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 +++ Basketball World Cup of Beer: Semi Finals +++ EuroBasket 2015: Wins for Macedonia, Belgium, and Georgia +++ Q&A with Alex Krstanovic on the Belgrade Trophy +++ Thomas Klepeisz shows you how to celebrate a winning bucket +++ Big jam by Giannis Antetokounmpo as Greece beat Slovenia +++ Two-time Euroleague winning coach close to Wakayama deal +++ This is how LeBron does the ice bucket challenge +++

Kobe says Dirk best non-US player ever; BallinEurope respectfully disagrees

No disrespect to Dirk Nowitzki and what he’s accomplished in his 15 NBA seasons and international play, but BallinEurope felt obliged to respond to a 141-character length injustice this afternoon.

Said Kobe Bryant, via FIBA:

But BiE begs to differ. Again, no disrespect.

BallinEurope suspects a few readers might agree. Of course, there’s also…

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France’s Livio Jean-Charles leads World Team to 112-98 shootout win, first back-to-back victory since 1999 [Highlights]

Those squeezing in viewings of the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit game between NBA playoff matches yesterday not only saw quite the shootout featuring world-class talent but also a bit of history: In upping their all-time record to 5-11 against Team USA with the 112-98 win, the World Select Team earned their second back-to-back win ever in the competition and first repeat since 1999.

The big news individually speaking was ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne’s Livio Jean-Charles, who overshadowed his more headline-grabbing teammate Andrew Wiggins of Canada, with a huge 27 points and 13 rebounds. (For the record on this day, Jean-Charles is currently projected as a #36 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft over at Draft Express; surely this guy’s stock will be rising before the Day…) Team World overcame fierce performances from prospective Duke Blue Devil Jabari Parker (22 points) and Kentucky Wildcat-to-be Julius Randle (19 points, eight rebounds).

But without further ado – To the highlight clips!

Oregon Live put together a “top 15 plays of the game” clip for your debate perusal – No, one second thought, BiE’ll go with “debate”. How did Rondaé Hollis-Jefferson’s insane pickpocket steal of and follow-up jam on Mouhammadou Jaiteh only land at no. 10, for example? For another, how did Randle’s reverse baseline dunk get beaten by Dante Exum’s circusy and-one? In any case, see for yourselves…

Here’s a more styled game-highlight compilation put together by BallisLife which puts the emphasis on the individual, showing how the showcase features of the ‘Summit…

And major props to the always excellent Euroleague Adventures, for their excellent job video-recording *everything* in the leadup to the game. A couple samples from their post-game work run below – there’s Jean-Charles described (correctly) and the should’ve-been-game MVP, followed by Team Russia/Triumph Lyubertsy’s Sergey Karasev on “Being a Sharp Shooter”. BiE seriously urges you to check out ELA’s massive cache of clips from the Nike Hoop Summit as well – right here.

Congratulations again to the World Select Team on the victory; we’ll leave with a Tweet, perhaps a suggestion for success to future Nike Hoop Summit squads: Maybe it’s all about the bonding…

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Euroleague Bracketology: According to Twitter, the 2013 Euroleague champion will be…

Twitter-Bird-BasketballNow that BallinEurope has posted this website’s Official Euroleague Bracket as well as the only truly unassailable set of predictions, BiE takes stock of a little EL Bracketology from good ol’ Twitter. What sort of conclusions may be drawn from a sample size of 30 tweets (well, 29 plus Sannti’s) hashtagged with #ELbracket? Well…

The clear popular favorites within the sample to win their quarterfinals series are CSKA Moscow (with 93% of tweets liking the Red Army), FC Barcelona and Olympiacos (each with 77% of the “vote”). Surely to no one’s surprise, fandom was divided on the Real Madrid-Maccabi matchup, with Los Blancos liked 19-11 among our group.

Of the 16 possible finals matchups, seven combinations were covered. Again unsurprising was the fact that no one was gutsy enough to gamble on Anadolu Efes Pilsen getting so far, but two brackets with Caja Laboral Baskonia hoisting the trophy were found – and after the way these guys have squeaked in to advance twice this season, who can truly scoff? A final outcome of CSKA defeating Barca was chosen by nearly 33% of those who picked a tournament winner, and 60% predicted CSKA for 2013 Euroleague champions.

And some of BallinEurope’s favorite brackets were…

● In the category of “Best Presentation of a Euroleague Bracket” which BiE just made up, the winner is JovicaTasevski. Future bracketcrafters, this is your standard.

