Latest

The BBL experience – Rowdy in Frankfurt +++ Fearless predictions: Euroleague playoffs +++ A Dario triple-double? Now that’s good timing +++ Swee’ Pea needs your help +++ Final Four: What the bookies say when the bookies talk +++ The greatest Eurodance tribute to Goran Dragic ever +++ Swaggy P’s tribute to Os moving back to the USA +++ Help Swee’ Pea make the big screen +++ The Dish: Can I play with Madness? +++ Just point out the bounce +++
Jan
0

Report: Partizan Belgrade signs Davis Bertans for 3½ years

Serbia-based news sources are today reporting quite a coup in the country’s basketball league, as Partizan Belgrade has apparently signed Davis Bertans, mostly recently of Union Olimpija, to a 3.5-year deal.

Though still technically contracted to Olimpija, alleged lack of payment caused Bertans to look for a better offer in Europe. (BiE believes the Latvian couldn’t have been too happy about a relative lack of playing time early in 2011-12, either.) According to Partizan officials, Bertans could suit up in black and white as early as Saturday, when the Grobari host Zagreb CO in Adriatic League play.

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Jan
0

11-for-11: BallinEurope’s Most 11 popular stories from 2011

So 2011 may have been few people’s favorite year personally, European basketball fans have certainly got to be taking solace in the fact that the past 12 months featured a seriously great run of Continental-flavored hoops.

To wit, in 2011, we enjoyed:

• an exciting round of Euroleague playoffs which included FC Barcelona’s surprising tournament-round exit and culminated in storied franchise Panathinaikos bagging its third EL trophy in five years;

• in domestic leagues, another weird Bundesliga playoff tournament, another controversial Greek tourney, and from Italy and Spain second-place shockers Bennet Cantù and Bizkaia Bilbao Basket advancing;

• lots of European superstars battling it out in the NBA playoffs, particularly on the Western Conference side, with Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and of course Dirk Nowitzki proving so key to their teams’ successes (or lack thereof);

the Eurobasket 2011 tournament hosted in the world’s basketball-maddest country which ultimately inspired Team Serbia coach Dusan Ivkovic to opine that “this has been the strongest European Championship in history…” (and, judging only from the star content alone, BiE would probably agree, despite a general loathing for such hyperbole directly after an event);

• some awesome schadenfreude-laced moments as NBA refugees came to play on the Continent during the player lockout, plus all the incredibly amusing speculation on names beginning with Kobe Bryant; and finally

• the close to the 2011-12 Euroleague regular season with a week 10 that featured some crazy dogfights for entry and positioning in the Top 16 round, including a great do-or-die game between Emporio Armani Milano and Partizan Belgrade.

Olympic Games or no, how can basketball year 2011 be topped? On the first day of the new year, BallinEurope takes a last brief look back at the most popular stories we ran in 2011. Relive one killer 365 days of European roundball once more below.

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Dec
1

Euroleague Top 16: Sorting out the advancement scenarios (plus Official Fearless Predictions™)

It’s one Euroleague game remaining in 2011 for each of the regular-season entrants, and with only four teams mathematically eliminated – Asseco Prokom, SLUC Nancy, Spirou Charleroi, Union Olimpija – a great many of the 16 matches on tonight and tomorrow night’s slate remain significant. BallinEurope takes a look at the opportunities for advancement into the next round below; for reasons of complexity (you’ll see what BiE means when we get to Group A), these will be listed by group in backwards alphabetical order.

Group D. This one’s easy; the top four seeds for the Top 16 draw, in order, are FC Barcelona, Montepaschi Siena, Unics Kazan and Galatasaray Medical Park.

Group C. Real Madrid, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Anadolu Efes have clinched the nos. 1, 2, and 3 spots, respectively, in Group C. In a case of win-by-four-or-go-home, Emporio Armani Milano must beat Partizan Belgrade in Hala Pionir by two field goals or more in order to nip the Black-and-Whites for the fourth seed in the group.

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Nov
1

Welcome to Spain, Matt Walsh!

Well-traveled ormer Miami Heat/Union Olimpija swingman today announced his CV will be adding a stint at an eighth country via Twitter. Tweeted Walsh this afternoon: “Back to work!! Just signed with Spanish acb team Murcia!!! South of Spain here I come!!!

After some time in his rookie season as an undrafted player with the Miami Heat in 2005, Walsh played for the D-League’s Arkansas Rim Rockers before jumping to Europe for contracts with Olympia Larissa, Basquet Manresa, Spirou Charleroi, Union Olimpija, Aris BC and Asvel Villeurbanne.

