Nando de Colo has the best location for a basketball camp +++ Ireland end famines with two slices of Danish bacon +++ 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 +++

Nando de Colo has the best location for a basketball camp

That’s the scene in Tignes where Nando de Colo is running his basketball camp. Ummm, yup, beats pretty much any location I can recall seeing a summer sports camp of any kind from my youth. (h/t Syra Sylla)


Former Galatasaray baller Jamont Gordon talks about the road to recovery


Jamont Gordon’s season with Galatasaray came to an early end when he tore his ACL. Now the former CSKA Moscow, Cibona, and Bologna player is looking to prove he’s ready to come back and be a force in Europe. BallinEurope caught up with 2013 TBL Finals MVP to find out how his efforts to get back on the hardwood are going.

BallinEurope: What was the toughest part of being out injured with a torn ACL?
Jamont Gordon: Not being able to be on the court and play the game I love was tough. Also not being able to help my teammates in the games.

BiE How has your recovery been going? Do you feel like you’ve got your strength back?
JG: The recovery has been tough but I’ve made great strides. I’m getting strong and stronger every day. When the season starts I will be 100 per cent.

BiE: Have you or your agent heard from any clubs yet?
JG: Yes I have heard from a bunch of different teams. Right now it’s about finding the right situation and the right fit.

BiE: Do you miss playing for Galatasaray?
JG: I will miss my brothers. We accomplished a lot. Good luck to all of my former teammates.

BiE: What do you think you have to prove to convince teams to give you a shot?
JG: I’m sure most teams want to see if I can regain my explosiveness and my strength. When I do come back I will show that I am better player than I was before I got injured.

Gordon has released a video charting his progress which shows the work he is putting in to be ready to contribute again.


Blatt’s Cavs to take on Maccabi in pre-season


Euroleague champions Maccabi Tel-Aviv are heading to the US and they’re going to run into an old friend. The Euroleague champions will play the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on 5 October in the Euroleague US Tour. Last week the Cavaliers hired David Blatt, the man who led Maccabi to Euroleague glory this past season, as their new head coach. It may be pre-season but this is bound to be an emotional occasion for Blatt as he takes on his former charges.

Two days later, on 7 October, the Tel Aviv club heads to Brooklyn to take on the Nets at the Barclays Center as the second and final part of their US tour.

The pre-season games will take place shortly after Maccabi Tel-Aviv’s participation in the Intercontinental Cup. The Euroleague champions will take on FIBA Liga de las Americas champions Flamengo in a two-game series on 26 and 28 September at the Gimnasio Maracanazinho in Rio de Janeiro. The competition, which had been idle for almost 30 years, was re-started last season when Olympiacos Piraeus beat Pinheiros Sky.


FIBA Europe confirm Ukraine won’t host EuroBasket 2015

FIBA Europe confirmed what most observers have been expecting for months earlier today. EuroBasket 2015 will not be hosted by Ukraine and instead be moved to an alternative nation or nations.

In addition to confirming the move, FIBA Europe left the door open for Ukraine to host in 2017. EuroBasket 2015 will also see a change in format, with the competition become a straight knock-out tournament after the opening group stage.

Here’s the full statement from FIBA:

The Board of FIBA Europe has decided to relocate EuroBasket 2015 from Ukraine to a new destination, during its meeting in Munich, Germany on Friday.
The decision was taken after a careful consideration of the continuous political situation and security issues in Ukraine, which are deemed as less than favourable for the staging of such an important and demanding event.

The Board took note of the efforts made by the Ukrainian Federation and the country’s giant strides in recent years, including a 6th place finish at EuroBasket 2013 and their participation in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

In that regard the Board declared its willingness to help the Ukraine Federation in its efforts to promote basketball and decided to authorise the President of FIBA Europe Turgay Demirel and the Secretary General Kamil Novak to start negotiations immediately with the Ukrainian side on the possibility of the country hosting EuroBasket 2017, provided that some necessary conditions are met.

With regard to EuroBasket 2015, a new bidding process will now be opened to all European Federations, inviting single or multi-country bids.

