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First Person: Follow the FIBA World Cup through BiE’s eyes +++ Basketball World Cup of Beer: The Final – USA vs France +++ Tight knit Iceland too much for Great Britain +++ EuroBasket 2015: Round-up and Highlights from Wednesday’s qualifiers +++ FIBA dropped a sweet promo for the World Cup +++ Basketball World Cup of Beer – Bronze Medal Match +++ Rudy gets iced, the internet rejoices +++ FIBA World Cup Preview – Group C +++ CSKA Moscow’s Kyle Hines and Sonny Weems take the ice bucket challenge +++ Tony Parker does ice bucket challenge but his friend can’t use a camera phone +++
Dec
2

NBA on Christmas Day: BallinEurope’s Official Fearless Predictions™

Here on The Continent, all but the hardiest envy those in the Western Hemisphere today; as the holiday fades into evening here, the NBA’s awesome quintupleheader is just beginning: To watch this live, the European would have to pull an all-nighter, with wall-to-
wall basketball straight through to 7am or so. BallinEurope plans to watch the first two and get up before the rooster for the 4.30am CET tipoff of Clippers-Nuggets.

In any case, apologies for the delay, but below run BallinEurope Official Fearless Predictions™ for the Christmas slate. The first game’s already begun (full disclosure: as of this writing, it’s Brooklyn Nets 16, Boston Celtics 12), but BiE’s got the Cs winning in Spike Lee’s neighborhood – wish it could be proven, but BiE did post his vote this way in the ESPN Sports Nation poll today.

On the rest of the slate, the other OFPs include the Los Angeles Lakers over the Knicks in a nailbiter in which Steve Nash goes for nine assists (of course); the Oklahoma City Thunder over the Miami Heat by 8; the Chicago Bulls defend home court against the Houston Rockets, winning by 10 despite game high-scorer James Harden’s efforts; and in that battle of the league’s most exciting teams, the red hot Los Angeles Clippers extend the winning streak (which will end against the Celtics in their upcoming match) over the Denver Nuggets by, BiE’ll say, 11.

Enjoy the wall of ’ball; BallinEurope sure will…

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Nov
5

Thoughts and Trade Machine tinkering: Can the Lakers trade Pau Gasol?

As Los Angeles Lakers fandom giddily awaits the possible debut of Mike D’Antoni on the bench tonight and the emergence of the superteam most observers expected, the inevitable whispers are beginning: Yes, Pau Gasol appears to be on some imaginary trading blocks (and perhaps even the actual one) already.

As BallinEurope understands it, the thinking goes something like this: Pau has not performed brilliantly early on this season. He’s at his peak trade value. Literally the only tradable assets beyond Gasol are Metta World Peace and Steve Blake – unless taking a flyer on Chris Duhon or Earl Clark proves irresistible to someone. Dwight Howard should exploit a pick-and-roll game enough so that the Spaniard’s specialized skills aren’t missed too much. And hey, let’s face it, they’ve been trying to deal this guy for quite some time.

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Aug
4

Marcin Gortat on Phoenix Suns in 2012-13: “We should have a pretty sweet team”

This Sport Eagle interview with Marcin Gortat during last week’s Beko Supercup games isn’t exactly the most fascinating stuff (turns out the Polish Hammer picked Team USA over Spain in the Olympic gold-medal game; whoa), but Phoenix Suns backers have got to be pleased with the optimism Gortat shows for his team in 2012-13 without Steve Nash

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Jul
1

First images (kinda, sorta) of Steve Nash as Laker

For no good reason other than overt fandom, be sure to check out the first (Instagrammed/Photoshopped) photos of Steve Nash as a Los Angeles Laker, via Spain-based Planeta ACB. Just one problem with that top one; as has been pointed out, the Lakers have retired jersey #13 in honor of Wilt Chamberlain’s stint with the team…

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Apr
0

Bundesliga weekly recap reveal: Jared Jordan a more valuable playmaker than Nash, Rondo?

It’s time for another BallinEurope shameless plug. Contributing writer David Hein has produced yet another great writeup over at the German Bundesliga’s official website. Check out a column chock full of videos and recaps, including the now semi-obligatory update on Team Zimbabwe/BG Göttingen’s Vitalis Chikoko.

BiE can’t help but spill the beans on one scintillating item in the piece, though: Just take a look at how much former Marist College/Lietuvos Rytas point guard Jared Jordan means to Telekom Baskets Bonn below – “playmaker,” indeed.

For comparison’s sake, below run some of the top assist guys in the NBA and their ratios of contribution to their teams’ success.

Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns: 26.61%
Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics: 26.48%
Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers: 22.26%
John Wall, Washington Wizards: 21.96%
Deron Williams, New Jersey Nets: 21.26%
Jose Calderon, Toronto Raptors: 20.63%

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Apr
9

On the continued rise of The Dragon

A breakout year from Team Slovenia’s Goran Dragic with the Houston Rockets deserves a look – and some embedded YouTube clips. Today, Sam Chadwick takes that look on BallinEurope.

Developing in the cool climate of Ljubljana, Slovenia, Goran Dragic’s rise to basketball success was a game of waiting. After a Slovenian league championship in the 2007-08 season the San Antonio Spurs took notice and drafted the point guard 45th overall by the same team who has regularly and successfully stashed draft picks in Europe for years waiting for the right time to sow the crop: Ryan Richards, Tiago Splitter, David Bertans, Tony Parker, Luis Scola and even Manu Ginobili.

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Dec
9

Peja Stojakovic: The BallinEurope tribute

Just days ago, Peja Stojakovic appeared to be a viable free agent for an NBA team with roster holes, a still-deadly long-range assassin at the age of 34, a 19-year veteran with gas enough in the tank for late-game daggers and smart D, a prototypical European baller with an American championship pedigree. “Couldn’t he drain a few 3s for a contender?” rhetorically asked hoops sage Bill Simmons last Friday.

Alas, it was not to be. The Serbian sharpshooter will not be part of the Dallas Mavericks’ quest to repeat as NBA champions, announcing his retirement from professional basketball late Monday night. Citing injuries to his neck and back, Stojakovic decided his physical struggles were “a wakeup call” for him to leave the game at this point.

On the plus side, Peja has the privilege of going out on top, in 2011 not only topping his seeming long-time personal rivals the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA playoffs, but also finally earning the ring which had eluded him for a dozen seasons ‘Stateside.

Today BallinEurope pays tribute to the gold-medal winning, NBA title having, future FIBA Hall of Fame nod achieving legend in the traditional fashion … let’s go to the ‘Tube!

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Feb
0

Cartoon Dirk takes his talents to “Cleveland”

Last Sunday in the ‘States, prime-time animated program “The Cleveland Show” ran its take on the NBA All-Star game. Chief among the player cameos was that of Dirk Nowitzki, who gets to do lots of stuff about how he doesn’t speak English so good. Nowitzki was joined by Lebron James (really), Shaquille O’Neal (no surprise there), Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash.

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Nov
5

Talking Turkoglu: Considering Hedo’s career moves, position in Phoenix

After seeing the new starting lineup for the Phoenix Suns against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday – featuring Hakim Warrick on the floor for the opening tipoff and Hedo Turkoglu back to his familiar role coming in off the bench, BallinEurope got to thinking about the well-traveled Turk and his effect on various teams as he bounces about seeming from contender to contender. (Hey, that’s how it is being BiE.)

Despite the fact that he’d racked up nearly five straight seasons’ worth of starting for the Orlando Magic and last year’s Toronto Euroraptors, Turkoglu only really got the nod in the Suns’ starting five due the huge wake of Amare Stoudamire’s departure.

Hindsight is 20/20, though, and BiE at 2010-11 tipoff time was somewhat stoked to see Turkoglu’s addition to the go-go Suns in a near-exhumation of the eight-second offenses of Mike D’Antoni. Slightly warping the “Cancer Effect” statistic as detailed in the FreeDarko guys’ Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac shows Turkoglu to have a CE rating of minus-32 spread over five different teams. In nearly every new spot, Hedo at least leaves a positive effect on his new squad.

(The Cancer Effect statistic is calculated simply by totaling the increase in losses suffered by a team after picking up a player plus the increase in wins enjoyed by the team departed by the player. CE was used in the ‘Almanac to measure that great disruptive force Stephon Marbury, who scored a +80 in over 10 NBA seasons; all-time CE “leader” going into 2008-09 was the immortal Cadillac Anderson with a tumorous +150.)

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Oct
4

The Eurocentric 2010-11 NBA Preview (or How the Hoops World revolves around Europe)

With the 2010-11 NBA season tipping off tonight, BallinEurope marks the occasion in the best way possible: By overrating the league’s Continental players and making a few offhand Fearless Predictions™ in the guise of a preview column.

Brief notes and snarky remarks on all 25 NBA teams follow. (Yes, BiE said “all 25.” Since the Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, and Los Angeles Clippers boasts no Europeans, they can’t really be considered proper NBA teams for our Eurocentric viewpoint.

Southwest Division
Some folks are calling the 2010-11 edition of the Dallas Mavericks its strongest team ever; it’s also a pretty good Team France embryo, with Ian Mahinmi, Alexis Ajinca, and last year’s sensation Rodrigue Beaubois helping make up Dirk Nowitzki’s posse. Unfortunately, the Western Conference may be tougher than Western Europe this year…

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