ESPN’s Henry Abbott broke down the partnership between Cleveland Cavaliers (and and former Maccabi Tel Aviv) coach David Blatt and LeBron James. Watch Henry Abbott and David Thorpe discuss whether the duo will clash.
Retired Lithuanian big man and 15-season NBA veteran Žydrūnas Ilgauskas is considering a comeback according to what would best be described as reports tonight.
— ESPN Cleveland (@ESPNCleveland) August 25, 2014
That isn’t a critique on the source, rather that literally all anyone has to go on right now is a single tweet from a trusted source.
Ilgauskas hasn’t laced up on a NBA or indeed any competitive court since 2011, having followed LeBron James to Miami for a single season with the Heat before hanging up his kicks. At 39, you’d have to wonder what he can offer a team that retired his jersey last season. Bob Cousy’s return at 41 after 7 years retired is a good comparison, albeit a touch more extreme in terms of time off the court. The two things in his favour are the Cavs could probably do with another big and he is plenty familiar with LeBron but you have to think there are better options out there for a roster spot.
Whatever Ilgauskas, who due to assorted commitments in the NBA only played three internationals for his home nation, ends up doing or being asked to do, that it’s even a question is a sign of the influence of LeBron James in the sport right now. His mere presence in Cleveland has made a man retired three years consider making a comeback.
The now elder statesmen of international hoops often speak about the influence the Dream Team had on them but what about the players who were born in the wake of that defining event in international basketball? Emmet Ryan looks at the most interesting young players at the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball.
This seems like as good a time as any to talk about youth at the World Cup given Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has been named in Ukraine’s squad. For the purposes of this we’re defining these players as any born from 1992 onwards. That means one or two were born before the 1992 Olympics but we’re going to allow them those couple of months when it’s safe to say they didn’t develop all that much as ballers.
What was stunning in our look across the squads was how few young players feature on teams from the Americas. Outside of Team USA, it’s a string of veteran heavy outfits. Europe, by and large, is sending more balanced squads but there are plenty of younger players knocking around.
LeBron James may not be suiting up for Team USA at the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball but that didn’t stop him from accepting the ALS ice bucket challenge from the American team. Of course, being the King, he had to do it in style.
Rock chalk Mykhailiuk may not have a ring to it but it seems apt especially as the local press around KU are cooling on Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk already. One look at the really early 2015 odds for the NCAA Basketball title and it’s clear the Jayhawks are there or thereabouts but the wunderkind has yet to be truly accounted for by oddsmakers. Kansas at +1400 looks a great bet for hedging in the early going. Only a fool ordains a champion in the off-season but you have to think the Jayhawks are a 1 or 2 seed come March, at worst at 3, based on Bill Self’s body of work. That makes them a good team to carry all the way to the middle weekend of the big dance before you start laying them.
The team to steer clear off, and then some, right now is arguably the most talented team in the sport. The Kentucky Wildcats are loaded and John Calipari is a brilliant coach but you just can’t bet on anybody at +275 in August. It’s beyond foolish. That number will come out and the smart bettor will hang on until it does. Right now, that’s just too stingy a price.
Charles de Gaulle, Francois Mitterand, Gerard Depardieu, you call all feel this right? This was nascent anger from the Greek Freak tonight. Giannis Antetokounmpo, of the Milwaukee Bucks, did this for the Greek national team against France tonight in a FIBA World Cup warm-up game.
The Rockets locked down Papanikolaou on a two-year $9.4 million contract, a big step up from the $4m dollar deal over the same period he was initially offered. With a $1.5 million buyout to pay to Barcelona, $900,000 of which would come out of his own pocket, Pap was always going to need a bigger offer to cross the Atlantic. Not that he is so-so about going to the NBA. The Greek forward has previously said he’d sacrifice money for playing time to get to the association. The need for a new deal was pretty much about value.
What Rockets fans should see in Pap is potential. The past three seasons have seen great development in the maturity of his game. The Greek announced his presence to Europe with an outstanding display in the Euroleague final in 2012. A year later he was named the league’s rising star, before leaving Olympiacos to join Barcelona.
Despite a whole lot of genuinely interesting things happening in the world of basketball right now, it’s a tough time to manage a NBA social media account. Most free agents are signed, the summer league is long over, and there’s still a good chunk of time until pre-season. Throw all that together and NBA Twitter accounts start getting silly. On Wednesday the theme was #NBASweets and Euro ballers in the association didn’t get left out of the nonsense.
Here are the highlights:
This is a great find by the crew over at Project Spurs, a 14 minute video of Ettore Messina explaining his philosophy on coaching basketball
Yeah, when he opens with comparisons to an orchestra you just know this is going to be good. Then when he gets on to discipline a clearly rights free version of The Godfather theme starts playing. Within four minutes it gets unnerving because anyone familiar with Messina gets shocked by just how chilled he is…this was filmed during his CSKA days and he seems content, how does that happen?