Shades of Vince Carter were shown by Maccabi Rishon’s Willie Warren, who pulled off one of this season’s most incredible dunks anywhere in his team’s 88-82 defeat of Bnei HaSharon on Sunday. Check out the closest approximation to Carter’s infamous “Dunk of Death” we’ve seen since originally pulled off at the 2000 Olympics. Fulfilling the Fred Weis role is Jumaine Jones.
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.)
On Monday, European basketball great Ramunas Šiškauskas announced his retirement from the game: A story that was noteworthy enough for even North Korean sports fans to be notified. In his official statement, Šiškauskas said that he’d “made my choice in the middle of the season. It was not connected with anything specific – I just feel I should stop. I can only be excited about my career” and that “I am glad I was able to quit as a significant player, playing for such a great team and organization as CSKA Moscow.”
At 33 years of age, Šiškauskas put together a 16-season career with BC Sakalai Vilnius, Lietuvos Rytas, Benetton Treviso, Panathinaikos and CSKA Moscow plus seven years with Team Lithuania in FIBA and Olympic play – good for a gold and two bronzes.
And in that decade and a half, Šiškauskas amassed just under 1,500 points in seven Euroleague seasons on 49.8% shooting including 42.3% on threes. His back-to-back EL titles earned in 2007 and ’08 are among his many individual-career and team highlights … aw, hell. Let’s dispense with further formalities and get to the Ramunas Šiškauskas career tribute in traditional BallinEurope fashion, i.e. with lots of YouTube clips! We’ll miss ya, Ramunas…
Attention, European youth basketball coaches: Skill development trainers Ganon Baker Basketball are announcing two weekend programs in Italy in April. Those seeking to glean some knowledge and insight from top names in coaching and training (see just below for a few more details) would do well to mark their calendars for international youth level coaches clinics in Cremona, April 14-15, and in Caserta, April 21-22.
In Cremona, lectures and demos will be presented by notables such as legendary former Team Spain/FC Barcelona/Joventut coach Aito Garcia Reneses; former Olimpia Milano coach Franco Casalini; Team Italy U16s coach Antonio Bocchino; Virtus Bologna youth teams director Giordano Consolini; Team Italy strength-and-conditioning coach/director Francesco Cuzzolini; and, of course, the man himself, Ganon Baker, with credits on the CV including lecturing at the Nike Skills Academy and Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade’s youth camps.
BallinEurope wishes congratulations to skill development trainer Ganon Baker Basketball, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary this week. Among partners and clientele of the company are Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Vince Carter, Amar’e Stoudemire, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Jerryd Bayless and Kevin Durant. (Not a bad lineup there.)
So what else are you going to do today while waiting for, say, Panellinios vs. Panathinaikos (tipoff time 5pm CET/11am EST) or Lugan Aro vs. Barcelona (tipoff time 6pm CET/noon EST)? Sounds to BiE like YouTube time.
Here’s the latest of the “Top 100 Dunks of All-Time” breed. Though it’s skewed heavily toward the showman-type stuff that doesn’t actually take place within the confines of an official game, this is a nicely-edited ‘Tube with mostly fantastic jams.
Unfortunately, too, players from The Continent are represented pretty scantily and are mostly on the wrong end of the poster. True to form, ever-reliable Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje is crushed at #90. Bostjan Nachbar’s NBA turn is punctuated emphatically by Gerald Wallace at #62. Andrei Kirilenko gets smoked in a classic at #55…
Festivus Invitational Tournament continues: Dream Team handed stunning loss; Europeans barely survive 60s again
Four more games are in the books as the first-ever BallinEurope Festivus Invitational Basketball Tournament rolls on, shattering all attendance records for Budapest basketball (no major feat, but still) as fans gather to witness the all-time greats plucked from their native timestreams for their amusement … but who was amused when the Dream Team itself suffered its first true loss? Read on!
Three more games to report on from the first annual BallinEurope Festivus Invitational Tournament brought to you by sports simulation website What If Sports – all apologies for the late reportage, but even BiE
can’t ignore the family for hoops 365 days a year has to merrily celebrate the holidays – as day two wraps up.
December 24: All-Time Toronto Raptors 111, 21st Century Dream Team 99. In a shocker, the Raps dominated the ultra-talented Century 21s in the late game of day one. Vince Carter had a monster game from the floor with 30 points and Charles Oakley finally exploited that much-hyped weakness Team USA 2010 was ostensibly to have had, i.e. lack of height, with a crazy 24 rebounds.
As a holiday present to the audience, each of you has received courtside tickets to the first annual BallinEurope Festivus Invitational Tournament. Thanks to the miracle of totally BiE-unaffiliated (and totally mind-blowingly awesome) website What If Sports, we can bring together great players of the past and present for true dream matchups – and without all the messiness of traditional time travel.
For this inaugural event, six virtual invitations were extended to some of the most memorable players and squads in basketball history. Paradoxes caused by requiring a player to play against another version of himself (a feat thus far only successfully achieved by M.J.) were kept to minimum with only one player – Chris Bosh, oddly enough – forced to warp the spacetime continuum a bit. (Although Coach K could also be appearing simultaneously on opposing sidelines as well.)
Take a look at the rundown of these six teams to imagine the outcome: Who will win the BiE Festivus Invitational? Stay tuned and happy holidays, everyone!
Since this thing has got everyone from ESPN ‘heads to DJ Steve Porter talking, sure, BiE’ll repost: From the epic (not) New York Knicks-Los Angeles Clippers game last night, Timofey Mozgov becomes Fred Weis 2.0 as Blake Griffin totally goes Vinsanity on his lane-clogging butt. How do you say “d’oh!” in Russian?
For good measure, the Los Angeles Clipper later declares war on the European Union by faking Danilo Gallinari out approximately 73 times on a single breakaway jam.
Enjoy your token Knicks-Clippers highlights from BallinEurope!