Aug
0

Euro ballers get the NBA Sweets treatment

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Despite a whole lot of genuinely interesting things happening in the world of basketball right now, it’s a tough time to manage a NBA social media account. Most free agents are signed, the summer league is long over, and there’s still a good chunk of time until pre-season. Throw all that together and NBA Twitter accounts start getting silly. On Wednesday the theme was #NBASweets and Euro ballers in the association didn’t get left out of the nonsense.

Here are the highlights:
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Aug
0

Get to know Dragan Bender

16 year old Dragan Bender has taken social media by storm with his impressive displays for the Croatian national team at the FIBA Europe Under 18 men’s championships. Bender spoke to FIBA earlier this week and it’s worth watching before Croatia take on Turkey in today’s semi-finals.

Bender, who has a 7 year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv with a NBA out after 4 years, is 2.11m tall and has averaged 15.1 points 11.3 rebounds and 4.4 assits per game in these championships.

For another view on Bender, check out BiE’s interview with Coach James Weldon who saw the Croatian sensation in action earlier this week.

Nov
2

New Steph Curry, Marc Jackson ESPN promo has — hey, are they ragging on Turkey?

Seriously, is the Golden State Warriors pair disrespecting the TBL in this ESPN promo ad…? Deron Williams played there, you know…

Shout out to heinnews for the tip.

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Nov
0

Madrid continues unbeaten Euroleague run with dominant win over Milan


As the season heads into the winter months, the Turkish Airlines Euroleague is hotting up with some cracking games as the campaign gathers pace in Group B and C.

The showcase match for Group B came courtesy of Brose Baskets Bamberg who edged past Anadolu Efes Istanbul 88 – 86 in a thrilling game that went right down to the wire. There was only 1.3 seconds remaining on the clock when Casey Jacobsen clinched it for the winners. He scored 23 points overall and was helped by Anton Gavel who scored 17 points, Jamar Smith put 14 points on the scoreboard while John Goldsberry contributed 8 assists for Bamberg.

Efes made it difficult for Bamberg by being incredibly effective when on the offense. A scoring rate of 15-of-21 two-point shots and 5-of-7 three-pointers before halftime meant that the team took a 44-51 lead at the break as well as extending the margin to 52 – 66 midway through the third quarter. However, Bamberg didn’t give up and thanks to back-to-back three-pointers by Jacobsen, the team started a 20 – 2 run that saw Bamberg lead 70 – 66 with nine minutes to go.

The lead was increased to 84 – 77, but Efes’ Kostas Vasileiadis singlehandedly brought the team back to life. The decider came at the final minute as a jumper by Jamon Gordon gave Efes a 85 – 86 lead with 6.8 seconds left. Bamberg called timeout and Jacobsen rounded off an impressive game by scoring the winning shot with only a second to spare.


The other Group B game that night saw Real Madrid continue a dominant start to its campaign by defeating EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 93 – 74 at home. The win meant that Madrid remains the only unbeaten team in the group while Milan dropped to fourth place.

Leading for the entirety of the match, Madrid were in total control thanks to Sergio Rodriguez who finished the first half on a 22 – 5 spurt, ensuring the score was 52 – 31 during the halfway mark. Nikola Mirotic scored 15 of his total 19 points in the first quarter alone, Rudy Fernandez tallied 16 points during the game, while Felipe Reyes bagged himself 14 points and 9 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Group C saw Stelmet Zielona Gora making history by securing its first ever victory in the Euroleague by beating Montepaschi Siena 73 – 65. Led by Lukasz Koszarek and Vladimir Dragicevic, Zielona Gora stayed in contention before Przemyslaw Zamojski secured the win with 7 points in the final half minute.

Oct
1

Podcast: Featuring interview with Indiana Pacers director of international scouting Pete Philo

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #59 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes.

Co-host David Hein and BallinEurope’s Os Davis have a good one for the NBA fans out there, particularly those backing the Indiana Pacers. Joining us as guest on the show is new Pacers director of international scouting Pete Philo. Philo brings an impressive resume to the club which not only includes a nice stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves as a talent scout, but also an executive position with China’s national program and status as cofounder of the Eurocamp youth program in the 1990s.

Continue Reading…

Oct
2

BallinEurope’s Top 10 Euro-centric storylines in NBA 2013-14 season

Pero Antic: Ready for his (NBA) closeup

Though the NBA’s opening night went down yesterday (North America time), the far majority of teams in the Association has yet to tip things off. What better time then, to enumerate 10 or so storylines BallinEurope will be following in 2013-14?

(That was a rhetorical question.)

Right, then. Here’s what we’re looking at in the NBA season to come.