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Nov
1

Euroleague week four bullets: Aldemir debuts nicely, true Bogdanovic emerges

Five Euroleague games were played last night and things were interestingly shaken up a bit when the final buzzers sounded. Tonight’s slate looks even nicer, with Montepaschi Siena vs. FC Barcelona and possible instant classic Panathinaikos vs. CSKA Moscow. To get you up to date and ready – plus possibly take up a minutes of your time courtesy YouTube – BallinEurope has compiled a few notes for your perusal presented in time-honored bullet fashion, starring Furkan Aldemir, Bojan Bogdanovic and Juan Carlos Navarro, among others.

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Nov
8

Euroleague Power Rankings: November edition

With two Euroleague games in the books for each team and something of an overall picture developing, BallinEurope unleashes the November edition of its ever-“popular” power rankings for the two dozen squads. For reference, edification and jollies, the preseason edition of the ‘rankings may be seen here.

Once again, advisories in effect: These ratings are formulated from once source (namely yours truly) and are based on the way teams are trending at present, i.e. Bennet Cantu is not necessarily *better* per se than Fenerbahçe Ülker, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum. While play in other leagues was considered, emphasis was put on performance in each team’s pair of EL games thus far, i.e. BiE knows Union Olimpija is 5-0 in the Adriatic League.

Without further ado, then, let’s get to the rankings! (Žalgiris fans, you may want to consider before clicking “Read More.”)

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Oct
15

Sasha Vujacic, Jordan Farmar seek to join elites in 2012

Sasha? Really?

It’s perhaps the most famous Euroleague-related trivia question, and this season sees two more players in a quest to join the likes of a noted half-dozen, including some of the game’s all-time greats – would you believe that duo seeking to join this elite are named Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar?

The €20,000 question is of course, “Which players have won both Euroleague and NBA titles?” Hint: There are six in total, and two are Americans. Guess before clicking “Read More…” to test your skills – BiE’s trusting you to stay away from Google searches and Wikipedia…

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Oct
4

Return of the Bulldog: Adam Morrison goes for 30 against Union Olimpija

When was the last time Adam Morrison went for 30 points on any level of basketball?

The former Gonzaga Bulldog has been making waves in the European game since joining KK Crvena Zvezda (a.k.a. Red Star Belgrade). Morrison’s most recent effort wasn’t against just any bunch of slouchers, either: The long-locked one totaled his 30 on 12-of-19 overall shooting in a 101-93 Adriatic League loss to Euroleague side Union Olimpija. After three games, the ex-Zag is averaging 18.7 points per game, good for fifth-best in ABA ball thus far.

Below runs the highlight reel from the Olimpija game, just in case this sounds too unbelievable to be true.

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Oct
7

Euroleague 2011-12: BallinEurope Official Fearless Predictions™ – in haiku form!

Right, then: It’s finally time. The top professional basketball league in the world (Now that bears some thinking about now, dunnit?) tips off its 2011-12 regular season tonight as Žalgiris Kaunas hosts AK47-armed, Teodosic-toting CSKA Moscow.

Almost as anticipated as the actual Euroleague opening game is of course another round of BallinEurope’s Official Fearless Predictions™ for the season. (Yeah, surrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre.) In a shameless ripping off of an homage to BiE’s favorite regular column on anything in any media, namely ESPN.com’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback – it’s true; BiE is a closet (American) football junkie – BallinEurope presents the first-ever Euroleague regular-season predictions in haiku form.

So without further ado … to the Fearless Predictions™!

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Oct
8

Euroleague Power Rankings: First of the Season edition

Right, then. With the last teams advancing into the Euroleague two dozen for the regular season and a break in the Kobe-to-Bologna soap opera today, BallinEurope breaks out an old favorite: power rankings!

Once again, the BallinEurope Euroleague Power Rankings are based on current trends, i.e. who’s hot, who’s not. For this edition of the list, also taken into consideration are offseason acquisitions and a dash of expectations vis-à-vis how these squads will look when the games really start to matter. Let the arguments begin!

1. FC Barcelona – Heard it before? Well, you’ve probably heard about the core of the Barca roster before, too: Juan Carlos Navarro, Pete Mickael, Erazem Lorbek, Victor Sada, Boniface N’dong, Kosta Perovic and Fran Vazquez; getting to add Chuck Eidson and Marcelinho Huertas doesn’t seem fair. In going 8-0 thus far this preseason, the Blaugrana have added to their trophy case with Lliga Catalana and Supercopa Endesa titles and Navarro in particular is still in EuroBasket form. Right now, BiE says this is the team to beat.

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