Lazy Sunday? Great: BallinEurope has just the thing to occupy your time! Below run some quality articles and gawk-worthy YouTubes from the week that was in European basketball and NBA lockout land for your perusal. The bullet-point format is in effect and the show stars Danny Green, Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje, Walter Szczerbiak, Spike Lee and Samuel L. Jackson. Enjoy!
• For an excellent and thorough piece on the Real Madrid offense (and concomitant weak interior defense) in light of Thursday night’s Euroleague loss to Maccabi Tel Aviv, check out this work at In The Game. Figures writer Rod Higgins in part: “…it is doubtful that [Real’s] current style will serve them particularly well once the regular season is over. Madrid get most of their wins by simply outscoring their opponents. This means that they have to improve defensively; Bilbao, Milano and Maccabi have repeatedly exposed the weak interior defense of the Merengues earlier in the season…”
• Hey, some positivity for the Lithuanian fans! Roll the top 10 plays by Lietuvos Rytas in October!
• Cameroon hoopster (and one of the game’s great names) Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje was forced to retire this week due to a heart condition. Boumtje-Boumtje played six full seasons in Greece and Germany after playing sparingly for the Portland Trail Blazers and had begun this season with FC Bayern München. Boumtje-Boumtje took one national championship, with EWE Baskets Oldenburg in 2009.
The center became something of a YouTube phenomenon while playing with Oldenburg; the classic “Top 10 Dunks over Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje, 2008-09” as produced by a fan of the team has been removed – you can get an idea of Oldenburgers’ compilation of Ruben’s sadder moments in Germany here and here and here. On the plus side, the following is a nicely done tribute to Boumtje-Boumtje as he appears on the right end of a posterization, done up in the “Amazing Happens” format.
• Speaking of great names, Euroleague official website writer Vladimir Stankovic this morning contributed a nice bit of history on Walter Szczerbiak, the “superstar with the unpronounceable name.” (Really? What’s so difficult about “Walter”?)
• Yahoo Sports ran a slightly random piece about some random weirdness on Twitter due to the NBA lockout. You gotta love the suggestion “to replace the entire NBA with eager and skillful Afghanis,” but BallinEurope still doesn’t get the reticence of American NBA fans to, you know, check out this little association over here called “Euroleague.” Or even that “ACB” thing…
• Still no video posted by Euroleague on Jordan Farmar’s awesome 27-point show against Real Madrid, but here’s the game in its entirety, should you not have the Euroleague pass. The YouTube username for this contribution is given as “DejanBodyIsBack”; BiE’s glad to hear it, as Dejan has long been one of the great providers of European basketball clips to the ‘Tube.
• Is a “Free Kristers” campaign coming? Team Latvia U20 player Kristers Zeidaks has been ruled ineligible by NCAA officials to play with Mississippi State this season, due to participation in professional league play in his home country.
• Hardwood Paroxysm’s Noam Schiller wrote up an awesome bit of work on Andrei Kirilenko, the “beautiful and enigmatic bastard” who just kills in Europe – and how.
• Spike Lee has weighed in on the NBA lockout: He’s against it and reckons that “…one day, very soon, the Knicks will have an NBA championship.” – major surprises there. However, now might be a good time for a flashback. See below a couple of Nike ads from the 1998 player lockout starring Spike and Sam Jackson (that’s right).