketball just gone by. So Bill Simmons’ “B.S. Report” over at Grantland is described as “a free-flowing conversation”? Co-host David Hein of heinnews and yours truly sail our own stream of consciousness this time out, touching upon diverse subjects including the Harlem Shake phenomenon, Dennis Rodman’s basketball diplomacy in North Korea, Tim Ohlbrecht in America, the ever-interesting behind-the-scenes happenings in Greece, and, in our sports movie review of the week, the all-time classic Space Jam.
A bit of gravity – but just a wee bit – infuses the show in an interview with our first guest, Ratiopharm Ulm’s Per Günther. Günther tells us about his club (arguably one of the most notable European underdogs in 2012-13 who currently find themselves near the top of the Bundesliga table and in the Eurocup elite eight) and the prospects for Team Germany in Eurobasket 2013.
Also joining us is Sportando co-founder Emiliano Carchia, who offers some insight into the recent towering success of the European basketball-centric website.
And in the first-ever Taking The Charge promotion, earn a chance at winning a T-shirt absolutely free – tune in to find out (Don’t worry: Details are just a few minutes into the ‘cast).
Finally, we’re pleased to announce that Taking the Charge podcasts are now available through iTunes; subscribe by entering the following into the aggregator: http://heinnews.com/feed/podcast. Alternatively, the entire episode may be heard here.
Russia-based Sport Express and FIBA are this morning reporting what many have suspected all along what was inevitable: That Andrei Kirilenko is to retire from international play. Kirilenko explained that he’d already recently discussed the possibility with Russian Basketball Federation president Alexander Krasnenkov and that he “didn’t want to keep everyone in suspense for long.”
Citing common concerns among international players about fatigue and personal life, Kirilenko told Sport Express that “I’m not ready to spend most of the summer with the team and not with the family.” He hopes that the fortunes of Team Russia remain high and that he wishes to “transfer the authority and responsibility to” the younger generation of national teamers.
Lithuania-based sources: Linas Kleiza done for season, unlikely for Eurobasket [Update: Career not in jeopardy]
The news is just gaining steam in the blogosphere now and, if true, it’s potentially quite sad news indeed for Linas Kleiza of Team Lithuania and the Toronto Raptors…
Update: But wait! Within 15 minutes of BiE posting this story, original English-language source Lithuania basketball reassures us that “And just as a clarification & update, Kleiza’s camp says career not in threat. Phew…” Original story, posted at about 11:20am CET, follows.
According to Lithuania-based 15min and soon thereafter this morning translated into English and run by Lithuania Basketball’s Simonas Baranauskas, Kleiza is certainly done for this season, is all but ruled out for Eurobasket 2013 play and in fact his career itself may be “in jeopardy.”
These sources report that “the first arthroscopic surgery, which was performed by Dr. J. Richard Steadman in Colorado in 2011, might not have gone fully according to plan…
“According to the former head of the Lithuanian national team’s delegation and a good friend of Kleiza, Antanas Guoga, it is likely that the surgery will need to be repeated…”
15min.lt quoted Guoga as stating “I’ve heard that the surgery didn’t go right, that there were some mistakes [in the rehabilitation process] after the injury. It’s not good that he underwent surgery in the United States. You can’t turn the clock back, but things might have been different if it had been Lithuanian medics…”
Podcast: Interview with wheelchair hoops legend Patrick Anderson; rants and raves on FIBA, D’Antoni, Euroleague underdogs
Now online is episode #9 in the ongoing “Taking the Charge” podcast series, a production of heinnews with BallinEurope. In a desperate attempt to keep things under three hours for once, just one interview makes the ‘cast this week, but an interesting subject he is.
For Patrick Anderson is a three-time gold medalist and one-time world champion in the sphere of wheelchair basketball; he’s “largely considered to be the best wheelchair basketball player in the world and one of the greatest to have ever played the game” – and BiE’s quoting directly from Wheelchair Basketball Canada there – the Calvin Stadiums of wheeled hoops, to employ some “Taking the Charge” vernacular.
