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The BBL experience – Rowdy in Frankfurt +++ Fearless predictions: Euroleague playoffs +++ A Dario triple-double? Now that’s good timing +++ Swee’ Pea needs your help +++ Final Four: What the bookies say when the bookies talk +++ The greatest Eurodance tribute to Goran Dragic ever +++ Swaggy P’s tribute to Os moving back to the USA +++ Help Swee’ Pea make the big screen +++ The Dish: Can I play with Madness? +++ Just point out the bounce +++
Feb
2

Harlem Shake virus spreads to Spanish basketball, infects Asefa Estudiantes players

Is this officially “viral” yet? A few days ago, BallinEurope stumbled upon and posted an, um, interpretation of the Harlem Shake as presented by the roster of Bundesliga-leading Brose Baskets Bamberg. Days later, FC Bayern Munich’s lot YouTubed their own ‘Shaking…

…and today it seems the phenomenon has spread to Spain’s basketball world as well: Check out Asefa Estudiantes’ Germán Gabriel, Jaime Fernández, Kyle Kuric, Daniel Clark, Edgar Vicedo and Jayson Granger plus a whole gaggle of would-be Harlemites getting down.

Right, then, European basketball squads: Who’s got next?

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Apr
1

Never mind the Bullock: Wild rumor has Asefa Estudiantes courting Lamar Odom

Cue Estudiantes fans: "If only..."


For those of you who thought the wild rumors of NBA players coming to Europe for 2011-12 ended with the cessation of the player lockout there, well, here’s another for you.

According to Spain-based Sentimiento Amarillo y Naranja, Liga Endesa club Asefa Estudiantes is in the hunt to sign Lamar Odom, who arranged a deal with the Dallas Mavericks last weekend that would allow the disgruntled forward to be listed for the remainder of the season as “inactive.”

Sentimiento reports Estudiantes representatives as having been in contact with Odom’s representatives and have been given a 48-hour window in which the player might accept the offer – though as far as BallinEurope knows, Odom’s contract with the Mavericks won’t allow him to go to any other team.

Estudiantes has just added former Unicaja Malaga/Real Madrid player Louis Bullock and is waiting on a response from Will McDonald, currently with Philippines side Petron Blaze Boosters.

Whatever happens, Estudiantes better come up with ways to win soon: The team sits in 17th place on the Spanish league table and is well within the relegation zone at 2½ games behind UCAM Murcia with six games to play.

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Apr
12

British Basketball announces 21-man national team roster, dubbed “strongest Team Britain ever”

Head coach Chris Finch and the British Basketball Federation today released a preliminary roster of 21 players to compete for spots on the host team’s 2012 Olympic team. Given the fairly short modern history of FIBA-level basketball on the ‘Isles, the claim from the federation that this is the “strongest-ever preliminary GB men’s squad” isn’t very debatable.

Said roster draws on quite an international reach, consisting as it does of NBA players Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls), Ben Gordon (Detroit Pistons) and Byron Mullens (Charlotte Bobcats); Liga Endesa’s Kieron Achara (Manresa), Robert Archibald (Zaragoza), Dan Clark (Asefa Estudiantes), Joel Freeland (Unicaja Malaga) and Devon van Oostrum (Tarragona); European professionals Ogo Adegboye and Kyle Johnson (Apoel Cyprus), Eric Boateng (Peristeri), Matthew Bryan-Amaning (Hacettepe), Mike Lenzly (CEZ Nymburk), Pops Mensah-Bonsu (Besiktas Milangaz), Sullivan Phillips (Prievidza); the BBL’s Nate Reinking (Sheffield Sharks) and Andrew Sullivan (Leicester Riders); NCAA players Andrew Lawrence (College of Charleston), Alex Marcotullio (Northwestern), Ovie Soko (University of Alabama-Birmingham); and current free agent/San Antonio Spurs draftee Ryan Richards.

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Mar
4

Possible “Nueva revolución a la vista” in Spain? Fearing contraction, small-market owners meet

Is Europe’s reputed top domestic league actually under threat from within? According to the excellent Spanish-based website Tu Basket, representatives of nine Liga Endesa clubs – Lagun Aro GBC, Fuenlabrada, Lycentum Alicante, FIATC Joventut, Valladolid, Asefa Estudiantes, Gran Canaria 2014, Assignia Manresa, and CAI Zaragoza – are meeting in Madrid today to discuss alleged unfair financial regulation within and possible contraction under sweeping “economic control measures” currently being considered by the league and commissioner Albert Agusti.

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Feb
3

National Cups: Real Madrid ends 19 years of futility; Beşiktaş, Chalon take first-ever titles; Montepaschi Siena continues dominance

Congratulations go out from BallinEurope today to a quartet of national Cup holders in Real Madrid, Beşiktaş Milangaz, Chalon-sur-Saone and Montepaschi Siena. The former three victories are set to be particularly noted in club annals: Real ended a 19-year drought while Beşiktaş and Chalon both bagged their first-ever championships in their respective national cup tournaments after each were runners-up in 2011. Below run game wraps and highlight clips.

