CSP Limoges secured a return to Euroleague by taking the Pro A title in France. Emmet Ryan is feeling awfully nostalgic about the former kings of European hoops returning to the top level.
What were you doing in 1993? I was 12 so not a whole lot but it was a different time. This was pre-Euroleague, back then the top level competition in Europe was the FIBA European League and it looked rather different to the competition we know today. All but three teams (Partizan, Badalona, and Treviso) had to play through qualifying rounds before progressing to the regular season. Limoges began their journey to the European title in the second qualifying round, where they disposed of England’s Guildford Kings 143-129 on aggregate. And right away we’ve found a team Limoges beat that doesn’t exist anymore, the Kings went bust in 1994 and professional hoops didn’t return to Guildford until the Heat were formed in 2005. Amongst the notable teams that joined Limoges in the regular season were Bayer Leverkusen (currently in Germany’s second tier), and RC Mechelen (went bust in 1995).
The regular season back then consisted of two groups with 7 in Group A and 8 in Group B. Limoges went 7-5, good enough for second behind PAOK. Those interested in a touch of history will be interested to know that Panathinaikos didn’t make it to the top flight that season. The quarter finals saw PAOK beat Pau-Orthez, Limoges take down Olympiacos, Real Madrid beat Bologna, and Treviso beat Pesaro all in best-of-three game affairs.
The SEF was home to the Final Four that season with Limoges knocking off Real Madrid 62-52 and Treviso beat PAOK 79-77. This set up a final between a French team and an Italian team. Just let that sink in for a moment. These were different times. Limoges took the title with a 59-55 win in the final, ending the European season in mid-April.
Not to fan the flames of debate here at BallinEurope or anything … a few particularly incendiary comments made by former Limoges/Asvel Villeurbanne head coach and current Team Turkey technical coordinator Bogdan Tanjevic were first reported on Italy-based La Gazzetta dello Sport and subsequently picked up by Sportando and France-based Passion Basket, among others. We can easily surmise that Tanjevic won’t be offered a job by Utah Jazz Basketball Inc. any time soon…
On Enes Kanter not playing on the national team in 2012, Tanjevic said that “He is a great talent and we miss him a lot. He decided not to join us but honestly, he needs us more than we need him. He has not played or trained with us in the past three years. I [also] had to replace [Kerem] Gonlum, who was on holiday with his family. Without Kanter, it will be a little more difficult but I think we’ll be able to get into EuroBasket 2013.”
But Tanjevic also sees a problem with dependence on NBA stars at all – namely, the coaches. Was he surprised when Kanter declined to play with Team Turkey? “I’m not surprised at all … America is the perfect place to lose your head. Firstly, because the coaches [there] do not understand. In the NBA, there are just three or four coaches who have been there for 100 years, making billions and winning trophies. Others are weak. Including [Utah Jazz head coach] Tyrone Corbin…
In the leadup to the 2011-12 Eurocup Final Four tournament beginning on Saturday, Eurosport Turkey basketball commentator Uygar Karaca contributes a series of previews on the remaining quartet entitled “Four Teams, Four Stories” to BallinEurope.
Today taking a look at one of the two remaining Russian sides, Karaca writes “Zenit St. Petersburg reached its zenith when they managed to grab the UEFA Cup. Now, president Igor Lypsky, former deputy manager of Gazprom, has the same ambition. Isn’t it time for their citizens to win a European competition in basketball?
Talking about Spartak St. Petersburg is talking about history. Founded in 1935, the club stands as the oldest among the Eurocup Final Four competitors. However, as this marks the first time that Spartak has reached this level of competition, I think we can call St Petersburg experienced Eurocup rookies.
Marcus Brown retired from professional basketball this week as the Euroleague’s modern-era top scorer (with 2,715 total points to his name) and with a CV of success the envy of many. After getting drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in 1996 and playing sparingly there for a season, Brown jumped the puddle to embark on a 12-year European career that saw him play for eight teams in seven countries – and bring hardware home to most of them.
Though a Euroleague championship would elude him, Brown’s aforementioned career résumé includes nine domestic titles, three EL Final Four appearances, four national cup wins, a Korac Cup title, and three Baltic Basketball League championships. Personal accolades include six domestic-league MVP nods, one EL first-team and two second-team inclusions, and two domestic-league final MVP awards.
Today, BallinEurope pays tribute to Brown the best way possible: With YouTube clips!
A look at the LNB standings shows these two teams fighting alongside Poitiers in the bottom three spots, a.k.a. the relegation zone, therefore making this match a must-win with about half the season to go.
With seconds remaining, the scoreboard reads: Vichy 73, Limoges 72. At the free-throw line for the visitors is Jamal Shuler, who has contributed a 32-point, seven-rebound, three-assist performance. However, Casey-like (or even K.C.-like), Shuler misses the first free throw.
And the second…
While not interested in passing definitive judgment, we think it would be useful and fair to take a look at the European basketball panorama. There will be no ratings or rankings here, just a snapshot of what the most important ballin’ countries offer us.
Ten years into the third millennium, it’s common to hear repeated concepts about European community and a sense of brotherhood, but the idea of “European basketball” elicits language only indicating something is wrong. Disunity: That’s the main word for the variety of ways to develop basketball in Europe. European basketball was well on its way until five to six years ago, when internal division began to decrease European ball’s opportunity to become a serious alternative to a NBA bereft of stories and talent to sell – yes, that was before Lebron James’ era.
With an extended roster of 19 all-time players waiting in the wings, Ball in Europe today releases the names of the Dream Team Europe coaching staff. To manage this elite squad, we’ll limit Dream Team Europe to four coaches in spite of reader Simas’ excellent (if unwieldy) solution reckoning that “if you have a coaching staff as big as NBA teams have with 53 assistant coaches, you can just write all the European coaches that come to mind.”
Without further ado, then, BallinEurope.com presents the greatest basketball managerial quartet never assembled: The Dream Team Europe coaching staff!
To head things up, we’re going to take The Continent’s own Red Auerbach over its Phil Jackson – and make no bones about it: Alexander Gomelsky does belong in a conversation with Mr. Celtic and the Zen Master. After all, Gomelsky paralled Auerbach’s Boston Celtics’ ridiculous run of nine NBA championship titles between 1957-1967 with nine Soviet Union league titles for CSKA Moscow in the 1970s. (This after bagging five national titles and three straight European Cups with ASK Riga.) Plus, CSKA played in the Euroleague finals three times during this period and took it all in 1971.
With a 95-88 defeat this Tuesday against Cholet Basket, Elan Bearnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez has definitely been relegated to the ProB, the French second division. After 35 years of playing first-division basketball in the Bearn region, the team must now play one division lower and several levels lower than it was used to in previous years.