“In the future, everyone will be famous for one news-cycle” — that’s how BallinEurope would update Andy Warhol’s well-worn line for the 21st century. Until the story’s been beaten to death (and the public consciousness’ short-term fascination ends) on Friday, everyone gets a turn in the media spotlight: Honey Boo Boo, McKayla Maroney’s face, UFO landing strips in China … the list goes on.
Bobby Brown has enjoyed a nice run this week in his alloted personal media cycle to culminate in his surprising Montepaschi Siena’s game against sharp-looking BC Khimki Moscow Region tonight. Brown went viral thanks his record-tying 41-point teeing off last week against Fenerbahce Ulker, ironically the team for whom Brown’s predecessor Bo McCalebb eschewed Siena. Speculation snowballed until millions of Americans who’d forgotten the NBA journeyman of 2008-10 rediscovered the Cal State Fullerton product thanks to a piece from Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, who recalled the days of 19th-century sports journalism in referring to the “Euro League”.
All right, it’s that time again! With hours to go before the 2012-13 Euroleague season tips off, BallinEurope breaks out its first power ratings for the big league.
Whereas normally a disclaimer to the effect of “the following ratings are based on current trending only and are not necessarily based on the overall quality of the teams” runs here, this year BiE’s switching things up a bit. To wit: For this edition of Euroleague power rankings, the teams *will* be run based on BallinEurope’s totally subjective viewpoint. (Mainly because BiE couldn’t figure out what to do with Barcelona…)
Get your arguments ready and read on for this season’s first power rankings, with Official BallinEurope Fearless Predictions™ for the upcoming season peppered throughout. Enjoy the games!
The favorites 1. Olympiacos Piraeus. The usual reserved spot for the defending champion comes with some justification this year, as Vassilis Spanoulis & Co. show no signs of letting up on their 2011-12 season-ending 22-4 run. In the off-/preseason, Olympiacos’ foursome of Spanoulis, local hero Georgios Printezis, Kostas Papanikolaou and Evengelos Mantazaris suited up for a disappointed Team Greece – all but Mantazaris acquitted themselves nicely, with 50-of-89 (56.2%) overall shooting and Spanoulis dishing out just under six assists per game in three Olympic qualifiers.
On this, the eve of Euroleague basketball 2012-13 edition, David Hein and BallinEurope (unleash) present a serious gabfest on all things Euroleague (and some NBA) with two of our favorite hoops scribes. It’s two hours of solid basketball talk, a.k.a. episode four in the “Taking the Charge” podcast series, which Hein took to calling “The Euroleague Bonanza” early. Show segments – really, this thing is so long, segmentation is necessary – are:
• A chat with UK-based John Hobbs of Talk Basket – Having attended several media events in Germany as well as the actual Alba Berlin-Dallas Mavericks NBA Europe Live tour game itself, John joined David Hein and myself to talk about Dirkamania, marketing the NBA (particular in that tricky British market) and the actually quite substantive >David Stern ‘n’ Jordi Bertomeu press conference of last week. Plus, fearless predictions from the Basket Talker … sort of.
So apparently this is what BallinEurope does when dithering about Official Fearless Predictions™ for Euroleague waiting around to record podcasts: Watches video of league management types.
On the other hand, this isn’t just any commissioner we’re talking about today – This is El Jefe himself, arguably the most influential figure in international basketball for a couple decades, David Stern.
Stern met with press alongside Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu – the two looking a bit like an American presidential ticket – before what BiE is calling the Dirk Bowl matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and Alba Berlin. Naturally, Stern covered lotsa topics focusing on European hoops and the future of the big league. Should you not wish to watch the entire 25-minute powwow, BiE breaks down the highlights below, in diary format a la Bill “The Sports Guy” Simmons.
0.00: With Stern and Bertomeu sitting in front of the traditional logo-laden wallpaper background, a thought comes to mind. Oddly enough, the listed cosponsor of the NBA Europe Live Tour is the Basketball Veterans Association. Was this some sort of bizarre consequence of the NBA player lockout?
