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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 +++ VIDEO: Ettore Messina’s coaching philosophy +++ The 24 must-see regular season games in 2014/15 Euroleague +++ Until it matters, it won’t matter +++ Watch all 40 of Angela Salvadores points against USA +++ LeBron, another sign that David Blatt just keeps on winning +++
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…

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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Continue Reading…

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…?

Continue Reading…

Feb
1

“Flight” White forgets own step-by-step winning instructions, disappointingly fails in NBA Dunk Contest guarantee

Sadly enough for James White, a fourth dunk contest trophy was not added to his mantelpiece after this weekend NBA All-Star game festivities. In fact, after promising Dwyane Wade (and the general populace) a guaranteed win with something completely different…

…White let down those who believed after seeing him win dunk titles in Russia, Turkey and Italy by not getting out of the second round, going back not only on an earlier gauntlet-throwing while also ignoring a few key steps in the patented James White Method for winning these things as publicized by BallinEurope.

With more than a week to go before the 2013 contest, White proclaimed that “Whatever I do is going to be new. It’s not going to be seen in the NBA dunk contest. You’ve seen it maybe on YouTube, but you haven’t seen it on the NBA stage. You’ve seen windmills…”

And then White went and attempted a windmill. BiE will spare you clips of the repeated misses (easily the worst aspect of the dunk contest) and instead merely post the GIF of White’s last attempt as produced by SB Nation. You’ll get the idea.

In analyzing why White failed in his quest for dunk title no. 4, BiE goes back to the man’s own prescription to see just what went wrong…

Step #1. Start the dunking process from the opposite corner of the basket at which you will dunk. Check, White began his approach waaaaaay back. Several times.
Continue Reading…

Jan
14

Oldboy in London: New York Knicks superfan Spike Lee checks out O2, tweets with fans, disses Brooklyn Nets

Spike LeeUnfortunately criminally underrated in the greater popular consciousness as a film director (to wit: why are films like Clockers, The 25th Hour, Summer of Sam more well-remembered and -respected?), Spike Lee nevertheless enjoys tremendous notoriety as the world’s biggest, most visible New York Knicks fan – and as a fantastic Tweeter as well.

Spike will naturally be sitting courtside for the Knicks’ game against the Detroit Pistons in London’s O2 Arena tonight to support “Africa’s team” (He just said that). And this morning UK time, the director paid heed to the Knickerbocker nation and his own fans by taking to Twitter; BallinEurope today rounds up Spike’s mass media and social media foray…

The verdict on London in general after the first 24 hours or so? Tweeteth the Spike: “London is HIP.” A few more immediate impressions may be seen below, as Spike got plenty of facetime before international media.

Continue Reading…

Dec
2

NBA on Christmas Day: BallinEurope’s Official Fearless Predictions™

Here on The Continent, all but the hardiest envy those in the Western Hemisphere today; as the holiday fades into evening here, the NBA’s awesome quintupleheader is just beginning: To watch this live, the European would have to pull an all-nighter, with wall-to-
wall basketball straight through to 7am or so. BallinEurope plans to watch the first two and get up before the rooster for the 4.30am CET tipoff of Clippers-Nuggets.

In any case, apologies for the delay, but below run BallinEurope Official Fearless Predictions™ for the Christmas slate. The first game’s already begun (full disclosure: as of this writing, it’s Brooklyn Nets 16, Boston Celtics 12), but BiE’s got the Cs winning in Spike Lee’s neighborhood – wish it could be proven, but BiE did post his vote this way in the ESPN Sports Nation poll today.

On the rest of the slate, the other OFPs include the Los Angeles Lakers over the Knicks in a nailbiter in which Steve Nash goes for nine assists (of course); the Oklahoma City Thunder over the Miami Heat by 8; the Chicago Bulls defend home court against the Houston Rockets, winning by 10 despite game high-scorer James Harden’s efforts; and in that battle of the league’s most exciting teams, the red hot Los Angeles Clippers extend the winning streak (which will end against the Celtics in their upcoming match) over the Denver Nuggets by, BiE’ll say, 11.

Enjoy the wall of ’ball; BallinEurope sure will…

Continue Reading…

Jul
2

The BallinEurope Summer League Review: On 14 NBA aspirants from the Continent

While so much attention is paid to the upcoming Olympics and warm-up games, a number of European players have quietly gone about their business in the NBA Summer Leagues in Vegas and Orlando. BallinEurope’s man in the U.K., Sam Chadwick, takes a look at an extended roster’s worth of European ballers’ performances in the Orlando and Las Vegas summer games.

Alexis Ajinca, San Antonia Spurs (2.8 ppg, 50% FG, 2.8 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.5 bpg in four Las Vegas games)
Ajinca is in a similar position to Ryan Richards: Both played summer league for the Spurs and turned in eerily similar numbers. However, Alexis did manage to hit at least 50% of his shots while also being a slight factor on defence (0.8 steals and 0.5 blocks) in his very low 10 minutes per game. Ajinca’s hopes for an NBA spot, like Richards’, look like a long shot and I expect him to return to France for the coming season. Although a tall and talented big man always seem to earn a roster spot, Alexis just has not developed the way teams hoped he would when he was selected 20th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft.

Continue Reading…

Jul
27

USA 86, Argentina 80: How beatable are the Yanks?

Though not actually about European basketball, last night’s USA 86, Argentina 80 pre-Olympic friendly result leads BallinEurope to put forth a few talking points from the notebook (and highlight clips, of course)…

• Perhaps slightly flawed as a whole, the truth is that Team USA still has the best three players in the world right now in Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Lebron James. The opening 16-1 run was indicative of what this trio is capable. Eschewing playing any sort of serious inside game at all in the first 10 minutes, KD and Kobe teed off enough to outscore the entire Argentine side, 22-16; Lebron meanwhile controlled the D.

Continue Reading…

Jul
34

Who can stop Team USA?

This one goes out by request to BallinEurope’s Lithuanian agent Y. … with Team USA coming together to play the Dominican Republic today – with or without Chris Paul – BiE tries to answer the question “Who [if anyone] can beat Team USA?”

Good one.

A few gauntlets have been thrown by the Americans already, the least of which is certainly not the roster itself. That roster, one more time, is the following.

Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks)
Continue Reading…

Mar
6

Gershon: “Jasikevicius is key for Panathinaikos”; “Who can stop McCalebb?”

Over at Greece-based Eurohoops.net, yesterday was posted a nice interview with already-legendary former head coach Pini Gershon. Gershon in Europe is mostly known for his establishment of Maccabi Tel Aviv as a European basketball powerhouse, with Continental titles taken in 2001*, 2004, and 2005 (*actually a FIBA SuproLeague title in that strange season of two European club champions), plus a brief and respectable turn with Olympiacos in the late ‘00s.

Making him a local hero in Bulgaria was his guidance of the national team into Eurobasket 2009, particularly the underdog side’s upset over Team Italy in qualifiers to advance. And Gershon earned his 15 minutes of ESPN Sports Center fame after earning an ejection in October of that year during an exhibition game between Maccabi and the New York Knicks.

Nowadays, Gershon is in a state of retirement but naturally is still keeping up with the game. In the Eurohoops interview, much space is devoted to Gershon thoroughly sounding off on a couple series in the Euroleague’s elite eight tournament round. Most telling are two prescient points on individual performances; this stuff should probably be taken seriously.

Continue Reading…