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Coach James Weldon gives his thoughts on Dragan Bender +++ Sarunas Jasikevičius retires, joins Zalgiris in coaching role +++ Vintage Drazen Petrovic jersey up for auction +++ Ireland announce select squad for Luxembourg friendlies +++ 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 +++
Nov
5

Thoughts and Trade Machine tinkering: Can the Lakers trade Pau Gasol?

As Los Angeles Lakers fandom giddily awaits the possible debut of Mike D’Antoni on the bench tonight and the emergence of the superteam most observers expected, the inevitable whispers are beginning: Yes, Pau Gasol appears to be on some imaginary trading blocks (and perhaps even the actual one) already.

As BallinEurope understands it, the thinking goes something like this: Pau has not performed brilliantly early on this season. He’s at his peak trade value. Literally the only tradable assets beyond Gasol are Metta World Peace and Steve Blake – unless taking a flyer on Chris Duhon or Earl Clark proves irresistible to someone. Dwight Howard should exploit a pick-and-roll game enough so that the Spaniard’s specialized skills aren’t missed too much. And hey, let’s face it, they’ve been trying to deal this guy for quite some time.

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Feb
5

Rumor: Timberwolves pursue Team Spain connection with Derrick Williams for Pau proposal

Could Pau Gasol be reunited with his Spain teammate Ricky Rubio on the Minnesota Timberwolves? According to Hoops World, Minny management is pursuing such a situation and is reportedly willing to send over rookie Derrick Williams and draft choices to the Los Angeles Lakers for Pau.

No comment seems to have been made by Lakers management, but it is no secret that the no. 3 spot needs some serious shoring up in L.A. Perhaps the Busses will complete the deal if Metta World Peace is thrown in…

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Jan
0

11-for-11: BallinEurope’s Most 11 popular stories from 2011

So 2011 may have been few people’s favorite year personally, European basketball fans have certainly got to be taking solace in the fact that the past 12 months featured a seriously great run of Continental-flavored hoops.

To wit, in 2011, we enjoyed:

• an exciting round of Euroleague playoffs which included FC Barcelona’s surprising tournament-round exit and culminated in storied franchise Panathinaikos bagging its third EL trophy in five years;

• in domestic leagues, another weird Bundesliga playoff tournament, another controversial Greek tourney, and from Italy and Spain second-place shockers Bennet Cantù and Bizkaia Bilbao Basket advancing;

• lots of European superstars battling it out in the NBA playoffs, particularly on the Western Conference side, with Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and of course Dirk Nowitzki proving so key to their teams’ successes (or lack thereof);

the Eurobasket 2011 tournament hosted in the world’s basketball-maddest country which ultimately inspired Team Serbia coach Dusan Ivkovic to opine that “this has been the strongest European Championship in history…” (and, judging only from the star content alone, BiE would probably agree, despite a general loathing for such hyperbole directly after an event);

• some awesome schadenfreude-laced moments as NBA refugees came to play on the Continent during the player lockout, plus all the incredibly amusing speculation on names beginning with Kobe Bryant; and finally

• the close to the 2011-12 Euroleague regular season with a week 10 that featured some crazy dogfights for entry and positioning in the Top 16 round, including a great do-or-die game between Emporio Armani Milano and Partizan Belgrade.

Olympic Games or no, how can basketball year 2011 be topped? On the first day of the new year, BallinEurope takes a last brief look back at the most popular stories we ran in 2011. Relive one killer 365 days of European roundball once more below.

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Aug
0

Get ready, Chester: Artest planks in L.A., prepares visit to U.K.

You’d better steel yourselves in Chester and beyond, folks, for none other than Ron Artest, a.k.a. Metta World Peace, arrives on Thursday. And though according to his publicist Courtney Barnes in an ESPN Los Angeles piece, “There’s no deal in place for him to play,” World Peace-watching will certainly be a popular spectator sport through next week in the U.K.

When a deal is discussed, Artest will certainly find a distinctly un-Beşiktaşesque offer on the table from his prospective new British Basketball League club, the Cheshire Jets. In a much-repeated quote from ESPN Los Angeles, Jets director Peter Hawkins has stated that “We are honored that Ron has even mentioned the prospect of joining the Jets. Financially we have nothing to offer him, but it would be so significant for UK basketball, we have offered him a stake in the club and all the love in the world!”

All you need is love, eh?

Surely as part of some psychological warmup for his trip to Britain, World Peace was recently photographed while practicing the newfangled art of planking. And only Artest could do it like this – check out ol’ Metta in the middle of an L.A. street below. You gotta be in pretty decent shape to hold that position, BiE would think. And a bit, um, different.

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Aug
0

Metta World Peace to Cheshire Jets: “UK, here we come!”

Tweet of the week? That’s an easy one. Here’s something from Ron Artest, a.k.a. Metta World Peace, from about 12 hours ago as of this writing:

Go Jets!!!!! UK, here we come!!! Jets are the best!!! Jets are the best!!! New chant!!!!!!!!!

Yes, it turns out that one of the wackiest rumors surrounding the NBA lockout and players’ concomitant interest in signing with European teams in the interim has turned out to be true, as the Los Angeles Laker has accepted an offer to play with the British Basketball League’s Cheshire Jets; he’ll reportedly be joining training with the side next month. The decision comes despite agent David Bauman denying Artest would play in the U.K. less than one month ago.

Now say “Queensbridge,” Jets fans!

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Jul
2

Artest agent: No on Britain, Finland; maybe on Israel, Russia, Greece, Turkey…

After capturing the blogosphere’s attention with yesterday’s reportage of Ron Artest, a.k.a. Metta World Peace, looking to options in the British Basketball League in case of an extended NBA player lockout, ESPN Los Angeles went straight to the horse’s mouth – or the horse’s agent’s mouth – to learn the truth.

Said agent David Bauman to the website, “Even though [playing in England] makes sense from a [convenience standpoint], it doesn’t make sense from a basketball perspective.” Bauman went on to declare that Artest does want to play some professional ball in 2011-12 and that “If we do Europe, it’s going to be Israel, Russia, Greece, Turkey, Italy or maybe France. … When we spoke about the lockout, Ron said, ‘Find me the best teams.’”

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Jul
2

Ron Artest on playing in Britain: “Why not?”

Wait a minute … what happened to the Finnish gig? Today, Los Angeles sportswriter Bill Plaschke has a short piece on Mr. Metta World Peace in which he envisions himself playing for either the Glasgow Rocks or the Cheshire Jets in case of an extended NBA lockout.

Key quote: “The teams aren’t good, but I’m going there to finish a movie, so why not?”

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Jun
32

Ron Artest to play in Finland. No, really.

BallinEurope just received word from Hippo Taatila (via BiE pilgrim father Christophe, now of European Prospects) that Ron Artest may have topped himself in wackiness yet again – and this within a week of the announcement of his imminent name change to Metta World Peace. Reports Taatila:

“Finland’s top league Korisliiga will witness some serious NBA talent in September 2011, when Los Angeles Lakers forward/multipersonality Ron Artest will join league newcomer LoKoKo Loimaa.

“The 31-year old Artest has three years left in his Lakers contract, but that doesn’t seem to bother LoKoKo sports director Aleksi Valavuori, who backs up the rumor in Tuesday’s Ilta-Sanomat newspaper.

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