Freaknick’s Euroleague Preview in SLAM

Morris Finley is mentioned in the article...along with his dreads.

It’s not really that I’m playing it safe, but I just don’t see too many upsets this week. By now, every club knows exactly what it needs to do to keep their Top 16 dreams alive, and I think we’ll see the cream rise to the top this Wednesday and Thursday…with one or two exceptions. Check out the picks here, along with a few paragraphs about this week’s whippersnapper, Jan Vesely.

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Posted 1 week ago at 1:48 am.

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FANTASY PODCAST: Length, strength and toughness

Travis watson, Robertas Javtokas and Jan Vesely have surprisingly favorable match-ups this week in the Euroleague.

Freaknick thinks he’s got a good crop of bigs this week, with Travis Watson leading the charge. But first, Slam apologizes for challenging last week’s “Posted on the Block” selections.

Click PLAY to listen below or download it on iTunes.

And remember, the rest of the podcasts can be found here or you can just subscribe on iTunes for FREE.

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Posted 1 week ago at 2:29 pm.

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Freaknick’s SLAM Debut: Partizan, and the wisdom in fear

Partizan had more than they could handle, but at least they could admit the source of their shortcomings.

By: Freaknick

My debut article for SLAM Magazine focuses on Partizan Belgrade’s 32-point loss against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.  After the game, I talked to a handful of players and one thing was refreshingly consistent: the admission of their fear.  Although the result was not what they hoped for, their level of self-awareness is something that is rarely seen in today’s world of macho athletes. I take a look at fear in sports, from lame excuses to NBA tattoos. Below is an excerpt from the article, and here’s a link to the entire article.  Please leave comments here and/or on SLAM, as I would love your feedback.  Thanks so much everybody, and a special thanks to my Serbian who followed the live action on Twitter.  Your comments mean a lot.

The sporting world treats fear as though it were some awful, incurable affliction that eats away at one’s dignity. Seldom is it even mentioned and rarely—if ever—is it embraced. Instead of masking fear with a loud mouth or a cheap elbow, maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to step back for a second, acknowledge the problem, and then fix it.

Read the rest of the article at See you Tuesday night in Phoenix for Partizan’s bout with Steve Nash and the Suns.

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Posted 2 months, 1 week ago at 3:29 pm.

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PODCAST: Leavin’ on a Partizan Plane

The FreaknItinerary is in for the Euroleague American Tour 2009, and the results are in.  First stop: Denver.  Next up: Phoenix.  Will “Birdman” Chris Andersen be too much for Jan Vesely in the post in Denver?  Will the scouts care?  Will Louis Amundson and Robin Lopez be as tall as Slavko Vranes if you include their hair?  Why can’t Slam and Freaknick stop talking about Robert Traylor? And what will Slam and Freaknick do without each other for a week?  Probably be far more productive citizens.  Anyways, have a listen.

Click PLAY to listen below or download it on iTunes.

Like what you hear? Hate what you hear? Either way, the rest of the podcasts can be found here or subscribe on iTunes for FREE!

Throw it down, big Jan.

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Posted 2 months, 2 weeks ago at 6:28 pm.

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Reason #48: Slavko Vranes is a small building

Yao WHO???

By: Freaknick

Yao Ming announced he would miss the entire 2009-10 NBA season, and suddenly the world felt hopelessly shorter.  Enter: Slavko Vranes.  Amid all of the hullabaloo, Slavko couldn’t see what the big deal was. Perhaps because the Partizan center is the big deal.  In fact, with Yao going under the knife, he is the second biggest deal in all professional basketball.  At 7′6″ (2.29 meters)-the same height as Yao-Slavko trails only 7′9″ (2.36 m) Chinese giant and Rush Hour 3 star Sun Mingming in verticality.  While Slavko doesn’t put up eye-popping numbers like Yao, his mere presence can pop plenty of eyes by itself, and with three of Partizan’s biggest stars leaving town (Tripkovic, Tepic, Velickovic), the Serbian team will be leaning even more heavily on this mammoth of a man in 2009-10.  Doorways and low-hanging chandeliers beware.

