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Author Topic: § European Basketball News, Stories, Tournaments & Events • Noticias, Torneos & Eventos del Baloncesto en Europa  (Read 161800 times)
Posts: 73

« Reply #8 on: Jul 14, 2011, 03:15:27 AM »

European Basketball News, Stories, Tournaments & Events • Noticias, Torneos & Eventos del Baloncesto en Europa

Summertime blues and news
George Eddy's International Show
Hi there, I'm in the beautiful Luberon region of France on vacation which hasn't stopped me from breaking my world record for backwards free-throws in one minute at a basketball camp I sponsored in Digne-les Bains.

The new record is seven if you want to try and break it in your backyard and you can see it on youtube.
I did commentate a few games of Eurobasket Women in Poland and
regretted that France played so timidly against a smart Turkish team in the semi-finals.

Russia, as usual, started off slowly but got stronger as the games became more important and simply dominated the elimination phase.

I always tell people that you can't compare the women's game to the men's game.

You can appreciate the teamwork, the abnegation, the technique (see the beautiful shooting mechanics of Katerina Elhotova for example), the tactical and collective excellence of the women's game if you love basketball.

Don't expect high scores, high shooting percentages or dunks though, it's more of a defensive purists' type spectacle but in the end you DO have to score baskets to win!

Moving on to the lockout which gives me the blues and some good remarks by Tony Parker and Ray Allen.

Parker says the lockout is a complex problem between rich people that the ordinary fan can't relate to and Allen feels that the money the players make is almost embarrassing!

Allen encourages his elderly team-mates to stay in shape like him to avoid what happened in 1999 when some stars came back in January out of shape and that led to early retirement!

He says don't forget what past NBA generations did to set the table for today's multi-millionaires because the goose didn't always lay so many golden eggs for NBA players.

If the lockout drags on, it's seems more and more likely that top European clubs will benefit from the services of elite NBA stars like Deron Williams for several months or more which could shed a new light on European basketball next season for many fans.

Another major issue is whether national teams will be able to insure the NBA players with the biggest contracts so they can participate in this summer's Eurobasket.

Mutualising the risk through FIBA Europe will lower the bill but insuring, for example, the 50-60 million dollar contracts of Parker and Joakim Noah will cost the French federation several hundred thousand dollars which is a bitter pill to swallow.

Who knows, some players may even pay some of their own money to play as Boris Diaw and others did a while back!

I'll finish this article by reminding you how many times I predicted Ettore Messina would end up in the NBA over the last few years and this has finally come to pass.

He points out that many of the winning teams and coaches in the NBA in the last few years have shown increased interest in the methods of European coaches.

However, his new job with the storied Lakers franchise will be to create a different technical format after years of Phil Jackson, Tex Winter and the Triangle offence.

I think Mike Brown made a great, revolutionary choice by opting to give Messina an assistant-consultant role but don't forget that Jackson's philosophy was all about spacing, team work and sharing the ball which should be a good foundation to build upon in the future!

George Eddy from FIBA

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Posts: 59

« Reply #7 on: Jul 09, 2011, 09:07:54 AM »

European Basketball News, Stories, Tournaments & Events • Noticias, Torneos & Eventos del Baloncesto en Europa

Inaugural Invitational 3x3 Youth World Championship set for September

FIBA has announced it is to hold its first-ever Invitational 3x3 Youth World Championship in September 2011.

The decision was made after seeing the impressive progress that has been made over the past year in developing the format of the game, starting at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and culminating in the current Test Season that is now taking place.

With its national basketball federation celebrating its 90th anniversary, Italy will host the Invitational 3x3 Youth World Championship in the city of Rimini.

The competition will take place between 9 and 11 September for girls and boys simultaneously.

A total of 40 teams - 16 girls and 24 boys - will take part in the U18 event.

All interested national federations have until 15 July to register a team to compete.

FIBA intends on subsequently holding this event annually. In years to come, the selection process to determine the participating teams will be done through dedicated qualifiers as well as the 3x3 Individual Ranking.

