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 +++ Basketball World Cup of Beer – Bronze Medal Match +++ Rudy gets iced, the internet rejoices +++ FIBA World Cup Preview – Group C +++ CSKA Moscow’s Kyle Hines and Sonny Weems take the ice bucket challenge +++ Tony Parker does ice bucket challenge but his friend can’t use a camera phone +++ Basketball World Cup of Beer: Semi Finals +++

*Can* white men jump? Ratiopharm Ulm takes respite from Bundesliga race to test age-old axiom

Gunther: Can he or can't he?

Gunther: Can he or can’t he?

BallinEurope’s not exactly sure whose inspiration the below-embedded clip starring three Ratiopharm Ulm studs was or why Per Günther agreed to serve as guinea pig to test the classic punchline/sound bite of basketball subculture, namely “white men can’t jump.” (Or if you prefer, “Weiße Jungs bringens nicht” for appropriate local flavor. Completely irrelevant side note: In Hungarian, the Harrelson/Snipes/Rosie Perez epic is entitled “Zsákolj, ha tudsz!” or literally “Dunk if you can!”)

“Du willst Per Günther dunken sehen?” (or “Will you/we see Per Günther dunk?”) is a 68-second clip featuring Allan Ray and Pooh Jeter bringing the trash talk and the 185cm (6’1”) point guard’s strong willingness to jam.

Poor Per. And yet there’s a method to the seeming madness of this method. The club has announced that, should the Ratiopharm Ulm Facebook page receive 20,000 fans (could they mean “likes”?), Herr Günther promises to successfully dunk it through. Though perhaps he should recall what happened directly after ol’ Billy Hoyle pulled off the slam in a guaranteed victory…

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Kobe: “I’d rather be perceived of as a winner than a good teammate”

Just in case you’re not one of the 14 million who “like” Kobe Bryant on Facebook or one of the 60,000 or so who “liked” the following post in the first three hours of its online existence, here’s a repost. Kobe continues his game of one-upmanship on Smush Parker when that war of words between the former teammates broke out last week.

“Leadership is responsibility,” begins the mini-treatise by Not The Big Socrates. Yet somehow the Los Angeles Laker great arrives at a conclusion that he’d “rather be perceived [of] as a winner than a good teammate.” Hey, you figure it out…

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Epic win by Team USA begets epic Facebook fail

Oops … this is the problem with social media, eh? Shortly after the US’ 107-100 win over Spain for the gold medal in 2012 Olympic basketball, the folks running the FIBA Facebook page uploaded the below image and caption (see below the break), inducing nearly 300 comments along the line of “FAIL” within a half-hour. Hmmm, it must be because of the redundancy in grammar; you know, as in “second consecutive gold medal in a row”…

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Ganon Baker Basketball holding two youth coach clinics in Italy

Attention, European youth basketball coaches: Skill development trainers Ganon Baker Basketball are announcing two weekend programs in Italy in April. Those seeking to glean some knowledge and insight from top names in coaching and training (see just below for a few more details) would do well to mark their calendars for international youth level coaches clinics in Cremona, April 14-15, and in Caserta, April 21-22.

In Cremona, lectures and demos will be presented by notables such as legendary former Team Spain/FC Barcelona/Joventut coach Aito Garcia Reneses; former Olimpia Milano coach Franco Casalini; Team Italy U16s coach Antonio Bocchino; Virtus Bologna youth teams director Giordano Consolini; Team Italy strength-and-conditioning coach/director Francesco Cuzzolini; and, of course, the man himself, Ganon Baker, with credits on the CV including lecturing at the Nike Skills Academy and Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade’s youth camps.

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Currently under (slight) renovation:

The classic logoBallinEurope is changing – but only slightly. After a long period of static design and linkage, BiE finally managed to find some time to add a few tweaks that will hopefully augment the whole reader-experience, social-networking thing.

First, a bit of sad news for some. The image-based logo featuring cartoon Ramunas Siskauskas tipping off against the guy we’ve informally called “Pau”, created back in 2008 by Matt Dyck, will most likely be retired from prominent use on the BallinEurope website. This has less to do with a tobacco-puffing European feeling outdated – Hey, when a country like Hungary bans public smoking, you know the Continent is seriously ciggie-free, this writer excepted – but more to do with the pragmatic issue of download times. This site’s technical consultant (BiE thinks of him as “Merlin the magician”) suggests that loading BallinEurope pages would become noticeably faster with what is, unfortunately, a rather “heavy” background.