The now-retired Mr. Anderson lets us in on the specialized skills required in that game, his favorite moments, Steve Nash’s game on wheels and, in Taking the Charge’s attempt to relate as many obscure sports as possible into the tangential orbit of European basketball, the story of sledge hockey.
Also on the ‘cast are Dave and Davis’ musings on that whole FIBA thing (who else can’t wait for the announcement from the federation on Monday?); the still-awaited arrival of Mike D’Antoni to the Los Angeles Lakers; a handful of recent Euroleague, Adriatic League and VTB United League games; and surely more.
The entire podcast may be heard here. Talk to you next week!
FIBA’s new international tournament rules: Capitulation, silent collusion or just plain selling out?
Apologies from BallinEurope for not weighing in on this … thing until this morning, but after rereading it for the nth time, BiE felt the rant building but wanted to avoid posting an overly emotional response. Perhaps a day and a good night’s rest would temper my viewpoint; maybe upon waking this morning, we’d all discover after logging in to FIBA.com that the Eurobasket manipulation had all been a smokescreen for the hiring of Mike D’Antoni. Or something.
Some good news from the developing basketball program in Armenia came to BallinEurope today as the country’s federation announced the first official training camp for the newly-established men’s national team, set for the 2013 off-season in Yerevan. It’s the first step on the path to the 2014 FIBA Europe Division C Men’s Basketball Championship, Team Armenia’s first-ever appearance in the tournament.
Zareh Zargaryan, formerly of CSU Dominguez Hills, stated that “It’s truly an honor to be able to play for Armenia. I have been dreaming of this since my childhood days.” Team Armenia coach Carl Bardakian echoed the sentiments in saying that “Our coaching staff and players are fully aware of the significance and responsibility of competing under the tri-colored flag of Armenia.”
BallinEurope has been following the Bayern München story since the club began its bold resurrection to prominence, but the tale took an unexpected turn yesterday as officials announced that German national program overseer Dirk Bauermann had been fired as Bayern’s coach.
In an official press release, Bayern club officials stated that “After intensive conversations, the authorities at FC Bayern Munich … fired head coach Dirk Bauermann with immediate effect. Dirk Bauermann was informed this afternoon about the decision.
“The reason for the firing lies in the differing ideals over the future development of basketball at FC Bayern Munich.”
BiE’s having a bit of a problem imagining exactly what those differences where, particularly since Bauermann has taken the second-division club all the way up to Eurocup play in two seasons – though Germany-based heinnews tells of rumors that Bauermann was canned in connection with a bit of partying by players Jared Homan, Tyrese Rice and Chevon Troutman following a recent preseason match with Alba Berlin.
Yannis Christopoulos, most recently of Cyprus powerhouse Apoel BC has been named head coach
A press conference is scheduled for today at 11.45 CET.
Exactly what the title says then – BallinEurope takes a look at the seedings for the EuroBasket 2013 draw and riffs a bit. As we know, the six groups from which the final divisions will be comprised look as follows.
No. 1 seeds: Spain, France, Russia, FYR Macedonia
No. 2 seeds: Lithuania, Greece, Slovenia, Great Britain
No. 3 seeds: Italy, Croatia, Germany, Montenegro
No. 4 seeds: Finland, Poland, Ukraine, Bosnia & Herzegovina
No. 5 seeds: Georgia, Belgium, Latvia, Turkey
No. 6 seeds: Czech Republic, Serbia, Israel, Sweden
Mulled-over reactions follow.
BallinEurope’s compadre in hoops reportage, heinnews, recently decided to give the whole podcast thing a try. On this maiden attempt, yours truly and one-man show David Hein, take a look at the just-completed EuroBasket 2013 qualifying round games – the good, bad and ugly. Apologies in advance to Serbia and Portugal fans; BiE may have passed quite a rough judgement…
Check out the podcast by clicking here.