Congratulations go out from BallinEurope this morning to FC Barcelona, Montepaschi Siena and Panathinaikos, perhaps each respectively their nation’s top basketball club, for taking domestic cup titles this weekend.
Check out Montepaschi Siena’s Daniel Hackett living up to the “Tornado” sobriquet in his team’s unfortunate Serie A loss to Enel Brindisi on Monday night: After full-body checking an inopportunely-positioned cameraman after a hard and-one drive, referees and others rush to assistance while Hackett stays frosty and focused on getting back into the game … ouch.
A shout out to Sportando, which draws our attention this morning to what could very well be “The Assist of the Year.” From the yesterday’s Unics Kazan-Spartak Vladivostok PBL match, here’s Troy Gillenwater beating a zone defense by cleverly finding the open man – Gundars Vetra – who in turn feeds Aleksei Golyakhov for the jumper.
Oddly enough, neither the basket nor the assist were counted on the stat sheet; BiE wonders why…
Episode #19 of the BallinEurope/ heinnews co-hosted “Taking the Charge” podcast is now online. Bearing a nice Hungarian accent, our centerpiece interview this week will be of great interest to Spanish basketball fans, San Antonio Spurs nation and NBA prospect-watchers, as Team Hungary’s Adam Hanga joins David Hein and yours truly for a solid 20 minutes or so of chat on all manner of subjects.
After wowing international scouts attending the 2009 Adidas Eurocamp in Treviso and announcing his jump from Hungary’s domestic league to the Liga Endesa with Manresa for 2011-12, Hanga became the first-ever Hungarian national to be drafted in the NBA when the Spurs chose him at no. 59 in 2011.
BiE likes to write up this particular roundup at year’s end for a couple of reasons: Firstly as a thank you to the readers who check out BallinEurope however frequently; like they say in sports, this website wouldn’t exist without the audience.
Secondly, a look back at which BallinEurope stories drew the most attention provides a nice microcosm of what was most of the minds of European basketball. Yes, national heroes playing in the NBA still reign supreme, but international tournaments happily still get ample due here on The Continent.
So without further ado, here are the stories that you, the readers, decided were the true headline-grabbers in 2012.
1. Splitter opines Adelman key to Rubio’s success; Ginobili says “impressive”
When Ricky Rubio finally eked his way into the Timberwolves’ starting lineup, the results were immediate and positive. Of course, those of us who’ve been following The Human YouTube Highlight Clip since his days as the youngest-ever player for Barcelona could sit back and say “I told you so” – like Tiago Splitter and Manu Ginobili did.
It seems La Bomba may be immortal after all … At the age of 32 and in his 13th season on the professional level, Juan Carlos Navarro isn’t quite playing the minutes he used to; in Saturday’s display against the previously ACB-undefeated Real Madrid, the king showed he hasn’t abdicated anything yet.
With just enough time to enter the discussion of “Best Individual Game of the Year” in Europe, Navarro was good for 33 points on incredible 12-of-13 overall shooting including a perfect 5-of-5 on threes – together with six rebounds and three assists good for a crazy 44 performance index rating – in the stirring 96-89 Barcelona win. With the loss went Madrid’s 14-game Liga Endesa winning streak.
From the ‘Tube, then, here’s all 33 of Navarro’s points followed by lots more video from the match below the break.
What say we close out 2012 with a whole bunch of highlight clips? BiE knew you’d be willing. Tomorrow, a list of the most popular BallinEurope stories of the calendar year will be running, but today comes an attempt to encapsulate the past 365 days in European hoops, YouTube style.
From Ibaka’s blocks to the return of Ricky Rubio, from a stunner in Istanbul to a double miracle in Italy, from the US to the Continent and back again, BallinEurope’s got your highlights right here… Continue Reading…
What makes this jam particularly ridiculous is the sheer amount of floor space Keselj runs in driving this one home – so call it a road trip. Taking a cross-court pass out well past the arc, the young Serb first blows past Alex King and then posterizes Jason Boone for good measure … truly this is “machaca y vuelve loca.”