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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 +++ Swaggy P’s tribute to Os moving back to the USA +++
Sep
0

Podcast: Lotsa Eurobasket, including interviews with Mike Fratello, Alexis Ajinca, Robertas Javtokas, more

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #53 (or perhaps that should be “Volume II, Episode 1”) of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes.

With co-host David Hein “enjoying” the Eurobasket 2013 tournament going down the stretch live in Ljubljana (that “enjoying” is in quotes because we know for a fact that the man’s working like a dog over there), the focus is all on the Continental tournament.

The final round tips off today in lovely Slovenia and we’ve got four short interviews for your listening pleasure with one representative from each of the first four games: Check out the ‘cast for words from young Team Serbia sensation Vasilije Micic; Les Bleus former Charlotte Bobcat Alexis Ajinça; the Czar Himself and current Team Ukraine mastermind Mike Fratello; and Robertas Javtokas of Lietuva.

Naturally, we couldn’t resist the change to offer some Official Fearless Predictions™, including what must be the world’s first championship-game prognostication for Eurobasket 2015.

In our sports movie review of the week segment, we’re looking at an HBO production from 1995 (also known as that time when HBO wasn’t yet HBO) centered on a Rucker Park classic, Rebound: The Legend of Earl “The Goat” Manigault.

Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.

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Sep
12

Eurobasket 2013 Power Rankings – Enter Stage 2

We started with 24 but now we’re down to 12. Who is styling and profiling their way into the quarter finals and who needs some help? We rank the 12 remaing sides in Eurobasket 2013 and the 12 who are now dearly departed, or not so dearly in the case of a few.
Before getting to the rankings, we need to say a big thanks to everyone who responded on Twitter yesterday to the news of me taking over as editor. It’s much appreciated guys. Now on to the rankings…
1. Italy (5-0). Entering the second phase with a 2-0 record to start, it’s been hard to find a fault with Simone Piangiani’s team in the early going. It only gets harder from here but so far the only question is Danilo Who?
2. Spain (4-1). I narrowly pushed the back-to-back defending champions in front of the hosts based on the manner of their four victories. When they are good, they are very, very, good. That defeat to Slovenia has, if anything, served as a wake-up call.
3. Slovenia (3-2). The advantage of hosting the tournament was at its most obvious in Slovenia’s 78-69 win over favourites Spain. The raucous crowd (is there any other kind?) in Celje played its part and the only blemish to date is that narros defeat at the hands of Croatia.
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Jul
1

Podcast: Talking Euroleague, NBA transactions, Lithuania basketball

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #44 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes.

This week’s podcast pays homage to the axiom that, when in doubt about what to talk about in European basketball, simply go to Lithuania. And who better to discuss Team Lithuania’s chances in Eurobasket 2013, Linas Kleiza’s release from the Toronto Raptors, Zalgiris Kaunas’ exit from the VTB United League and such topics than Lithuania Basket’s Simas Baranauskas? Few, we think. (Spoiler: Simas is “cautiously optimistic” about Lietuva in the Slovenia tourney.)

Hein and yours truly also bring the speculation and chatter about recent moves and events in European ball and abroad, touching on Kostas Papanikalaou staying with prospective threepeaters Olympiacos; Richard Hendrix staying in his niche on Eurocup champs Lokomotiv Kuban; the success of Milwaukee Bucks draft pick Giannis Antetokounmpo in the FIBA U20 European Championship tournament; Andrei Kirilenko taking a pay cut to join the Brooklyn Nets (which is clearly about kickbacks and not pursuing an NBA title ); Bogdan Bogdanovic eschewing those same Nets for another turn with Fenerbahçe Ülker; and Bobby Brown attempting to crack the New York Knicks roster.

