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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 +++
Oct
0

New Yorker Phantoms win at highlight videos

Total credit here goes to Christophe Ney of European Prospects for finding this. New Yorker Phantoms of Germany’s Bundesliga has put tremendous work into delivering arguably the best game highlights in Europe.

The videos are produced by @yourmoodmood in Braunschweig and they deserve plenty of props for the work they are doing.

Oct
0

Bundesliga: Bayern stay perfect, Mike’s Stock is falling


FC Bayern moved to 4-0 as their impressive start to Bundesliga continued while Artland Dragons claimed the scalp of Brose Baskets Bamberg.

This is what you call ideal preparation for your debut season in Euroleague. FC Bayern already had a win over fellow Euroleague side Bamberg to their name in the Bundesliga this season and continued their hot start with a 103-70 win over BC Bayreuth. Bayern had 6 players in double digits as they comfortably maintained their perfect start to the season. Malcolm Delaney wasn’t one of the big scorers, he was far too busy dropping dimes as he dished 11 assists on the day. Bayreuth were short-handed for the road trip and their eight-man rotation finally caved in the third quarter when Bayern busted the game open with a 34-16 frame.

Germany’s other Euroleague team, Brose Baskets Bamberg, isn’t enjoying the hot start of their Bavarian neighbours. The reigning Bundesliga champions dropped to 2-2 on the season after losing 71-68 at Artland Dragons. Brandon Thomas chipped in 14 points, 5 boards, and 3 assists for Dragons in the win.

ratiopharm Ulm is fast becoming one of the favourite teams of Ballineurope, mainly because they post highlights of their games promptly after they have finished. Unfortunately for Ulm, being in our good books counts for squat and they went down 77-74 at home to Telekom Baskets Bonn. Cameron Long’s 0 for 7 day from deep didn’t help the home side out but Per Gunther was an impressive 4 of 5 from three point range. Inconsistency was the undoing of Ulm, even Gunther had a horrible day on the inside, and they eventually succumbed to a more efficient Bonn team.

We never meant to have a Mike Stockton watch on these pages but after featuring the Ludwigsburg player last week, we simply have to follow up and see how he got on at the weekend. Stockton and his MHP Riesen team got stuffed in Berlin, losing to Alba 83-52. Stockton had 6 points, 3 assists, 3 steals, but 6 turnovers in the loss. David Logan starred for Berlin with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Apr
4

*Can* white men jump? Ratiopharm Ulm takes respite from Bundesliga race to test age-old axiom

Gunther: Can he or can't he?

Gunther: Can he or can’t he?

BallinEurope’s not exactly sure whose inspiration the below-embedded clip starring three Ratiopharm Ulm studs was or why Per Günther agreed to serve as guinea pig to test the classic punchline/sound bite of basketball subculture, namely “white men can’t jump.” (Or if you prefer, “Weiße Jungs bringens nicht” for appropriate local flavor. Completely irrelevant side note: In Hungarian, the Harrelson/Snipes/Rosie Perez epic is entitled “Zsákolj, ha tudsz!” or literally “Dunk if you can!”)

“Du willst Per Günther dunken sehen?” (or “Will you/we see Per Günther dunk?”) is a 68-second clip featuring Allan Ray and Pooh Jeter bringing the trash talk and the 185cm (6’1”) point guard’s strong willingness to jam.

Poor Per. And yet there’s a method to the seeming madness of this method. The club has announced that, should the Ratiopharm Ulm Facebook page receive 20,000 fans (could they mean “likes”?), Herr Günther promises to successfully dunk it through. Though perhaps he should recall what happened directly after ol’ Billy Hoyle pulled off the slam in a guaranteed victory…

Continue Reading…

Mar
0

Podcast: Interview with Larry Gordon of Bundesliga Cinderella story Phoenix Hagen (plus Euroleague patter and review of Rollerball)

Larry GordonEpisode #28 of the heinnews/BallinEurope co-produced podcast series is now available online. This week, we’re proud to have as a guest Larry Gordon, currently starring for upstarts Phoenix Hagen of the German Basketball Bundesliga. A product of NCAA Division II college Cal Poly Pomona, Gordon not only brings his electrifying spark plug of a game to Hagen but also makes for a nice symbol of his team’s recent fortunes.

After something of a troubled early upbringing, Gordon only took up basketball at about age 12 but his natural gifts (among them incredible leaping ability) got him a starting spot on the (Calif.) Montclair High School varsity team, with whom he’d average 24.6 points and 13.2 rebounds per game.

He then went on to play at Cal Poly after receiving offers from a handful of Division II schools; though his alma mater could be considered the go-to choice for a local boy, Gordon put a little more thought into his decision with an eye on the future: “I didn’t want to rebuild,” he explained, “I wanted to be in a team that was already good and bring what I have to make them even better.”

Continue Reading…

Mar
0

Omar Samhan shows his stuff on German TV (wow, cool tattoos, man…)

Does the brilliant Awful Announcing have a German-language version? If so, they’ll definitely want to give some props to Sascha Bandermann of Germany’s Sport 1.

