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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 +++
Jun
0

Money does not equal professionalism

Galatasaray-Fenerbahce
The Belgrade derby ends in a 3-on-4 match-up and then an Istanbul derby doesn’t happen at all. These are supposed to be finals, the pinnacle of the season. Emmet Ryan writes on why, irrespective of individual fault, this makes all involved look bad.

It’s been one of those weeks (and a bit), the type we are far too familiar with in European basketball. Had the 3 on 4 last man standing match that was the finish to Game 1 of the Serbian finals between Crvena Zvezda and Partizan been the worst thing to happen this month, it would still have been a rough one. Instead the Turkish league has managed to one-up that situation with the wholly insane finish to its season.

Game 6 of the Turkish finals took a while to come to life, mostly because of how awful Fenerbahce were in the first quarter, but in the end Galatasaray’s victory had a pleasant dose of excitement to round out their impressive performance. The season would go down to a decider, well at least that was the plan. Unfortunately, and at the time of writing this hasn’t changed, there won’t be a Game 7. Galatasaray are boycotting the game over a series of charges they have levelled against the Turkish basketball authorities.

This column is not about the rights and wrongs of Gala’s protest, not least because I haven’t a clue as to what if any legitimacy they hold. If we focus on the single element, which is this boycott, we miss the problem. Game 7 of the Turkish finals isn’t the problem nor is the descent into madness of Game 1 in Serbia. The problem is that for all the progress made on the court in European basketball, we still have a putrid air of amateurism at some of the highest levels of the game.
Continue Reading…

Jun
2

A Different Perspective for Euroleague

FC Barcelona Regal v Laboral Kutxa Vitoria - Turkish Airlines Euroleague Top 16

While the world still awaits Google Glass hitting the mainstream, Europe’s top basketball league is already finding ways to help it change the game.

Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv took the Euroleague title, basketball’s answer to the Champions League, in thrilling fashion against Real Madrid last month. The under-card game that preceded the epic final may however prove more important for the future of the sport.

The third place playoff, a game widely ignored by fans and with little interest from players, was used as a staging ground for Euroleague’s second in-game test of Google Glass. “We’re always looking for new ways of integrating new technologies in the league. We want to find new ways to get more insight from using new content for our fans and on the other side to find tools for basketball professionals that can be useful for their day-to-day work,” said Alex Ferrer, communications director with Euroleague.

“We have a partnership with the University of La Salle in Barcelona and we learned that they were official testers of Glass in Spain. We started brainstorming to see what we could do with the technology this season,” said Ferrer.

Prior to the third place playoff test, Euroleague had a field test of the technology during an earlier stage of the season in a game between Barcelona and Laboral Kutxa. “We did a couple of tests in a Top 16 game and these tests were mostly related to producing content for the fans. The next step is to see how this can also be used to provide data to professionals to be used in real time to make decisions on the court,” said Ferrer.

“We released a clip that the fans loved for the Barcelona-Laboral Kutxa game. It was with the players and coaches and referees wearing them. It truly provided a different view, a unique view that we couldn’t experience before so we are planning to do more in the future and also to find other ways because it’s not the only thing you can do with this device.”

For the third place playoff last month, Euroleague equipped a referee with Glass for the game between Barcelona and CSKA Moscow. The league also got players to wear the device during practices before their games. The video the players recorded was used as part of two mini-movies released by Euroleague from the finals weekend. Ferrer said the players enjoyed helping to create content for the fans.

“Everybody loves it when you give it to them. Players and coaches love it. It’s a new thing so they like to experiment with it. In the beginning, it’s a little strange because you have something in your eye that you’re not used to but after a few seconds you get used to that and it’s only a very small screen on the top of your vision,” he said.
Continue Reading…

Jun
0

Top 10 moments from the VTB League playoffs

The season is over in the VTB United League, with CSKA once again proving triumphant. Here’s the run down of the Top 10 moments from the playoffs.

Jun
1

Siena out of Euroleague and LegaBasket Serie A

Mens-Sana-Basket-Siena

The fall was expected for some time but now it has formally been confirmed. Mens Sana Basket Siena will not only exit Euroleague next season but also the top flight of Italian Basketball, LegaBasket Serie A.

It’s been quite the fall for the side which has claimed the past seven Italian titles and reached the Euroleague Final Four as recently as 2011, taking third place.

Reports suggest the club will re-enter Italian basketball at the fourth tier, a stunning fall from grace for a team which could call on talents such as Bo McCalebb and Bobby Brown in recent seasons.

Last night Siena lost Game 1 of the Italian league finals 74-61 to Olimpia Milano. Irrespective of what happens in this series, Siena will have to start once more from the bottom in 2014/15.

Jun
1

David Blatt to interview for Cleveland Cavaliers job

David-Blatt-Maccabi-Euroleague-Cleveland-Cavaliers

David Blatt, who stepped down as coach of Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv after completing a clean sweep this season, will interview for the vacant head coaching position with the Cleveland Cavaliers according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Blatt, who has been tipped to become Steve Kerr’s assistant at the Golden State Warriors, stepped down from the top job after winning Euroleague, Israeli League, and Israeli Cup honours with Maccabi this season.

According to Wojnarowski, Blatt will be interviewed for the top job in Cleveland on Wednesday.

Blatt has previously been linked with the CSKA Moscow job, with the Israeli-American saying “you know I love Russia” right after Maccabi won the Euroleague title in Milan.

Blatt has enjoyed a wildly successful career across Europe, including the EuroBasket 2007 title and Olympic bronze with Russia in 2012, EuroChallenge with Dynamo St Petersburg in 2005, the Italian league (2006) and cup (2007) with Treviso, along with 5 Israeli league titles, 1 Adriatic league title, and 6 Israeli cups with Maccabi.

Jun
1

The BallinEurope FIBA World Cup Beer Challenge

Beer-Basketball

BiE is looking to match a beer with every team in the FIBA World Cup. After ranking all of the teams in Euroleague by beer last season, we’re expanding our mission to find the best beer in every nation at the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain this year.

We’ll start playing off the groups in our beer rankings on 1 August with the winner being announced on 29 August, the day before the 2014 FIBA World Cup tips off.

Are you a brewer or a beer enthusiast? Has your favourite beer earned the right to represent your nation on basketball’s grandest stage? Submit your nominations to ballineuropeATyahoo.com or via Twitter @bie_basketball or in the comments for your beer’s chance to claim the trophy…yes we’re going to get an actual trophy to give to the winner.

Jun
0

Marcelinho Huertas one-legged buzzer beater to beat Valencia

Well that was one of the most dramatic finishes in a while. Barcelona beat Valencia 77-75 to progress to the ACB Finals but they needed an incredible floater to take the final W. Enter Marce…

The win gave Barcelona a 3-2 series win. The Blaugrana now progress to take on reigning champions Real Madrid in the ACB Finals.

Jun
0

Boris Diaw is a sorceror

NBA

France captain Boris Diaw did this last night as the Spurs took Game 4. Kneel before Boris.

Jun
0

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).

Jun
0

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.