EuroBasket 2015: Romania the odd team out on the final night +++ Gran Canaria gets the Phantom treatment for USA vs Slovenia +++ TrueHoop breaks down how David Blatt will work with LeBron James +++ FIBA World Cup Preview: Group D +++ BiE’s editor takes the ice bucket challenge, nominates Basketball Ireland boss +++ Žydrūnas Ilgauskas considering a comeback? Wow LeBron has power +++ The Dream Team’s children +++ Highlights: Belgium beat Belarus, Germany stay alive +++ EuroBasket 2015: Bosnia, Belgium, Israel, and Latvia lock up spots +++ First Person: Follow the FIBA World Cup through BiE’s eyes +++

Ratiopharm Ulm: “We wanted Jeremy Lin two years ago”

How do you say “Linsanity” auf Deutsch?

BallinEurope supposes that the vocabulary term isn’t quite so necessary in Germany but, according to officials at one Bundesliga club, the phenomenon just might have been visible in Europe last season.

Back in 2010, few observers of the NBA Summer League had an eye on the NBA’s current imagination-catcher (and whoa, did the hype ‘round Ricky Rubio die down quickly, eh?) Jeremy Lin. The lion’s share of attention during that exhibition season was no. 1 draft pick John Wall – this despite Lin’s very nice 13-point, four-rebound, two-steal performance against Wall’s Washington Wizards side.

(As the top-liked comment on the below YouTube notes, “John Wall is a total hipster. He was getting owned by Jeremy Lin before it was cool…” Zing!)

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The Eurocentric 2011-12 NBA Eastern Conference preview (plus Official Fearless Predictions™)

While basketball lovers are getting something of a Christmas gift this season in the December 25 NBA opening day – BiE says “something of” there because this belated debut is kinda like your parents saying, “Well, we’ll just give you your birthday gift at Christmas.” When your birthday’s in October – BallinEurope would like to add to the virtual bounty under the tree with our annual Eurocentric NBA preview.

Here’s BallinEurope’s predominant working theory for at least the first two months of this season: The teams with more critical players who did a stint in Europe (or South America, for that matter) during the lockout will jump out to the best starts. And with a shortened season increasing the importance of every individual game, imagine what a, say, 17-5 could mean in the long-term – for a European equivalent of this model, how ‘bout that CSKA Moscow turbo boost?

So Kevin Garnett’s complaining that the preseason is too short … guys like Deron Williams have already been in real-game situations. Manu Ginobili is well rested but not “in basketball shape?” The Danilo Gallinaris, Mehmet Okurs and even the Gasol Brothers of the basketball world are set to go. More back-to-back games than ever before in NBA history? Hey, perhaps those two-a-days European coaches are so notorious for assigning will have readied these NBAers well more than the fortnight many of their colleagues are getting.

BiE would even argue that latecomers such as Tiago Splitter and late-peakers like Serge Ibaka are surely few steps ahead of the many American ballers who did not take Continental clubs up on even the most outrageous of offers. It is with this dictum in mind that this preview and Official Fearless Predictions™ were written. Today, the Eastern Conference.

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Turiaf debuts for Asvel Basket in 92-77 loss to SLUC Nancy

For those of you wondering about Ronny Turiaf’s debut with Asvel Basket, well, it was a bit of a mixed bag of results on Sunday. After resolving insurance issues, the locked-out New York Knick started for Asvel as Tony Parker’s side hosted defending LNB champions/ Euroleague team SLUC Nancy.

Turiaf looked good enough in his first game since injuring his hand in a friendly match leading up to the 2011 EuroBasket tournament, going for nine points (including one effusive dunk early on; see below Asvel-based YouTube clip), eight rebounds (four offensive), three assists and five fouls drawn in 25 minutes of court time.

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Watching the Las Vegas Superstar Challenge online

In the wake of the NBA lockout, those players from the big league not hawking their wares in Europe or elsewhere overseas are looking to schedule alternative games. Though a big-name international tour appears to be stalling at present, this weekend will see quite an exhibition in the four-team “Las Vegas Superstar Challenge” headed up by former Beşiktaş signee Allen Iverson.