For this year's Invitational 3x3 Youth World Championship, FIBA - in cooperation with the Youth Commission - will determine the participants with the following criteria in mind:
1. Zone and country representation
2. Gender diversity
3. FIBA rankings in youth categories
4. Strength of 3x3 community and tournament's landscape in given country
5. Involvement of the national federation in the 3x3 Test Season

FIBA will confirm and communicate the participation of the registered teams by 30 July.

FIBA highly recommends that the teams participating in the Invitational 3x3 Youth World Championship to be selected through existing and/or dedicated qualifying 3x3 tournaments taking place in the respective countries.

For more information about 3x3 Basketball, please visit

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« Reply #6 on: Oct 13, 2010, 07:09:35 AM »

European Basketball News, Stories, Tournaments & Events • Noticias, Torneos & Eventos del Baloncesto en Europa

European Basketball Events ~ The week that was:
the NBA EA Europe live tour and the Harlem Globetrotters  tour of France !

Wow, it's been a busy week for me commentating the NBA EA Europe live tour. Then last weekend I served as host and translator for the Harlem Globetrotters on their recent tour of France. It's cool to see how the Globetrotters still put smiles on young faces with their basketball skills and sense of humor.

They invented most of the spectacular innovations in the modern game, things like fast breaks, dunks ,blind passes, crossovers etc. and still today they have some of the best dunkers, dribblers and jugglers on the planet! Where would Pete Maravich and Earl Monroe be without the Globetrotters?

Now on to the real...

...exhibition games that were played in Europe last week, which brought us some interesting information. The Knicks looked good in Milan thanks to 32 points from Amar'e Stoudamire but as Mike D'Antoni pointed out, they looked small in Paris vs. the Timberwolves and their trio of giants.

When he starts Stoudamire and Ronny Turiaf, it makes for a small frontline and even if small ball never scared Mike, the new Russian seven-footer Timofey Mozgov might be a key element.

The coach likes the increased athleticism of his squad and they should have no problem scoring points. But stopping people on defence is another matter!

Minnesota stomped the Lakers, who looked jet-lagged in London and the experience of Martell Webster and Kevin Love along with the height of Pekovic and Milicic - both relatively young big men - should be a good basis for coach Kurt Rambis to build on as they wait another year for Ricky Rubio.

They wiil have a difficult first month without Jonny Flynn but his former Syracuse teammate, Wesley Johnson reminds me of Wesley...

...Person with his silky smooth jump shot.

I'm sure the Wolves will win alot more games than last season. Let's move on to the plat de resistance in beautiful Barcelona's exquisite Palau San Jordi arena where the Lakers obviously came to play and win this prestigious exhibition match between the Euroleague and NBA champs.

In fact, the two trophies were right there on the sideline for all 20,000 fans to see! Despite a severe lack of game competition, the Lakers put their best five on the floor to start the game with Ron Artest trying to intimidate Juanca Navarro with some hacks and even a roll block out of bounds to give us a taste of his unbridled intensity.

Phil Jackson must have told Ron about the 34 points Navarro scored on the Lakers in LA in 2008, when Barcelona only lost by four in a previous exhibtion matchup. Kobe Bryant, who spent some time growing up in Europe, said he would like to see a real series played after the NBA Finals pitting the NBA and Euroleague champs against each other. I would add, with some of the profits going to Unicef, for example, because this would be good for the image of pro basketball.

Anyway, Kobe played 25 minutes instead of the six he played in London, which is a tribute to his respect for the fans and his absolute pride and competitiveness. When he came back on the court in the last few minutes to take all the big shots on just one leg, the Lakers intentions were obvious and my hat goes off to them for that.

On the other hand, the propensity of the two NBA refs to make calls in favor of LA was disappointing. Their misplaced corporatism didn't stop Barcelona from coming back from ten points down to wrestle away the victory behind a near triple double by Pete Mickeal, who played the game of his life and Navarro, as usual, decisive with three big buckets in the money time.

All this, despite playing essentially with NBA rules! In the end, Artest and Matt Barnes couldn't keep up with Juanca's quickness the same way Kobe's trashtalking couldn't perturb Pete. The hard-fought game finished with everyone hugging each other in sportsmanlike fashion which is great and the fans really got their money's worth.

