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Jan
39

Union in San Antonio: Spurs reportedly buy out Aron Baynes contract, sign to multi-year deal

This just in from TalkBasket.net: According to the international hoops-centric website, the San Antonio Spurs have signed Union Olimpija’s Aron Baynes to a multi-year deal and will complete a $400,000 buyout to land the player’s rights. Baynes had worked out for NBA teams including the Sacramento Kings in 2009, but didn’t stick in the big league.

After flirting with Erazem Lorbek in the offseason, Spurs brass were no doubt impressed by Baynes’ EL regular-season display (during which he looked much like Lorbek, 2011-12 edition) in which all he did was lead the league in two-point attempts, two-pointers made, offensive rebounds, total rebounds and performance index rating.

For San Antonio fans who subscribe to the “seeing is believing” credo, here’s a couple of goodies for you…

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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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Oct
2

Monday hangover: It’s all about Fenerbahçe Ülker

BallinEurope had planned this second edition of the “Monday Hangover” to take a wide look at events in Euroleague play and top European domestic leagues, but the headlines vis-à-vis Continental basketball have been dominated by Fenerbahçe Ülker…

Talk about your roller-coaster weeks: The Istanbul side entered Euroleague week two as the vogue choice for a 2013 Final Four bid before suddenly confronted with a few obstacles on the way through the season. Take a look at a tumultuous four days in Fenerbahçe’s existence.

Thursday: Passport-gate begins. After the team’s charter flight lands at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, Romain Sato is detained on charges of traveling with a forged passport. While Sato is spending just about 24 hours in custody, rumors that the forward could be extradited to the Central African Republic, Sato’s country of origin, arise.

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Oct
8

While Fenerbahce readies for Olimpija, Sato awaits prosecution [UPDATED]

Here’s one way to slow down the fearsome-looking Fenerbahce Ülker: detain a key starter. It seems as though Romain Sato won’t be suiting up for his side’s Euroleague game against Union Olimpija after being detained at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport yesterday afternoon for an alleged violation it’s a bit difficult to believe…

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Oct
61

Euroleague Power Rankings: 2012-13 Opening Day Edition

All right, it’s that time again! With hours to go before the 2012-13 Euroleague season tips off, BallinEurope breaks out its first power ratings for the big league.

Whereas normally a disclaimer to the effect of “the following ratings are based on current trending only and are not necessarily based on the overall quality of the teams” runs here, this year BiE’s switching things up a bit. To wit: For this edition of Euroleague power rankings, the teams *will* be run based on BallinEurope’s totally subjective viewpoint. (Mainly because BiE couldn’t figure out what to do with Barcelona…)

Get your arguments ready and read on for this season’s first power rankings, with Official BallinEurope Fearless Predictions™ for the upcoming season peppered throughout. Enjoy the games!

The favorites
1. Olympiacos Piraeus. The usual reserved spot for the defending champion comes with some justification this year, as Vassilis Spanoulis & Co. show no signs of letting up on their 2011-12 season-ending 22-4 run. In the off-/preseason, Olympiacos’ foursome of Spanoulis, local hero Georgios Printezis, Kostas Papanikolaou and Evengelos Mantazaris suited up for a disappointed Team Greece – all but Mantazaris acquitted themselves nicely, with 50-of-89 (56.2%) overall shooting and Spanoulis dishing out just under six assists per game in three Olympic qualifiers.

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Oct
0

How far can Red Star Belgrade go this season?

BallinEurope’s man in Serbia, Marko Savanovic, brings us another preview of an Adriatic League power: Today, Marko takes a look at Crvena Zvezda (a.k.a. Red Star Belgrade) to assess the team’s chances in 2012-13 after a sloppy 0-2 start and the quick sacking of coach Milivoje Lazic, plus offers an Official BallinEurope Fearless Prediction™…

“If Red Star wins the [Serbian] title, Serbia will be a better place.” You might think this is something we picked up from team fans, while queuing to get inside Belgrade’s Pionir Arena. But no: This statement came from no other than club president Nebojsa Covic.

