That right there is FIBA’s latest promo for the 2014 World Cup of Basketball. BiE arrives in Bilbao on Friday 29th. It can’t come soon enough.
It’s just over 6 weeks since we announced our FIBA Basketball World Cup of Beer challenge. It’s 3 days until it starts…and wow do we really need your help.
The last time we did a beer challenge, it went down really well but there were lots of complaints about the beers chosen. This time around I’m trying to avoid that by giving you, our readers, the chance to pick beers for your nation…even if the Brazilian journalist I respect most really wants me to pick Brahma for his nation.
In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny…
So here’s what I am hoping you, the BiE readers, can do. We want beers for every one of the 24 nations in the FIBA World Cup of Basketball. I’ll list them here below. Any nation that gets a beer nominee before Thursday will be grand, happy as Larry as they say. Any that doesn’t will come down to my judgement which means loads of you will be unhappy.
The FIFA World Cup is over, the FIBA World Cup is seven weeks away. Whereas the former near guaranteed shocks and surprises, Basketball fans can only hope we avoid a predictable tournament in Spain.
The FIBA World Cup of Basketball has tremendous potential but it’s hard not to be a little worried. Player drop outs keep leaking out as the off-season staggers along. Save for Spain and Lithuania, because it’s Lithuania, and a handful of others it’s hard to guarantee teams will bring their strongest possible rosters. International hoops, while adored by fans, simply doesn’t get the commitment of its soccer counterpart.
Team USA’s provisional roster is a good indicator of how much of an opt-in event this is for stars. Kevin Durant, the reigning NBA MVP, is there, so too are Derrick Rose and James Harden but after that the top names have opted out without much consternation. A NBA contract, the NBA season, is just that much further ahead in the order of priorities. Part of Rose’s motivation for playing indeed is to get some real game-time to get his career back on track next season. This is far from a NBA problem. It’s not the NBA’s fault that it is, by a considerable distance, the top priority for players. That’s on FIBA and the national federations.
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.
Episode #21 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-hosted “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now online. With the entire Euroleague taking a bye this week, David Hein and yours truly keep the EL-centric talk to a minimum, but stay focused on basketball nevertheless with an interview of Bundesliga CEO Jan Pommer.
Pommer is not only enjoying some nice success as the German league has continuously and consistently broken attendance records, but is also one of the more strident voices sounding off against FIBA’s planned reform (BiE prefers to think of it as “deform”) of international tournament structure…
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.