• Tony Parker and his French Foreign Legion. The San Antonio Spurs, who first dipped into international talent when they drafted that guy from the Virgin Islands back in 1999, added yet another non-North American this offseason to go with Parker, Nando de Colo, Boris Diaw, Manu Ginobili, Tiago Splitter et al in Marco Belinelli. The thought here surely is for the Western Conference champs to supplement shooting off the wing and supplement they shall.

Meanwhile, pundits aplenty (all the way up to Bill and Jalen” over at Grantland.com) wonder openly about the psychological effect of heartbreaking losses in game six and seven of last year’s finals. BiE’d say that this ain’t no ordinary team and despite never having been in this position (i.e. as the previous year’s runner-up) to start a season, the Spurs’ll shrug it off. What cannot be so easily brushed aside is ol’ Father Time, who’s clearly gaining on Ginobili and surely must be sneaking up on Tim Duncan…

• Marcin Gortat’s fortunes on the Wizards. As part of an all-out – and possibly bald-faced – salary dump/preparation to tank for the draft lottery, the Phoenix Suns dumped The Polish Hammer in the eleventh hour to a suddenly impressive-looking Washington side. Continue Reading…

Oct
0

San Antonio Spurs beat CSKA Moscow 95-93 In Overtime

Much like their previous game against the Timberwolves on Monday, CSKA Moscow’s second U.S. tour match went into overtime again, but unfortunately, it was San Antonio Spurs who came out on top 95-93 in a thrilling finish.

The former two-time Euroleague champions fought well and almost clinched the game, but were undone by a Aron Baynes tip-in scored with only 0.5 seconds remaining in normal time.

Baynes came off the bench and added 12 points to the team’s overall tally, keeping them in the game. However, it was Manu Ginobili led the scoring for the Spurs, securing 14 points, five rebounds and four steals in the game, while Patty Mills added 14 points as they opened their preseason.

While the result was disappointing for CSKA, the team had a lot to be positive about as Jeremy Pargo scored 20 points while Sonny Weems accumulated 16 points over the course of the match.

For the majority of the game, it was the Spurs who held the advantage as they led 51-49 at half-time. By that point, Ginobili had added 11 points with three steals and one turnover. The Spurs had led by as many as 10 points during the second quarter, but CSKA reduced the deficit thanks to a 57 percent scoring rate. In comparison, The Spurs were shooting 48.7 percent.

As the third quarter went underway, the two sides tied twice at 51-51 and 61-61, but the Spurs began to pull away by scoring 15 straight points thanks to Danny Green to make it 76-61. Aaron Jackson ended CSKA’s drought from the line, but another Mills basket meant that the Spurs led 78-61 going into the final quarter.

Those at the AT&T Center would have been forgiven for expecting a straightforward finish, but CSKA has other ideas as they rediscovered their shooting form. The comeback began with a three-pointer from Pargo, before an offensive rebound by Kyle Hines led to another three-pointer by Vitaly Fridzon.

Once that happened, CSKA roared into life as they scored 17 points without reply, giving them a 82-85 lead. The Spurs fought back and it was Baynes’ last gasp contribution that leveled the two sides 86-86, keeping the Spurs in contention.

Overtime proved to be just as dramatic and Mills scored seven more points during this period. As Fridzon secured a triple for a 92-93 lead with 24.1 seconds to go, the Spurs called timeout, got the ball to Mills and he scored a three-pointer to make it 95-93.

With only 11.2 seconds left on the clock, CSKA called timeout and got the ball with Khryapa for a jumper to tie it. However, it bounced out meaning that it was San Antonio’s victory.

- Quinton O’Reilly (@qoreilly)

Sep
2

Greetings from your new editor

Is change weird and scary? Well maybe but don’t worry, it won’t be this time.

Before I introduce myEmmet Ryan, new editor at Ballineurope.comself, let me assure all readers of one thing: Os isn’t leaving. The man who has been the voice of Ballineurope.com for the past five years will still write regularly for the site just less often than he used to. That means you can still listen to him on the Taking the Charge podcast, Os will still find ways to bring the cinema of the 90s into European Basketball, and pretty much whatever else he wants to do he will. He’s the editor emeritus, he’ll stick around.

Now that’s done, hi everybody I’m Emmet Ryan and I’m the new editor here at Ballineurope.com. Right, now to explain why an Irishman is now at the helm of a site dedicated to European basketball. Considering we abandoned our national team a couple of years ago and have only a handful of players in the professional ranks, although some have great stories, Ireland isn’t exactly the place you expect to find a writer dedicated to the hardwood.

For the past 15 years I’ve been working as a journalist/blogger with a bunch of papers and websites and finally went fully committed to running my own sports blog, Action81.com, in 2010. The site is much more long-form based than most and that includes our basketball coverage. Covering European basketball on a day to day basis was always of interest to me but my existing site simply wasn’t the right fit as the balance of news and features would really look out of place there.

