I Survived EuroBasket 2009

By: Slam

14 days, numerous upsets, loud trumpets, sad Lithuanian fans, young players emerging, stars showing up when it counts: I Survived EuroBasket 2009.

From September 7th until September 20th there was basketball being played everyday, all day long.  Shots were blocked, opportunities missed, tears shed, but it was all worth it.  I witnessed 2 weeks of some of the most passionate and prideful basketball my eye has ever seen.

Survivor: KatowiceI survived France barely qualifying to make the tournament but then advancing to the quarterfinals.

I survived Israel coming so close to beating Croatia and Macedonia but ultimately coming up short.

I survived watching Lithuania painfully lose every game but one, and then watching their fans stay and watch anyways for the love of the game.

I survived watching Vassilis Spanoulis fly around the court and trying to move my eyes as fast as he is moving with the ball in his hands.

I survived Great Britain almost coming back to beat Spain and almost knocking them out of the tournament.

I survived Spain’s 23-0 2nd quarter run against Lithuania in the qualifying round that became the turning point of their EuroBasket

I survived Poland showing up and playing Continue Reading…

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Posted 2 weeks, 6 days ago at 7:17 pm.

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How Spain Turned Their Swag On

By: Slam

A little over a week ago, as the first day of EuroBasket careened to a close there was one thing that shocked everyone: Spain lost.  After Spain advanced to the qualifying round another funny thing happened, they lost again.  These losses were in fairness to two of the best teams in the tournament in Serbia and Turkey.  But this is the almighty Spain we’re talking about here; 4/7 odds to win EuroBasket (meaning you lose money if you bet on them), they have six players with NBA experience (Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Rudy Fernandez, Juan Carlos Navarro, Jorge Garbajosa, Raul Lopez), the best basketball prospect in Europe (Ricky Rubio), and they’re coming off a Silver Medal at the Olympics last summer.  Games are not won on paper though and for Spain that’s a problem.  They have lacked offensive consistency and especially a lack of outside shooting during this tournament.

Disclaimer: I suggest all Turkish or French fans might not want to read the rest of this, as you may become severely scared or frightened.  SPAIN HAS ITS SWAGGER BACK. After a three point loss to an undefeated Turkish team Spain needed to pretty much win out in order to make it to the next round.  This sense of urgency was not on display early in their next game against Lithuania, where they found themselves down 24-15 in the second quarter.  But then a sort of epiphany happened after a Rudy Fernandez three pointer.  The game and shot clocked stopped working for a few minutes, as the basketball gods gave Spain time to come reflect on the disservice they had done to basketball by putting up this type of effort. BAM! Two Paul Gasol fastbreak throw downs courtesy of Ricky Rubio passes and then an installment of aggressive full court press led to multiple Lithuania turnovers.  7 minutes later Spain had just capped a 23-0 run and looked like the best team in Europe.  Many teams have played good games in this tournament but those seven minutes are the best basketball I’ve seen so far.  Spain was able to run the fastbreak with ease, calmly made open long range shots, played feisty defense, and found a way to continually find their best player Pau Gasol close to the basket.  The game ended with Spain winning 84-70, Gasol putting up 19-8 and Rubio dishing out 8 assists.  A new Spain-or maybe the old Spain-had emerged. Next up was a Continue Reading…

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Posted 3 weeks, 4 days ago at 5:28 pm.

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Get Ready for EuroBasket 2009: Video Special

By: Slam

As EuroBasket 2009 starts in just a few weeks on September 7th I decided to take a look at the 5 best NBA players playing in the tournament.  Some teams are still trying to qualify (France and Italy) so the likes of Tony Parker, Boris, Diaw, and Andrea Bargnani will not qualify for this list either.  Now here is a video compilation for each player, enjoy.

Andris Biedrins, Center, Latvia, Golden State Warriors

Gasol Brothers (Pau and Marc) Centers, Spain, Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies

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Posted 1 month, 3 weeks ago at 7:17 pm.

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It’s a Turkish Thing. You Wouldn’t Understand.

Coming to America: Kanter will take the road less traveled.  Perhaps, all the way to NBA fame.

By: Slam

Who said it wasn’t cool to be in school?  Apparently not Enes Kanter who has decided to leave the friendly confines of Turkey and come to the rule laden land of America.  Kanter has decided to pave his own trail by going to high school at Findlay Prep outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.  Kanter could have continued playing professional basketball in Turkey, but now American rules will make him wait until a year after he has graduated high school to enter the NBA Draft.  So in an age when Americans are doing everything they can to wriggle free of the NCAA’s chokehold, Kanter is willingly doing just the opposite.  What’s the upside in this?  Let us discuss…

At 17 years old Kanter has already dominated his peers in Europe.  Earlier this month he was named MVP of the Under-18 European Championships for a Turkish team that finished third.  He put up devastating numbers throughout the tournament averaging 18.6 points and 16.4 rebounds including a 32 points and 24 rebound performance in the semi-finals and a 35 points and 19 rebound performance in the bronze medal game.  If that isn’t remarkable enough Continue Reading…

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Posted 1 month, 3 weeks ago at 2:07 am.

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Slam’s Draft Diary Part 4 (2nd Round)

We pick it up at the start of the 2nd round:

10:27 – 2nd round here we come baby, I know you can’t get enough Slam.

10:31 – Wait did the Cavs actually select Christian Eyenga? This is crazy.

10:32 – Sactown takes Jeff Pendergraph, I mean Jason Thompson, I mean, what is this.  Teams taking the same players, people are stupid.

10:34 – Jermaine Taylor goes, he’s got some ups, but he’s a career backup pass.


10:38 – Dante Cunningham is going to be a solid NBA Player.  He plays well above his talent level and never quits.  He has a nice runner in the lane and will play the 3 or 4 in the pro’s.

Jonas where are you?

Jonas where are you hiding?

10:41 –Jonas Jerebko where are you?  This draft has been so crazy weird but we can’t have you drop too much farther Jonas.  Sweden needs you to get drafted.

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Posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago at 11:20 pm.

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