PODCAST: It’s good to be a Lavrinovic

Bobby Dixon's team lost big, but DAMN those jerseys are cool.With week one in the rearview, Slam and Freaknick go over each game and there’s something for everyone: buzzer beaters in Greece, blowouts in Croatia, and a pair of Lithuanian brothers who just won’t be outdone.  Also, Slam and Freaknick hand out their individual awards and talk about how this first week may shape the rest of group play.

Click PLAY to listen below or download it on iTunes.

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Posted 2 months, 2 weeks ago at 1:51 am.


Eurobasket Uncensored: Twin tattoos, The Lithuania-cat Dolls, and Jesse McCartney

Bogdan hearts Jesse.

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: Via Sinan Guler’s  Twitter: “.. just listened How Do You Sleep by Jesse McCartney and Ludacris, and it’s a good song.” Should Turkey Coach Bogdan Tenjevic be concerned that his shooting guard is listening to Jesse McCartney before gameday?

PN: Trying to cover up your own love for Jesse Mac by trying to pin the spotlight on Guler’s Twitter feed is a bit of a low shot. Come on, let your love flow and maybe you can exchange your thoughts with him through your mutual membership of the jessemac.com official fan club (Editor’s Note: I was assured that my membership would remain anonymous). I think Tanjevic has other issues to worry about right now, which is a nice link to ‘How Do You Sleep’.  Certainly I wouldn’t be getting much shut-eye right now if I had to coach a Eurobasket team with multiple personalities.

FN:You’re probably used to this now after doing several interviews with me, but I’ll phrase this question negatively:  let’s say Rimantas Kaukenas, Ramunas Siskauskas, Arvydas Macijauskas, and Sarunas Jasikevicius all show up on September 7th and say, “SURPRISE! We’re going to play after all!”  The only thing is, there are only three unused jerseys.  Which veteran gets shown to the door?

Lithuania's Child.

PN: Instinctively I got for shouting “Surprise…..there are only three jerseys and you’re not playing” to Arvydas Macijauskas. Well actually I would probably cower in the corner very meekly and whisper it as I know these Lithuania guys love their basketball. I love all of these players and it is a toughie but Jasikevicius is one of my all time favourite players because of his passion for the game, his toughness and all around approach which I think really shines through – he gets a pass. After that I don’t think you can look past Siskauskas and Kaukenas. I mean it’s splitting hairs really, kind of like asking which sexy chick out of some really hot four piece girl band you had to cut. I guess it doesn’t matter that much if the other three are still there to marvel at.  Hang on, did I really just compare these big Lithuanian mega stars to a girl band? Erm……….

FN: Your forecast for Bulgaria on Eurobasket2009.org was, to be polite, rather bleak.  If you had a thousand bucks to bet on ANY team going winless, would this be that team?

PN: Do you ask these questions deliberately to wind me up? Continue Reading…

Posted 4 months ago at 1:49 pm.

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Once upon a time in Group A…

By: Freaknick

Over the next four days, Slam will be laying down the previews for each group and I’ll be nipping at his heels with the top 3 stories that might emerge from each group.

Here we go.  Page one, chapter one…

Barca needs Mickael to continue his beastly ways
1. Can Pete Mickael fill the void left by Ersan Ilyasova’s departure? To say Ilyasova was inconsistent is to say World War II was a mere skirmish.  His weekly rankings during the top 16 went a little something like this: 4, 7, 39, 3, 8, 22.  So it’s not the Red and Blue will be missing a rock.  Whereas Ilyasova can bust open every third week or so, Pete Mickael’s game is a persistent display of strength and force with a side of outside shooting if he feels like it.  Barcelona has enough guys who can fill it up (Navarro, Vazquez, Lakovic), so Mickael’s toughness and consistency should both be welcome assets.  Barcelona shouldn’t have any problems getting out of this round and the next, but only a Euroleague championship will satiate their hunger this time around.

Can Zisis handle the load for Siena's shallow stable of guards?2. Will Montepaschi have the guards to compete? In the blink of an eye, Siena’s strength morphed into an area of glaring need.  With respects to JC Navarro, Terrell McIntyre was the Euroleague’s best guard in 2009.  He averaged  13 in the regular season, then 20 in the Top 16 and an eye-popping 25 in the Playoffs.  If that weren’t enough, they’ll also be without feared shooter Rimantas Kaukenas.  But all hope is not lost; they re-signed stellar big man Ksistof Lavrinovic and the wildly energetic Shaun Stonerook who can guard all 3 frontcourt positions.  Add that to the long, strong Benjamin Eze and you’ll have a chance to win every time out.  But who’s going to score from the perimeter?  Morris Finley? Not likely.  Henry Domercant?  Perhaps, but he faded down the stretch.  The brunt of the load may fall into the lap of recently acquired Nikos Zisis, who has never had to be the offensive catalyst.  Look for that to change this season.

Preldzic and Savas will try to lead Fenerbahce boldly into the future.3. Is this the year Fenerbahce Ulker grows up? If you have epilepsy, we kindly request that you close your eyes. Fenerbahce’s season was a season punctuated by flashes of brilliance that yielded sporadic results.  Oguz Savas (pictured dunking on the sliding panel on top of this very site) was the week 10 MVP and then disappointed for many of the games to follow with spotty playing time and even spottier production.  But this year will be different! Right? With veteran Mirsad Turkcan and Gordan Giricek back to stabilize things, Savas and recent Suns draft pick Emir Preldzic should feel comfortable enough to play their games without trying to do too much.  But that’s what we said last year…

And Group A lived happily ever after.

Posted 6 months ago at 2:16 pm.

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PODCAST: Eliyahu or Velickovic? Tepic or Bluthenthal? The guys break down the insanity of free agency

Who’s the better re-signing: Bourousis or Siskauskas?  Will BC Khimki get more out of Cabezas or Lopez?  And did a coach steal the show this offseason? Slam and Freaknick break down the best deals, the worst deals, and the ones that really don’t even matter in their latest podcast.

Click “PLAY” to be enlightened, one hard-to-pronounce name at a time.

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The best, the worst, the busts.  We parse the transfer market until it makes some kinda sense.

Posted 6 months ago at 12:55 pm.

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Freaknick’s Weekly RAP-up: Week of June 30

Freaknick looks back at the week that was in European hoops in the only way he knows how: STYLE.  In the first edition of the new weekly series, Freaknick takes aim at Ricky Rubio, Ron Artest, Hedo Turkoglu and…Eddie Murphy?

Check back every Monday for the RAP-up.



Freaknick spares nobody in the first of many Weekly RAP-ups.  Cute doll, Ricky.

Posted 6 months ago at 1:51 am.

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