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EuroBasket 2015: Romania the odd team out on the final night +++ Gran Canaria gets the Phantom treatment for USA vs Slovenia +++ TrueHoop breaks down how David Blatt will work with LeBron James +++ FIBA World Cup Preview: Group D +++ BiE’s editor takes the ice bucket challenge, nominates Basketball Ireland boss +++ Žydrūnas Ilgauskas considering a comeback? Wow LeBron has power +++ The Dream Team’s children +++ Highlights: Belgium beat Belarus, Germany stay alive +++ EuroBasket 2015: Bosnia, Belgium, Israel, and Latvia lock up spots +++ First Person: Follow the FIBA World Cup through BiE’s eyes +++
Aug
0

CSKA Moscow’s Kyle Hines and Sonny Weems take the ice bucket challenge

Admittedly this site is in slight danger of turning into ALS Ice Buckets in Europe but seeing as this is the first Euroleague connection to the challenge we’ve seen, we’ll allow it. Check out CSKA Moscow’s Kyle Hines and Sonny Weems taking the ALS ice bucket challenge.

Oct
0

San Antonio Spurs beat CSKA Moscow 95-93 In Overtime

Much like their previous game against the Timberwolves on Monday, CSKA Moscow’s second U.S. tour match went into overtime again, but unfortunately, it was San Antonio Spurs who came out on top 95-93 in a thrilling finish.

The former two-time Euroleague champions fought well and almost clinched the game, but were undone by a Aron Baynes tip-in scored with only 0.5 seconds remaining in normal time.

Baynes came off the bench and added 12 points to the team’s overall tally, keeping them in the game. However, it was Manu Ginobili led the scoring for the Spurs, securing 14 points, five rebounds and four steals in the game, while Patty Mills added 14 points as they opened their preseason.

While the result was disappointing for CSKA, the team had a lot to be positive about as Jeremy Pargo scored 20 points while Sonny Weems accumulated 16 points over the course of the match.

For the majority of the game, it was the Spurs who held the advantage as they led 51-49 at half-time. By that point, Ginobili had added 11 points with three steals and one turnover. The Spurs had led by as many as 10 points during the second quarter, but CSKA reduced the deficit thanks to a 57 percent scoring rate. In comparison, The Spurs were shooting 48.7 percent.

As the third quarter went underway, the two sides tied twice at 51-51 and 61-61, but the Spurs began to pull away by scoring 15 straight points thanks to Danny Green to make it 76-61. Aaron Jackson ended CSKA’s drought from the line, but another Mills basket meant that the Spurs led 78-61 going into the final quarter.

Those at the AT&T Center would have been forgiven for expecting a straightforward finish, but CSKA has other ideas as they rediscovered their shooting form. The comeback began with a three-pointer from Pargo, before an offensive rebound by Kyle Hines led to another three-pointer by Vitaly Fridzon.

Once that happened, CSKA roared into life as they scored 17 points without reply, giving them a 82-85 lead. The Spurs fought back and it was Baynes’ last gasp contribution that leveled the two sides 86-86, keeping the Spurs in contention.

Overtime proved to be just as dramatic and Mills scored seven more points during this period. As Fridzon secured a triple for a 92-93 lead with 24.1 seconds to go, the Spurs called timeout, got the ball to Mills and he scored a three-pointer to make it 95-93.

With only 11.2 seconds left on the clock, CSKA called timeout and got the ball with Khryapa for a jumper to tie it. However, it bounced out meaning that it was San Antonio’s victory.

- Quinton O’Reilly (@qoreilly)

May
0

Quote of Euroleague Final Four tournament: “I think I did a great job of being Sonny Weems this season”

The eminently quotable Sonny Weems was in fine form before his club’s matchup with Olympiacos in Euroleague Final Four play. See below for his talk with media members in which he downplays the revenge factor going into tonight’s game (of course, Sonny was not one of the half-dozen players who ended up on the wrong side of the big league’s biggest championship upset ever) and speaks of the difference between playing for CSKA Moscow and Žalgiris Kaunas.

And finally, for those who assume that any player worth his salt would automatically eschew European basketball for the NBA, watch to the end for a hint on Weems’ future with the Red Army. (Hint: CSKA fans should be stoked indeed…)

EL 2013 FF banner468x60

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Jan
11

Sonny Weems learns Russian, enjoys bathtub with cheerleader while hocking pizza

In a series of advertisements featuring CSKA Moscow players and dance team, Papa John’s hopes to be hocking a lot of pizzas in the big city. The advertising campaign is your fairly standard stuff; a representative sample runs starring Milos Teodosic, Andrey Vorontsevich, the team mascot and Anton Ponkrashov resembling the world’s largest pencil with ramrod-straight party hat on head runs below the break.

But one commercial is particularly worthy of mention. For all those who thought basketball-related advertising in France was weird … check out this episode of Papa John’s pizza parties. In the ad, Sonny Weems demonstrates the only way to get Russian lessons: namely, with one sexy babe as tutor while, um, fully dressed in CSKA gear in a bathtub at a party. Until a teammate spoils the fun that is…

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Jan
0

Podcast: Interview with Sonny Weems; Talking Minnesota with a Wolf Among Wolves

Happy new year wishes go out to everyone in online basketball land this evening from BallinEurope and BiE’ll even throw in a gift as bonus: 2013’s first episode in the “Taking the Charge” podcast series hosted over at heinnews.com.

