Latest

BiE’s official Irish awards ballot +++ Joakim Noah wins NBA Defensive Player of the Year +++ Swee’ Pea makes the cut – Reaches Funding Target +++ The Dish – Too Rude for Masai Uijiri +++ 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 +++
Jan
1

Rumor: Sasha Vujacic to leave Anadolu Efes for Memphis Grizzlies

Can you say “leaving the sinking ship”? Memphis, Tennessee-based sports reporter Chris Vernon is today reporting that his hometown Grizzlies will soon be welcoming back Slovenian Sasha Vujacic to the NBA.

Earlier today (CET time), word was leaked that the Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers would execute a multi-player trade designed to give the former team some cap space – $6 million to be precise – by shedding $4.2-million man Marreese Speights along with Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a first-round draft pick for Jon Leuer. Due to the trade, the Grizz now have open spots on the roster and a trade exception good through early 2014; minus two guards, Memphis is clearly looking to bring in some inexpensive backcourt help … such as Vujacic, who’ll certainly be happy to leave his troubled Euroleague side Anadolu Efes.

Vernon also reported that Bill Walker and Delonte West are also likely to be inked by the Grizzlies.

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Oct
0

Sunday hangover: Notes, clips from Euroleague week one

Since BiE will typically have to play catch-up with a week’s worth of Euroleague games on Saturdays, a new concept comes to the website in the Sunday hangover. Those of you who have followed BallinEurope since the days of its origins may recall the old “Monday cigarettes” column – and this one hopes to recall those days (but with video clips!). And so, notes and observations from the opening week of play in the big league…

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Oct
61

Euroleague Power Rankings: 2012-13 Opening Day Edition

All right, it’s that time again! With hours to go before the 2012-13 Euroleague season tips off, BallinEurope breaks out its first power ratings for the big league.

Whereas normally a disclaimer to the effect of “the following ratings are based on current trending only and are not necessarily based on the overall quality of the teams” runs here, this year BiE’s switching things up a bit. To wit: For this edition of Euroleague power rankings, the teams *will* be run based on BallinEurope’s totally subjective viewpoint. (Mainly because BiE couldn’t figure out what to do with Barcelona…)

Get your arguments ready and read on for this season’s first power rankings, with Official BallinEurope Fearless Predictions™ for the upcoming season peppered throughout. Enjoy the games!

The favorites
1. Olympiacos Piraeus. The usual reserved spot for the defending champion comes with some justification this year, as Vassilis Spanoulis & Co. show no signs of letting up on their 2011-12 season-ending 22-4 run. In the off-/preseason, Olympiacos’ foursome of Spanoulis, local hero Georgios Printezis, Kostas Papanikolaou and Evengelos Mantazaris suited up for a disappointed Team Greece – all but Mantazaris acquitted themselves nicely, with 50-of-89 (56.2%) overall shooting and Spanoulis dishing out just under six assists per game in three Olympic qualifiers.

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Sep
Jun
13

Olympiacos wins! Olympiacos wins! Olympiacos wins! (a.k.a. *The* European basketball story of 2011-12)

Let’s put this into perspective. The last time Olympiacos took the Greek national title, they were led by David Rivers and Dragan Tarlać. Vassilis Spanoulis was 15 years old and not near professional club play. Dejan Bodiroga was in the middle of his career and Mirsad Turkcan had just turned 21.

Across the pond, Lebron James was 13; Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and *those* Chicago Bulls were about to earn their fifth rings; Kobe Bryant had just become the NBA record-setter as youngest NBA starter ever. In international play, Team USA still wore an aura of invincibility. The World Trade Center was still standing and the European Union was optimistically looking forward to including former communist-led countries as member states.

It seems like a dream to BallinEurope, so one can only goggle at how Olympiacos fans must be feeling today (aside from hungover, that is). Yes, the Reds in the decisive game five of the national championship series took the 82-76 victory over rival Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos, nine-time consecutive champions and typically previously perpetual Olympiacos nightmare this time of year.

