Omar Samhan shows his stuff on German TV (wow, cool tattoos, man…)

Does the brilliant Awful Announcing have a German-language version? If so, they’ll definitely want to give some props to Sascha Bandermann of Germany’s Sport 1.

While awkwardly giving a report direct from the locker room of the Bundesliga’s Ratiopharm Ulm for the TV magazine “Basketball – Der Countdown,” Bandermann somehow had to maintain composure through a rather odd-looking bit of Philipp Schwethelm’s pre-game exercise and an attempt to spark conversation with banana-scarfing team captain Steve Esterkamp. And then known jokester Omar Samhan adds his two, um, cents to the proceedings. Yeah, this one’s probably NSFW…

Shout out to heinnews for the tip!

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Sub-gate: Zalgiris owner Vladimir Romanov plans player substitutions for coaches

Romanov: Can you keep a secret?

Just when you think things at Zalgiris Kaunas can’t possibly get crazier, Mad Vlad comes through with a heavy dose of weirdness for observers to goggle over – though surely jaded Lithuanian fans aren’t surprised one bit by the Green barrage of oddity now commonplace in the Vladimir Romanov Era.

What American media types might call “Sub-gate” began with the typical rumors growing fungally to a national level: In this case, the theory was that owner Romanov was actually taking slightly less than a hands-off approach to player substitutions. All remained innuendo until one local clip raised the paranoia levels and a second sports station accidentally showed damning footage of Romanov’s game plans.

During last week’s Euroleague match with Power Electronics Valencia, Ilias Zouros (Zalgiris’ third this season, for those of you keeping score at home) was spotted on camera more than once conspicuously consulting a scrap of paper, then re-tucking it into an inside jacket pocket.

More recently, sports journalist Vidas Mačiulis held a 15-minute interview with Romanov which went out on the local Sport1 network. Unfortunately for the Zalgiris front office, a few seconds of very revealing footage shot in Romanov’s office was used as bumper material for the piece. A representative screenshot:

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Christmas greetings, the Zalgiris Kaunas way

For Christmas this year, Žalgiris Kaunas is offering Christmas greetings in the best fashion Lithuanians know: With basketball, electronic card-style.

Head on over to the official website by clicking here to a page that merrily welcomes you with “Žalgiris Kaunas welcomes the approaching winter holidays and gives good cheer!” (“Kauno Žalgiris sveikina su artéjančiomis Žiemos shventémis ir dovanoja geras emocijas!”)

Scroll down a bit to see the entire animated Žalgiris squad – all four Americans, two Slovenians and nine Lithuanians – making this celebration truly international (or at least regionally internationally). Left to right are Tomas Delininkaitis, Mantas Klanietis, Aleksandar Capin, DeJuan Collins, Dainius Salenga, Marcus Brown, Paulius Jankunas, Martynas “Air” Pocius, Mirza Begic, Travis Watson, Tadas Klimavicus, Mindaugas Kuzinskas, Omar Samhan, and Arturas Milaknis.

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Secrets to Žalgiris’ early success in 2010-11

Aco the ace

BallinEurope’s man from Lithuania, known on these pages as “Y,” was apparently so hyped up by Žalgiris Kaunas’ marvelous win over Caja Laboral Baskonia that he was inspired to assess the Green-and-Whites’ early success in 2010-11. For Y., it’s all about the coach and the bench…

Unlike their arch-rivals from Vilnius, Lithuanian side Žalgiris Kaunas did not enter the season with overoptimistic claims. Despite this fact, the green-and-whites brought their most impressive roster on paper for years, including four bronze medalists from the most recent edition of the FIBA World Championship, and set an official target for the team to break through to the Euroleague Top 16. And this was no coincidence, as Group A consists of a league-leading number four national champions.

Now, after four weeks, the Lithuanian team stands at 3-1, including last night’s impressive 92-88 victory against Caja Laboral Baskonia: A most surprising result that few expected. For the Spanish side, it was the first home loss this season, while for Kaunas’ team it was the second Euroleague road win since 2008-09.

During the beginning of 2010-11, new head coach Aco Petrovič has doled out both praises and cursing, as his team were victorious against likes of Panathinaikos in the preseason and BC Khimki in VTB United League play, but were not too impressive in the same league’s fixture vs. VEF Riga. In fact, later, after a narrow overtime win against Asseco Prokom, Petrovič was challenged by a media member who questioned the coach’s decisions during a press conference. Petrovič left that media session before it was supposed to be over. (Video below; subtitles not really necessary.)

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Bricks, snickers and root canals: The week in Twitter

BallinEurope thinks he’s in love … with Twitter. (Yes, BiE knows he’s behind the times for this relevation, but still.)

And so, for no better reasons than idle amusement and trying to justify a bit too much time spent over on *that site*, BiE presents a look at some of the top basketball-related tweets of the week. Enjoy the link-laden goodness!

First of all, let’s welcome a certain Dallas Maverick to Twitter. (BiE congratulated him for landing the lead role in Tron: Legacy, but doesn’t think he was amused.)

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Official 2010 BallinEurope mock draft, version 3.1: Round two, the second 15

One more time, then. BallinEurope’s man in the U.K., Sam Chadwick concludes this website’s official mock draft with his final 15 choices for round two. As for BiE, well, even if there’s a lack of players from The Continent forecast for picks 46-60, i’m still pleased as punch a UNM alma mater gets in there…

46. Phoenix Suns: Derrick Caracter (6’9”, PF, UTEP, Junior). If Amare Stoudamire is heading out of town to join Lebron James in New York or going somewhere for that ever-elusive max contract, then the Suns may need a new athletic power forward who can continue to run pick-and-rolls with Steve Nash. If Dirk Nowitzki comes to the Suns, Caracter can be a valuable backup.

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Official 2010 BallinEurope mock draft, version 3.1: Round two, the first 15

With just days to go before 2010 NBA Draft. BallinEurope’s man in the U.K., Sam Chadwick is frantically formulating and reformulating his mock draft board. Today, Chadwick forecasts the first 15 choices in round two, including his homeboy/new best buddy Ryan Richards

31. New Jersey Nets: Jerome Jordan (7’1”, C, Tulsa, Senior). New Jersey picks up another big man to come off the bench behind Lopez, giving the Nets a starting unit of Devin Harris, Courtney Lee, Chris Douglas-Roberts, prospective no. 3 overall pick Derrick Favors and Lopez, with a second unit of a free-agent PG, Terrico White, Terrance Williams, Yi Jianlian and Jordan.

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Official 2010 BallinEurope mock draft, version 2.0: Round two

BallinEurope today presents round two of our 2010 NBA Draft mockup; there’s a pleasing European accent to the list, with the big Belarusian Artsiom Parakhouski figuring to go in this round (see to whom in this projection and quiver) and the tantalizing possibility of Kevin Seraphin potentially becoming the 12th French player in the NBA.

And then there’s Ryan Richards. Much to the chagrin of BiE’s man in the U.K., Sam Chadwick, Richards seems personally hellbent on proving wrong those who, ahem, assessed him as just another European designed to waste away on NBA benches.

In any event, we present the official BallinEurope 2010 NBA mock draft 2.0 round two below. Round one can be found here.

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