Apr
1

Monday videos: Barcelona beaten, Cook cookin’, remembering Moses and more

Welcome to the week, BallinEurope readers. We’ll get Monday started with a few video clips, stories, links, and some apocalyptic thinking about FC Barcelona.

• Now here’s some motivation for Ricky Rubio to, you know, give that Minnesota Timberwolves thing a try: The decent possibility that Barcelona will not recapture the ACB championship title and, unlike last offseason, will blow up the team and reshape the roster.

That’s certainly how it looks from this perspective right now; surely BiE is pulling the trigger quickly on this one, but Barça is proving quite vulnerable right now. After dropping three straight to Panathinaikos, the Blaugrana lost *at home* to ACB fifth-place team Bizkaia Bilbao Basket, representing Barcelona’s first L in el Palau since October – and Bizkaia’s first-ever win there.

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Mar
0

Sunday viewing: The week in basketball videos online

What else are you doing on this Sunday (BiE means between this afternoon’s ACB games and tonight’s domestic league action, that is)…? Check out a few videos posted to the ‘net this week, courtesy (mostly) of YouTube and BallinEurope…

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Mar
3

Valencia’s oldest its newest as team signs 44-year-old Darryl Middleton

Middleton: Product of a different era

When Darryl Middleton was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks, the NBA was ruled over by the likes of Larry, Magic and MJ, Sir Charles and Hakeem the Dream. Rookie of the year was Mark Jackson and the Detroit Pistons were ascending into dominance. Andrew Bynum was about nine months old; Blake Griffin and Brandon Jennings weren’t even born. Hell, Svetislav Pešić was coaching a youth team which included Toni Kukoc, Vlade Divac, Dino Radja and Saša Đorđević.

Yet the 44-year-old plays on … yesterday, Power Electronics Valencia announced the signing of Middleton to a two-month contract, enough to let him finish out the season with the Euroleague club and extend his ACB record for “oldest player to appear in a league game.” Middleton will certainly threaten, if not break, the Euroleague record for same when Valencia goes to Real Madrid next Tuesday night in the playoff round; Valencia plays at Fuenlabrada on Saturday.

Turning 45 in July, BallinEurope would also guess Middleton to be the single oldest player in a top-level basketball league in the world today … if anyone knows of some more elderly than this European mainstay, please inform.

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Mar
2

Déjà vu in Ukraine? Proposed role models for Fratello’s new team

When Mike Fratello arrives to head up his national team coaching gig in Ukraine, he won’t see too many familiar faces beyond Sasha Volkov. Volkov played for the Czar’s Atlanta Hawks for a couple seasons way back when; unfortunately, Volkov hasn’t actually played ball at any level since year 2000. Coupled with the fact that Fratello hasn’t coached at any level since washing out of Memphis in 2006 and, wow, the television guy is facing lots of unknowns.

Here’s to thinking Fratello will rely on past experience to guide his new team. His historical preference for grind-it-out defense is sure to mesh well with a big, physical Team Ukraine; the side is also blessed with lots of shot blocking at its disposal. Will the Czar be imagining past glories as he trains in Europe? To when in the past will he look while watching his players in the present? BallinEurope looks at some potential role models for Eurobasket 2011.

• Serhiy Gladyr

Current team: Basquet Manresa

Scouting report: “Gladyr is a 6’5” shooting guard with nice athletic ability … What makes Gladyr intriguing is his shooting: He’s one of the better pure shooters in the draft. His shooting numbers are not overwhelming (36% on three-pointers), but he clearly has a sweet-shooting stroke … [at 19 years old, he] already shows the ability to drill shots coming off screens. … He’s not strictly a shooter thanks to his athleticism and good ball-handling. Pretty nice handle where he loves to use his left hand, and has an effective crossover dribble. Did have some issues when trapped on pick-and-rolls … had some issues in general when a second defender approached him … Solid rebounder for a 2-guard … Sergiy is a pretty good athlete by Ukrainian League standards, but how he rates as a NBA athlete is hard to gauge. If he was a Top 10 scorer in Spain or Italy then I’d feel more assured of his potential.” (The Painted Area, June 2009)

What he’s doing in 2010-11: So now Sergiy is 21 and, while averaging 9.1 points per ACB game – second-highest on his team to Uros Slokar – doesn’t put him onto Spain’s top 10 scorers list, BiE thinks The Painted Area must be pleased with Gladyr’s progress. It seems Gladyr’s three-point shooting still underwhelms, as he averages 1.6-for-4.7 shooting beyond the arc per ACB game, good for right around – you guessed it – 35%. Nevertheless, the future looks bright for this Ukrainian; could an NBA draft selection be in his future…?