All interested parties will have to present the required official documentation and guarantees by 31st July, 2014.
A decision on the new EuroBasket 2015 hosts is expected by 30 September, 2014 at the latest.

The Board has also decided that next year’s event will be played with the new system of competition which was originally set to come into force in 2017. It also confirmed the competition dates.

The above means that EuroBasket 2015 will take place between 5 -20 September, 2015 and will still feature 24 teams but after the initial group phase (four groups of six teams each) the teams will enter a knockout phase.

The necessary bid documentation will be sent to the Federations by the end of next week (20 June).


Your Irish national team primer

Earlier today BiE exclusively revealed that Ireland would return to international basketball in 2015 after a 5 year absence. Emmet Ryan takes a brief look at history of Ireland’s men in the international game.

Despite exactly zero appearances in EuroBasket or the FIBA World Cup, Ireland has made it to the Olympics in basketball. It was 1948, a rather different era in the sport, and the best way to describe Ireland’s performance is that they were really, really, out of our depth. Still, it remains the sole major finals Ireland has participated in and the 1948 team is still revered in Ireland.

For most of Ireland’s existence in the international game, pretty much nothing happened. Then the breakthrough finally came. In 1994 Ireland topped Cyprus 81-78 at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght to take the Promotions Cup, moving the nation up to the B Division in EuroBasket. This was the start of the peak run for the national men’s team. In 2005 Denmark edged Ireland in a two-legged final qualifier to deny promotion to the top flight. At the time the star player for the men in green was Pat Burke. He was the human victory cigar for the Phoenix Suns but remains the lone Irish born player to suit up in the NBA.

The last competitive action for Ireland at international level came in the qualifiers for EuroBasket 2009, where a 2-6 finish left them well out of contention for the final stages. In 2010, Ireland formally exited the international field. Players still suited up for clubs overseas but the green jersey wasn’t an option. The first signs of a return came when a select team made up of Irish league players beat their BBL counterparts in 2013. Follow up fixtures against a Welsh select and the BBL again came this past season before the big news of today.

Finally, after 5 years in the wilderness, the road back has begun. Next up, getting the women’s senior team back on the block.


Ireland to return to international play in 2015

11890 Killester v Bord Gais Neptune - Nivea for Men Men's Superleague Final

BallinEurope can exclusively reveal that Basketball Ireland is to re-start its national teams in 2015 after a five year absence.

Speaking to BiE, Bernard O’Byrne, chief executive of Basketball Ireland, said the men’s senior team would return to international play next year with plans in place to re-start the women’s programme. The sport’s governing body was forced to disband the teams in 2010 due to financial concerns

“Withdrawing our international teams left us in a vacuum. Over the past two years we have been building that back up,” said O’Byrne. “In any sport, the thing that sells it is the green shirt, it’s playing for Ireland. With FIBA restructuring World Cup qualification, it will bring top class teams here to Ireland.”

The news comes on the back of Basketball Ireland winning the rights to host the general assembly of FIBA Europe, the sport’s equivalent of UEFA, in 2016. The event will be have 200 delegates from FIBA’s 51 members in Europe and the global body.

“It’s important that Basketball Ireland rebuilds credibility both nationally and internationally. We’ve made positive steps with the government here,” said O’Byrne. “The minister, Michael Ring, and Bord Failte were totally on board with the bid. I think it was really significant that we got the minister to attend the national finals this year.”

O’Byrne said the body would bid to host a European underage championship in either 2017 or 2018. “We are looking at either the under 16 or under 18 championships. We will decide which one to pitch for after discussing it with our coaches and technical people,” said O’Byrne. “We fortunate that we have some great talent coming through at present.”

Last year Basketball Ireland was fined €127,000 by the Sports Council for mis-use of a capital grant. The body was also barred from applying for capital grants for five years. O’Byrne said Basketball Ireland will now appeal the ban from applying for grants in order to carry out refurbishments to the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dublin.

“We had to take that on the chin. We are revisiting the five year ban, we think that is quite excessive and harsh on an organisation with limited resources. We are 18 months into that ban now and we are getting ready to launch that appeal,” he said.