All this and our sports movie review of the week, the so-bad-it’s-marvelous Jean-Claude Van Damme flick Double Team co-starring none other than Dennis Rodman and Mickey “The Wrestler” Rourke. Ever wonder why The Worm has had to resort to bizarre forays into North Korea for HBO in order to stay in the entertainment biz? Rodman brazenly putting his acting “chops” in this flick will explain all. And remember: Offense gets all the glory, but defense wins championships…

Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.

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Jun
0

Podcast: Interview with Team Poland/Lietuvos Rytas coach Dirk Bauermann

Taking the Charge podcast series Episode #39 of the weekly “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online.

Co-host David Hein and BiE have kept this one mercifully (relatively) short. Recorded directly after game three of the San Antonio Spurs-Miami Heat NBA championship – not to mention directly thereafter game two of the Liga Endesa finals, game two of the Greek League finals and game one of Italy’s Serie A championship series – we do touch upon some happenings in these, but at center…

…is an interview with Dirk Bauermann, former head coach of Team Germany and Bayern Munich and currently with Team Poland and Lietuvos Rytas. Bauermann talks to us about his hopes for his new charges in Eurobasket 2013 (unfortunately seemingly without Marcin Gortat), what to expect from L. Rytas next season and, naturally, on earning his keep in the great basketball state of Lithuania.

As for the sports movie of the week film review, we check out probably the greatest baseball movie you’ve never heard of, namely The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings.

Check out the entire podcast here or to subscribe from this episode ad infinitum, enter http://heinnews.com/feed/taking-the-charge/ into iTunes or any podcast aggregator.

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Jun
10

Eurobasket 2013: Which NBA players are in, which are out?

Because it’s never too early to start looking ahead to Eurobasket 2013 – wait a minute, there’s only 11 weeks left until tipoff? Definitely not too early, then, to take a look at the formative rosters for the big Continental tournament.

While only a few national teams (Croatia and Lithuania among them) have released preliminary rosters at this point and a few major leagues still playing (Spain, Greece, Germany, Italy, etc.), we can at least deduce which NBA players will or won’t be playing. After all, the rosters of 93.3% of NBA teams have finished their 2012-13 season – and the Miami Heat have no Europeans!

Below is a rundown of each team and the status of their potential NBA players. A few high-profile draft choices and rights-owned guys expected to jump over soon are also peppered in, along with links to appropriate sources. If you find/hear of anything relevant to the list, please comment below.
And we’ll do this group by group…

Group A
Belgium –
no current NBA players

France – Kevin Seraphin (Washington Wizards) is out for ’13 but hints he’ll be back in the future.

Ten days ago, based on a L’Equipe report, website Catch-and-Shoot described Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls)’ Eurobasket status as *très incertain*, and after another punishing NBA season seems unlikely.

No official word on Nicolas Batum (Portland), though the Trail Blazers reportedly be “watching Batum’s injury” this offseason. Perhaps some discouragement is forthcoming…?

France-based media outlet Figaro reported back in May that Ian Mahinmi (Indiana Pacers) and Ronny Turiaf (Los Angeles Clippers) would play; this may have been speculation based on prior results, but Turiaf’s presence on Les Blues for this tournament has been on coach Collet’s mind for a while.

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Mar
0

Podcast: Interviews with Sasha Kaun, Fotios Katsikaris; lotsa talk on Russian, Lithuanian ball

Taking the Charge podcast seriesNow available online is episode 26 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-hosted podcast, Taking the Charge. It’s a heavy serving of Russia with a side of Lithuania this week. This week the list of subjects on which we natter includes the following.

• Interviews with CSKA Moscow’s Sasha Kaun, who reveals a touch of March Madness, and Eurocup semifinalist Bilbao Basket/Team Russia coach Fotios Katsikaris, the guy who’s been handed the reins formerly manned by David Blatt – and perhaps a shell of the Olympic bronze-winning team…

• The respective fates of CSKA Moscow and Zalgiris Kaunas going into Friday’s Euroleague game. After this podcast was recorded, the will-he-won’t-he story on Ksystof Lavrinovic broke; while early sources reported the twin’s departure to be a done deal, a BallinEurope reader has pointed out that Ksystof informed Lithuania-based media that he would “remain with Zalgiris regardless of the situation.

