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We really need you to nominate beers +++ Mykhailiuk operating almost under cover +++ Nando de Colo has the best location for a basketball camp +++ Ireland end famines with two slices of Danish bacon +++ Former Galatasaray baller Jamont Gordon talks about the road to recovery +++ FIBA Europe Under 20 final highlights and top plays +++ VIDEO: Ettore Messina’s coaching philosophy +++ The 24 must-see regular season games in 2014/15 Euroleague +++ Until it matters, it won’t matter +++ Watch all 40 of Angela Salvadores points against USA +++
Jul
0

VIDEO: Ettore Messina’s coaching philosophy

This is a great find by the crew over at Project Spurs, a 14 minute video of Ettore Messina explaining his philosophy on coaching basketball

Yeah, when he opens with comparisons to an orchestra you just know this is going to be good. Then when he gets on to discipline a clearly rights free version of The Godfather theme starts playing. Within four minutes it gets unnerving because anyone familiar with Messina gets shocked by just how chilled he is…this was filmed during his CSKA days and he seems content, how does that happen?

Jun
2

David Blatt smashes the glass ceiling

david-blatt-cleveland-cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers and David Blatt have come to terms, giving the Boston born coach with over 30 years in the European game his first taste of a NBA head coaching gig. Emmet Ryan says this could be a defining moment for European coaches.

You don’t have to go back all that far in history to a time when European players, or indeed any player from outside the USA, was seen as incapable of cutting it in the NBA. It wasn’t until the likes of Drazen Petrovic, Toni Kukoc, Vlade Divac, and Arvydas Sabonis made their mark that Europeans were truly accepted in the league. Dirk’s MVP season struck another blow. The steps have been taken by players in jerseys, the idea of a player whose formative years were outside of the United States not having what it takes is seen as foolish in the modern era.

Coaches however simply haven’t made the breakthrough. Ettore Messina’s single season as an assistant with the Lakers was a big deal. It opened up the prospect of a coach who had made it to the top in Europe being able to transition to the US. Messina was linked with NBA head coaching gigs less than a month ago and now looks likely to join the Spurs as an assistant. Blatt, who is of course American born, is the breakthrough we have been waiting for.

Much as the Bostonian is a noted Celtics fan, he is very much a Euro in the eyes of the NBA. This isn’t Mike D’Antoni with his flavour of Italy coaching in the bigs. Blatt is a Euro lifer. Nearly his entire professional playing career and his full two decades as a coach have been in Europe. Blatt has enjoyed phenomenal success often when resources said he shouldn’t have. Maccabi Tel Aviv’s win in Euroleague this year was the most obvious example but he has taken care of business in Italy and Russia as well as on the international stage. When Russia beat Spain in EuroBasket 2007 they knocked off the reigning World Champions. That was followed up with a bronze in London 2012.
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May
0

Euroleague Final Four: Five burning questions on the CSKA Moscow-Olympiacos match (plus Official Fearless Prediction™)

BallinEurope is sorry that CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos, finalists of that memorable 2012 Euroleague Final Four (one of this association’s best tournaments ever – and readers know just how much BiE hates sports-historical hyperbole) won’t get to repeat their matchup in the climactic game again this year, but at least we get a heckuva revenge game on Thursday.

Once again, Olympiacos goes in as underdog of both this match and to take the tourney – but this out, media members (by which BiE means an overwhelming majority, including BiE) won’t be expecting a bunch of overachievers to be steamrolled by squads apparently more talented on paper. Doesn’t it still seem like the factors are all in Moscow’s favor, though? Here are BiE’s five key questions going into the London grudge match…

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Feb
3

Messina on Teodosic: “I’m no Dr. Frankenstein”

L to R: Milos Teodosic, Ettore Messina

Just because the Euroleague is off this week, it doesn’t mean the media is closed for business and CSKA Moscow leader Ettore Messina gave international news a little to chew over during the bye. The coach wants you all to know a few things: He’s not a mad scientist animating cadavers, nor can he get Milos Teodosic to what the Italian coach sees as his next level.