Role model: Dan Majerle, who Fratello himself may barely remember, as Deadly Dan played just a single season with the Cavaliers and started only 15 times. Like Majerle, Gladyr is noted for his ball-handling skills and is particularly difficult to stop (or to stop from shooting) anywhere on the floor if single-covered. As Majerle is today one of the relatively unsung heroes of those Charles Barkley-led Phoenix Suns teams of the 1990s, so would a sharpshooting Gladyr should Team Ukraine surprise.

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Feb
139

A week in highlights: Spanish block party, mighty Milos, Utah rap and some dude dunking in L.A.

Yes, readers, it’s Sunday. Or, as BallinEurope likes to think of it, “YouTube Trawlday.” (As though BiE avoids the ‘Tube on the other six days. Yeah, surrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre.)

Whatever you want to call it, start your day with these 10 video clips starring Nando De Colo, Mirza Begic, Mehmet Okur, Milos Teodosic, Ibrahim Jaaber, Bojan Bogdanović and, you know, what’s his name from the Los Angeles Clippers. Enjoy!

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Dec
1

Festivus Invitational continues: Dream Team rolls, All-Time Toronto Raptors split

Three more games to report on from the first annual BallinEurope Festivus Invitational Tournament brought to you by sports simulation website What If Sports – all apologies for the late reportage, but even BiE can’t ignore the family for hoops 365 days a year has to merrily celebrate the holidays – as day two wraps up.

December 24: All-Time Toronto Raptors 111, 21st Century Dream Team 99. In a shocker, the Raps dominated the ultra-talented Century 21s in the late game of day one. Vince Carter had a monster game from the floor with 30 points and Charles Oakley finally exploited that much-hyped weakness Team USA 2010 was ostensibly to have had, i.e. lack of height, with a crazy 24 rebounds.

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Dec
4

Introducing the 2010-11 BallinEurope Festivus Invitational Tournament

As a holiday present to the audience, each of you has received courtside tickets to the first annual BallinEurope Festivus Invitational Tournament. Thanks to the miracle of totally BiE-unaffiliated (and totally mind-blowingly awesome) website What If Sports, we can bring together great players of the past and present for true dream matchups – and without all the messiness of traditional time travel.

For this inaugural event, six virtual invitations were extended to some of the most memorable players and squads in basketball history. Paradoxes caused by requiring a player to play against another version of himself (a feat thus far only successfully achieved by M.J.) were kept to minimum with only one player – Chris Bosh, oddly enough – forced to warp the spacetime continuum a bit. (Although Coach K could also be appearing simultaneously on opposing sidelines as well.)

Take a look at the rundown of these six teams to imagine the outcome: Who will win the BiE Festivus Invitational? Stay tuned and happy holidays, everyone!

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Dec
0

Interviews: Bauermann, Barkley, Blessed Footsteps, a Blue Devil and more

The interviews, as always, seem to be coming out of the virtual woodworks online these days. BallinEurope below rounds up some links featuring recent words of wisdom straight from the warriors’ mouths – though BiE forgives you if you skip directly to Charles Barkley’s bit at the end.

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Nov
2

South Park vs. Lebron James

How awesome are Trey Parker and Matt Stone? How awesome is South Park? How much do you want to see Eric Cartman rip on Lebron James’ “What should I do?” ad campaign for Nike? The answers are: Amazing, mind-blowingly, and infinitely.

Yesterday saw the broadcast in the United States of “Mysterion Rises,” episode 14 of season 12 (no [BLEEP]ing way has this show been on this long) about as complex a storyline as the “South Park” boys churn out, with Cartman’s superhero identity taking on Cthulhu in a BP-trashed Louisiana. And along the way, Parker and Stone see fit to take on an ad that, though out just about two weeks – and itself containing an attempted parodic rip on Sir Charles Barkley – is already nauseatingly overplayed.

But without further ado, see below the break for Cartman and evil BP dude asking you what they should do. Incidentally, Eurofolks who don’t have access to American Comedy Central, can watch the full episode here. (Again, how [BLEEP]ing awesome are those [BLEEP]ing South Park [BLEEP]s?)

And no, Eric Cartman is not a role model.

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Jul
1

The new Steve Porter is here! The new Steve Porter is here!

BallinEurope will relate this item to basketball, though there are riffs aplenty to all of American sports in Steve Porter’s work – no matter. This DJ’s work is simply “fantastic” and “amazing” and well worth a listen or 500 by anyone who digs bitchin’ dance music.

Porter perhaps first entered the mainstream consciousness through good ol’ YouTube and other social networking-type stuff. Last year, Porter assembled an amazing remix of about a half-dozen famous media meltdowns ‘n’ blowups, called it “Press Hop,” posted it to the ‘Tube, and surely watched it quickly go viral: Today, Porter’s own posting has accumulated over 2.6 million views (and only about half of those were BiE’s).

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