While awkwardly giving a report direct from the locker room of the Bundesliga’s Ratiopharm Ulm for the TV magazine “Basketball – Der Countdown,” Bandermann somehow had to maintain composure through a rather odd-looking bit of Philipp Schwethelm’s pre-game exercise and an attempt to spark conversation with banana-scarfing team captain Steve Esterkamp. And then known jokester Omar Samhan adds his two, um, cents to the proceedings. Yeah, this one’s probably NSFW…

Shout out to heinnews for the tip!

Continue Reading…

Mar
1

Podcast: Interviews with Per Gunther, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia; plus riffs on Rodman in North Korea, the Harlem Shake, Space Jam (P.S. Win a free T-shirt!)

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode 25 in the Taking the Charge podcast series is now available online, and in general this one reflects the wackiness of the week in basketball just gone by. So Bill Simmons’ “B.S. Report” over at Grantland is described as “a free-flowing conversation”? Co-host David Hein of heinnews and yours truly sail our own stream of consciousness this time out, touching upon diverse subjects including the Harlem Shake phenomenon, Dennis Rodman’s basketball diplomacy in North Korea, Tim Ohlbrecht in America, the ever-interesting behind-the-scenes happenings in Greece, and, in our sports movie review of the week, the all-time classic Space Jam.

A bit of gravity – but just a wee bit – infuses the show in an interview with our first guest, Ratiopharm Ulm’s Per Günther. Günther tells us about his club (arguably one of the most notable European underdogs in 2012-13 who currently find themselves near the top of the Bundesliga table and in the Eurocup elite eight) and the prospects for Team Germany in Eurobasket 2013.

Also joining us is Sportando co-founder Emiliano Carchia, who offers some insight into the recent towering success of the European basketball-centric website.

And in the first-ever Taking The Charge promotion, earn a chance at winning a T-shirt absolutely free – tune in to find out (Don’t worry: Details are just a few minutes into the ‘cast).

Finally, we’re pleased to announce that Taking the Charge podcasts are now available through iTunes; subscribe by entering the following into the aggregator: http://heinnews.com/feed/podcast. Alternatively, the entire episode may be heard here.

Continue Reading…

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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Jun
2

“What has happened here?” The best Euro-centric buzzer-beaters of 2011-12

In clearing out the virtual desk of 2011-12 basketball season stuff, BallinEurope today presents this compilation of the year’s top Euro-centric buzzer-beaters. The requirements to make the list were two: the primary player in the buzzer-beater most be of European nationality or the shot must take place in a game featuring European teams; and the buzzer-beater must take place at the end of a quarter, i.e. no shot-clock buzzer-beaters considered.

Greater weight was given in consideration to the relative importance of the win earned with the highlight shot. Keeping one’s team alive is more important than YouTube glory, after all.

And on with the list. Firstly, honorable mentions go to:

Travis Diener for Banco di Sardegna Sassari against Fabi Shoes Montegranaro on April 15. Sassari would go on to win in overtime, 79-77, and continue in a successful season which had them ultimately placing fourth in the Serie A. Unfortunately for the purposes of this post, not quite a buzzer-beater.

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Jun
2

Getting back to business: After completing threepeat, Bamberg says “Auf Wiedersehen” to Pleiss, Slaughter, Suput

Now that Brose Baskets Bamberg has completed the 2011-12 season with its third straight German Bundesliga title, management there can get down to business – and some serious business they’ll have to take care of, indeed.

First, the frivolity. From the Beko BBL official website, BiE contributor and he in-the-know about all things German sports, David Hein summarized Bamberg’s championship title and current situation as follows.

“Brose Baskets once again proved masterful in dealing with the favorites role as Bamberg confirmed the expectations of nearly all prognosticators in sweeping Ratiopharm ulm in the Beko BBL Finals to compete the incredible double three-peat. It was a testament to Ulm and their amazing season that Isaiah Swann did not allow Bamberg to take Game 3 at home without a fight as he drained eight three-pointers in scoring 36 points. But as usual the depth and balance – and fortitude – of Brose Baskets were just too much: Bamberg won Game 3 by the score of 97-95 to complete the 3-0 sweep and hoist the championship trophy into the heavens of Franconia for the fifth time in the last seven years…

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May
4

Revealed: The EuroChallenge championship curse

(image courtesy Hurriyet Daily News)

Yes, but *should* they be celebrating?

Winning the EuroChallenge title is a good thing, right? After all, it’s typically the first Continental trophy to display on the mantelpiece and the champions label wins the club to right to play in the more prestigious (and more big-bucks) Eurocup competition the following season.

Well, Uygar Karaca may convince believers otherwise. In the first of a two-part series for BallinEurope.com, Karaca flips through the pages of recent EuroChallenge history to reveal the success – or lack thereof – championship clubs have experienced directly following a title bid. Hint: It’s pretty bleak stuff after 2004. Sorry, Beşiktaş

Winning a competition, especially on the Continental level, is a great achievement. However, titles come with a price. When success exposes players to the market, for example, clubs with better offers take the stars away. Alternatively, in order to get a trophy, clubs sometimes spend more than they can afford, which triggers the process of eventual financial collapse.

In this article, I tried to see whether winning the FIBA EuroChallenge tournament signals brighter days for the club or rather indicates a peak with the way forward pointing downward. Continue Reading…