Spanish-language Piratas Del Basket today quotes Messina in calling out his point guard a bit after the Red Army’s shocking home loss to Zalgiris Kaunas in Monday’s VTB United League game: “Clearly, there is progress in Teodosic’s game, but there’s still plenty of work to do in order for him to reach the necessarily level to be a leader.”

He went on to rhetorically ask media members, “Do you think that I’m doing nothing or that I’m Dr. Frankenstein and I can change his head as I please? Everything depends on the player. I can help but he will only change when he wants to.

Ever since last season’s Euroleague championship final – more known for Vassilis Spanoulis and Georgios Printezis’ heroics, but also notable for Teodosic’s fourth-quarter meltdown – BallinEurope has kept half an eye on the PG in late-game situations. And while CSKA was stumbling to two consecutive Euroleague losses, BiE is sad to note that mercurial Milos has reemerged…

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Dec
6

Teodosic watch: Milos clutch in win over FC Barcelona; CSKA Moscow displays awesome arsenal

Teodosic: Hero again

Going into last night’s Euroleague-closing match against FC Barcelona, Ettore Messina and CSKA Moscow seemed to have deduced the solution to Milos Teodosic’s fourth-quarter woes dating back to the 2012 Final Four tournament: Simply blow out opponents so that no clutch play is required.

In hindsight, this game mathematically meant little: Thanks to the week 5 blowout induced by Barça, CSKA faced the nigh-impossible task of winning by 22 points against the EL-undefeated Spanish side. Revenge blowout or no, however, it was quickly obvious that both teams came unwilling to go into the ‘League break with a loss.

And so going into the fourth quarter, CSKA faced its first true crunch-time test since October. As per BallinEurope tradition, BiE reports Teodosic’s stat line through the first 30 minutes as a bit of a mixed bag: 3-of-4 overall shooting, five rebounds, three steals and five TOs.

Messina sat his starting point guard for the fourth quarter’s first 6½ minutes; despite a couple bursts of nifty transition ball by CSKA, with 3:32 remaining and Ante Tomic sinking two free throws, the Red Army had fallen a point further behind since the fourth-quarter opening.

Then in came Milos. Continue Reading…

Dec
0

Here come the Men in Red and Blue!

Dear CSKA Moscow Studios,

BiE was happy to hear that the exciting new cinematic blockbuster from your studios has now entered the production phase. The choices for leads in the “Men in Red and Blue” (or “MiRB” – nice bit of online-centric marketing consciousness shown there, might BiE say) motion picture are intriguing, indeed. Sonny Weems and Viktor Khryapa definitely have that je ne sais quoi-level of star power; BiE likes the idea of Khryapa as an invincible Schwarzeneggeresque action-flick hero for years to come.

But BiE digresses. With MiRB in pre-production, BiE hereby offers his services as songwriter for the soundtrack. My CV is attached … nah, that’s a lie. There is no CV. Let’s say instead that Os Davis is just some guy with a strong willingness to wrap.

Below run the lyrics to the proposed theme song, “Men in Red and Blue.” Thank you. My people will be waiting to hear from your people.

Yours,

Os Davis

“Men in Red and Blue”
© BallinEurope.com, 2012

Here come the Men in Red
(Oooh, in the red and blue)
(Oooh, in the red and blue)
Here come the Men in Red (Red and Blue)
You’re certain to remember

Yeah, yeah, yeah
The good guys dress in red, remember that,
Just in case we ever meet head-to-head and make contact.
We call ourselves the M.I.B.R.
And what we got means we got to go far.
Continue Reading…

Dec
2

Podcast: Interviews with Ettore Messina, Viktor Khryapa; ruminations on, well, a lotta stuff

Now up and running is episode #12 of the “Taking the Charge” podcast series, a co-production of heinnews.com and BallinEurope.

Amid a lot of chatting on recent events in basketball including the frankly bizarre $250,000 fine handed the San Antonio Spurs for recently not suiting up stars to play the Miami Heat in a televised game; Team Spain’s new coach Juan Antonio Orenga, who BiE believes could well have been the perfect choice for the job; questions of who might be the perfect coach for Team Germany (to be announced tomorrow) and Team Russia (to be announced on/by December 24), a question to which BiE has a perfect answer for either; and various Euroleague/NBA speculation, analysis and such.

