Ramunas Siskauskas: The BallinEurope video tribute

On Monday, European basketball great Ramunas Šiškauskas announced his retirement from the game: A story that was noteworthy enough for even North Korean sports fans to be notified. In his official statement, Šiškauskas said that he’d “made my choice in the middle of the season. It was not connected with anything specific – I just feel I should stop. I can only be excited about my career” and that “I am glad I was able to quit as a significant player, playing for such a great team and organization as CSKA Moscow.”

At 33 years of age, Šiškauskas put together a 16-season career with BC Sakalai Vilnius, Lietuvos Rytas, Benetton Treviso, Panathinaikos and CSKA Moscow plus seven years with Team Lithuania in FIBA and Olympic play – good for a gold and two bronzes.

And in that decade and a half, Šiškauskas amassed just under 1,500 points in seven Euroleague seasons on 49.8% shooting including 42.3% on threes. His back-to-back EL titles earned in 2007 and ’08 are among his many individual-career and team highlights … aw, hell. Let’s dispense with further formalities and get to the Ramunas Šiškauskas career tribute in traditional BallinEurope fashion, i.e. with lots of YouTube clips! We’ll miss ya, Ramunas…

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Olympiacos takes Greek Cup, remains undefeated in EΣAKE play

BallinEurope this morning offers congratulations to Olympiacos, who just keep steamrolling through their EΣAKE season, last night taking the 2011 Greek Cup over rivals Panathinaikos, 74-68.

In their third defeat of the Greens thus far in 2010-11, Olympiacos’ chief heroes were game MVP Milos Teodosic and Ioannis Bouroussis; the former went for 18 points in the win, while the latter contributed a double-double. Behind Bourossis’ early scoring, the Reds jumped out to a 15-6 lead early and never looked back: While Panathinikos managed to close the gap to 39-37 for halftime, Olympiacos went on a 12-0 run in the third quarter to again open up the lead.

The Greek League playoffs begin on Wednesday.

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Greek Cup final set for Sunday; Greece playoff schedule P.O.’s Bobby Brown

Just in case you were wondering, there will in fact be a 2011 Greek Cup awarded after all. Those two monster clubs, Olympiacos and Panathinaikos, will meet on Sunday to award the prize after months of delay and some strange behind-the-scenes decision-making. (Surely BallinEurope’ll be posting video of the typical fan shenanigans on Monday, so stay tuned…)

The event arrives at quite an interesting time for the teams, as both are set to tipoff their semifinal playoff series on Wednesday. Panathinaikos hasn’t been on the court since last Sunday’s Euroleague championship win over Maccabi Tel Aviv, while one can imagine Olympiacos’ greatest challenge to keep up their 28-game winning streak this season may be Father Time himself: The Reds haven’t played a game since vanquishing Kolossos Rhodes on May 4.

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Greek basketball in 2010-11: Worst season ever?

Theo might not agree

While Olympiacos continues to chase history in a story that will be continued tonight against Kolossos Rhodes while seemingly on the way to another memorable finals clash with rival Panathinaikos, some are not so positive about the current state of Hellas’ game. writer Costas Papantoniou gives a rundown of what he calls the worst year experienced by Greek basketball.” BallinEurope presents a few lowlights as mentioned by Papantoniou below. Surely it can’t be as bad as all that, can it…?

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Beyond Vesely: Five European names North America must know for 2010-11

With BallinEurope’s profile piece on Jan Vesely in, today we’re adding a bit of a primer on some other names certain to get increasing mentions in NBA culture from your team’s elimination from the playoffs through to the draft and into the 2010 FIBA World Championships in August/September. NBA fans who want to get in the know early might want to start paying attention to the following names:

• Donatas Motiejunas. As probably the top international player taken in the entire NBA draft (though a few mock drafts recently have Vesely drafted before Motiejunas), profiles the big, assumed NBA-ready Lithuanian here. Chance he’ll play NBA ball in 2010-11: 99.9% (unless drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers, for which Motiejunas will instantly shred an ACL or two before October tipoff).

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