Jul
3

Back to the NBA? Bobby Brown works out with Knicks

Wishes of good luck go out to Bobby Brown today, but BallinEurope must say the electrifying point guard would be missed in Euroleague 2013-14 should his current plan be successful.

Yahoo Sports reports this morning that the PG, with Montepaschi Siena last season, was given a workout session with the New York Knicks yesterday; the team is reportedly interested in a third point guard to be slotted on the depth chart behind Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni. Marc Stein of ESPN reported two weeks ago that the Knicks were among three teams possibly interested in Brown, with the others listed as the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers.

In scoring 18.8 points in 24 Euroleague games, Brown won the EL’s Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy; in acknowledging his award-winning season, the big league noted that “He scored in double figures in 22 of his team’s 24 Euroleague games, reached the 20-point mark on 10 occasions and got to 30 points twice. As a crowning moment, Brown tied the Euroleague’s single-game scoring mark for the century with 41 points in a come-from-behind 92-98 victory over Fenerbahçe Ülker Istanbul early in the Top 16 round.” Brown also dished out 5.3 assists per game.

In Italy in 2012-13, Brown helped lead Siena to another Serie A title with averages of 17.3 points and 3.5 assists per over 49 total games.

In a European career starting in 2007, Brown has had stints with Alba Berlin, Asseco Prokom, Aris Thessaloniki and EWE Baskets Oldenburg before coming to Siena. He last played in North America in 2010 with the Clippers.

Can’t wait to see how he gets on with Metta World Peace, eh…?

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Jun
4

Thrilla in Siena: Montepaschi-Cimberio Varese Serie A semifinal game four

Game of the week last week? How about last night’s game four of the Montepaschi Siena-Cimberio Varese semifinals series in Italy’s Serie A? National powerhouse and this tournament’s no. 5 seed Siena found themselves nearly on the ropes at 10 minutes to play before slowly coming back with a 24-13 run. With 60 seconds left, it was the visiting no. 1 seed from Varese up, 75-74.

As you’d imagine, Bobby Brown and quarterfinals hero Daniel Hackett played key parts for the defending champs down the stretch … though perhaps not *quite* in the way you’d imagine.

Courtesy Basket Inside – and kudos to them for posting – here’s that how that final 60 seconds of game clock played out.

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May
4

Siena-Milano series highlights feature Bourousis, Fotsis, Moss, Sanikidze, Mensah-Bonsu and especially Daniel Hackett

Once again, Montepaschi Siena survives to play another day: The Euroleaguers managed to win the decisive game seven of the Serie A quarterfinal series at no. 4 seed Armani Milano, 90-80, last night. Below runs an impressive highlight clip of the top 10 plays from the series produced by the Italian league and starring J.R. Bremer, Ioannis Bourousis, Malik Hairston, David Moss (with quite the awesome block), Antonis Fotsis (who reciprocates on Moss), Viktor Sanikidze and, naturally, Pops Mensah-Bonsu.

Daniel Hackett also puts in an appearance within the ‘clip, but with his game-high 25 points in the decider showing his ridiculous range making him a threat from anywhere on the floor, this Serie A veteran gets a YouTube all his own…

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Mar
1

Sour tweets: Hackett’s comments on Twitter put future with Siena, Team Italy in doubt

So a professional baller getting himself into trouble via a few ill-advised tweets is hardly news, but Daniel Hackett’s popping off on Twitter last night could have long-term ramifications for his standing on Montepaschi Siena for the remainder of 2012-13 and even for Team Italy in the future.

While sitting out Siena’s 72-68 loss at Armani Milano last night, Hackett took to calling out the referee crew for their poor officiating. In bon mots since removed as Hackett shut down his account shortly after tweeting boos, declarations that “this sucks” and ultimately “This is not basketball.”

Sportando and Italy-based Corriere dello Sport report that club officials are reviewing the situation with regard to keeping Hackett on the squad at all, while the former source implies that his position on the national team has become suddenly tenuous.

Prior bad/missed calls by the refereeing corps aside, Siena looks to have helped blown their own game with poor shot selection and generally uncharacteristic non-clutch play. With Milano up three with 40 seconds to go thanks to an overly rushed Siena possession, Leon Radosevic fouled out to give Kristjan Kangur two chances to extend the lead. Both free throws clanged, but the rebound chased down to lead to a corner three from Matt Janning.

After Milano answered with another three, Kangur was the beneficiary of a questionable decision earning him three chances at the charity stripe and, well, let’s just say the game degenerates into whistle after whistle … is this what sent Hackett over the edge?

As for Hackett’s injury, news on the severity and games to be missed are reportedly to be revealed today.

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Jan
0

Il Tornado (a.k.a. Daniel Hackett) levels cameraman, Julio Jones-style

Fans of the NFL will surely long remember Julio Jones’ taking out of a security guard during the NFC Championship Game; heck, the thing went viral immediately … in any case, BallinEurope’s got the European basketball equivalent for you.

