You are currently browsing the archives for July, 2009.

The NBA’s most internationalized-est roster becomes even more internationalized-est-er

By: Freaknick

“Internationalized-est” isn’t a word, you say.  You are right—at least for the time being; but give Bryan Colaneglo a month or two and I bet he could spin a deal with Merriam-Webster’s and even get them to toss in a future draft pick or cash considerations.

Yep.  The Toronto Raptors General Manager is just that crafty, and after winning the NBA’s Executive of the Year Honors in both 2005 with the Suns and 2007 with the Raptors, Colangelo laughs at those who say Yao’s absence will diminish the NBA’s international appeal.  Now that he’s gone out and signed Rasho Nesterovic and traded for Marco Belinelli in the last few days,  the Air Canada Centre may want to hand out atlases instead of programs.  Hmmm…that could work.

It all starts with the Spanish General.

Name: Jose Calderon

Nationality: Spanish

Chief Imports: Worldwide admiration for his wizardry with the rock and hate mail from Luke Ridnour fans.

Chief Exports: Timely 3-point shooting; league-leading assist/turnover ratios; demonstrative body language, and a staunchly rebellious attitude toward two-handed passes.

Governmental Structure: Completely autonomous on the offensive end; displays socialist tendencies by sharing the ball equally with everyone.

Don't hate on Hedo

Name: Hedo Turkoglu

Nationality: Turkish

Chief Imports: Resentment from almost everyone in Portland, Oregon; Hatred from almost everyone in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; longing feeling from everyone in Sacramento, California.

Chief Exports: Clutch jumpers, super rockin’ hairstyles, awkwardly effective passing, “Where the hell did that come from” bursts of athleticism.

Governmental Structure: Dictatorship.  If Hedo wants to shoot, Hedo will shoot. Now shut up and go grab a rebound.

Ciao bella-nelli.

Name: Marco Belinelli and Andrea Bargnani

Nationality: Italian

Chief Imports: Gradual acceptance of Bargnani’s first-round talent by fans and coaches; Eventual sadness of Golden State fans who never realized Belinelli was more than just a spot-up shooter.

Chief Exports: Exceptional (but somewhat sporadic) offensive displays (including one that this author witnessed first-hand on a warm winter night in Atlanta); Euro-stereotype-defying defense.

Governmental Structure: All you need to know is that Mussolini is not involved.  All hail Pope Colangelo II.

Continue Reading for Croatia, Slovenia, Canada, Great Britain and…Georgia Tech? Continue Reading…

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Posted 1 month, 3 weeks ago at 10:08 pm.


For EWE Baskets Oldenburg the best things come in threes, including Americans

By: Slam

There are teams throughout Europe that are littered with American players but the German League Champion EWE Baskets Oldenburg has taken the concept to a new level.  The club is coming off its best season ever after an amazing playoff run that clinched them a birth in the Euroleague.  The top three scorers on this team are Rickey Paulding, Je’Kel Foster, and Jason Gardner.  All three are guards and under 30 years old giving EWE one of the best backcourts in Europe.  Each one has a different story about how they ended up in Oldenburg but they are all happy they did.  This three-headed monster will be relied upon to guide EWE through a tough Group D to the Top 16.

Rickey Paulding- Paulding was drafted in the 2nd Round of the NBA Draft out of college after paying four years at University of Missouri.  He played summer league for the Pistons and then the Kings but was never able to get on an NBA roster.  He played a couple of years in France before finding his niche in Germany.  Paulding is the purest scorer of the group and led EWE with 14.5 points per a game.  In the German League All-Star Game Paulding led the winning team with 14 points and he was named the MVP of the German League Finals after leading EWE to victory.  In his downtime Pauling likes to settle down with a good book and instant message his friends from back home.

Jason Gardner- Gardner was not drafted out of college by the NBA after leading the University of Arizona to finals of the NCAA Tournament and having his jersey retired by the school.  He started his European career with a rough stint in Slovenia before moving on to play in Israel and is now starring in Germany.  In Oldenburg Gardner is the leader of the team as he handles the point guard duties.  He led the team in assists and was third in scoring while earning the German League MVP honors for the season.  Gardner should adjust well to the Euroleague as he is undersized at 5’10” but can fly up and down the court with the best guards in Europe.  Gardner finds it tough to be so far away from his family back in America but has found a new family in his other backcourt mates.

Je’Kel Foster- Foster is a product of the Ohio State University where he was known as a terrific three point shooter and defender.   Continue Reading…

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Posted 1 month, 3 weeks ago at 1:06 pm.


The French try and look Forward not Back

By: Slam

Last year was a disappointing one for the French teams in the Euroleague.  After the ten game regular season the French teams Sluc Nancy and Le Mans both finished tied for the worst record in the league at 2-8.  This was not the type of showing that the French were looking for and now the French League Champion Asvel Basket look to turn things around for the country in 2009.

