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BiE’s official Irish awards ballot +++ Joakim Noah wins NBA Defensive Player of the Year +++ Swee’ Pea makes the cut – Reaches Funding Target +++ The Dish – Too Rude for Masai Uijiri +++ 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 +++
Jun
1

NBA site spotlights Marcin Gortat’s days with Anaheim Arsenal

Marcin Gortat on Anaheim ArsenalFriday saw the NBA official website launch a new feature on its pages devoted to the D League. The new “D-League Alumni Spotlight” page currently sports six highlight videos featuring current-day NBA players who came into the big league the hard way. BallinEurope was pleased to see the Phoenix Suns’ Marcin Gortat among the half-dozen.

Though Gortat had been making a name for himself in his home country, Germany and Euroleague ball by the time he was ready to join the Orlando Magic at 23 years old in 2007, team execs figured The Polish Hammer needed some polish and/or would go woefully underused behind Dwight Howard. What followed was a brief stint with the now-defunct Anaheim Arsenal; the Alumni Spotlight video captures some rarely-seen footage of Gortat from ’07.

No embeds for the highlight clip are yet available, so you’ll have to check out the video through the NBA site. As we await a future Alumni clip featuring the Rio Grande Valley Vipers/Houston Rockets’ Donatas Motiejunas, here’s something else for you: Gortat’s game of 2012-13, a 23-point, seven-block display against the Charlotte Bobcats…

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Feb
2

Tim “Der Nächste Nowitzki” Ohlbrecht moves up to Houston Rockets, to become eighth-ever German NBA player

Congratulations go out from BallinEurope to Tim Ohlbrecht, who has made the jump to the NBA in signing with the increasingly interesting (and increasingly European-spiced) Houston Rockets – and whoa, are some Germany-based news outlets excited.

In reporting on the contract, which has the former Frankfurt Skyliners/Telekom Baskets Bonn/Rio Grande Valley Vipers big man locked in with Houston through this season plus a club option through 2014-15, Bild labels Ohlbrecht “der nächste Nowitzki” while getting positively giddy about the possibility of the 24-year-old matching up against Dirk (and sidekick Chris Kaman) when the Rockets face the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

Der Spiegel meanwhile quotes recently-hired Team Germany head coach Frank Menz as stating that he was “impressed by Tim’s development in the U.S., particularly [in athleticism],” noting that “It shows great will and ambition to [get to the NBA] the hard way, through the D-League.”

Less than a week ago, Ohlbrecht’s agent Tyler Glass informed Sportando that his client had turned down a 10-day contract offer from the Boston Celtics; in hindsight, this appears quite the shrewd move by Glass, who perhaps knew of the much more attractive offer from the playoff-contending Rockets.

After four seasons with Giants Leverkusen and Brose Baskets Bamberg, Ohlbrecht declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft back in 2010, but his name went uncalled. He returned to the German Bundesliga thereafter to play with Bonn and Frankfurt in turn before reentering the Rockets system this season with the D-League Vipers; his stat line there includes marks of 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. And since 2008, Ohlbrecht has played summers with Team Germany.

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Nov
Nov
7

Hire Dre Baldwin (the Best Unsigned Basketball Player Alive)!

Sure, BiE’ll help out a longtime player, if only for his awesome and audacious marketing skills. An email arrived in the BallinEurope inbox entitled simply “The Best Unsigned Basketball Player Alive: Dre Baldwin” (has Allen Iverson heard about this?) and included quite a nice résumé compiled over seven years.

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Oct
0

Is Heat-spurned Malcolm Thomas the answer for Maccabi?

(Malcolm Thomas image courtesy NBA.com)Could David Blatt be panicking? Armed with a retooled roster after last season’s Euroleague disappointment, Maccabi Tel Aviv 2012-13 edition hasn’t overwhelmed in preseason play with little team cohesiveness or incorporation of the Team Russia coach’s patented defensive game plans in evidence. The Israel side washed out in a the four Euroleague-team Domreiter Cup in September before redeeming themselves slightly in Paris, winning the pre-season tourney there last weekend (albeit against lesser competition).

Before topping Galatasaray for the tournament title, Blatt sounded off a bit after his players got by with a win over home team Paris Levallois. “We had two offensive rebounds in 40 minutes,” said Blatt. “You know, I’m 50 and I would have gotten more than two offensive rebounds if I had been on the court.”

But Blatt offered a solution on Saturday which appears to be a matter of fact now, in light of Pops Mensah-Bonsu’s recent release from the club: “Malcolm [Thomas] is exactly the kind of player you need to play a team like Paris Levallois. He is very athletic, fast and plays above the rim. It brings a lot of energy, but also creates a lot of easy baskets … Thomas is very good at offensive rebounding and he will bring what’s missing [on the team].”

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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
0

Ooh la la! D-League champ Dar Tucker prepares for LNB dunk contest, French-style

What’s the difference between American and European dunk contests? The preparation! Check out this LNB-produced video of former New Mexico Thunderbird/current Aix-Maurienne player Dar Tucker, who could achieve a rare double championship on December 30 when the French league’s all-star festivities go down. Early this year, Tucker repeated as champion of the NBA D-League dunk contest with the winning jam posted below; BallinEurope suspects this baller may be enjoying the French style vis-a-vis “prépare le concours de dunks…”

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Nov
1

Welcome to Spain, Matt Walsh!

Well-traveled ormer Miami Heat/Union Olimpija swingman today announced his CV will be adding a stint at an eighth country via Twitter. Tweeted Walsh this afternoon: “Back to work!! Just signed with Spanish acb team Murcia!!! South of Spain here I come!!!

After some time in his rookie season as an undrafted player with the Miami Heat in 2005, Walsh played for the D-League’s Arkansas Rim Rockers before jumping to Europe for contracts with Olympia Larissa, Basquet Manresa, Spirou Charleroi, Union Olimpija, Aris BC and Asvel Villeurbanne.

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Nov
1

European vocation: News, highlights on Deron Williams, Christian Eyenga, Khadeem Lattin, more

The movement from the U.S. to Europe within the basketball world is still in motion, and so BallinEurope presents a quintet of stories (and highlight clips) involving American players from the NBA level to prep schools playing abroad.

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May
3

New Zealand’s Abercrombie says “no” to Europe, Penney “maybe”

Even Down Under they’re talking about European ball and the NBA lockout. New Zealand Breakers CEO Richard Clarke today (or yesterday Antipodean Standard Time perhaps…) announced a couple of Euro-tinted roster moves by his defending Australian National Basketball League champs.

According to New Zealand-based The Press, national team member Thomas Abercrombie will eschew playing in Europe as he has re-signed with the Breakers for 2011-12. The 23-year-old Abercrombie had reportedly seen European ball as a stepping stone on his path to the NBA but also reckons he’ll get oodles more playing time for his NBL team.

Clarke went on to state that Team New Zealand sharpshooter Kirk Penney has also reupped for another season, but that the player’s contract has an out clause should Penney sign with a European club before August 1. Penney played in Europe from 2005-07 in stints with Maccabi Tel Aviv, Žalgiris Kaunas and Alba Berlin.

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