Like any blog, Ball in Europe would ultimately mean nothing without its readership; you are the ones for whom our website is for. In the general taking stock of the year that was, Ball in Europe today presents the top 10 most popular posts on the website in 2009. These are the stories that captured readers’ imagination greatest and sometimes even managed to amuse.
Please enjoy this varied (and slightly strange, overall) rerun of our calendar year with Ball in Europe’s 10 Most Popular Stories of 2009.
1. Can you top this? Call it the power of viral video: This entry began with a clip of a trick shot from Sweden and, thanks to the miracle of pingbacks, soon became a intra-team contest in Strasbourg which spread to the fans there. Anybody got a new trick shot they want to show off here at BallinEurope?
2. Dream Team Europe: The all-time European basketball team. An old-fashioned argument-starter sparked lots of salient comments and lively debate. By the way, the team remains in offseason limbo, awaiting their matchup against the original Dream Team in an exhibition series this summer.
3. New Playboy Belser makes quick impact in Finland. Well, we never knew Corey Belser was so popular. Or maybe it’s just that burgeoning growth of Finnish basketball lately (see item #10).
4. Barca’s Rubio picks apart old DKV mates. On the other hand, we knew flashy point guard Ricky has his cult of fans, but the draw of this straight reportage of Rubio’s return to Joventut was quite the surprise.
5. Why Americans should watch the Euroleague Final Four: exactly what the title says. We like to think we augmented the viewership of the Final Four ‘Stateside by, oh, at least 47 percent or so.
6. Olympiacos to offer Allen Iverson $10 million. The scintillating, seemingly too-outrageous-to-be-real rumor of the summer actually turned out to be true, but it seems The Answer preferred to come off the bench of a sinking ship. For three games, anyway.
7. CAI Zaragoza tops club ranking again. From Zaragoza to Keizarmezs (which managed an amazing 86 fans in attendance per average game), the attendance stats proved popular again. This chart should be quite interesting this year, too: Expect lots of negative growth.
8. Dennis Rodman to lead NBA Legends in Europe. Also, later to lead team in scoring (with local talent), running up tabs, and arrests.
9. Stefano Mancinelli packing up for the ‘States. Another big rumor had the long-time Fortitudo Bologna player’s agent claiming he was fielding offers from the Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers. Probably just a ploy, the move still had fans of those NBA teams and Italian basketball reading up on Mancinelli.
10. Finnish basketball phenomenon conquering the net. Everybody loves Hans von Blumenstock, still getting fond chuckles five months after his discovery. Also a special shout out here to reader TheHighPosts for comment of the year: “With the first pick in the 2010 draft, the L.A. Clippers select…”
Thank you to all our readers for checking out Ball in Europe in 2009; here’s to hoping you find 2010 here just as fun and interesting!