A serious grab bag of entries from around the blogosphere this week, though in light of international tours, David Stern’s vague non-proclamations, and the imminent tipoff to the season, all things basketball were a bit overshadowed by the NBA beast. Except, perhaps, for one very nice mini-documentary on Lithuanian ball…

Happy surfing, everyone!

First off: A nay-sayer on Omri Cassipi’s NBA dreams? From Israel? Indeed.

Here’s some nice coverage of the Partizan Belgrade-Denver Nuggets game over at SlamOnline.com by Nick Gibson of “Slam and Freaknick’s European Adventures” fame.

Does anyone else find this piece ironic? I mean, someone from that great basketball capital, Utah, puzzles over the fact that the sport “hasn’t quite caught on yet” in London thanks to cricket? (“Soccer,” anyone?)

Speaking of British love for the game, here’s an Englishman by the name of Mark Deeks discussing how, um, “I lost my virginity.” This is metaphorical, to be sure, but the V-word there is vitally descriptive for usage in association with Deeks’ feelings for basketball:

“In lieu of having any other hobbies, social life or interractions with women, I devote ridiculous amounts of time, words and thought to the pursuit of fringe and former NBA players, to trying to decipher the headjam that is the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and to working out potential anagrams of Tayshaun Prince’s name. The NBA for me is a labour of love, a hobby to which I devote about 80 hours a week, despite having nothing to show for all that time except an increasingly aggrieved credit card company. I wouldn’t stop even if I could.”

Imagine Ioannis Bourousis finally getting with the San Antonio Spurs; columnist Mike Monroe does, as does Bourousis himself.

From our friend David Hein at heinnews, an interview with Olena Rozkova, “CEO of the internationally renown Ukrainian dance team ReD Foxes.” Always good to see the ladies of basketball get their due.

Anybody remember Allen “Daddy Cool” Jones, former player and coach of Amicale Steinsel? The New York Times itself runs an excellent piece on the man on the occasion of Jones’ book tour for “The Rat That Got Away: A Bronx Memoir.” Writes Jones: “Europe was not only my opportunity, it was my salvation.”

For a taste of “The Rat” beyond a sound bite, flip around on Amazon’s reader feature. Pages 175-195 deal extensively with playing ball in Luxembourg; pages immediately prior to this detail his experiences in France, including Jones’ first experience getting lectured on European-style team play (after his first game with the club) and with not getting paid and nearly ditching the team (hours before his second game with the club.

In case you’re interested in Dirk Nowitski’s hairstyle for 2009-10, here it is.

An uncredited post posted at TorontoSportsMedia.com asks, “Is Pau Gasol tougher the Hedo Tukoglu?” Well, is he? (Actually, Turkoglu does kinda get the short shrift in the piece and one gets the feeling that this writer may be eating his words come 2010 FIBA World Championship time…)

Another piece recounts the history of basketball’s Brazil in “Basketball: The second Lithuanian religion.” The prose bit is a bit remedial, but scroll down the page – waaaaay down the page – to see a nice short film on the game’s impact on everyday (and Sarunas Marciulionis’) life in Lithuania.


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