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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 +++
Jun
5

Podcast: Interviewing NBA Draft prospect Dario Saric, San Antonio Spurs writer Matthew Tynan; also Forgetting Paris

(Dario Saric image courtesy Draft Express)Episode #38 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes. Hein and yours truly zip through a roundup of rolling-on European league tournaments, including brief commentary on what’s happening in the VTB United League, Germany, Turkey, and those French playoffs guaranteed to be giving Jordi Bertomeu nightmares already…

Thereafter, Taking the Charge presents a chat with Dario Saric, a.k.a. The Next Big Thing Out of Croatia. Saric is surprisingly frank about his plans for the immediate future with regard to the NBA Draft and possibility continuing on with Cibona Zagreb. And by the way, yes, he expects his fully-loaded Team Croatia side to take the gold in the upcoming FIBA U19 World Championship – and honestly, BiE’s gotta side with the wunderkind on this one.

Also joining the show this week is Matthew Tynan of the San Antonio Spurs-centric ESPN TrueHoop Network site 48 Minutes of Hell. Tynan weighs in on Tony Parker’s awesomeness, Tim Duncan’s legacy, Tiago Splitter’s recent emergence as a key factor in San Antonio’s success and the bittersweet difficulty of having to interview Gregg Popovich. Tynan offers us his own Official Fearless Prediction for the NBA Finals, as does Hein himself – and BiE must say that both are surprising, really.

Finally, the movie of the week is a gem of a basketball-centric romantic comedy from the 1990s, Forget Paris. This one was directed, written and co-produced by that no. 1 Los Angeles Clippers fan Billy Crystal in an apparent attempt to get the sports-obsessed guys out there to check out what might be otherwise considered a “chick flick.”

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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May
3

Podcast: Talking Miami Heat with Hot Hot Hoops, Bayern Munich business with club GM; reviewing underrated basketball movie classic He Got Game

Episode #37 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes. After the usual patter on Euroleague rumors (especially this one) and VTB United League playoffs, the good stuff starts happening.

First up to guest on the show is Bayern Munich general manager Marko Pesic, who chats up heinnews on the seemingly overwhelming and undeniably impressive growth of the club since the beginning of this decade and its second-division Bundesliga standing. BiE continues to be fascinated with team’s master plan built on little more than the club’s football brand and um, well, that’s it, really. The fact of the matter – call it a BallinEurope Official Fearless Prediction™ if you will – is that this team, barring unforeseen financial or personnel disaster, will be playing Euroleague ball within two seasons. Thus is Pesic good to hear from.

And the GM gives us insight into the truth to rumors that Bayern will make a run at signing Ratiopharm Ulm’s John Bryant. Yeah, surrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre.

Following Pesic is Jay Ramos, writer for the Miami Heat-centric SB Nation site Hot Hot Hoops. Ramos speaks to us about, well, the Miami Heat; more specifically, topics include mostly Lebron, more Lebron, Dwyane Wade, a tiny bit of Ray Allen and Shane Battier, Lebron, you get the idea. But can BiE put the fear of Tony Parker in Ramos? Tune in to find out – Ramos’ own predictions for the NBA Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Championship outcome are also here, as are BallinEurope’s.

Incidentally, when was the last time an NBA playoff series stood at 2-2 yet was so widely accepted to be a foregone conclusion…?

The Taking the Charge sports movie review of the week focuses on He Got Game, an unfairly under-seen film by New York Knicks ultrafan Spike Lee starring Denzel Washington and now-Heat former-Milwaukee Bucks/Boston Celtics sharpshooter Ray Allen. The short take: See this film. If you already have, watch it again. For many more reasons why, listen in…

Finally, also of note is our bumper music: Fantastic and rights-free material from Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys and DJ Danger Mouse – great stuff you may never have heard before.

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

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May
2

Highlight amid the disappointment: “Demolition” Marc Gasol turns in play of the night

After last night’s 104-93 overtime win by the San Antonio Spurs over the Memphis Grizzlies in game three of the Western Conference semifinals, BallinEurope fears that NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol and his guys won’t be playing much further in the 2012-13 edition of the big league, but at least the Spaniard was able to add one more jam (not to mention the swell nickname “Demolition Marc”) to his career highlight reel – namely this smoking of Tiago Splitter and Kawhi Leonard…

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Mar
2

It’s official: Enes Kanter is the toughest player in the NBA — and possibly the world

The most amazing thing about the dislocated shoulder injury that Turkey’s Enes Kanter suffered last night in the Utah Jazz’ win against the Phoenix Suns last night wasn’t the way TV cameras gave the audience such a prolonged view of the visibly excruciating damage or even the manner in which the Jazzmen held on short-handed (or -armed) for the win.

