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BiE’s editor takes the ice bucket challenge, nominates Basketball Ireland boss +++ Žydrūnas Ilgauskas considering a comeback? Wow LeBron has power +++ The Dream Team’s children +++ Highlights: Belgium beat Belarus, Germany stay alive +++ EuroBasket 2015: Bosnia, Belgium, Israel, and Latvia lock up spots +++ First Person: Follow the FIBA World Cup through BiE’s eyes +++ Basketball World Cup of Beer: The Final – USA vs France +++ Tight knit Iceland too much for Great Britain +++ EuroBasket 2015: Round-up and Highlights from Wednesday’s qualifiers +++ FIBA dropped a sweet promo for the World Cup +++
Dec
0

2012: The year in Euro-centric basketball highlight clips

What say we close out 2012 with a whole bunch of highlight clips? BiE knew you’d be willing. Tomorrow, a list of the most popular BallinEurope stories of the calendar year will be running, but today comes an attempt to encapsulate the past 365 days in European hoops, YouTube style.

From Ibaka’s blocks to the return of Ricky Rubio, from a stunner in Istanbul to a double miracle in Italy, from the US to the Continent and back again, BallinEurope’s got your highlights right here… Continue Reading…

Sep
8

Romanov hit with key Žalgiris question: “Will Plaza be sacked as quickly as Zouros?”

Tick, tick, tick…

Over at Russia-based Sport Express is a lengthy interview with Žalgiris Kaunas basketball/Heart of Midlothian football club owner Vladimir Romanov. Popularly Sometimes known as “Mad Vlad,” the Ūkio Bankas man weighed in on quite a few topics related to his basketball team, including the Sonny Weems departure, the state of Russian basketball and just what the heck happened with Ilias Zouros last season.

An English-language extrapolation of the interview follows. As of this writing, Liga Endesa-imported coach Joan Plaza still holds his position with Žalgiris, but Romanov’s evasive answer to the question of Plaza’s short-term future aren’t exactly enthusiasm-generating…

Continue Reading…

Sep
9

Good Milos vs. Bad Milos: Is Teodosic the problem for Team Serbia?

The two sides of Milos Teodosic

The increasingly good Bball Headlines reported on a little high-profile commentary from the peanut gallery recently, quoting former Team Serbia head coach Zoran Slavnic in singling out Milos Teodosic as central to the current team’s woes in EuroBasket 2013 qualifiers.

“Some of the players that I called up to the national team for the first time five years ago have not made any progress. One could say they have even declined. I am very disappointed with the game of Milos Teodosic as well as with his behavior. His game doesn’t involve his teammates even if he is the most creative player in Europe of the past ten years.

“It is really amazing that his [coaches have] failed to teach him his role on the team and to play as a point guard. He is the main culprit in the recent losses and is still behaving very irresponsibly. He is the best point guard in Europe, but he hasn’t shown it in the national team.”

But can Teodosic, the former European Player of the Year, Euroleague MVP and FIBA World all-tournament member, really deserve such blame for Team Serbia right now? Come to think of it, does Team Serbia actually have great problems? Okay, so they failed to qualify for the Olympics from a tough EuroBasket 2011 crowd. And right now they’re no mighty Montenegro, the 6-0 side Serbia faces in Podgorica tonight.

Continue Reading…

Jul
17

2012 Olympic Qualifying Tournament Preview: Greece

Just one more day (or so, CET) until the heartily-named 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men tips off in Venezuela. BallinEurope continues with previews of the four European qualifiers with an assessment of Greece, a.k.a. Olympiacos and a bunch of other guys.

Roster: Vassilis Spanoulis, Georgios Printezis, Kostas Papanikolaou, Kostas Sloukas, Evangelos Mantzaris (Olympiacos); Ioannis Bourousis, Antonis Fotsis (Olimpia Milano); Nikos Zisis (Montepaschi Siena); Nick Calathes, Kostas Kaimakoglou, Ian Vougioukas (Panathinaikos); Dimitrios Mavroeidis, Kostas Vasileiadis (Gescrap Bilbao Basket); and Michael Bramos (Gran Canaria); head coach Ilias Zouros (Anadolu Efes)

Notable no shows: Dimitris Diamantidis of Panathinaikos retired from national team play, returning that all-important starting point guard role to Vassilis Spanoulis – not a bad trade off this year … also out are Kostas Koufos (Denver Nuggets) and Sofoklis Schortsanitis (Maccabi Tel Aviv) due to injury.

How they got here: In Eurobasket 2011, a hot start saw Team Greece winning five of the first six games, only to drop three of the final five with losses to Russia, France and Lithuania in the placement game. In the penultimate match, however, Hellas put together its best game of the tournament in topping Serbia, 87-77, to earn a spot in these qualifiers.

Continue Reading…

Jun
2

“What has happened here?” The best Euro-centric buzzer-beaters of 2011-12

In clearing out the virtual desk of 2011-12 basketball season stuff, BallinEurope today presents this compilation of the year’s top Euro-centric buzzer-beaters. The requirements to make the list were two: the primary player in the buzzer-beater most be of European nationality or the shot must take place in a game featuring European teams; and the buzzer-beater must take place at the end of a quarter, i.e. no shot-clock buzzer-beaters considered.

