Weekend roundup: Slovenia to withdraw? Jennings to return? NCAA unfair?

Myers learned about Eurostep, pubs, chicken sandwiches with Sheffield

Good morning! So without further ado, here’s a roundup of some recent stories relating the Europe, basketball, and European basketball.

• What is the Euro Step? It’s The Continent’s contribution to NBA basketball! Here’s a great story on how a European technique – Sarunas Marciulionis is credited with its introduction to American hoops – has been adopted by the likes of Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo and John Wall.

• As though the prospect of an NBA lockout in 2011 weren’t bad enough, is the 2013 Eurobasket tournament itself now in danger as well? According to the Associated Press:

“The cash-strapped Slovenian government has delayed a decision on whether to support the country’s bid to host the 2013 European basketball championship.

“The government is expected to pay governing body FIBA €6.5 million for the hosting rights.

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Zalgiris Kaunas supersizes McDonald’s, presents big scarf

It does make one nostalgic for simpler times … you know, times before the multinational business machines swarmed into Central and Eastern Europe … times when Sarunas Marciulionis was selling tie dyes to folks who thought “pick and roll” was something you did on your buddy’s hemp farm in Humboldt.

(Cue Grumpy Old Man: Yeah, and we didn’t have any “em pee threes” or “downloading.” We had to listen to crappy third-generation recordings of bootleg Grateful Dead shows on cassette with all the pop and hiss and snagging-up tape reels – *and we liked it!*)

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Remembering the other two Dream Teams of 1992

On this day of 1992 Team USA’s well-deserved induction into the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame, BallinEurope again takes the opportunity to remember those other two squads competing in the Barcelona Games whose impact on an international level was almost as great and whose impact at home was inestimable.

What the Dream Team gave to the international game, aside from the showcasing of quite simply the best side ever assembled by a long shot,* was a new measuring stick for talent, a definition of what national basketball pictures should aspire to produce. In Croatia and Lithuania, however, the national teams in some senses had already won before the Olympic torch was lit.

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Best of the (basketball) net: NBA Overshadows Almost All Edition

A serious grab bag of entries from around the blogosphere this week, though in light of international tours, David Stern’s vague non-proclamations, and the imminent tipoff to the season, all things basketball were a bit overshadowed by the NBA beast. Except, perhaps, for one very nice mini-documentary on Lithuanian ball…

Happy surfing, everyone!

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Dream Team Europe: The all-time European basketball team

Involved in yet another chat with yet another basketball enthusiast yet one more time about the all-time greatest basketball team, i quickly realized that any discussion of the topic never extends beyond the borders of the United States of America. And while the list of Greatest NBA Players of All-Time basically writes itself – Jordan, Bird, Magic, Wilt, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, etc. etc. – much more open to argument might be an attempt to formulate the all-time European squad.

Below runs a blueprint for BallinEurope’s Dream Team Europe roster, the all-time greatest European basketball team never assembled. Perhaps we’ll break this down country by country when feeling a little braver, but for the time being, here’s a list of invitees to the all-time training camp for Europa’s upcoming fantasyland battle against Team USA’s All-Timers.

(Yes, quite a few big men may be playing slightly out of position at forward here, but surely the sacrifice can be made for international all-time play. Besides, if Dino Meneghin were around in the 2000s to take on the Shaquilles of today’s basketball world, i’d sooner put him at power forward and let Arvydas Sabonis lean on the Big Stopgap for most of the game…)

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