Asvel Basket is coming back to the Euroleague after a four year hiatus.  This offseason has been one of many moves for a French team that is looking to stay in the Euroleague for the long haul.  Let’s use some quotes from Asvel Basket president Gilles Moretton at the Regular Season drawing to see how they relate to the Asvel offseason with some sprinkling of Slamalysis.

“First of all, we are happy to be back in the Euroleague. We had a very good draw. Even though all the groups are strong, playing against Barcelona, Siena, Cibona, Fenerbahce and Zalgiris is a good chance for us.”

Gillies Moretton is trying to be nice to his opponents but inside he was giddy like a French school girl at the start of summer because he knew his team had just walked into the best possible draw.  Out of all the groups, Group A looks right now to be the weakest with Barcelona, Siena, and Fenerbahce the only teams that have had any success this offseason.  Asvel could easily slide into the fourth or third spot in this group and move on to the Top 16.  Not only did they walk into a good draw but the Final Four is going to be in Paris. The tides are changing in France.

“We are working on putting together a good team, strong enough to compete against them. When we last played the Euroleague two years ago, the team was not ready to compete at that level.”

You worked on putting together a good team and you succeeded Gillies.  Asvel has had a very productive offseason with the signings of Continue Reading…

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Posted 1 month, 4 weeks ago at 5:41 pm.

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Proof that God reads our blog: Euroleague Basketball American Tour 2009

How titillating.

By: Freaknick

If ever there were an image that defines bliss, this is it.  When I saw that Euroleague emblem plastered against an American flag backdrop, my heart jumped for joy and I promptly sent Slam a text message with so many exclamation points you would think I’m a Jonas Brother.  Even though I was told months ago that this was in the works, seeing graphic proof is a completely different kind of satisfaction.  It’s like snooping around for your Christmas presents only to discover a brand new bicycle, but the pleasure doesn’t set in until you put your feet to the pedals and fly down your driveway.

So now, whether by bike, plane, railroad or gondola, Slam and I will embark on our pilgrimage to the various basketball Meccas that will be springing up in our nation this October. For the complete details on the event, check out the Euroleague press release, but here’s what to look for this October, game by game:

  • Don your shortest shorts and admire in the fundamentals.October 3 in Denver, Colorado: Partizan Belgrade vs. Denver Nuggets. After losing so much of last year’s core, will Partizan put on a good show as the Euroleague’s first ambassador?  And with depleted depth, will they be affected by the thin Rocky Mountain air?  Breathe easy, boys.
  • October 6 in Phoenix, Arizona: Partizan Belgrade vs. Phoenix Suns. This could be where Partizan strikes as Phoenix is a team in flux that is still capable of giving up easy buckets, especially if Amare Stoudemire isn’t in the mood to defend.  Also, will Goran Dragic get homesick and sneak onto Partizan’s return flight?
  • October 9 in  San Antonio, Texas: Olympiacos Piraeus vs. San Antonio Spurs. This game should be viewed through black and white glasses as this battle of the bigs will be about as old school as it gets.  Bank shots, hook shots, reverse pivots, post, pass and re-post; George Mikan would be proud.
  • October 12 in Cleveland, Ohio: Olympiacos Piraeus vs. Cleveland Cavaliers. I feel badly for Josh Childress.  I really do.  Of all the places for him to come showcase his Continue Reading…

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Posted 2 months ago at 2:19 pm.

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The Casey Jacobsen Hypothesis

By: Slam

Not long ago Slam and Freaknick’s Euroleague Adventures was just a podcast waiting to become a website.  One running theme in our podcast was an award I would give out every week called “The Casey Jacobsen Award for ‘Why are You Playing so Much?!’” Casey Jacobsen played the second most minutes for Alba Berlin but he produced like a bench player week in and week out.  News came out just this week that Jacobsen would be returning to his former German League team Brose Baskets Bamberg. The term addition by subtraction is tossed around a lot in sports but in this case it holds credence.

The Casey Jacobsen Hypothesis

  • States that a team will be better the following season after a certain player leaves.
  • To qualify for the hypothesis a player must have started for a team and been an impact player.
  • For the hypothesis to be proven correct the player’s former team must have a better season the season after his departure, and his replacement must put up a higher Player Index Rating per 30 minutes than his predecessor
  • Continue Reading…

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Posted 2 months ago at 11:50 pm.


PODCAST: The Rubio Saga Continues

Where will Ricky Rubio be playing basketball next year?  Will he be playing basketball next year?   What are all his Timberwolves teammates thinking right about now?  And with all this controversy, who has more marketing power: Brandon Jennings or Mr. Rubio?  Those answers and more, as Slam and Freaknick look at the different sides of the Rubio tug-of-war.

Can’t get enough Rubio?  Check out why Freaknick thinks Rubio is missing a chance to join an elite NBA fraternity.

The tug-of war continues.

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Posted 2 months ago at 2:02 am.

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