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Author Topic: ¶ Basketball Professional Players News & In Search • Noticias y Bolsa de Trabajo de Jugadores del Baloncesto Profesional  (Read 557430 times)
juliod
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« Reply #19 on: Dec 10, 2010, 05:07:01 AM »

Basketball Professional Players • Jugadores del Baloncesto Profesional

Italian Basketball Comes of Age on the Flloor of Madison Square Garden


On Wednesday night, two of the NBA's three Italian players were on the floor of Madison Square Garden when the Knicks hosted the Toronto Raptors on Italian Heritage Night, Danilo Gallinari is in his third season with the Knicks and Andrea Bargnani is in his fifth season with the Raptors. The third, Marco Belinelli, plays for the New Orleans Hornets.

Ten years ago, few could have envisioned that Italy would have three players in the N.B.A. Even in 2006, Gallinari played in the second Italian league at the same time that Bargnani was elected the best under-21 basketball talent in Europe. Gallinari, better known for being the son of the Vittorio Gallinari, who shared a room in Serie A with Knicks Coach Mike D’Antoni, was thought to be a valuable future player though not a first-round pick in the N.B.A. draft. At that time, for the young “Gallo” the word N.B.A. was just a dream.

On many Sunday mornings, he was jumping on a bus for up to seven hours before reaching the opponent’s court. His routine was simple: get up early, take something to read on the road and sleep on the way back because at 8:30 the next morning, he had to be in school.

At that time, Belinelli was probably more successful than his two Italian colleagues in the N.B.A. He grew up in Bologna, the capital of Italian basketball. In 2005 at 19 years old, he won the Italian championship and became M.V.P. of the Italian “Supercoppa,” one of the major national trophies of the regular season. The previous season, his club, Fortitudo Bologna, had a disappointing playoffs with the former N.B.A. players Dominique Wilkins and David Rivers. With Belinelli, Fortitudo Bologna showed it was finally ready to compete in Italy and Europe.

In a country where soccer is a religion, these were the days when Italian fans started to watch basketball as a different sport discipline. Italy had always a strong international basketball tradition, but beside all the major important victories of its national team, Italians had always missed a complete international talent.

When Bargnani became eligible for the N.B.A. draft, Dirk Nowitzki was already the new Boris Becker in Germany. In the former Yugoslavia, the heart of Drazen Petrovic was still beating inside great icons like Tony Kukoc and Vlade Divac.

In Spain, a son of a Catalan medical doctor, became the rookie of the year. Before winning the title with the Lakers, Pau Gasol helped open doors to the N.B.A. for many of his national teammates.

Yes, Italian basketball fans were feeling close to Kobe Bryant and his young years in Reggio Emilia, Reggio Calabria and Pistoia. It’s funny to remember that when he was 13, he was not the best player on this local team and several players are still blustering around the fact that they beat him one to one.

In the recent past, Italy was proud of its adopted sons Manu Ginobili and Carlos Delfino, both nurtured by the coach Tonino Zorzi in Reggio Calabria before moving to Bologna with different teams. But if you are looking for an Italian native, you would have to wait a little bit longer.

Now that Belinelli is in New Orleans is back on track after the unhappy seasons in San Francisco and Toronto, and now that Bargnani and Gallinari are in the league, the N.B.A.’s popularity in Italy is increasing day after day. For example, if you compare the same Euroleague and N.B.A. article on the same online sport newspaper, you will realize the N.B.A. article will have five times more comments than the same article on Euroleague.

Of course, if you analyze the personalities of Gallinari, Bargnani and Belinelli, you will discover three different characters. Bargnani took part of his first two seasons to understand how to interact with the American news media. Without Chris Bosh, he is playing solid and strong basketball. Is he ready for the All Star Game? In Italy everybody will tell you yes.

When you speak with Belinelli, he will keep saying that he never quit and he will try the hardest because he is well aware of his capabilities. Don’t ask him what he thinks about Toronto; just keep going and ask him about his relationship with Chris Paul.

Gallinari is different. He doesn’t like to expose his cards. He will always take two seconds to think before he responds and let himself go, but at the end of story, all three are reaching a notable level of success in a special world called N.B.A.

Do we need something else? After long seasons of experimental cuisine, finally the Italian culinary school had mixed its quality dishes and is ready to present its new menu. I will suggest tortellini with ricotta filling, a nice Florentine steak and a dessert of the best tiramisu’ you never had.

In other words, you pick the table and when you pay the bill you will be satisfied. If you don’t trust us, well, ask the Italian N.B.A. fans.


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MJC
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« Reply #18 on: Nov 25, 2010, 05:20:22 AM »

Basketball Professional Players • Jugadores del Baloncesto Profesional

Necesito un Pivot para jugar la liga provincial de Entre Rios, Argentina

Necesito un Pivot para jugar la liga provincial de Entre Rios, Argentina
El que tenga un dato que por favor me lo pase a


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Coach Rounin9
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« Reply #17 on: Nov 20, 2010, 06:41:15 PM »

Basketball Professional Players • Jugadores del Baloncesto Profesional

Van Den Spiegel a nice piece to Milano puzzle


Armani Jeans Milan have many a reason to be giddy about this season both in Italy and Europe.