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Feb
1

TBL roundup: Bandirma Kirmizi stuns Fenerbahce Ulker; Morrison, Pops star for Besiktas; Galatasaray holds on to third place

The Turkish Basketball League, rapidly becoming the most competitive European basketball league, saw a number of key games go down this weekend to tighten things up some at the top of the table. While TBL teams gained much international attention for signing big-name NBAers, e.g. Deron Williams, Sasha Vujacic, Ersan Ilyasova, Mehmet Okur, etc., during the NBA lockout period, BallinEurope reckons they should be more recognized for the excellent parity ruling over Turkish basketball. Might the reign of the twin Euroleague powers Anadolu Efes and Fenerbahçe Ülker be waning?

After the weekend’s action, the top five on the TBL table stayed put, but a stunning upset handed to Fenerbahçe by last-place Bandirma Kirmizi locks the defending league champions in the fifth spot for at least a couple more weeks. Read on for brief writeups on key games, video clips and a look at the standings – just be sure to keep those scorecards at the ready as the league heads into the homestretch; you’ll need ‘em…

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Jan
Jan
8

Euroleague Power Rankings: Top 16 Tip-off Edition

It seems like forever, but Euroleague 2011-12 resurrects itself for Top 16 opening night tonight. What better way to celebrate, reckons BallinEurope, than with some good ol’ power rankings?

Once again, the caveat emptor-ish bit: These ratings are formulated from once source (namely yours truly) and are based on the way teams are trending at present. While play in other leagues was considered, emphasis was put on performance in the latter bits of the EL season.

To the rankings!

Top dogs
1. CSKA Moscow (10-0 in Euroleague regular season; 8-1 in VTB United League, 7-1 in PBL) – Remember the date December 10, 2011: That’s the last time the scary Red Army lost, in falling to BC Khimki in Russia while getting just seven minutes out of Andrei Kirilenko. The Red Army’s only loss before that was exactly one month prior when they fell in a squeaker at Spartak St. Petersburg in their VTB opener. Considering the starting team alone – an all-star squad of Kirilenko, Milos Teodosic, Nenad Krstic, Ramunas Siskauskas, Viktor Khryapa – BiE has to wonder what non-NBA team could beat ‘em. Even after the star power, the CSKA Moscow bench contributed 43.2 points per game in Euroleague play while the team leads in overall performance rating, assists and assist-to-turnover ratio. This has got to be considered the team to beat in 2012.

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Nov
8

Thanks for the memories: Top performances by locked-out NBA players in Europe

BallinEurope bids adieu to the all-too-brief wackiness that was the ENBA: A period of time shorter than Allen Iverson’s career with Beşiktaş, though for a sweet, brief while it seemed like forever … ah, the feeling of a too-fast love affair dragged down by unfeeling reality, leaving only fond memories and bitter tears to … o, sorry. BiE got a bit wound up there.

In riding the wave of sentimentality to the shore, BiE today presents the virtual scrapbook of 10 favorite individual performances from locked-out NBA players. (Not included are those NBA guys who were off-season free agents; therefore no appearances by, say, Nenad Krstic, or, sadly, Adam Morrison are forthcoming.)

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Nov
4

Report: For Besiktas, it’s Brook Lopez (and not K. Love, Deng, Odom, Nene, Gortat…)

Could Beşiktaş finally have found the elusive big man the Eagles’ management has pretty much been seeking since signing Deron Williams? Turkey-based Kartal Basket reports this afternoon that a deal has been struck between the TBL team and locked-out New Jersey Net Brook Lopez and will be officially announced within the next two days.

A number of reports in recent days had the Beşiktaş search linked with names like Kevin Love, Luol Deng, Lamar Odom, Nene and Marcin Gortat, but Lopez made for reportedly a somewhat less expensive option than Odom or Gortat, for example.

Lopez went for 20.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game with the New Jersey Nets last season.

And if you’re keeping score at home, the refugees from Nets land playing in Europe increases: After Williams and (prospectively) Lopez, there are Jordan Farmar (with Maccabi Tel Aviv), Sasha Vujacic (Anadolu Efes), Mario West (Scaligera Basket Verona), Sundiata Gaines (BC Armia) and Bojan Bogdanovic (Fenerbahçe Ülker; and okay, BiE realizes Bogdanovic isn’t technically a refugee, but he may be a Net someday).

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