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The BBL experience – Rowdy in Frankfurt +++ Fearless predictions: Euroleague playoffs +++ A Dario triple-double? Now that’s good timing +++ Swee’ Pea needs your help +++ Final Four: What the bookies say when the bookies talk +++ The greatest Eurodance tribute to Goran Dragic ever +++ Swaggy P’s tribute to Os moving back to the USA +++ Help Swee’ Pea make the big screen +++ The Dish: Can I play with Madness? +++ Just point out the bounce +++
Mar
0

Podcast: Interview with Larry Gordon of Bundesliga Cinderella story Phoenix Hagen (plus Euroleague patter and review of Rollerball)

Larry GordonEpisode #28 of the heinnews/BallinEurope co-produced podcast series is now available online. This week, we’re proud to have as a guest Larry Gordon, currently starring for upstarts Phoenix Hagen of the German Basketball Bundesliga. A product of NCAA Division II college Cal Poly Pomona, Gordon not only brings his electrifying spark plug of a game to Hagen but also makes for a nice symbol of his team’s recent fortunes.

After something of a troubled early upbringing, Gordon only took up basketball at about age 12 but his natural gifts (among them incredible leaping ability) got him a starting spot on the (Calif.) Montclair High School varsity team, with whom he’d average 24.6 points and 13.2 rebounds per game.

He then went on to play at Cal Poly after receiving offers from a handful of Division II schools; though his alma mater could be considered the go-to choice for a local boy, Gordon put a little more thought into his decision with an eye on the future: “I didn’t want to rebuild,” he explained, “I wanted to be in a team that was already good and bring what I have to make them even better.”

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Apr
0

Bundesliga roundup: Bamberg show Berlin who’s boss, Artland-Bayern playoff set

From the land of Dirks Nowitzki and Bauermann – David Hein reports on a few happenings in Germany’s top division of basketball as the league gets set to close the regular season and start the playoffs. Read on to find out about Brose Baskets Bamberg laying down the law against Alba Berlin, the Artland Dragons-Bayern München playoff showdown, and how things are suddenly up in the air for the Fraport Skyliners.

Tucker, Pleiß lead Bamberg to big win
Brose Baskets Bamberg once again answered the bell with a knockout as the two-time reigning German Beko BBL champions knocked off Alba Berlin 100-90 in a game that was only a matter of pride for Bamberg, who had long clinched the home court advantage throughout the playoffs.

P.J. Tucker continued his incredible play for Bamberg with 24 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block while shooting 8-of-9 from the field, including 3-of-4 from long range. In the last five games, Tucker is averaging 22 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.8 blocks while shooting 61 percent overall from the field, including 45 percent from long range and 82 percent from the free throw stripe.

Tibor Pleiß had a superb game as well with 19 points, six rebounds, two assists and one block for Bamberg, who have won 22 of their last 24 games in the league and bounced back from their loss the previous weekend at Bayern Munich.

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Apr
0

Eurocentric play of the night: Robertson block + Ohlbrecht dunk = Fuel for streaking Skyliners

You want your highlight clips? Courtesy David Hein, Germany’s Bundesliga, Fraport Skyliners and good old YouTube, BallinEurope offers one heck of an end-to-end play from the Skyliners’ emphatic 45-point victory over hapless Phoenix Hagen last night. Enjoy!

The Fraport Skyliners are streaking towards the playoffs as they have won nine of their last 11 games in the German BBL and moved into the postseason spots with a 92-47 walloping of Phoenix Hagen.

The victory was punctuated by a fantastic exchange at the defensive and offensive ends. Frankfurt guard Quantez Robertson rushed back for a monster block on Hagen’s Davin White and then back on offense dished the ball to a streaking Tim Ohlbrecht for a thunderous two-handed dunk.

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Apr
3

Bundesliga wrapup: Yassin Idbihi, Alba Berlin pick-and-roll Bayern, overtake Ulm; Björn Harmsen gets new Giessen contract

From the land of Dirk – Nowitzki and Bauermann, that is – David Hein reports on a few happenings in Germany’s top division of basketball. Read on to find out all about Alba Berlin and Yassin Idbihi pick-and-rolling Bayern Munich to death and overtaking ratiopharm Ulm for second place; s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg moving past Bayern Munich – for now; and LTi Giessen 46ers extending their deal with head coach Björn Harmsen.

Berlin basketball fans came out en masse over the weekend to see if their red-hot Alba Berlin could sweep the season series against the publicity magnate from the deep south Bayern Munich. And Alba did not disappoint a sold-out crowd of 14,500 at the O2 World Arena as Berlin’s bench outscored Bayern’s reserves 46-13 in a 73-52 victory. Munich had absolutely no clue how to defend the Berlin pick-and-roll as Alba back-up center Yassin Idbihi scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the fourth quarter and Berlin won the final period 73-52.

