Jun
0

Money does not equal professionalism

Galatasaray-Fenerbahce
The Belgrade derby ends in a 3-on-4 match-up and then an Istanbul derby doesn’t happen at all. These are supposed to be finals, the pinnacle of the season. Emmet Ryan writes on why, irrespective of individual fault, this makes all involved look bad.

It’s been one of those weeks (and a bit), the type we are far too familiar with in European basketball. Had the 3 on 4 last man standing match that was the finish to Game 1 of the Serbian finals between Crvena Zvezda and Partizan been the worst thing to happen this month, it would still have been a rough one. Instead the Turkish league has managed to one-up that situation with the wholly insane finish to its season.

Game 6 of the Turkish finals took a while to come to life, mostly because of how awful Fenerbahce were in the first quarter, but in the end Galatasaray’s victory had a pleasant dose of excitement to round out their impressive performance. The season would go down to a decider, well at least that was the plan. Unfortunately, and at the time of writing this hasn’t changed, there won’t be a Game 7. Galatasaray are boycotting the game over a series of charges they have levelled against the Turkish basketball authorities.

This column is not about the rights and wrongs of Gala’s protest, not least because I haven’t a clue as to what if any legitimacy they hold. If we focus on the single element, which is this boycott, we miss the problem. Game 7 of the Turkish finals isn’t the problem nor is the descent into madness of Game 1 in Serbia. The problem is that for all the progress made on the court in European basketball, we still have a putrid air of amateurism at some of the highest levels of the game.
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Mar
2

From Tennessee to Turkey, Tyler bounces back

Smith loaded -- in the metaphorical sense

Smith loaded -- in the metaphorical sense

Anyone worried about former Tennessee Volunteer forward Tyler Smith’s viability in the upcoming NBA draft and/or his ability to play basketball after dealing with an arrest, court case, and dismissal from his college team within five weeks of early 2010 can put their worries at ease: Smith is back and just as good as ever.

After getting bounced from Tennessee’s hallowed halls, Smith signed a quickie two-month contract with Bornova Belediye, filling in for the injured Kendrick Brown. All he did in his first game for Bornova was go 5-of-5 on two-pointers plus a couple of threes for a team second-high 17 points. Talk about your immediate gratification.

Unfortunately, the outcome was none too gratifying for Smith and Bornova, who were crushed in the Saturday match by Eurocup contender Türk Telecom, 104-79. TT boasted a headline-grabbing American newcomer of its own in freed Los Angeles Clipper Ricky Davis, who managed a line of eight points, six assists and five boards.

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Dec
2

The Innocents Abroad, Part Two: Assessing the US’ Euroleague rookies and sophs

Yesterday, Ball in Europe had a look at about a dozen newbies in the NBA from Europe; today, we’re flipping continents for a brief look at players from the US trying to make it in European basketball. With about one-third of the Euroleague season in the books, how are the first- and second-year Americans faring in Europe’s top league? Read on!

(Incidentally, we’ll consider US entries into other major domestic leagues at some future point in the 2009-10 season.)

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Nov
0

FIBA EuroChallenge capsule previews: Group F

Onto Group F of the 2009-10 FIBA EuroChallenge go the BallinEurope.com primers … Group F features quite a grab-bag of contenders, once each from Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia and Turkey. Should be a weird one.

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