This week, host David Hein and yours truly sit for interviews with Sonny Weems in a return bid to the show. Naturally, Sonny talks lots of CSKA Moscow basketball and why not? BiE increasingly likes the Red Army’s chances at a Euroleague Final Four bid in 2012-13, if not necessarily the triple crown result apparently demanded by very high sources indeed…

(Incidentally, how much did CSKA fans dig their side’s smoking of Anadolu Efes last week. And yes, that’s an excuse to run a highlight clip…)

Chasing Weems is Steve McPherson, a guy with quite an impressive CV compiled through years of covering NBA hoops in general and Minnesota basketball specifically; most recently, he’s writing for the ESPN TrueHoop Network blogs A Wolf Among Wolves and Hardwood Paroxysm among others. McPherson nicely and concisely sums up the Wolves’ woes, assesses their chances for making the playoffs, gives us impressions of each of our Eurowolves (Andrei Kirilenko, Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio) including great reasons to keep watching Alexey Shved.

Then, there’s the “Taking the Charge” weekly sports movie review; this time, the sport is lacrosse, and “Crooked Arrows” is perhaps – a bit surprisingly – the top fiction film of 2012 in the subgenre.

The banter on European and NBA basketball is kept to something of a minimum for this episode, we promise. Check out the entire podcast here. Thanks for listening and talk to you next week.

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Dec
19

BallinEurope’s Euroleague Regular Season All-Star Team

As The Continent has bid adieu to eight teams’ Euroleague bids for 2012-13, BallinEurope looks back briefly to take a brief look back at the regular season’s best – not to mention spindly some quality time outside the mall and in front of the YouTube.

The BallinEurope 2012-13 Euroleague Regular Season All-Star Team looks as follows.

Vassilis Spanoulis, Olympiacos. It’s almost getting difficult to find new ways to trumpet Olympiacos’ success and Spanoulis’ outstanding leadership in calendar year 2012. (They haven’t lost a game in two months? Whoa! Oops, sorry.) Sheer numbers fail to tell the entire story of the Reds’ leader’s first 10 EL games this season, but we love the stats here, so boggle away: How about 16.0 ppg on 46.6% overall shooting to go with 5.9 assists, 1.0 steals and *1.77 blocks* in 28½ minutes per game? BiE reckons Spanoulis was regular-season MVP, an idea backed by Euroleague Adventures’ Sam Meyerkopf in the latest episode of the heinnews/BallinEurope co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series. (Shameless self-promotion over.)

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Dec
6

Teodosic watch: Milos clutch in win over FC Barcelona; CSKA Moscow displays awesome arsenal

Teodosic: Hero again

Going into last night’s Euroleague-closing match against FC Barcelona, Ettore Messina and CSKA Moscow seemed to have deduced the solution to Milos Teodosic’s fourth-quarter woes dating back to the 2012 Final Four tournament: Simply blow out opponents so that no clutch play is required.

In hindsight, this game mathematically meant little: Thanks to the week 5 blowout induced by Barça, CSKA faced the nigh-impossible task of winning by 22 points against the EL-undefeated Spanish side. Revenge blowout or no, however, it was quickly obvious that both teams came unwilling to go into the ‘League break with a loss.

And so going into the fourth quarter, CSKA faced its first true crunch-time test since October. As per BallinEurope tradition, BiE reports Teodosic’s stat line through the first 30 minutes as a bit of a mixed bag: 3-of-4 overall shooting, five rebounds, three steals and five TOs.

Messina sat his starting point guard for the fourth quarter’s first 6½ minutes; despite a couple bursts of nifty transition ball by CSKA, with 3:32 remaining and Ante Tomic sinking two free throws, the Red Army had fallen a point further behind since the fourth-quarter opening.

Then in came Milos. Continue Reading…

Dec
0

Here come the Men in Red and Blue!

Dear CSKA Moscow Studios,

BiE was happy to hear that the exciting new cinematic blockbuster from your studios has now entered the production phase. The choices for leads in the “Men in Red and Blue” (or “MiRB” – nice bit of online-centric marketing consciousness shown there, might BiE say) motion picture are intriguing, indeed. Sonny Weems and Viktor Khryapa definitely have that je ne sais quoi-level of star power; BiE likes the idea of Khryapa as an invincible Schwarzeneggeresque action-flick hero for years to come.

But BiE digresses. With MiRB in pre-production, BiE hereby offers his services as songwriter for the soundtrack. My CV is attached … nah, that’s a lie. There is no CV. Let’s say instead that Os Davis is just some guy with a strong willingness to wrap.

Below run the lyrics to the proposed theme song, “Men in Red and Blue.” Thank you. My people will be waiting to hear from your people.

Yours,

Os Davis

“Men in Red and Blue”
© BallinEurope.com, 2012

Here come the Men in Red
(Oooh, in the red and blue)
(Oooh, in the red and blue)
Here come the Men in Red (Red and Blue)
You’re certain to remember

Yeah, yeah, yeah
The good guys dress in red, remember that,
Just in case we ever meet head-to-head and make contact.
We call ourselves the M.I.B.R.
And what we got means we got to go far.
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Oct
2

Interview: Sonny Weems of CSKA Moscow

For this week’s episode of the heinnews/BallinEurope “Taking the Charge” podcast series, Sonny Weems joined us for a chat – serendipitously timed after his 30-point barrage in a career day for CSKA Moscow at Partizan Belgrade last week – not to mention a 13-point, five-assist, three-steal effort against VEF Riga on the weekend.

The entire interview with the former Toronto Raptor/Žalgiris SG/SF may be heard here beginning at the 46:15 mark. Below run a few outtakes for the more textually inclined…

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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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