Check out Montepaschi Siena’s Daniel Hackett living up to the “Tornado” sobriquet in his team’s unfortunate Serie A loss to Enel Brindisi on Monday night: After full-body checking an inopportunely-positioned cameraman after a hard and-one drive, referees and others rush to assistance while Hackett stays frosty and focused on getting back into the game … ouch.

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Nov
1

Monday hangover: Power struggles in Italy, Spain; Zalgiris’ continued rise; Obama vs. the Lakers Rule

It’s never too late for the ‘Hangover (or so BiE’s telling himself). Excuses aside, following are a few Eurocentric impressions, notes, highlight clips – and the no. 1 reason why Barack Obama is thrilled the Los Angeles Lakers went down in the playoffs last season…

Power vacuum in Italy? Coming into 2012-13, most pundits in the European basketball sphere reckoned Montepaschi Siena was due for an off year after an off offseason which saw them downgrade at several positions. And while it appears that Siena won’t be giving up its stranglehold on the Italian national title easily (they’re currently at 4-1; more on this shortly), the team’s dismal Euroleague play indicates this isn’t a Montepaschi team in the mold we’ve become accustomed to.

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Aug
4

Shaun Stonerook announces retirement; BallinEurope pays video tribute

BallinEurope today wishes a fond sayonara to longtime Montepaschi Siena staple Shaun Stonerook, who today announced his retirement from Euroleague basketball. Stonerook played in some 113 games for the Italian powerhouse and enjoyed two EL Final Four runs with the team. And so, as is the fashion here at BiE, today we present our YouTube-centric tribute to “Il Capitano.”

From last year, here’s a nice look at Stonerook’s life and times produced by the club itself; the video contains a mixture of Italian- (the commentary) and English-language (Stonerook himself) dialogue, but certainly worth a look by anyone not necessarily fluent in two tongues.

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Jul
1

Twenty years ago today: Champions in Europe and USA, 1992

In celebration of certainly still the most significant year in international basketball history, BallinEurope today begins the “Twenty years ago today” series in which we’ll peer back in time through the lens of YouTube to that era of morphing European national teams and Dream Team dominance.

In the wake of that Greatest Basketball Team Ever Assembled, much of the 1991-92 professional seasons themselves get the short shrift in the history books, but some quite interesting stuff was nevertheless happening on the Continent.

• The Euroleague boasted a cliffhanging thriller in Partizan Belgrade vs. Joventut Badalona. Badalona brought Harold Pressley (with averages of 20.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per EL game) and Rafael Jofresa, while the Black-and-Whites boasted local products Predrag Danilovic and Aleksanda Djordjevic. It was the latter who’d deliver the European championship to the storied franchise for its first and, to date, last such title ever.

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Jun
2

“What has happened here?” The best Euro-centric buzzer-beaters of 2011-12

In clearing out the virtual desk of 2011-12 basketball season stuff, BallinEurope today presents this compilation of the year’s top Euro-centric buzzer-beaters. The requirements to make the list were two: the primary player in the buzzer-beater most be of European nationality or the shot must take place in a game featuring European teams; and the buzzer-beater must take place at the end of a quarter, i.e. no shot-clock buzzer-beaters considered.

Greater weight was given in consideration to the relative importance of the win earned with the highlight shot. Keeping one’s team alive is more important than YouTube glory, after all.

And on with the list. Firstly, honorable mentions go to:

Travis Diener for Banco di Sardegna Sassari against Fabi Shoes Montegranaro on April 15. Sassari would go on to win in overtime, 79-77, and continue in a successful season which had them ultimately placing fourth in the Serie A. Unfortunately for the purposes of this post, not quite a buzzer-beater.

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May
8

Euroleague 2012-13: An attempt to deduce the composition (plus Official Fearless Prediction™)

At least this much is clear...

Yesterday, the basketball-centered bit of the Twitter universe was centered in two real-life locales: New York City and Barcelona. Topics in play were the falling of ping-pong balls in New York City and Euroleague’s incipient decision on the construction of Euroleague 2012-13. Hopefully, BallinEurope will get something together on the former later, but for now, BiE’ll attempts a quick look at the roster of teams for the upcoming season.

The three-year A-licenses are currently under review, but you gotta figure Caja Laboral Baskonia, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, Anadolu Efes, Fenerbahçe Ülker, CSKA Moscow, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Montepaschi Siena and Žalgiris Kaunas are in. Asseco Prokom Gdynia is in the second year of its license, making them the 12th of the 24 teams.

Also up for review is Unicaja Malaga. While Spain is still even officially considered *the* best domestic or regional league in Europe (more on this momentarily), the big league could certainly defend a yanking of the license based on the team’s bottom-half finish in the Liga Endesa and consistently better recent performance by Valencia BC.

Virtus Roma is the only original A-license team to have been removed from the EL roll call, getting its placement in Euroleague ball “suspended for having finished in the bottom half of its national competition.” Unicaja might easily find itself on the Eurocup level for 2012-13; let’s just say a *lot* of things would have to happen to even get the team into the EL qualifiers.

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