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Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan: The visual comparison

Courtesy Baltic Basketball League’s and Facebook user Chamillionaire’s pages, below runs a nice graphic visually comparing the achievements of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, who is often touted vehemently by rabid Los Angeles Lakers fans sometimes bandied about the blogosphere as being on a level with His Airness.

And after one glance … well, the claim for Kobe isn’t so great. (Though BiE must ask: Where is the comparison of achievements in international competition…?)

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The best basketball joke of 2012 (and this competition may already be over)

The best basketball-centric quip of the year thus far? That’s an easy one, see below for a most noteworthy joke courtesy of the insanely funny and thoroughly addictive (don’t say BallinEurope didn’t warn you) BiE can’t say for sure whether semi-anonymized Facebook user AJ is the creator of the eternal line, but kudos go out regardless!

So, have you heard the one about Lebron James and his wife…?

Now if you’ll excuse BiE, ROFLMAO!

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Ricky Rubio produces dazzling highlights in debut; Timberwolves lose to Thunder, 104-100

In a game BallinEurope’s been (half-)awaiting for years, Ricky Rubio debuted for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the team’s opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder last night. Though the Thunder won the game 104-100, Rubio impressed with six points, six assists, five rebounds (!), zero turnovers and his first NBA YouTube-worthy highlights.

NBA dish no. 1 for the Spanish wunderkind will go down as one lightning-quick bounce pass threading a needle past Russell Westbrook and James Harden to find Zach Randolph coming into the lane. Check out Harden’s body language after this bucket; pwned! “He makes it so easy…”

The one going viral since approximately 0.68 seconds after the final buzzer is another deadly bounce pass in transition, with Rubio feeding Derrick Williams amid an unset Thunder D; Williams’ jam in the fourth quarter retook a boomeranging lead for the Timberwolves at 79-78.

Here’s Ricky in the post-game, perhaps most importantly stating that he “feels comfortable” out there. He sure did look it…

Later, Rubio messaged via Facebook: “En MIL ya. Derrota dura contra un gran equipo. Pero tenemos que pensar en mañana. No hay descanso. Gracias a todos por el apoyo.”

As Rubio opined in the above video, the ‘Wolves can’t exactly feel 100% good about a loss (On the other hand, what are you going to do? That’s Kevin Durant’s team…) but keeping it within four? Coming back from a late 10-point deficit? Showing some nice chemistry early? Kevin Love contributing a beastly performance (22 points, 12 boards, five assists) as though it’s March and he hasn’t missed a step? Nice.

It’s too early, the ‘Wolves may be too young and the depth may be a bit thin for BiE to concur just yet, but maybe ‘Wolves basketball is back.


Fallout from failed CP3 deal: Lamar Odom facebooks WTF; Pau Gasol “devastated”

So, Lamar Odom is going to the New Orleans Hornets in a deal involving Chris Paul landing with the Los Angeles Lakers, Pau Gasol heading to the Houston Rockets and Luis Scola getting with the Hornets. No, wait, none of that is happening. For “basketball reasons,” apparently.

Now poor Odom himself (last season going for 14.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.31 stocks) doesn’t know what’s up, but right now he’s asking a couple of philosophical questions. And like all such good queries, this one just leads to more questions…

Posted Mr. Kardashian on Facebook at about 10.45pm EST last night (their time): “When a team trades u and it doesn’t go down? Now what?

Here’s what: Odom’s next recorded response seems to have been, according to Orange County Register sportswriter Mike Bresnahan, to lock himself out temporarily. Odom reportedly just might skip first day of Lakers training camp because “You don’t want to go no place you’re not wanted.

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PAOK’s Joanna Barnes “frustrated”

Mark another player down as, shall we say, somewhat disillusioned with the European basketball experience … and this one’s coming from the ladies’ side.

Joanna Barnes, currently playing with the PAOK Women’s team, blew off some steam in that favorite 21st-century virtual venting arena, Twitter. Tweeted Barnes this morning:

A part of me wants to say F bball, b/c of the under payment & the b/s the put you through for it. #frustrated

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