The past three days saw five cross-continental club games play out in Europe and the US in the 2012 Euroleague American and NBA Europe Live tours. And, hey, it’s Monday, so let’s just roll the highlight clips!
• Naturally, the biggest news was all about the lone upset among the games: Fenerbahçe Ülker’s 97-91 toppling of the Boston Celtics in Turkey. Bo McCalebb added to his already-heavy personal highlight film with several sweet plays and incredible speed. (Seriously, is he getting faster?) Directly below, he bamboozles Pierce (“Damn, he’s quick,” The Truth was surely thinking), blows past Rajon Rondo and finds Oguz Savas for an easy two after getting Brandon Bass to leave his feet…
Who cares if the games are meaningless in any real sense? BallinEurope missed the Euroleague American Tour and NBA Live Tour games tremendously in 2011 – one item doubtlessly on BiE’s list of underrated casualties of the player lockout – and is thrilled to see them back.
In just a couple of hours, the Boston Celtics and Fenerbahçe Ülker will tip off the first of eight games to be played in five days’ worth of international club clashes, as teams in both continents’ big leagues prepare for 2012-13 seasons. This evening, a few notes, links and videos for you themed on these tours; naturally, BiE’ll be doing this in the time-honored tradition of the ESPN TrueHoop Network, i.e. bullet-style. To catch tonight’s and the other games, head over to Euroleague TV.
One of the forgotten casualties of the 2011 player lockout was the NBA Europe Live Tour bringing top teams from North America to Euroleague arenas – and sometimes vice versa. The NBA Europe Live Tour 2011 was cancelled due to the labor issues, but happily EL officials announced at about noon CET today that the tour is back on for 2012.
Official press release follows, but BallinEurope’ll tell you straight up front that the games on the NBA Europe Live 2012 tour include: Boston Celtics vs. Fenerbahce Ulker on October 5; the Dallas Mavericks vs. Alba Berlin on Oct. 6; Celtics at Emporio Armani Milano on Oct. 7; and, presumably the Mavs against that unnamed Liga Endesa team soon thereafter.
From the land of Dirks Nowitzki and Bauermann – David Hein reports on a few happenings in Germany’s top division of basketball as the league gets set to close the regular season and start the playoffs. Read on to find out about Brose Baskets Bamberg laying down the law against Alba Berlin, the Artland Dragons-Bayern München playoff showdown, and how things are suddenly up in the air for the Fraport Skyliners.
Tucker, Pleiß lead Bamberg to big win
Brose Baskets Bamberg once again answered the bell with a knockout as the two-time reigning German Beko BBL champions knocked off Alba Berlin 100-90 in a game that was only a matter of pride for Bamberg, who had long clinched the home court advantage throughout the playoffs.
P.J. Tucker continued his incredible play for Bamberg with 24 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block while shooting 8-of-9 from the field, including 3-of-4 from long range. In the last five games, Tucker is averaging 22 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.8 blocks while shooting 61 percent overall from the field, including 45 percent from long range and 82 percent from the free throw stripe.
Tibor Pleiß had a superb game as well with 19 points, six rebounds, two assists and one block for Bamberg, who have won 22 of their last 24 games in the league and bounced back from their loss the previous weekend at Bayern Munich.
From the land of Dirks Nowitzki and Bauermann – David Hein reports on a few happenings in Germany’s top division of basketball. Read on to find out about Bayern Munich surviving a double-overtime slugfest with Brose Baskets Bamberg; Ratiopharm Ulm taking a bunch of trophies; and Vitalis Chikoko’s continued success in the Bundesliga.
Bayern wins double-OT battle with Bamberg
Bayern Munich and Brose Baskets Bamberg continued to one-up each other in a German Beko BBL showdown which should be chronicled for the as-yet non-existent BBL TV Classic.
In what truly felt like a heavyweight slugfest, hosts Bayern had the final big punches in double overtime as they beat the two-time reigning champions, 107-103. Jared Homan came up big for Bayern in the second overtime with two big baskets while Bamberg just couldn’t find the answer in the second extra session.