In Spain, Madrid won their first Spanish Cup since Arvydas Sabonis was on the team with a convincing 92-74 victory over FC Barcelona on the Blaugrana home court. Twenty-three was the magic number for Los Blancos, as Madrid took its 23rd such title behind 23 points from tournament MVP Sergio Llull. An extrapolation from the Liga Endesa’s official site goes something like the following.

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Oct
8

Euroleague Power Rankings: First of the Season edition

Right, then. With the last teams advancing into the Euroleague two dozen for the regular season and a break in the Kobe-to-Bologna soap opera today, BallinEurope breaks out an old favorite: power rankings!

Once again, the BallinEurope Euroleague Power Rankings are based on current trends, i.e. who’s hot, who’s not. For this edition of the list, also taken into consideration are offseason acquisitions and a dash of expectations vis-à-vis how these squads will look when the games really start to matter. Let the arguments begin!

1. FC Barcelona – Heard it before? Well, you’ve probably heard about the core of the Barca roster before, too: Juan Carlos Navarro, Pete Mickael, Erazem Lorbek, Victor Sada, Boniface N’dong, Kosta Perovic and Fran Vazquez; getting to add Chuck Eidson and Marcelinho Huertas doesn’t seem fair. In going 8-0 thus far this preseason, the Blaugrana have added to their trophy case with Lliga Catalana and Supercopa Endesa titles and Navarro in particular is still in EuroBasket form. Right now, BiE says this is the team to beat.

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Apr
1

Jeremy Pargo to play for Team Georgia? Nah.

Reports of Jeremy Pargo’s impending Georgian citizenship have been greatly exaggerated, it seems.

Earlier this week, English-language Eurobasket.com reported that the Georgian Basketball Federation is willing to offer All-Euroleague nominee Jeremy Pargo a passport.

To wit: “Reports says that the Georgian federation are considering naturalizing Pargo so [that] he will play for Georgia in Eurobasket 2011 in Lithuania.” The thinking, at least on Eurobasket writer Nikloz Arveladze’s part, was that the national team would drop Gran Canaria’s Taurean Green – already a Georgian citizen – from the proscribed naturalized player spot and substitute Pargo.

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Mar
0

Weekend wrap: Barcelona beaten, Winters comes to Greece, checking in with Motiejunas, more

And how was your weekend? BallinEurope was able to check out quite a few matches from The Continent and ‘States this weekend, but as they say, too much is never enough. Right, so let’s get the week started with a handful of video clips and story links from around the basketball universe.

• Starting with the stunner, BiE links to the headline story over at the ACB official ‘site. You don’t need high-level Spanish knowledge to understand, “El Fuenlabrada inflige al Regal FCB su primera derrota de 2011.”

That’s right: Eighth-place Fuenlabrada defended home court against King Juan Carlos and Barcelona, 69-66, to hand the Blaugrana its first loss of 2011. The defeat came despite Navarro’s 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Huge for Fuenlabrada was Gustavo Ayón, who dominated the Barça bigs for 24 points and eight rebounds.

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Jan
4

Top 100 Teams in Europe: Tops in ACB tops on Continent

The changes begin near the top in this week’s edition of the BallinEurope Top 100 Teams list, as Montepaschi’s third consecutive Euroleague loss dumps the Italian side down to no. 3, passed by their most recent vanquisher, Real Madrid. The top 20 stays fairly stable thereafter, with some jostling of position but no seismic shifts.

A handful of teams were added into the mix, expanding the pool of contention from 165 to 170 squads in the running for immortality – or what passes for it in the interweb age, which is to say about seven days of niche-level notoriety – though only one such team managed to crack the big 100.

As always, the first number represents the given team’s position this week, while the number in parentheses represents last week’s spot on this chart. And once again in support of Britain’s fledgling national program in the runup to the 2012 Olympics, the no. 100 position is held by the current alpha dogs of British Basketball League. (Sorry, Szolnoki Olaj fans — and yes, that is the highest-ranking Hungarian team at present…)

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Jan
8

The Top 100 Teams in Europe: Calm before the storm edition

All right, another Thursday means another look at BallinEurope’s Top 100 Teams in Europe chart, the last until the big pan-Continental leagues gear up again with sweet 16 action. (BiE was just waiting for the dust to settle in Athens after the PAO-Olympiacos match, but settling may yet be a few days in the making.)

Two notes vis-à-vis the scoring system this week: The weight for VTB United League games has been reduced a bit; while the field in this association is generally quite top-notch, there are three notable lemons in the peach basket of 12 who are clearly, shall we say, out of their league: Honka Espoo Playboys (ranked 73rd this week, 81st last week), Dnipro (58th and 61st) and TTU/Kalev (no. 78 this week).

Toward the top of the table, Olympiacos’ win over rivals Panathinaikos indeed broke last week’s tie between clubs, but both were leapfrogged by FC Barcelona; since falling to Caja Laboral Baskonia in November, Barça has lost just twice – and both times by a single point. Again ensconced atop the ACB table in time for the Copa del Rey, Barcelona’s back – and still not at full strength. Scary.

The biggest drop in the top 30 was that of Žalgiris, who fell from 14th to 9th. Some of this was due to the scaling down of VTB League wins, but no LKL games equals slippage on the BiE Top 100. The entire chart looks as follows.

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