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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.

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Feb
2

Lithuania-based sources: Linas Kleiza done for season, unlikely for Eurobasket [Update: Career not in jeopardy]

The news is just gaining steam in the blogosphere now and, if true, it’s potentially quite sad news indeed for Linas Kleiza of Team Lithuania and the Toronto Raptors…

Update: But wait! Within 15 minutes of BiE posting this story, original English-language source Lithuania basketball reassures us that “And just as a clarification & update, Kleiza’s camp says career not in threat. Phew…” Original story, posted at about 11:20am CET, follows.

According to Lithuania-based 15min and soon thereafter this morning translated into English and run by Lithuania Basketball’s Simonas Baranauskas, Kleiza is certainly done for this season, is all but ruled out for Eurobasket 2013 play and in fact his career itself may be “in jeopardy.

These sources report that “the first arthroscopic surgery, which was performed by Dr. J. Richard Steadman in Colorado in 2011, might not have gone fully according to plan…

“According to the former head of the Lithuanian national team’s delegation and a good friend of Kleiza, Antanas Guoga, it is likely that the surgery will need to be repeated…”

15min.lt quoted Guoga as stating “I’ve heard that the surgery didn’t go right, that there were some mistakes [in the rehabilitation process] after the injury. It’s not good that he underwent surgery in the United States. You can’t turn the clock back, but things might have been different if it had been Lithuanian medics…”

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Feb
0

Podcast: Interviewing German Bundesliga CEO Jan Pommer, viewing basketball in Pittsburgh

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #21 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-hosted “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now online. With the entire Euroleague taking a bye this week, David Hein and yours truly keep the EL-centric talk to a minimum, but stay focused on basketball nevertheless with an interview of Bundesliga CEO Jan Pommer.

Pommer is not only enjoying some nice success as the German league has continuously and consistently broken attendance records, but is also one of the more strident voices sounding off against FIBA’s planned reform (BiE prefers to think of it as “deform”) of international tournament structure…

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Nov
0

Podcast: Interviews with Bostjan Nachbar, Nick Gibson; “No Phoenix, No Ashes” reviewed

Episode number 10 of the “Taking the Charge” podcast series, a co-production of BallinEurope and Germany-based heinnews, is now online. Headlining this ‘cast is an interview with Brose Baskets Bamberg and Team Slovenia’s Bostjan Nachbar, who spent a solid ten minutes with David Hein after wrapping a Euroleague game – mad, mad, the maddest of props to Mr. Nachbar!

Hein and yours truly go on to fill the aural space by chatting with the incomparable Euroleague AdventuresNick Gibson; about either website or man, BiE can say nothing negative. Gibson naturally shares about a zillion of his insights into the Eurobasket 2013 draw as well as happenings in the big ‘league, all done up in a mutated three-person version of Pardon the Interruption’s “Fact or Fiction.”

(Incidentally, the entire trio had some difficulties in categorizing this things – separating fact from fiction, one might say. All BiE can say is that this week’s podcast is the result of draw-breaking to late night coffees; a modicum of sympathy, if you will…)

Other topics of discussion include Nikola Vucevic’s fantastic start with the Orlando Magic; the Minnesota Timberwolves and the waiting game (at least half-finished now!); the Los Angeles Lakers; events in German Bundesliga basketball; the preeminence of Arvydas Sabonis in BallinEurope’s new logo poll; and way too much other stuff.

Our movie review of the week is “Phoenix in die Asche” (English title “No Phoenix, No Ashes”), a 2010/11 documentary capturing the trials and tribulations of Phoenix Hagen in its first Bundesliga season, particularly those involving an American player named Michael Jordan…

You can download the entire podcast here. Talk to you next week!

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