Out For Blood: EuroBasket 2009

By: Slam

In a distant land far away (Poland) European teams fight for continental supremacy.  As the qualifying round comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on a few days that have been jam packed with national pride and animalistic instinct.  In the Eurobasket Kingdom, the rules are very simple: survive. At any cost.

Hedo and Ersan are the Lions of the EuroBasketThe Lion- Turkey

Not known as a favorite going into the tournament, Turkey has looked like the king of the jungle.  They have feasted on their opponents like cornered deer, thirsting for blood.  Other undefeated teams like Greece and France have put up good performances but they have not played the competition Turkey has; they are not lions.  In their first encounter with the evenly matched but wounded Lithuanian squad, Turkey was able to pounce on their prey in the 4th quarter for an eight point win.  The lions with the biggest manes are Ersan Ilyasova and Hedo Turkoglu who were able to put in 17 and 19 points respectively.  Next up on the chopping block was the lowly creature that is Bulgaria who barely put up a fight in a 28 point loss.  The final victim for the lion was the home team Poland who was undefeated up until that point.  Caught with their chests out Poland became the latest prey disposed by Turkey.  They were not the premier team coming into the tournament but Turkey has two of the EuroBasket’s best players and a stable of big men that was good enough to earn the title of Lion.

Israel was the Goat of this KingdomThe Goat- Israel

Some teams may have less talent (Great Britain and Bulgaria) than Israel, but no team put up a worse showing in the qualifying round.  Placed in a group with one winnable game (Croatia) and one game in which they were the favorite (Macedonia), Israel had a clear chance to advance.  After barely losing to Croatia, Israel was beaten by Macedonia and become the ill fated goat of this kingdom.  This only became worse after a 46 point shellacking by Greece in the final game.  After this it was clear that Israel was the animal in this kingdom that was laying in an open field, just waiting to be maimed.

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Posted 3 days ago at 10:51 pm.

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Eurobasket Uncensored: Slippery Balls, Jaglameister, and a French Werewolf in Poland

Biedrins' heady play will put refs in a slippery situation.

Paul Nilsen is a part-time freelance basketball journalist and addict (mainly basketball) who writes for fibaeurope.com and has his own site at gbbasketball.net. In between balancing a full time job and a girlfriend whose patience is wearing thin, Paul can be found somewhere near a basketball court writing about anything from Eurobasket to U16 women.  Paul can be contacted at [email protected].

Freaknick: Number of times the referees will have to switch the game ball to prevent slippage due to Andris Biedrins’ hair gel residue:

Paul Nilsen: I think it is only fair that you refer to any of the online betting companies who have this nicely boxed off under “Eurobasket 2009 specials”. Worth a few notes and I would probably go for between 11-14 times – that’s the first quarter covered anyway. Seriously though I like ‘Biens’ a lot and I think that while Latvian hair gel technology might need some investment and development, his game is slicker than the product itself. I wish I had the option of putting so much gel on my hair. I do know from FIBAEurope that there are more court wipers ready with towels in Group B than anywhere else so at least they are well prepared. Any reference to a ‘slick defence’ by game commentators might just be referring to whoever is guarding Biedrins having been left in a gel slick so be warned!

A tough choice, indeed.FN: Much has been made of Joakim Noah’s absence from the French team, but Turiaf proved he can be a force both ends in Game 2 against Belgium.  If you had to rock one of their hairstyles for a month, which would you pick?

PN: Well it is a sensitive subject for me and pretty painful to talk about. I used to have a pretty rockin set of dreads when I was younger but that’s all gone. You really have to search for my fringe and hairline now, it reminds me a bit of Russian offence. You know it is there somewhere, you just have to look for it. I have two choices of hairstyle: nearly bald or completely bald. Soon the notion of choice will be gone altogether. I think Noah will be missed by France but Turiaf’s hair more than makes up for it. In fact Turiaf and his hair are one of the few things that people don’t think are overrated about him.

FN: France had a Jekyll and Hyde experience against Belgium which ended just fine.  If it happens again, which of these three teams could “French Hyde” (ie: Game 1 vs. Belgium) beat, if any? Continue Reading…

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Posted 6 days, 22 hours ago at 1:00 am.


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PODCAST: Listen to Slam and Freaknick break down the Euro guards in this year’s NBA Draft.

Will he win you as many games as he'll lose?  That's the million Euro question.

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Posted 2 months, 3 weeks ago at 3:27 pm.

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Slam and Freaknick throw both praise and punches at the versatile French guard as part of their run-up to the NBA Draft.  The complete profile includes a highlight tape and a video of our boy Nando kickin’ it in what at first appears to be France’s version of a Corona commercial.


PODCAST: Listen to Slam and Freaknick break down the Euro guards in this year’s NBA Draft.

I know what you're thinking: Udrih, Collins, and Dudley are fairly unspectacular. Well, so is our buddy Nando.


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Posted 2 months, 3 weeks ago at 3:07 am.

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