Greater weight was given in consideration to the relative importance of the win earned with the highlight shot. Keeping one’s team alive is more important than YouTube glory, after all.

And on with the list. Firstly, honorable mentions go to:

Travis Diener for Banco di Sardegna Sassari against Fabi Shoes Montegranaro on April 15. Sassari would go on to win in overtime, 79-77, and continue in a successful season which had them ultimately placing fourth in the Serie A. Unfortunately for the purposes of this post, not quite a buzzer-beater.

Continue Reading…

Jun
0

Quiz: The NBA- and Euro-centric year in basketball, 2011-12

2011-12: The year of Spanoulis?

Quick! Before those memories of basketball championships European and NBA fade completely, take a brief look back at the season that was – one crazy one on The Continent that began with Tony Parker, Ty Lawson and Mehmet Okur playing over here and concluded with titles taken by King James and Emperor Spanoulis. Get out those pencils and take the BallinEurope quiz…

1. The 2011-12 Euroleague season:
a) was one of the greatest ever
b) was the greatest ever
c) proved Jordi Bertomeu’s contention that “we don’t need NBA imports to be a top-quality competition
d) was awesome, but man, i’m jonesing. When does the season start?

Continue Reading…

Jun
47

Thirteen named by Scariolo for Team Spain roster

Be afraid, be very afraid … Sergio Scariolo has released a list of 13 players from which he’ll craft his Team Spain for the 2012 Olympic Games. To no one’s surprise, the prospective gold-medal game side will choose from a baker’s dozen which includes five who played NBA ball, six Euroleaguers and two guys from Valencia who played in the Eurocup.

The list includes: Jose Calderon (Toronto Raptors); Juan Carlos Navarro, Victor Sada (FC Barcelona); Sergio Rodriguez, Sergio Llull, Felipe Reyes (Real Madrid); Rudy Fernandez (Denver Nuggets); Rafa Martinez, Victor Claver (Valencia BC); Fernando San Emeterio (Caja Laboral Baskonia); Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers); Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzles) and Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder).

Not bad, eh? And now we can speculate as to who might be the odd man out. This might be the toughest decision Scariolo has to face until met with the challenge as to how to cover Kevin Durant and Lebron James when both are on the floor for Team USA…

Continue Reading…

Jun
2

List of European champions, 2011-12: Final edition

Last week saw the final game in a handful of major European domestic basketball leagues – including Spain, France, Italy, Germany and Serbia – and so BallinEurope offers the final and complete roundup of this year’s champions. And it seems like the season just began … ah, well, onto the 2012 Olympics!

(Incidentally, conclusion of the playoffs means that the new version of the ever-popular Euroleague Transfers Table will be uploaded in a day or two; BiE’s working on it now…)

Continue Reading…

Jun
2

List of European champions, 2011-12: Future nearly upon us edition

While Spain, Turkey, France, Germany, Italy and Serbia have yet to crown this season’s basketball champions, most other domestic leagues have, thus allowing us to visualize the makeups of the 2012-13 Euroleague, Adriatic League and (kinda sorta) Eurocup.

Newly welcome champions to the BallinEurope include those from Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina (with some disheartening financial news), Hungary, Bulgaria and Poland – plus updates on the aforementioned championship series and more video highlights, of course. Now cue up the Queen!

Euroleague: The top level in all of Europe provided one of the Continent’s top-level upsets when Olympiacos topped the highly-favored CSKA Moscow on Georgios Printezis’ runner which exploded the internet with less than two ticks remaining on the game clock. Olympiacos created an instant classic this year, nipping the Red Army, 63-61, after lagging behind for nearly the entire game – utterly subjectively speaking, the marvelous comeback kinda recalled two NBA playoff matches from way-back-when, a.k.a. 2002: this and this.

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Jun
13

Olympiacos wins! Olympiacos wins! Olympiacos wins! (a.k.a. *The* European basketball story of 2011-12)

Let’s put this into perspective. The last time Olympiacos took the Greek national title, they were led by David Rivers and Dragan Tarlać. Vassilis Spanoulis was 15 years old and not near professional club play. Dejan Bodiroga was in the middle of his career and Mirsad Turkcan had just turned 21.

Across the pond, Lebron James was 13; Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and *those* Chicago Bulls were about to earn their fifth rings; Kobe Bryant had just become the NBA record-setter as youngest NBA starter ever. In international play, Team USA still wore an aura of invincibility. The World Trade Center was still standing and the European Union was optimistically looking forward to including former communist-led countries as member states.

It seems like a dream to BallinEurope, so one can only goggle at how Olympiacos fans must be feeling today (aside from hungover, that is). Yes, the Reds in the decisive game five of the national championship series took the 82-76 victory over rival Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos, nine-time consecutive champions and typically previously perpetual Olympiacos nightmare this time of year.

Continue Reading…