Piero Bucchi's team is flying high in Lega A with five wins in as many games, and Milano are 2-2 in the Euroleague.

Now that the club has signed veteran center Thomas Van Den Spiegel for the next couple of months, Armani Jeans should become even better.

Van Den Spiegel was in Valencia last week, where Armani Jeans hammered their opponents and put the final nail in the coffin of coach Manuel Hussein (the club announced on Tuesday that Svetislav Pesic was their new coach).

At the time, he said he was waiting to put pen to paper on a deal.

He’s an ideal player to come off the bench and give valuable minutes in the low post.

The 2.14m center was good at Roma, and even better at CSKA Moscow where he helped Ettore Messina's teams capture two Euroleague crowns, in 2006 and '08.

Van Den Spiegel does three things very well.

He brings energy off the bench, rebounds and blocks shots.

It's why Messina, when he became the coach of Madrid before last season, made a move for Van Den Spiegel.

Injury limited Van Den Spiegel to just 10 official games last season but now that he’s healthy, look for him to make a solid contribution for a Milano team that is growing in confidence.

Van Den Spiegel and Belgium

Van Den Spiegel, now 32, did something else this summer.

He put on the Belgium shirt and helped his national team win its group to qualify directly for EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania.

It was one of the greatest moments of his career because Belgium haven’t played at a EuroBasket since 1993.

Van Den Spiegel hadn't been able to compete for his country for several years before this summer.

He talked to FIBA.com about the Belgium experience.

"I broke my wrist the first week of practice," he said.

"Yes, I had some bad luck again, but then came back and played the last six games.

"It went great because we ended up winning our group.

"Our last game was do-or-die that we won at home against Poland in front of 6,000 crazy Belgian fans."

That clash with Poland indeed a thriller.

Eddy Casteels' men trailed the Poles by as many as 10 points in the first and second quarters but never lost their focus and ended up winning 70-67.

"I think we have a great group of players," Van Den Spiegel said.

"It's just a good feeling knowing that we are going to the European Championship next year.

"Most of us are good friends and are quite young, except for a couple of players like me.

"We have two or three veterans combined with a lot of young talent and enthusiasm and a good coach.

"We just have fun.

"You can see that if you're just having fun, you can get some results."

What was the difference this year?

"It's a combination of a lot of things," Van Den Spiegel said.

"We're not a basketball country and it's not been easy over the years.

"I think we've had a coach who put everything he had into it the past five or six years and he convinced everybody to come.

"And you see once that happens, and once you get the chemistry, a lot of things are possible."




BBy Jeff TAYLOR from FIBA



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willgam
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« Reply #16 on: Nov 15, 2010, 09:23:54 PM »

Basketball Professional Players • Jugadores del Baloncesto Profesional

Lithuania’s Mr Hustle

There are so many great Lithuanian basketball players to admire.

Arvydas Sabonis?

Now that’s a legend from the Baltics if ever there was one!

He’s the most famous of all, a man that many called the best in the game when he was at the height of his career and still playing in Europe.

Sabonis went into the FIBA Hall of Fame this year.

Jonas Maciulis, a player in Lithuania’s national team now, learned to play at the Sabonis basketball school in Kaunas.

But what has made Lithuanian basketball successful over the years hasn’t been one man.

It’s been a belief in the team ethos, that it’s the most important element in success, and life.

There is also the fact that only players willing to fight for 40 minutes in every game – the way Maciulis and Lithuania did this summer when they went on a stunning run to the bronze medal at the FIBA World Championship as a wild-card participant – can play for the national team.

It’s fitting, then, that Maciulis gave his answer on Thursday night, after tearing apart Power Electronics Valencia with 26 points, as to who his favorite player was when he was growing up.

It was someone like himself, someone unheralded that a lot of fans around the world may not know but one that is vitally important for teams to win.

"Mindaugas Timinskas of Zalgiris,” he said to FIBA.com, referring to the former national team player.

"He was my idol.

"I want to fight, to be like him."

The play of Maciulis for Armani Jeans Milano on Thursday night would have made Timinskas smile.

The 25-year-old forward shot the ball so well in the first half of the Euroleague game that by half-time, he had 18 points.

He finished with a game-high 26.

Maciulis was so impressive in scoring from everywhere on the court and collecting floor burns while diving for loose balls that he received applause from the Valencia fans whenever he left the game.

It was reminiscent of the way he and his national team played in Turkey.

Next summer

Maciulis is clearly on a high from this summer with the national team.

Lithuania had been down in the dumps after EuroBasket 2009 when they won just one game.

