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Coach James Weldon gives his thoughts on Dragan Bender +++ Sarunas Jasikevičius retires, joins Zalgiris in coaching role +++ Vintage Drazen Petrovic jersey up for auction +++ Ireland announce select squad for Luxembourg friendlies +++ We really need you to nominate beers +++ Mykhailiuk operating almost under cover +++ Nando de Colo has the best location for a basketball camp +++ Ireland end famines with two slices of Danish bacon +++ Former Galatasaray baller Jamont Gordon talks about the road to recovery +++ FIBA Europe Under 20 final highlights and top plays +++
Oct
0

NBA Global Games: Durant Dominates, Ibaka rules the boards, Thunder beat Sixers 103-99

There’s only one reasonable explanation for Kevin Durant’s display in Manchester last night. He couldn’t countenance losing to the Philadelphia 76ers in a pre-season game. The Oklahoma City Thunder star recorded a double-double, with 21 points and 12 assists as well as 8 rebounds, but it was his scoring outburst in the third quarter that jumped out. Durant scored 14 points in the third frame as the Thunder turned a 3 point deficit at the break into a 9 point lead going into the fourth. With Durant sitting, OKC saw the lead slip away quickly as Tony Wroten put in an impressive display off the bench for the Sixers with 20 points.

Philly sat Germany’s Tim Ohlbrecht but fans in Manchester were treated to a double-double by the Thunder’s Spanish international Serge Ibaka who had 11 rebounds and 3 blocks to go along with his 18 points. Switzerland’s Thabo Sefolosha picked up 4 rebounds and 2 assists in his 9 minutes off the bench as the Thunder held on for a 103-99 win to finish their European tour unbeaten.

Jun
11

Eurobasket 2013: Which NBA players are in, which are out?

Because it’s never too early to start looking ahead to Eurobasket 2013 – wait a minute, there’s only 11 weeks left until tipoff? Definitely not too early, then, to take a look at the formative rosters for the big Continental tournament.

While only a few national teams (Croatia and Lithuania among them) have released preliminary rosters at this point and a few major leagues still playing (Spain, Greece, Germany, Italy, etc.), we can at least deduce which NBA players will or won’t be playing. After all, the rosters of 93.3% of NBA teams have finished their 2012-13 season – and the Miami Heat have no Europeans!

Below is a rundown of each team and the status of their potential NBA players. A few high-profile draft choices and rights-owned guys expected to jump over soon are also peppered in, along with links to appropriate sources. If you find/hear of anything relevant to the list, please comment below.
And we’ll do this group by group…

Group A
Belgium –
no current NBA players

France – Kevin Seraphin (Washington Wizards) is out for ’13 but hints he’ll be back in the future.

Ten days ago, based on a L’Equipe report, website Catch-and-Shoot described Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls)’ Eurobasket status as *très incertain*, and after another punishing NBA season seems unlikely.

No official word on Nicolas Batum (Portland), though the Trail Blazers reportedly be “watching Batum’s injury” this offseason. Perhaps some discouragement is forthcoming…?

France-based media outlet Figaro reported back in May that Ian Mahinmi (Indiana Pacers) and Ronny Turiaf (Los Angeles Clippers) would play; this may have been speculation based on prior results, but Turiaf’s presence on Les Blues for this tournament has been on coach Collet’s mind for a while.

Continue Reading…

Feb
2

Tim “Der Nächste Nowitzki” Ohlbrecht moves up to Houston Rockets, to become eighth-ever German NBA player

Congratulations go out from BallinEurope to Tim Ohlbrecht, who has made the jump to the NBA in signing with the increasingly interesting (and increasingly European-spiced) Houston Rockets – and whoa, are some Germany-based news outlets excited.

In reporting on the contract, which has the former Frankfurt Skyliners/Telekom Baskets Bonn/Rio Grande Valley Vipers big man locked in with Houston through this season plus a club option through 2014-15, Bild labels Ohlbrecht “der nächste Nowitzki” while getting positively giddy about the possibility of the 24-year-old matching up against Dirk (and sidekick Chris Kaman) when the Rockets face the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

Der Spiegel meanwhile quotes recently-hired Team Germany head coach Frank Menz as stating that he was “impressed by Tim’s development in the U.S., particularly [in athleticism],” noting that “It shows great will and ambition to [get to the NBA] the hard way, through the D-League.”

Less than a week ago, Ohlbrecht’s agent Tyler Glass informed Sportando that his client had turned down a 10-day contract offer from the Boston Celtics; in hindsight, this appears quite the shrewd move by Glass, who perhaps knew of the much more attractive offer from the playoff-contending Rockets.

After four seasons with Giants Leverkusen and Brose Baskets Bamberg, Ohlbrecht declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft back in 2010, but his name went uncalled. He returned to the German Bundesliga thereafter to play with Bonn and Frankfurt in turn before reentering the Rockets system this season with the D-League Vipers; his stat line there includes marks of 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. And since 2008, Ohlbrecht has played summers with Team Germany.

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Aug
28

BallinEurope’s 2010 FIBA World Championship power rankings 5.0

Right. It’s time for the final edition – pending Nenad Krstic’s prospective suspension by FIBA – of BallinEurope’s 2010 FIBA World Championship power rankings. Now that Team USA has had it out with Spain and Greece, we can see the picture a little more clearly heading into the tournament tipping off Saturday. There’s a clear upper tier of USA, Spain, Greece and Argentina who can start thinking “podium” now; Serbia might also be included, again pending the Krstic decision.