The extreme difference between the post-game declarations of Phil Jackson and Kobe was very telling. The eternally sly coach said he felt that Barcelona would have trouble battling with the physicality of the NBA night after night. Kobe responded that he did not agree at all because Barcelona played an excellent brand of team ball as few NBA teams do with a great passing game and help defence-not just isolation plays, which would lead to success in the NBA.

I agree with Kobe. By adapting their roster and methods to fit the NBA style as coach Xavi Pascual stated, I feel that Barcelona, with practically the same team they have right now plus husky additions on the wing and inside, could fight for a playoff spot in both the east and the west. What do you think?

George Eddy from FIBA

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Jr. Member
Posts: 299

« Reply #5 on: Jun 03, 2010, 06:43:25 AM »

European Basketball News, Stories, Tournaments & Events • Noticias, Torneos & Eventos del Baloncesto en Europa

FIBA – Expanded EuroBasket 2013 a good development for the game

The hotly-contested EuroBaskets that have thrilled fans over the years are about to become a lot more interesting.

FIBA Europe have decided to expand the field from 16 to 24 teams in 2013.

It is a move that echoes the past, when FIBA increased the number of teams from 16 to 24 for the hugely successful 2006 FIBA World Championship.

FIBA Secretary General and IOC member Patrick Baumann applauded the decision to have a EuroBasket with more teams.

“It’s a good move in that it can help avoid the scenario of last summer when you had two quality teams like Italy and France playing each other for the final berth. Ideally you would like to have both those teams playing in the EuroBasket with the rest of the best basketball countries in Europe,” said Baumann.

“It’s also good for up-and-coming federations whose national teams now have a better chance to compete at the most important European competition.”

The decision to expand is a testament to the popularity of the EuroBasket.

More and more federations, fans and players are champing at the bit just to have a chance to compete in the glamorous tournament.

And to understand why, just consider what happened last year at the EuroBasket in Poland.

While three traditional powerhouses reached the semi-finals - Spain, Greece and Serbia - along with a fourth established top-flight team, Slovenia, it was the play of some less fashionable teams that truly captured the imagination of those watching.

Great Britain almost upset world champions Spain in Group C, for example, while the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia and their awesome travelling fan base made a hugely impressive run and only barely missed out on a spot in the quarter-finals.

Both teams had to go through extremely difficult qualifying campaigns just to make it.

At EuroBasket 2007, Portugal beat Israel and effectively prevented them from reaching the Quarter-Finals.

Even when Lebanon played and beat France at the 2006 FIBA World Championship, it was another example of a David slaying Goliath.

Increasing the field and bringing in more national teams should increase the television audience for the tournament in eight new countries and help fuel interest in the sport.

FIBA Europe say there will no longer be a Division A and Division B.

A competition schedule does exist, but has yet to be approved by FIBA Europe’s competition commission.

Czech Republic Basketball Federation vice president Jiri Zidek, a former national team star with the country, has applauded the change.

"I think it's a great idea to increase the number of teams that will participate in the EC, and also go away from the division of European national teams to group A and B," Zidek said to

"Of course, it is really welcomed by the Czech basketball community in light of fact that we went down to Division B last summer.

"But I believe this should be viewed as a positive step by all federations because once again, Europe will be united on the field of European Championships with all the countries being able to show their fans qualification games for the European Championships.

"It will be great to find common ground with the clubs in search for room for the national team competitions during the club season calendar.

Portugal coach Moncho Lopez also welcomed the expansion.

Lopez, who guided Spain to a silver medal at EuroBasket 2003, told “This is fantastic news for Portugal. I think we now have more chances to qualify for the EuroBasket 2013.

“Above all, this move from FIBA Europe is a boost for the Portuguese players who aim to appear in such important competition.

“This event is the showpiece of European Basketball that everyone wishes to take part in.”

Newly-elected FIBA Europe president Olafur Rafnsson said the change was needed.

"The growth of our sport in Europe means that the level of play across the continent has improved and we believe that now is the time to expand the tournament," he said.

"Expanding from 16 to 24 teams is an important step in allowing basketball to continue to flourish."

FIBA Europe's Secretary General Nar Zanolin also backed the move.