While the game apparently won’t be broadcast on television, an outfit called is offering folks worldwide a chance to see the games involving names like Kevin Durant, Paul Pierce, Amare Stoudemire and Andre Iguodala online. See below for the press release detailing the deal; in short, $4.99 (just over €3.50 by today’s exchange rate) before Friday will get you a pass to see the Vegas games.

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Sasha Vujacic, Jordan Farmar seek to join elites in 2012

Sasha? Really?

It’s perhaps the most famous Euroleague-related trivia question, and this season sees two more players in a quest to join the likes of a noted half-dozen, including some of the game’s all-time greats – would you believe that duo seeking to join this elite are named Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar?

The €20,000 question is of course, “Which players have won both Euroleague and NBA titles?” Hint: There are six in total, and two are Americans. Guess before clicking “Read More…” to test your skills – BiE’s trusting you to stay away from Google searches and Wikipedia…

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Euroleague Qualifying Round bullets: First round

With Qualifying Round victories achieved by Cibona Zagreb, Lietuvos Rytas, Alba Berlin and Belgacom Spirou – and BallinEurope congratulates each potential Euroleague team for surpassing this first step – four other games go off tonight.

For your amusement and edification, then, BallinEurope presents a collection of highlight clips, quotes, previews and notes for of games played and to be played … and we’re doing this TrueHoop Network-, i.e. bullet-, style. Enjoy the games!

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NBA Draft expansion: What does it do to/for Europe?

Sports media and the blogosphere blew up a couple days ago, as the possibility of adding a third round to the NBA draft was reported to have been discussed as part of the ongoing labor negotiations. By day’s end Wednesday, some had publicly opined that this idea could be the “Best Thing To Come From [the] Lockout.”

Of course, here are BallinEurope, we basically had one question: How does this affect The Continental game?

Below, BallinEurope UK guy Sam Chadwick takes a look at some of the pros and cons – or rather the Massive Benefits and Consequences of an NBA Draft round three – vis-à-vis European basketball. Plus, there’s some stuff about Darko Milicic.

So how many rounds is too many? The current NBA Draft has two rounds, two picks per team with a total of 60 players making the grade to join the world’s most elite league.

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Parker, Noah, Diot lead big names filling France’s Eurobasket 2011 squad

Yeah, Noah will be there...

Twelve players and four backups have been selected to represent France at the upcoming Eurobasket 2011 tournament; gut reaction says that Les Bleus would appear to be one of the favorites to emerge out of Group B in pool play. The group competition will include Germany, Israel, Italy, Latvia and Serbia.

The 12-man roster is loaded with veterans from international play and the NBA is well-represented with Nicolas Batum (Portland Trail Blazers), Boris Diaw (Charlotte Bobcats), Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls), Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), Mickael Pietrus (Phoenix Suns) and Ronny Turiaf (New York Knicks). Kevin Seraphin (Washington Wizards) is listed as an alternate.

Making up la douzaine are Yannick Bokolo (Gravelines Dunkerque), Antoine Diot (Le Mans Sarthe), Nando De Colo (PE Valencia; NBA rights held by the San Antonio Spurs), Mickael Gelabale (ASVEL Basket), Florent Pietrus (Caja Laboral Baskonia), and Ali Traore (Virtus Roma).

Other replacement players include Andrew Albicy (Paris Levallois), Fabien Causeur (Le Havre) and Charles Lombahe-Kahudi (Le Mans Sarthe).

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Playing with money: Are some European NBA players worth it?

Finally blessed with a bit of time to peruse ESPN’s compelling financial stats as presented in its magazine’s “All About the Money” issue (check them out if you haven’t already; big numbers are fun!), BallinEurope just couldn’t help, well … noodling around with the numbers some more!

Over at the big network’s Chicago Blackhawks blog, links to table of various athletes’ salaries is presented, after introing with, “A list of the best-paid athletes from 182 countries reveals some surprising salaries and begs the question: Are they worth it?

Well, are they? Let’s play…

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