But while the cream again rises to the top, question marks, dark horses and possible upsets well remain. Who doesn’t like how Germany’s rounding into shape? Or the Whole-Greater-Than-Sum-Of-Parts aspect to Team Lithuania? Or (for those paying attention) the possibilities of Lebanon…?

Without further ado, here’s BiE’s measurement of the trends going into the weekend. Enjoy (well, except for you Canada fans)!

1. (↑) USA. U-S-A! U-S-A! But seriously, the Red-White-and-Blues’ fans have got to be loving the performance of their guys last night against Greece, dominating all facets of the game – especially in the halfcourt, where BiE reckoned they’d be especially vulnerable. Good win for the U.S. Even if Hellas was coming without Ioannis Bourousis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis. Even if Kostas Tsartsaris exposed Lamar Odom and the rest as inadequate to play underneath against the bigger teams. Even if BiE still believes Spain will give them game in the semi-finals … is there a position 1½?

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Aug
3

Sunday roundup: Serbia, Germany, Greece, Tall Blacks win

Krstic krushed for Serbia

A few exhibition games between national teams were played this weekend as the Istanbul Cup and the Love Cyprus Basketball Tournament wrapped with some interesting clashes, indeed.

In Turkey, Team Serbia emphatically demonstrated that they should be discussed among the 2010 FIBA World Championship elite by decisively beating the home team in an 83-70 win. Kerem Tuncer, Omer Onan, Hedo Turkoglu, Semih Erden and Cevher Özer started for Turkey, while Serbia went with Dragan Milosavljevic, Dusko Savanovic, Kosta Perovic, Milos Teodosic, and Marco Keselj.

Though Serbia was cold early, succumbing to an early barrage from Turkoglu and Onan to go down 10-3, they soon got contributions from Perovic and Teodosic to take the lead at 19-17 and finish the first quarter up 27-22.

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Aug
9

BallinEurope’s 2010 FIBA World Championship power rankings 3.0

All right, now everything about the 2010 FIBA World Championship is coming into focus!

For example, now we know how good the relatively unknown Lithuanian squad will be – because they beat Slovenia after having to come back and go overtime against the Czech Republic. Um, and Argentina showed they’re awesome by … blowing a 20-point lead at half on their home court. Uh, well, one thing we can all agree on, at least: Team France is damn near sunk before this thing starts after another litany of no-shows.

These ratings are sure to be shaken up after many of these teams will be participating in tournament play or one-off exhibition games against fellow Worlds competitors this weekend. Up until Saturday night, however, BallinEurope sees the power flowing in the following 16 directions…

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Jun
3

Bauermann names 16 to Team Germany roster; two notable omissions

To little fanfare, the list of players invited to the training camp list for Team Germany was released in advance of the 2010 FIBA World Championship, as the German Basketball Federation (DBB) today posted 16 names invited by Dirk Bauermann. See if you can figure out if anyone’s missing.

Steffen Hamann, Lucca Staiger (ALBA Berlin); Demond Greene (Larissa); Yassin Idbihi, Heiko Schaffartzik (New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig); Robin Benzing, Per Guenther (ratiopharm Ulm); Philipp Schwethelm (Eisbären Bremerhaven); Chad Toepper (Albuquerque Thunderbirds); Konrad Wysocki (Turow Zgorzelec); Elias Harris (Gonzaga); Jan-Hendrik Jagla (Asseco Prokom); Johannes Strasser, Tim Ohlbrecht (Telekom Baskets Bonn); Tibor Pleiss (Brose Baskets Bamberg); and Christopher McNaughton (EWE Baskets Oldenburg). Plus, “on call” is Patrick Femerling (Antalya BSB).

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Jul
0

First look at Team Germany

From the heinnews website comes coverage and analysis of Team Germany’s 21-man squad, from which head coach Dick Bauermann will ultimately be shaping his roster for this year’s Eurobasket tournament … but wait a minute. No Chris Kaman? No Dirk Nowitski?!?!? What in the name of Uwe Blab is going on here?
Continue Reading…

Feb
5

Joel Przybilla for Germany? Poland?

After having successfully integrated Chris Kaman to the German national team after his German background was discovered by Five magazine, German media market competitor BASKET came up with a story about current Portland Trailblazer Joel Przybilla in which the Minnesota native tells readers that he has, besides his already-known Polish roots, a link to Germany through his mother.

This gives Przybilla the opportunity to play for either nation in the upcoming Eurobasket should its federation goes for a possible nationalization process. The question remains if Germany is interested in doing so, however, as the current national team coach announced in a recent press conference that the core of the new national team would be built around young guys like Steffen Hamann, Joe Herber, Philip Zwiener, Konrad Wysocki, Jan Jagla, Sven Schultze, Tim Ohlbrecht, Gordon Geib, Heiko Schaffartzik, Dominik Bahiense de Mello and Philipp Schwethelm.

Additionally, he will try to integrate the promising ’88-89 generation around Elias Harris, Robin Benzing, Tibor Pleiss and Lucca Staiger as soon as this summer. So I don’t know if bringing in another NBA player would be that helpful for the younger ones of these players.

Anyhow, if the Germans need other players, they should also consider guys like Luke Schenscher (son of German migrants, according to Wikipedia); Drake and Travis Diener (with such a name, a German family line should be easy to detect); Donté Greene (born in Munich and holding German citizenship according to himself); Carlos Boozer (born in Aschaffenburg, Germany); Shaquille O’Neal (who played basketball for the Fulda American High School in Germany, and whose stepfather was based in the country); or even Elvis Presley (who was posted in Friedberg during his military service).

Unfortunately, this last is dead (or not?) and was not considered a high-quality prospect, anyway.