The real highlights, however, are the brief-but-telling interviews with CSKA Moscow head coach Ettore Messina and his big man Viktor Khryapa. David Hein’s chat with Messina comes particularly recommended: In fewer than 500 words, the Red Army general manages to succinctly explain why CSKA will only get better as the Euroleague season goes on (yikes!), two areas in which his coaching was improved by his year with the Los Angeles Lakers organization and his take on FIBA’s international tournament format changes.

Plus, as always, Taking the Charge brings you fresh music (this time it’s Vir, post-punk hailing from New Zealand and operating in Oakland, plus the movie of the week, the classic American football-themed Marx Brothers flick “Horse Feathers.”

Check out the entire podcast here, and talk to you next week on Taking the Charge!

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Oct
2

Interview: Sonny Weems of CSKA Moscow

For this week’s episode of the heinnews/BallinEurope “Taking the Charge” podcast series, Sonny Weems joined us for a chat – serendipitously timed after his 30-point barrage in a career day for CSKA Moscow at Partizan Belgrade last week – not to mention a 13-point, five-assist, three-steal effort against VEF Riga on the weekend.

The entire interview with the former Toronto Raptor/Žalgiris SG/SF may be heard here beginning at the 46:15 mark. Below run a few outtakes for the more textually inclined…

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Oct
61

Euroleague Power Rankings: 2012-13 Opening Day Edition

All right, it’s that time again! With hours to go before the 2012-13 Euroleague season tips off, BallinEurope breaks out its first power ratings for the big league.

Whereas normally a disclaimer to the effect of “the following ratings are based on current trending only and are not necessarily based on the overall quality of the teams” runs here, this year BiE’s switching things up a bit. To wit: For this edition of Euroleague power rankings, the teams *will* be run based on BallinEurope’s totally subjective viewpoint. (Mainly because BiE couldn’t figure out what to do with Barcelona…)

Get your arguments ready and read on for this season’s first power rankings, with Official BallinEurope Fearless Predictions™ for the upcoming season peppered throughout. Enjoy the games!

The favorites
1. Olympiacos Piraeus. The usual reserved spot for the defending champion comes with some justification this year, as Vassilis Spanoulis & Co. show no signs of letting up on their 2011-12 season-ending 22-4 run. In the off-/preseason, Olympiacos’ foursome of Spanoulis, local hero Georgios Printezis, Kostas Papanikolaou and Evengelos Mantazaris suited up for a disappointed Team Greece – all but Mantazaris acquitted themselves nicely, with 50-of-89 (56.2%) overall shooting and Spanoulis dishing out just under six assists per game in three Olympic qualifiers.

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Sep
46

What’s wrong with team Serbia? Coach Duda’s confession

Those who tuned into David and Davis’ podcast over at heinnews this week and/or have been reading the rants posted on BallinEurope on Milos Teodosic’s play in the recent FIBA EuroBasket 2013 qualifiers know that BiE fears something is amiss in Serbia. BallinEurope’s contributing writer from over there, Marko Savkovic, today tells us that head coach Dušan Ivković attempted to address some of the issues dogging his Team Serbia yesterday. Did Duda succeed in his explanation? You be the judge…

Team Serbia walked a very thin line last Tuesday, narrowly escaping elimination from EuroBasket 2013. Three days later, its coach Dušan “Duda” Ivković faced the press.

Yes, Israel was beaten fairly convincingly on Tuesday evening. If it hadn’t been for a couple of late three-pointers from Guy Pnini, Omri Casspi’s strong 1-on-1 display and some staunch 4th quarter defense, Serbia would have won by a margin far greater than 19 points necessary to finish second in the group. Belgrade’s Pionir Arena welcomed home team’s rise from the state of complete disarray into which it had fallen in after its disgraceful loss to Estonia. Yet the smiles and cheers were those not so much confidence or gratitude, but of relief. Relief for a nation which – you have to compare – 10 years ago celebrated its last world championship.

On Friday, coach Duda spoke to the press.He accepted part of the blame for the team’s abysmal showing in the EuroBasket qualifiers, but also argued that “we [Serbia] are not a team going about to disgrace our nation.”

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