That tournament had been torture for the players.

Everything changed in Turkey and coach Kestutis Kemzura was the biggest reason why.

He took over from Ramunas Butautas and successfully changed the mood in the squad.

"He has authority,” Maciulis said.

“You just look at him, how calm he is and how he explains everything to you, and how he's a great man - you just believe in him.

"I think this is the most important thing, to believe in a coach and go with him every time.

"There wasn't one second when the team wasn't with the coach (in Turkey), so, this is really important.

"First of all, he's a great guy outside basketball so this helps for sure."

After the 2008 Olympics, the USA players talked openly about how the experience had changed them for the better.

The same can be said for this summer with Lithuania.

"I think the confidence (from the World Championship) helps for sure, to arrive in Milan after being with a great team," he said.

"Everybody will come (to the EuroBasket) with more skills, more confidence.

"I'm looking at the performances of everyone now this season that was in the national team and I think we will be a good national team.

"I hope that we will win in our country."




By Jeff TAYLOR from FIBA



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georgehowlin
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« Reply #15 on: Nov 02, 2010, 01:12:34 AM »

Basketball Professional Players • Jugadores del Baloncesto Profesional

A Magnificent College Point Guard in America at Florida,
Nick Calathes Content and Confident Wear the Panathinaikos Shirt

There’s something very refreshing when seeing Nick Calathes wear the Panathinaikos shirt.

A magnificent college point guard in America at Florida, Calathes left the Gators after two seasons to launch his professional career with the Greens in Greece.

He has the advantage of possessing a Greek passport, which means he doesn’t take up one of the valued foreigner spots.

What one realizes quickly at Panathinaikos games is that Calathes isn't playing much.

Panathinaikos is a star-laden team in the Euroleague that revolves around the sublimely gifted point guard Dimitris Diamantidis.

In the team’s Euroleague opener at Valencia last week, Calathes only played five minutes and 51 seconds.

On Thursday at home to CSKA Moscow, Calathes played almost 10 minutes.

Panathinaikos won both games.

Calathes, who was taken in the 2009 NBA Draft by Minnesota, isn’t getting many minutes but he’s got a smile on his face and a bounce in his step.

He looks content.

"I've been here for two years now, or a year and a half," he said to FIBA.com after the game against Valencia, "and the national team has really helped me.

"Obviously, it's tough to adjust because I've lived in the States my whole life but I think I'm getting better at it.

"Greece is a great place and I'm with a great organization (Panathinaikos)."

Calathes mentioned national team.

Greece, remember, won EuroBasket 2005 in Belgrade and followed that up with the stunning 101-95 upset of Team USA in the Semi-Finals of the 2006 FIBA World Championship history.

In 2009, when Calathes joined the team, a shorthanded Greece under new coach Jonas Kazlauskas went on a terrific run at the EuroBasket in Poland and captured the bronze medal.

This year, though, there was no gain, only pain.

In the build-up to Turkey, two Greek players - Antonis Fotsis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis - were each banned for two games after an incident late in a friendly against Serbia.

The Greeks went to Ankara and lost to Turkey, and unexpectedly to Russia, before falling to Spain in the Eight-Finals.

And to finish a disappointing World Championship for Greece, the much-loved 30-year-old Diamantidis announced he was retiring from the national team.

Without delving too much into the negatives, Calathes did comment on Greece's summer.

"We didn't connect really during the World Championship," he said.

"I thought we were a lot better than what we showed.

"Obviously we could have shot a lot better, but it happens sometimes like that.

"Hopefully next year, we can do something special at the EuroBasket."

As for the potential changes in the Greek national team, especially with Diamantidis' retirement and the question as to who will coach the team now that Kazlauskas' contract has expired, Calathes said: "I don't know.

"I'm focused on Panathinaikos right now.

"Whatever happens with the Greek Federation and what they decide, I don't know.

"I'm focusing on the here and now and hopefully we can win some championships here."

Putting all of his attention on Panathinaikos is not a bad thing.

Calathes is getting a chance to play with Diamantidis and under Obradovic.

The Greens will be among the teams to beat once again this year.

Off the court, it’s different this season.

Calathes is no longer sharing a home in Athens with his brother, Pat.

Nick stayed but Pat, who played for Maroussi in Athens last season, is now playing in Rhodes.

They will still see each other from time to time, but now Nick is on his own.

"It's good to have your own privacy, but it's better with family being with you all the time," he said.

"But it's still fun.

"I've got teammates that are like family to me and have taken me under their wing, have shown me around, taken me out to dinner and stuff like that.

"My parents will come over once a year.

"They'll come over in January or February and I've got a lot of friends that come over."

Pat said that he did the cooking, and cleaning, when he and Nick lived together in Athens.

What Nick's take on that?

"(Laughs) Don't listen to him," he said.

"He's the one that made my house a mess."




By Jeff TAYLOR from FIBA



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