Ball in Europe will be rounding up this weekend’s European cup action tomorrow, but for today here are a handful of stories from the interwebs this week about every other subject in a seven-day span spent mostly between deprogramming from NBA All-Star Weekend and preparing for the Copa del Rey.

• The best post of this week comes from the past: Specifically, a retelling of events surrounding a team called the Harlem Rens and the 1939 World Professional Basketball Tournament at Hoops Addict. What? You’ve never heard of either? Well, first you can whet your appetite here; then check out the trailer for the Kareem Abdul-Jabber written/produced documentary film, due for general international release in 2010. The book, on Harlem basketball and that area’s cultural Renaissance in the 30s, entitled On the Shoulders of Giants is out now.

• The NBA trade deadline went down this week and unsurprisingly the NBA’s second-most famous draft bust of all-time was dealt from the New York Knicks. All but admitting that the presence of Darko Milicic is as temporary as the 27 games left on the Minnesota Timberwolves’ schedule when he joined the team post-Nate Robinson trade, the team now seems mostly concerned about … making Milicic feel nice.

Says Timberwolves GM David Kahn, “I hope he will give it one more shot. Even if he ends up returning to Europe, I hope he wants to end his NBA career on a positive note. In our situation, he’ll play.”

And former Phil “Zen Master” Acolyte/Timberwolves coach Kurt Ramblis declared that “I want him to have a positive experience here. That’s all. I want him to feel good about this environment, this franchise. Feel good about his abilities on the floor. Get him playing, get him having fun again, get him feeling good about basketball again. We’ll deal with what comes out of it after that.”

Well, that’s nice.

• In the wake of the three-way trade that (temporarily, we’re told) landed Zydrunas Ilgauskas with the Washington Wizards, we’re still waiting for that contract buyout to happen. And waiting … and waiting

• A good summary of prospects who played in this weekend’s Nike International Junior Tournament is running over at Draft Express.

• In the Copa del Rey finals tonight, Slam of Slam & Freaknick likes … Real Madrid? Damn, can i get some of that action?

• Happy (slightly belated) birthday to the immortal “Sir” Charles Barkley! The Round Mound of Profound turned 47 on Saturday and, to celebrate, please enjoy this career retrospective/highlight clip:

Many people forget, but Barkley excelled in the one-on-one game, taking on the biggest opponents fearlessly:

Finally, go to 35 seconds in on this video for Charles’ opinion on Team Angola’s chances before the opening game of the 1992 Olympics basketball tournament. Surely, Sir Charles remains the all-time NBA leader in sound bites.


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