What was on the mass mind of the interweb this week with regard to basketball this week? Glad you asked! Surfing for seven days resulted in the following finds well worth your time.
Within a week of Jeremy Tyler hype and analysis, how about an actual interview with the lad himself? The Maccabi Haifa official website’s got one and, if nothing else, it shows that Master Tyler has already nearly developed an NBA-level trash-talking ability. A couple of samples: “The combination between me and Devon Jefferson (sic) will be something extraordinary. Every team will be afraid of that combination, including Maccabi Tel Aviv’s big men” and “I’m positive that anyone who will see me play will say ‘Wow, that kid is something special.’”
Despite the braggado, however, the official interview also presents a picture of a reasonably level-headed, modest and driven young man – if still bearing the natural naivety of the age. Interesting, too, is writer Tal Miller’s underlying careful scepticism in the piece. Miller notes that Tyler is “still an 18-year-old kid that has had mental problems so far” (perhaps something lost in translation there?) and imagines a situation in which “Haifa will not know how to deal with Tyler’s complexity.”
All in all, a necessary read for what looks to be Europe’s second-biggest individual story (behind the Ricky Rubio story, of course) for 2009-10.
Speaking of interviews, the Baltic Times’ website is running a nice Q&A with Team Lithuania head coach Ramunas Butautas loftily entitled “The Ball Game Architect Sets Forth the Winning Draft.” Damn, this guy’s roots go deep into basketball – even for a Lithuanian – and he lists as pet peeves “selfish, lazy, and undisciplined players,” adding, “I can’t stand liars, as well.”
And one more: heinnews is running a fantastic interview with the one and only Dino Meneghin, who drops some important thoughts about the importance of history in Italian basketball, among other subjects.
What was Dikembe Mutombo doing this week? Hanging with Hillary in the Congo!
For those in Denver who don’t know what a “Partizan Belgrade” is, DenverStiffs.com is rerunning a good article from 2004 on Partizan and Serbian basketball in general. The piece is credited to “former Rocky Mountain News staff writer Chris Tomasson.” You guessed it: The Rocky Mountain News no longer exists.
Somehow the British tabloid market is alive and well, however, and trying to make even the likes of Team Britain/Unicaja’s Joel Freeland as sensationalist as possible in “Shattering leg was my lucky break.”