He said: "This system allows all of our teams to take part in a meaningful competition every year."

Increasing the field and bringing in more national teams should increase the television audience for the tournament in eight new countries and help fuel interest in the sport.

A larger field should mean that a team like Italy, one of the continent's most famous sides, has a better chance of competing and not missing out as happened last year.

Then again, with teams like Finland, Montenegro and Georgia becoming ever more competitive, a national team like Italy will not be able to relax if it has to go through qualifying.

Don’t think that the expansion game is going to stop here.

Because of growing demand, the FIBA World Championship could be expanded in the coming years from 24 to 32 teams although Baumann doesn’t have a precise timeframe in mind.

“The thought of potentially expanding to 32 teams is something that has been around for quite a few years now, but you have to remember that we only just went from 16 to 24 teams in 2006,” said Baumann.

“We need to play a few tournaments with 24 teams before we know if it’s a good idea to expand.”

What FIBA will be monitoring is the level of competition all over the world.

For there to be 32 teams, there cannot be a huge gulf in difference between the top seeds and the lowest seeds. The tournament has to remain competitive.

“If the level of competition increases in Africa, for example, then there is more of a case to be made for the enlargement of the tournament,” Baumann added.

Jeff Taylor from FIBA

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Posts: 56

« Reply #4 on: Apr 27, 2010, 05:48:03 AM »

European Basketball News, Stories, Tournaments & Events • Noticias, Torneos & Eventos del Baloncesto en Europa

Europe: In postseason hoops, Euroleague Final Four trumps all

While the NBA is beginning its postseason, the Euroleague is culminating its tournament in what has been an eventful year.

• Ricky Rubio improves. Instead of sharing the Timberwolves' backcourt with fellow rookie point guard Jonny Flynn, Rubio famously decided to remain in Europe for two more seasons. Not only was he able to remain in his hometown by transferring to Barcelona, the favorite to win the Euroleague championship at the Final Four from May 7-9 in Paris, but he also has emerged as a better NBA candidate than ever.

"I think he has improved in two things," said coach Ettore Messina of Real Madrid, which lost to Spanish rival Barcelona in the Euroleague quarterfinals. "His three-point shooting is much better. He has improved his follow-through and his extension of the arm, so that I think he will have no problem adjusting to the length of the three-point shot in the NBA."

The more significant upgrade has been Rubio's floor leadership. Last season with Joventut Badalona -- a smaller Spanish club also based in Barcelona -- he had pushed the tempo ceaselessly, but that recklessness wouldn't do for the championship team he now leads. He has become a more disciplined point guard for Barcelona.

"Sometimes he was not taking into account the value of the ball and knowing the moment of the game," Messina said of Rubio's former style. "Now in the Euroleague, he knows when is the moment to try something and also when it is better to be safe and control the situation -- and he has done this without losing his killer instinct."

The discipline of contending for the biggest championship outside the NBA has toughened Rubio. In the Euroleague's best-of-five quarterfinals, Barcelona surrendered home-court advantage with a Game 2 loss to Real Madrid.

"[Rubio] was not a factor in the first two games," said Messina, who then watched Rubio respond by leading Barcelona to victories in Games 3 and 4 at Madrid. "He was the key. He was able to handle the pressure and he showed he has the patience to know when to step up."

American executives will continue to debate whether Rubio has enough athleticism to star in the NBA. While the 19-year-old has become a household name for European hoops, the hype does not dwarf the substance. What can no longer be doubted is his leadership and resolve to win -- a drive that was responsible for Rubio's decision to remain in Europe. Messina believes Rubio was not turned off by the wintry climate of Minnesota so much as he was concerned with the Timberwolves' long-term plan to rebuild, with several losing seasons likely to come.

"I understand how it is for the best players here in Europe," Messina said. "After playing so many years to win games, it is difficult for them to go to [an NBA] team and think maybe I will lose 45 games out of 82 and I will never have a chance to win. It is very difficult for them to think maybe in four years we will have a shot. Even for myself as an observer, I see the New York [Knicks'] situation where for two years they cleaned house and made space under the cap -- and I don't know how they can handle that. For me, it takes inhuman patience to do that. I respect it is part of your mentality, your world, but over here people could not do that -- not coaches, not players, not fans."

