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Serbia and Croatia make statements at FIBA U18s +++ Coach James Weldon gives his thoughts on Dragan Bender +++ Sarunas Jasikevičius retires, joins Zalgiris in coaching role +++ Vintage Drazen Petrovic jersey up for auction +++ Ireland announce select squad for Luxembourg friendlies +++ We really need you to nominate beers +++ Mykhailiuk operating almost under cover +++ Nando de Colo has the best location for a basketball camp +++ Ireland end famines with two slices of Danish bacon +++ Former Galatasaray baller Jamont Gordon talks about the road to recovery +++
Jan
32

All eyes on Bobby Brown going into Montepaschi Siena-BC Khimki match

“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”.

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Jul
1

Twenty years ago today: Champions in Europe and USA, 1992

In celebration of certainly still the most significant year in international basketball history, BallinEurope today begins the “Twenty years ago today” series in which we’ll peer back in time through the lens of YouTube to that era of morphing European national teams and Dream Team dominance.

In the wake of that Greatest Basketball Team Ever Assembled, much of the 1991-92 professional seasons themselves get the short shrift in the history books, but some quite interesting stuff was nevertheless happening on the Continent.

• The Euroleague boasted a cliffhanging thriller in Partizan Belgrade vs. Joventut Badalona. Badalona brought Harold Pressley (with averages of 20.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per EL game) and Rafael Jofresa, while the Black-and-Whites boasted local products Predrag Danilovic and Aleksanda Djordjevic. It was the latter who’d deliver the European championship to the storied franchise for its first and, to date, last such title ever.

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Feb
2

What good can Dominic James bring to Partizan?

Welcome to Partizan Belgrade, Dominic James! “Now,” wonders the Grobari fan, “what can he do for us?” BallinEurope’s man in Serbia, Marko Savkovic, takes a look at the former Marquette Golden Eagle vis-à-vis Dragan Todoric’s master plan for the club.

In our praise of Partizan’s system of basketball, we’ve stated how this team’s success has turned it into a hot destination for American players looking to improve their careers. Since Bo McCalebb broke into big time two years ago, quality players from overseas have been offered contracts by Dragan Todoric, the Belgrade club’s perennial sporting director.

Take Lawrence Roberts: He was brought into shape for the first time since his college career thanks to Partizan’s conditioning routine. Or James Gist: a versatile power forward who is now one of players that Fenerbahçe Ülker has built its game around. Both found their game in Belgrade. Todoric has chosen wisely, one might say. Which is why Acie Law’s hiring might be counted as a mistake.

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Dec
3

Posters absoluts & Monsterdunken: The Eurocentric slam dunk of 2011 – plus 25 others

Before BallinEurope signs off for 2011, let’s give a late Christmas gift to the dunkaholics out there, shall we? Below runs a collection compiled through the year featuring dunks by Europeans, on Europeans or perhaps simply in Continental games.

The first 20 will listed by competition, followed the top five runners-up and the champion jam of the year. Who will be no. 1? Read (and watch) on to find out…

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Dec
3

Sergio Kerusch crushes with jam against Kyle Hines, Olympiacos

Right, so here’s a dunk of the week candidate for you. Former Western Kentucky Hilltopper and current rookie Sergio Kerusch got, like, 20 feet of air while posterizing Kyle Hines badly for his Aris Thessaloniki against Olympiacos on Sunday night.

Though Kerusch’s jam gave the underdog visitors a 44-43 lead going into halftime, the Euroleague side eked out the 71-70 victory to put the Reds at 6-1 atop the EƩAKE table. With the loss, Aris is just 1½ games above last-place Maroussi BC at 1-5.

Moment of gravity-defying glory runs below.

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Jul
2

Greece’s clubs owe players money … lots of money

While NBA franchise owners are crying poverty (reportedly, some 20 of 30 clubs are losing money), at least the players get paid. And while speculation on which NBAers will play in Europe during a 2010-11 full-season lockout continues – Whoever thought a Sonny Weems-to-Žalgiris deal would be so compelling? – we can now assume that few of the big league’s players will be coming to Greece.

To kick off the week, the Greek players’ union PSAK formally announced what has been rumored through this season and in seasons past: Namely, that most EΣAKE clubs are delinquent in payment.

In a stark post on the union’s official website Monday, PSAK representatives showed the results of “an investigation conducted by members of our association.” The numbers are indeed staggering.

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May
2

Greek Cup final set for Sunday; Greece playoff schedule P.O.’s Bobby Brown

Just in case you were wondering, there will in fact be a 2011 Greek Cup awarded after all. Those two monster clubs, Olympiacos and Panathinaikos, will meet on Sunday to award the prize after months of delay and some strange behind-the-scenes decision-making. (Surely BallinEurope’ll be posting video of the typical fan shenanigans on Monday, so stay tuned…)

The event arrives at quite an interesting time for the teams, as both are set to tipoff their semifinal playoff series on Wednesday. Panathinaikos hasn’t been on the court since last Sunday’s Euroleague championship win over Maccabi Tel Aviv, while one can imagine Olympiacos’ greatest challenge to keep up their 28-game winning streak this season may be Father Time himself: The Reds haven’t played a game since vanquishing Kolossos Rhodes on May 4.

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May
11

List of 2010-11 European Champions: Return from Barcelona edition

BallinEurope apologizes for the recent two-day drought of content in an attempt to catch up on “the day job” since returning from the Euroleague Final Four tournament. To (hopefully) make up for this dearth a bit, and in honor of Panathinaikos’ stirring win in the big league, BiE today presents an updated version of its List of 2010-11 European Champions.

See below for a roundup on the current situation in regular seasons and/or playoffs in the Continent’s domestic leagues. This list will be updated whenever possible.

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May
0

Vranković: “Montepaschi Siena very good, Panathinaikos better”

Stojko Vranković is no stranger to championship-level basketball: In 1996, he and Dominique Wilkins led Panathinaikos to its first-ever Euroleague title, played in two EL Final Fours with Aris Thessaloniki, and won Olympic silver medals with Team Yugoslavia and Team Croatia. The former Boston Celtic gave an interview to Sport.gr on the eve of the 2011 Euroleague Final Four in which he reminisces about past glories and makes his own fearless prediction for this year’s tournament (go ahead, guess who he’s got to win it all); an abridged and translated version runs below.

Who do you think will win this year’s cup?
Surely this is a very strong Final Four, but I think that Panathinaikos is the top team. I hope they win [the Euroleague title] for the sixth time and continue the good tradition.

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May
0

Euroleague Final Four, 2011: Some trivia and factoids on this year’s tourney

As with any major sport tournament these days, the informational factoids flow freely through fandom, giving both typical fans and stat addicts extra stuff to look for in the games ahead … and who is BallinEurope to buck such a habit? Below run a few interesting milestones, achievements and straight-up trivia about the 2011 Euroleague Final Four clubs, players and coaches with which to impress your fellow enthusiasts. Enjoy! (And damn, is Derrick Sharp *really* that old…?)

• Real Madrid has played in an all-time record 14 Euroleague title games and eight titles – yet hasn’t even been to a Final Four since 1996, when some guy named Arvydas Sabonis was running things. Maccabi Tel Aviv is second in the record books, having appeared in 13 title games.

• Derrick Sharp will be playing in his seventh Final Four – all with Maccabi Tel Aviv – one ahead of Tal Burstein for most with the club. At eight, Fragiskos Alvertis, J.R. Holden and Theo Papaloukas are the only Euroleague ballers to have appeared in more Final Four tournaments than Sharp. Eight players have won four European titles previously; both Sharp and Burstein are looking to join that elite group.

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