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The one Euroleague bracket guaranteed to be 100% correct

Yesterday, Sannti (a.k.a. Savas Birdal) basically won Twitter and the entire internet yesterday by posting the one Euroleague bracket guaranteed to be 100% correct – not to mention encapsulating in a single image at least one team’s entire 2012-13 season. Click here to experience the genius.

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Tweet of the Week: What Goran Dragic learned from Shaquille “The Big Philosopher” O’Neal

Goran Dragic only appeared in 55 games with Shaquille O’Neal in the 2008-09 season, but it appears he learned a lesson pointed enough to be well summarized in 141-character Twitter length. And here it is:

Nicely put, Mr. Dragic…

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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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Introducing BallinEurope 2.0

BiE new logo JPGWelcome to everyone visiting today, the first day in the rest of the life of the website.

The most obvious design change is of course our revamped logo, featuring Arvydas Sabonis from those glory days of Lithuanian basketball in the early 1990s and current-day Olympiacos team leader Vassilis Spanoulis. But not only is the look itself updated, the coding involved in creating the background is quite a bit “cleaner” that that of the previous graphic, which should result in much quicker load times.

To more properly integrate with Twitter (BiE’s weekday obsession), a feed to the BiE_basketball Twitter account is now included with the right-hand banner.

Finally, with something of greater emphasis in BiE Land these days on the BallinEurope/heinnews co-produced “Taking the Charge” podcast series, a tab for the ‘casts has replaced the “Euroleague Transactions Table.” While the ‘table has been a popular feature at in the past, we’re finding that more and more websites boast such a feature — and quite frankly, certain rumor-emphasizing ‘sites have caught up to and surpassed BiE in this area. Whereas five years ago, a “transfers table” was unique among European basketball-centric websites, this is nearly requisite stuff these days. will have some new concept in place by the time Euroleague free-agent season starts in the runup to 2013-14, but for now we’re pimping the podcast.

A few more features may be added in coming days — we’re still working on more video players, for example — but please feel free to comment on what we see right now. Quite honestly, we love the new design and hope you do, too!

As always, thanks for reading; stick around for continued coverage of European basketball in all its myriad aspects!

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Oldboy in London: New York Knicks superfan Spike Lee checks out O2, tweets with fans, disses Brooklyn Nets

Spike LeeUnfortunately criminally underrated in the greater popular consciousness as a film director (to wit: why are films like Clockers, The 25th Hour, Summer of Sam more well-remembered and -respected?), Spike Lee nevertheless enjoys tremendous notoriety as the world’s biggest, most visible New York Knicks fan – and as a fantastic Tweeter as well.

Spike will naturally be sitting courtside for the Knicks’ game against the Detroit Pistons in London’s O2 Arena tonight to support “Africa’s team” (He just said that). And this morning UK time, the director paid heed to the Knickerbocker nation and his own fans by taking to Twitter; BallinEurope today rounds up Spike’s mass media and social media foray…

The verdict on London in general after the first 24 hours or so? Tweeteth the Spike: “London is HIP.” A few more immediate impressions may be seen below, as Spike got plenty of facetime before international media.

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US Presidential Election 2012: America’s basketball diplomat hits hardwood for last-minute votes (plus Official Fearless Prediction™)

Love him or hate him after nearly four years in office, one thing is for certain: Barack Obama is the first basketball president – a fact that could curry lots of favor with Generation X and Y voters in a celebrity-charged election.

Sure, Bill Clinton was lucky enough to enjoy his home-state University of Arkansas’ 1994 victory in the NCAA Tournament and play host to the Dream Team in ’92. Sure, guys like George W. Bush, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon were often more erudite when discussing sports than, you know, politics (check out “Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72” for Hunter S. Thompson’s interview with Tricky Dick, an interview which Thompson was told could only be about NFL football). And the Kennedys surely won popularity points for their picturesque family touch-football games.

However, no US president has leveraged sports fandom on an international scale like Obama. (Check out BallinEurope contributing writer Enrico Cellini’s piece on his pet project, tracking Obama’s basketball diplomacy moves.) And the president’s preference for basketball represents the rise of the NBA and to some extent NCAA hopes during David Stern’s reign as the big league’s commissioner.

(Is it any coincidence that Obama came to professional prominence in that hometown of the 1990s’ Incredibulls? BiE thinks not.)

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Breaking news: Pau, Marc Gasol are actually Spanish

And speaking of Olympic basketball-related fails, the folks over at Bball Headlines this morning post a disturbing number of Tweets from the US from an apparently sizable fraction of the population that has some problem comprehending Pau Gasol’s citizenship. Click the link for “Hint to American girls: [The] Gasols are Spanish.” No, really.

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