“I’m confident we can also receive some capital support from FIBA Europe. The new president, Turgay Demirel, has said that for the organisation to get stronger all of the federations have to grow. I believe we can go to him with a plan, a vision for our future.”

O’Byrne also said the national body is ahead of schedule in its repayments of a €1.4 million debt. The 7 year repayment process has been under way for 4 years and he said he was confident Basketball Ireland would complete payment ahead of time, freeing up €200,000 per year.


Ireland’s MVP, Under 23, and Coach of the year awards announced

The winners of the top individual prizes in Irish basketball have been announced, Emmet Ryan runs through the six big winners from the 2013/14 season.

Men's Premier League Player of the Year Michael Bonaparte (Killester) — at National Basketball Arena, Tallaght.
The men’s premier league MVP award went to Michael Bonaparte of league champions Killester. Bonaparte played a big role in Killester reeling in UCC Demons down the back-end of the season to take the title.
Continue Reading…


About Steve Ballmer and the Clippers


It looks like Steve Ballmer’s deal to buy the Clippers is a sure thing but what does the former Microsoft man want with a basketball team? Emmet Ryan says this is more than just a toy for the newest owner in the NBA.

First things first, Steve Ballmer is already a massive upgrade as owner of the Clippers. The bar is so low that we could resurrect Nixon and give it to him and it would be an improvement on the Sterlings. Assuming the $2 billion deal gets ratified, Ballmer will become the latest tech billionaire to invest in a NBA franchise, following Mark Cuban. The former Microsoft CEO has the potential to be just as fiery and controversial as the Mavericks’ owner.

Economically speaking, looking at the Clippers purely as a business, the fee looks high. The inflation in sports franchise prices however, with billionaires treating them as luxury items, means we have to look past conventional economics. Paying $2 billion for the second team in Los Angeles (yes they are currently better but the Clippers are dwarfed by the Lakers in the popularity stakes) looks ludicrous now but, as pretty much every NBA owner looking to sell has found out, Ballmer will be able to offload the team for far more should he look to in a few years.

Fundamentally this is about a challenge for Ballmer. You have to get inside the mind of a man who joined Microsoft back in 1980. He was just the firm’s 30th employee. That was a company in a challenging environment looking to explode. Over the next three decades they became the dominant player, the incumbent everyone deferred to. They were the Jordan era Bulls, nobody could touch them. As giants Microsoft lost flexibility, giving room for Google to charge ahead. Ballmer famously declared he was going to “fucking kill Google”. That didn’t work out so well and then the Surface, Mircosoft’s hybrid tablet-cum-laptop, which Ballmer heavily backed failed to catch fire. Essentially the fight wasn’t fun anymore. Being CEO of Microsoft still gave him a ton of power in the world but, like being GM of the Lakers right now, it also came with a pile of headaches.

Ballmer’s aggressive manner at Microsoft made him look like the bad guy, a villain people liked to see taken down a peg or two. In truth, he was just trying to bring his business forward but his persona grated plenty in the public sphere. In Los Angeles, he has a new challenge, a chance to make the fiery image look positive in the public eye.
Continue Reading…


NIJT: Crvena Zvezda beat Real Madrid 55-42

Crvena Zvezda NIJT 2014 champions

Crvena Zvezda claimed the NIJT title for 2014, comfortably disposing of Real Madrid in Sunday’s final in Milano. Emmet Ryan reports.

I had really planned on going to most of the NIJT this year. Unfortunately I slept in for three days straight. On the fourth and final day I got up on time, only to find how poor the train service is in Milan on a Sunday. Still, BiE managed to make it to the final with 2 minutes left in the opening period,

The tone of the game was already set. Real had one way to score and one way only. Willie Niang was the beginning, middle, and end of their offence. It was depressingly one dimensional but Crvena Zvezda took the guts of two quarters to punish them. Once they did, it was obvious that Real wouldn’t get back into it.

Aleksandar Arantiovic was the most outstanding player for Zvezda as they pushed ahead to leave little doubt entering the final frame. The final 55-42 margin was, if anything, kind on Madrid who lacked zest on offence throughout.


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.