When Os announced he was looking to pass on ballineurope.com I was excited because it meant this I could cover the game the way I wanted ensure that one of the most important blogs covering the sport in Europe could continue to grow.

So what can you expect? Well the power rankings are here to stay and we’ll be posting our first set tomorrow to rank the Eurobasket teams from 1-24. There’s already a minor shock here, I didn’t expect to rank Great Britain above 24th, they’re all but guaranteed 16th at the absolute worst.

Starting Thursday we’ll have an about last night round-up covering Eurobasket’s closing stages through to the finish. In terms of daily updates we’ll be focussing on Europeans playing in the NBA, in our creatively name Eur-NBA slot which will be a round-up of what Europeans did the previous night in NBA action. Likewise we’ll do quick hits round-up pieces after every day of Euroleague action.

News updates are just part of the plan here. We have many plans for features to bring something meatier to your day. Os has plans to do a Monday morning column which should get you off to a good start in your week. Throughout the Euroleague season I’ll regularly chime in with features and we’re going to get more original video on the site too.

So hopefully that’s convinced you that ballineurope.com is in safe hands. Now I want to ask you to help out. Got a tip? Get in touch. Want to write for us? Get in touch. Want to highlight an article you think is cool somewhere else? Most definitely, get in touch. Ballineurope.com has been the gateway site for me to the Euroballinbloggosphere. This site is going to keep acting like that.

Our content isn’t the end point, it’s where you start. To open more eyes to the great work out there, we need tips. Even if you are plugging your own piece, get in touch. Hell, especially if you are plugging your own piece.

Jul
1

Podcast: Talking Euroleague, NBA transactions, Lithuania basketball

Taking the Charge podcast seriesEpisode #44 of the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series is now available online or via iTunes.

This week’s podcast pays homage to the axiom that, when in doubt about what to talk about in European basketball, simply go to Lithuania. And who better to discuss Team Lithuania’s chances in Eurobasket 2013, Linas Kleiza’s release from the Toronto Raptors, Zalgiris Kaunas’ exit from the VTB United League and such topics than Lithuania Basket’s Simas Baranauskas? Few, we think. (Spoiler: Simas is “cautiously optimistic” about Lietuva in the Slovenia tourney.)

Hein and yours truly also bring the speculation and chatter about recent moves and events in European ball and abroad, touching on Kostas Papanikalaou staying with prospective threepeaters Olympiacos; Richard Hendrix staying in his niche on Eurocup champs Lokomotiv Kuban; the success of Milwaukee Bucks draft pick Giannis Antetokounmpo in the FIBA U20 European Championship tournament; Andrei Kirilenko taking a pay cut to join the Brooklyn Nets (which is clearly about kickbacks and not pursuing an NBA title ); Bogdan Bogdanovic eschewing those same Nets for another turn with Fenerbahçe Ülker; and Bobby Brown attempting to crack the New York Knicks roster.

All this and our sports movie review of the week, the so-bad-it’s-marvelous Jean-Claude Van Damme flick Double Team co-starring none other than Dennis Rodman and Mickey “The Wrestler” Rourke. Ever wonder why The Worm has had to resort to bizarre forays into North Korea for HBO in order to stay in the entertainment biz? Rodman brazenly putting his acting “chops” in this flick will explain all. And remember: Offense gets all the glory, but defense wins championships…

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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Jul
3

Back to the NBA? Bobby Brown works out with Knicks

Wishes of good luck go out to Bobby Brown today, but BallinEurope must say the electrifying point guard would be missed in Euroleague 2013-14 should his current plan be successful.

Yahoo Sports reports this morning that the PG, with Montepaschi Siena last season, was given a workout session with the New York Knicks yesterday; the team is reportedly interested in a third point guard to be slotted on the depth chart behind Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni. Marc Stein of ESPN reported two weeks ago that the Knicks were among three teams possibly interested in Brown, with the others listed as the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers.

In scoring 18.8 points in 24 Euroleague games, Brown won the EL’s Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy; in acknowledging his award-winning season, the big league noted that “He scored in double figures in 22 of his team’s 24 Euroleague games, reached the 20-point mark on 10 occasions and got to 30 points twice. As a crowning moment, Brown tied the Euroleague’s single-game scoring mark for the century with 41 points in a come-from-behind 92-98 victory over Fenerbahçe Ülker Istanbul early in the Top 16 round.” Brown also dished out 5.3 assists per game.

In Italy in 2012-13, Brown helped lead Siena to another Serie A title with averages of 17.3 points and 3.5 assists per over 49 total games.

In a European career starting in 2007, Brown has had stints with Alba Berlin, Asseco Prokom, Aris Thessaloniki and EWE Baskets Oldenburg before coming to Siena. He last played in North America in 2010 with the Clippers.

Can’t wait to see how he gets on with Metta World Peace, eh…?

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