Nope: Most surprising of all, rather, was the Turkish tough guy’s reaction, i.e. To pick himself off the floor and walk off court himself. Can you imagine this reaction from, say, Luke Ridnour? And what exactly is the big man’s threshhold for pain?

Best guesses reckon Kanter could miss up to two weeks of action, but after watching this video, doesn’t anyone else believe he’ll be back out there by the weekend…?

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Mar
Mar
5

Infographic: 2012-13 Miami Heat vs. 2004-05 CSKA Moscow – Who’s more impressive?

As the Miami Heat look to add another W to their ongoing historic 23-game streak when playing at the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight, here’s a nifty little argument discussion starter put together by BallinEurope’s Lithuanian agent Y.

Sure, the Heat’s run is mighty impressive, but just look at what CSKA Moscow did to the competition in both Euroleague and Russian play in 2004-05: The Dusan Ivkovic-led side featuring all-time greats Theo Papaloukas and J.R. Holden strung together 42 consecutive wins over a six-month period for a record that may never be broken. The team ultimately took the Russian League and Cup titles, but fell in the Euroleague Final Four. (An ominous sign for King James & Co.?)

So see below and/or click on the image for larger version and tell BiE: In the parlance of our times, who’s the “more dominant”? (Y.’s title for the infographic may have been ironic…)

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Mar
8

¡Viva La Pistola! Ricky Rubio goes for first NBA triple-double against Spurs [video]

History in the making? Ricky “The Human YouTube Highlight Clip” Rubio lived up to BallinEurope’s sobriquet last night in his Minnesota Timberwolves’ 107-83 win over the San Antonio Spurs. Rubio’s 25-point, 13-rebound, 12-assist performance was the first 20+/12/12 triple double against the Spurs since Larry Bird – and totally makes for one sweet YouTube clip in its own right. See for yourself in the nicely tightly-edited two-some minutes from the league below.

(Incidentally, BiE’s said it before and may say it again: How about that Rubio-to-Williams connection, eh?)

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Mar
0

Classic Andrea Bargnani GIF produced by The Hoop Doctors

From the folks over at the excellent Hoop Doctors, here’s a GIF called simply “Classic Andrea Bargnani.” BallinEurope, this season at least, is sadly forced to agree…

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Feb
2

Tim “Der Nächste Nowitzki” Ohlbrecht moves up to Houston Rockets, to become eighth-ever German NBA player

Congratulations go out from BallinEurope to Tim Ohlbrecht, who has made the jump to the NBA in signing with the increasingly interesting (and increasingly European-spiced) Houston Rockets – and whoa, are some Germany-based news outlets excited.

In reporting on the contract, which has the former Frankfurt Skyliners/Telekom Baskets Bonn/Rio Grande Valley Vipers big man locked in with Houston through this season plus a club option through 2014-15, Bild labels Ohlbrecht “der nächste Nowitzki” while getting positively giddy about the possibility of the 24-year-old matching up against Dirk (and sidekick Chris Kaman) when the Rockets face the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

Der Spiegel meanwhile quotes recently-hired Team Germany head coach Frank Menz as stating that he was “impressed by Tim’s development in the U.S., particularly [in athleticism],” noting that “It shows great will and ambition to [get to the NBA] the hard way, through the D-League.”

Less than a week ago, Ohlbrecht’s agent Tyler Glass informed Sportando that his client had turned down a 10-day contract offer from the Boston Celtics; in hindsight, this appears quite the shrewd move by Glass, who perhaps knew of the much more attractive offer from the playoff-contending Rockets.

After four seasons with Giants Leverkusen and Brose Baskets Bamberg, Ohlbrecht declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft back in 2010, but his name went uncalled. He returned to the German Bundesliga thereafter to play with Bonn and Frankfurt in turn before reentering the Rockets system this season with the D-League Vipers; his stat line there includes marks of 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. And since 2008, Ohlbrecht has played summers with Team Germany.

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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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