50 Reasons to Love

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Posted 3 months, 1 week ago at 9:18 pm.

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Eurobasket Uncensored: British Headbands, Fuzzy Spaniards and Homesick Serbians

Paul Nilsen is a part-time freelance basketball journalist and addict (mainly basketball) who writes for and has his own site at 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].

The best a man can get.So after shedding some light on Group A in the first edition of “Uncensored”, we’ll be skipping over the incomplete Group B and heading closer to home-or at least, closer to Paul’s home-with Great Britain and the rest of Group C.  Let’s get it.

Freaknick: So now that Rubio has a deal with Gillette, which team-mate is in greater need of a free razor and a clean shave: Marc Gasol for his face?  Or Jorge Garbajosa for his back?

Paul Nilsen: I think while Gillette is ‘The Best A Man Can Get”, I think in the face (no pun intended) of such a monumental challenge in terms of his two team-mates, Ricky would be better off being sponsored by an agricultural machinery company to trim down that lot! I mean come on, do you really think a single razor could stand up to such a hairy escapade of taking Gasol and Garbajosa to task? The real question is pretty simple though: Why would Gillette sponsor Ricky who clearly hasn’t even started shaving yet. Has he? Did I miss that? I don’t know how, because I mut have seen his face a million times this summer during the tedious soap opera of where he is meant to be playing next year. My money is that whatever happens he won’t have to move from his current house.

Related article: “How Ricky Rubio Can Make $6.6 Million in a Week”

FN: Of the three Serbian stars who left Partizan this year (Velickovic, Tripkovic, Tepic), who has the best chance of being homesick in this coming season?

Dear Mom, Please send money.

PN: Greece and Serbia are apparently the best of buddies which is something I wasn’t aware of so Panathinaikos should make Tepic pretty welcome and he should do well – even playing for the Euroleague champs where he will have to fight for court time like everyone else. In fact all three will do pretty well and will probably spend the next ten years excelling away from their homeland. I really do like Tepic as he is tough and smart, much like Velickovic who, as one of the first signings by Messina looks nailed on to have a good time.  Of course if Velickovic did struggle, Real have the longest bench in the history of basketball so if he falls out of favour he may have to be very good at the game ‘musical chairs’ to even get a place somewhere along the line.

DKV Joventut are a perimeter shooting team under Sito Alonso and that will suit Tripkovic just great so he will probably be okay too. It might just come down to the simple things. I googled Serbian restaurants in Madrid, Badalona and Athens without too much success so maybe they will all feel a little homesick but I guess that none of the guys partake in the consumption of Serbian Slivovitz (look it up  you lazy people), so they will probably avoid feeling lonely. Besides, I hear the chicas and beach parties in Greece and Spain are up there with the best. Good luck to Velickovic finding a beach anywhere near Madrid!

FN: If your boys from Great Britain shock the world and bring home the gold, how much would a game-worn, Pops Mensah-Bonsu headband go for on eBay?

PN: If my boys bring home competitive single figure losses in Warsaw it would possibly shock the world. After all, some people seem shocked that we even play basketball and there seems to be some resentment from others who feel that they have a god given right to look down on GB’s achievements because they see themselves as being a ‘real’ basketball nation. The misconceptions are laughable. Some people continue sneering at anything to do with British basketball and are so condescending it is driving me demented. No country has the right to be in the elite whatever their history. Hard work, talent and application is required and whichever team prevails over a number of games deserves their place. I think Great Britain are viewed in parts of Europe as the equivalent of some embarrassing relative who is gate-crashing a party they weren’t invited to. However there is more to Britain (well, Scotland) than Continue Reading…

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Posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago at 4:07 pm.

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