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Mar
0

DaShaun Wood goes for 27, Alba Berlin torches Phoenix Hagen, 114-86

While Alba Berlin (22-6) continues to try and claw its way up Germany’s Bundesliga standings at three games behind current top-seed Brose Baskets Bamberg, the team last night got a little relief in the form of a game against relegation-zoners Phoenix Hagen (8-20 and in a three-way tie for 15th place) to put up some gaudy numbers in a 114-86 rout.

Berlin put up a crazy 69 points in the first half of the match and set the Bundesliga record for assists in a game with 32 – many on dishes designed for YouTube highlight clips (as seen below, in fact). The Eurocup side ultimately had five players scoring in double figures, with the pace set by former Benetton Treviso/Bennet Cantù/Wright State University Raiders guard DaShaun Wood’s big 27 points in just 22 minutes played.

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Mar
2

Bundesliga roundup: Brose Baskets streak snapped at 15; Predrag Krunic canned; Artland Dragons staggering

From the land of Dirk – Nowitzki and Bauermann, that is – David Hein reports on a few happenings in Germany’s top division of basketball. Read on to find out all about Fraport Skyliners reminding Brose Baskets of that losing feeling; EWE Baskets Oldenburg’s dismissal of former championship-winning coach Predrag Krunic; and Bayern Munich blasting past road-weary Artland Dragons, who cling to the no. 4 spot in the standings.

Mark it up as the proverbial good loss later in the season, but two-time reigning German Beko BBL champions Brose Baskets Bamberg were handed their third L of the season with Fraport Skyliners winning 76-68 at home to snap the league leaders’ 15-game winning streak.

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Feb
2

Bundesliga roundup: Bayern Munchen snaps road losing streak; Artland Dragons slain; Tibor Pleiss, Brose Baskets put on show for OK City Thunder scouts

Bauermann, Bayern "Almost crushed by snowball"

From the land of Dirk – Nowitzki and Bauermann, that is – David Hein reports on a few happenings in Germany’s top division of basketball. Read on to find out about Bayern Munich’s win on the road (finally); Artland Dragons’ ignominious first quarter against Ratiopharm Ulm; and Tibor Pleiß’ performance for Oklahoma City Thunder scouts.

All is well and good in the southern German metropolis Munich as FC Bayern finally snapped their road losing streak while Artland Dragons coach Stefan Koch was left dumbfounded with his team’s embarrassing start to the top showdown with ratiopharm Ulm. Oh, and Brose Baskets cruised to another win – by 34 points, despite giving 42 minutes of playing time to three Germans 21 years and younger.

Bayern Munich boss Dirk Bauermann was considering bringing in a sports psychologist to talk his players through their nine-game losing streak in the BBL. But Bayern finally unloaded the 5,000-pound gorilla from their back with an 82-72 victory at Phoenix Hagen – Munich’s first road win since beating BG Göttingen on October 15 – to improve their BBL road record to 2-10.

“The relief could be seen on the players. It was pretty crazy in the locker room and the mood on the bus afterwards was superb,” Bauermann told the Abendzeitung daily after the win, which improved Bayern’s record to 13-11, good for seventh place.

“The snowball had gotten so big that it almost crushed us to death. But now the losing streak is over with,” added Bauermann, whose team would have dropped out of the playoff ranks with another defeat.

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Feb
6

And the Oscar (Robertson) Goes To: Basketball Movies in 2011

Meanwhile, over in Hollywoodland … to no cineaste’s surprise, the silent film The Artist was named “Best Motion Picture of the Year” at the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony. While Tinseltown may have had a decent, if not mind-blowing, twelve months of production in 2011 – as evidenced by Woody Allen taking the “Best Original Screenplay” award for Midnight in Paris with his perhaps 24th- or 25th-best ever script – the year in basketball movies was disappointing to say the least.

In hindsight, no real possibility existed for the 2011 crop of hoops flicks to match the previous year’s output in terms of either quantity or quality, what with ESPN in the midst of its “30 for 30” documentary series. Eight basketball documentaries (nine if you include June 17, 1994) mostly well worth watching – spearheaded by the most excellent Once Brothers – were released in ’10 alongside the barely-seen Saints of Mt. Christopher. Plus, BallinEurope got to crack jokes at Common’s expense while enjoying fave Queen Latifah thanks to the essentially NBA-sponsored Hollywood flick Just Wright – who remembers that one?

And, of course, the artistic achievement of the 2009 tour de force, Who Shot Mamba? by former Yahoo Sports blogger/general comic genius at large has yet to be matched by any human endeavor, so one can’t fault the international film community for not approaching this one.

But come on! By BiE’s count, there were four major basketball film productions crafted in the year 2011. A pair of European documentaries saw no release outside their native countries (more on these below), while the compelling-sounding “Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story” is apparently still seeking a distributor. How is this possible? Just check out the official synopsis from producer/director Franklin Martin:

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