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Sep
1

Kirilenko, Mozgov, Marciulionis headline all-star team at Basketball Without Borders Russia

For the first time ever, the NBA/FIBA collaboration known as Basketball Without Borders heads to Russia. This month, some 50 European youth basketball players will get schooled – that is to say, be educated by – quite the roster of international talent.

Headling the program are Team Russia’s own Andrei Kirilenko, Alexey Shved (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Timofey Mozgov (Denver Nuggets); this troika will be joined by the likes of retired legends Sarunas Marciulionis and Alexander Volkov as well as Americans Danny Green (San Antonio Spurs, briefly of Union Olimpija), MarShon Brooks (Brooklyn Nets) and Brian Cardinal (Dallas Mavericks). Not too shabby a roster there, particularly if you could time-travel Marciulionis and Volkov back a couple of decades.

And … Continue Reading…

May
8

Euroleague 2012-13: An attempt to deduce the composition (plus Official Fearless Prediction™)

At least this much is clear...

Yesterday, the basketball-centered bit of the Twitter universe was centered in two real-life locales: New York City and Barcelona. Topics in play were the falling of ping-pong balls in New York City and Euroleague’s incipient decision on the construction of Euroleague 2012-13. Hopefully, BallinEurope will get something together on the former later, but for now, BiE’ll attempts a quick look at the roster of teams for the upcoming season.

The three-year A-licenses are currently under review, but you gotta figure Caja Laboral Baskonia, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, Anadolu Efes, Fenerbahçe Ülker, CSKA Moscow, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Montepaschi Siena and Žalgiris Kaunas are in. Asseco Prokom Gdynia is in the second year of its license, making them the 12th of the 24 teams.

Also up for review is Unicaja Malaga. While Spain is still even officially considered *the* best domestic or regional league in Europe (more on this momentarily), the big league could certainly defend a yanking of the license based on the team’s bottom-half finish in the Liga Endesa and consistently better recent performance by Valencia BC.

Virtus Roma is the only original A-license team to have been removed from the EL roll call, getting its placement in Euroleague ball “suspended for having finished in the bottom half of its national competition.” Unicaja might easily find itself on the Eurocup level for 2012-13; let’s just say a *lot* of things would have to happen to even get the team into the EL qualifiers.

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Jan
4

What makes the Partizan “system” of basketball?

BallinEurope today welcomes Marko Savkovic into its corps as the Serbia-based writer takes a look at just what has made Partizan Belgrade basketball tick through its many years of success…

In December, Armani Jeans Milano denied Partizan Belgrade from playing in its sixth consecutive Top 16 phase of the Euroleague. And yet again, in what is now considered a trademark display of affection, fans continued singing to their players and the team they love after the buzzer. They were grateful for what they considered a memorable season in which their team again defeated the likes of Maccabi Tel Aviv and Real Madrid.

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Jan
1

Adam Morrison debuts for Beşiktaş; Eagles win, 85-75; Seattle still pining

First Allen Iverson, then Deron Williams, now Adam Morrison. The former Zag first suited up for Beşiktaş Milangaz yesterday after landing that club’s seemingly mandatory reserved roster spot for an NBA name player. Morrison only saw less than 10 minutes of action in his new side’s 85-75 victory at Antalya, going for two points and two rebounds in that span.

Morrison began his 2011-12 season with Red Star Belgrade (a.k.a. Crvena Zvezda Beograd), with whom he notably achieved a 15.5 ppg average on just under 48% overall shooting in Adriatic League play – highlighted by his 30-point explosion against Union Olimpija – while winning over Red Star fans’ hearts.

No video appears readily available for post at the present moment, but below runs a recent upload from YouTube user CosmicEgg88 reminding us that Seattle is still pining for Morrison – and professional basketball for that matter…

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