• Josh Childress, Season II. Childress has come to accept the pressure of European basketball to win every game. In his second year with the Greek club Olympiakos, the former sixth man of the Atlanta Hawks has helped lead his team to the Final Four while emerging as arguably the second-most-important player in Europe behind Rubio.

"I read an interesting quote by his coach [Panagiotis Giannakis], who pointed out how Josh managed to understand the pace of his game depending on the situation -- when to go slow, when to go fast," Messina said. "When he arrived in Europe last season, he could only play one speed. Now he reads the game much better. He is much more a complete player. He has been a tremendous piece for Olympiakos. He has always played with a very good attitude, always been open to the mentality and culture of Europe, to understand Europe and how we live sport."

Childress had a frustrating "rookie" season in Greece after leaving the Hawks in 2008 to sign a three-year, $20 million contract. He averaged a disappointing 8.8 Euroleague points last year, and then, to his credit, appraised himself with painful honesty.

"I wasn't really the focus of their plans last year," he said. "I was kind of an additional piece, and they wanted me to learn and to grow into the system. It's different in the NBA when you're the highest-paid player -- whether it's LeBron or whoever it is -- you're going to get a bulk of the minutes, the touches, all of those things. That wasn't the case last year, but in all honesty that helped me mentally. I went through a lot -- I was frustrated, angry, whatever -- but I think I grew from that. I learned I have to be more patient, smarter. I have to think the game."

Expatriate American players often play with one foot in Europe and one foot in the NBA -- they think of Europe as a penance to be paid before they can return home. This season Childress stopped thinking about how things used to be for him in the NBA, and he clearly devoted himself to the European style. The result has been a 15.1 points Euroleague average and a more dynamic role in the offense.

"It's a common misconception that people think the basketball is weaker over here, that it's the J.V. league," he said. "That's definitely not the case. I did have to prepare for it physically by getting stronger, and also with my game, by working on more specific things tailored for the European game.

"After the season I watched some film and broke down parts of my game that I felt I could work on. One of them was my shooting. One was also being able to make a move on a second defender -- I didn't have any issues getting by one guy, but it was the second guy coming over and being able to make a pass or a move on that guy. And also the pick-and-roll and being able to read those better, because that's pretty much all we run."

Childress has also adapted to the lifestyle realities of European basketball. When we spoke by phone last month, he had checked into the team hotel following a five-hour bus ride for a domestic-league game against Greek rival Trikala. He now takes it for granted that police in riot gear will surround the edges of the court during each game.

"Last year, I saw police getting beat up by fans and it was crazy, it was really like a riot in the middle of a game," he said. "In the NBA, you get booed a few times, but it's nothing compared to getting cell phones and cameras and lighters and coffees thrown at you. The only thing that has come close to hitting me was a roll of receipt paper. You know, the kind you see from a cash register. They'd thrown that and it came close to hitting me, and that would have hurt.

"They've shot flares on the court a few times, and you get the firecrackers still, the M-80s. All my teammates said you always run away from [a lit firecracker on the court] or kick it, because I think some [player's] finger got blown off one time.

"During the games they throw stuff at you, they're trying to spit at you, they're doing everything to try to get to you. But off the court, I haven't had too many issues. Maybe some opposing fans have keyed my car a few times; I was at the grocery store and I came back out and someone had keyed a big, long stripe down the side and the hood. If it was my car, I would have been a little angrier, but it's a team-issued car, and I'm sure the team is used to that happening."

As part of his contract, the club has provided him with a Volvo SUV and a townhouse. "It's something I would purchase in the States," he said. "Nice size, nice pool. They really took care of me."

He also likes playing for the Angelopoulos brothers, who control Olympiakos basketball. "They're true basketball fans," he said. "One of the brothers is in the gym all the time working out. He plays in a men's league. They truly enjoy the game and being around us and supporting the team. You see them during the games cheering or shouting at the referees just like Mark Cuban."

American fans may have trouble believing this, but players in Europe feel more pressure to win each night than stars of the NBA do. "They treat every game like a playoff game [here]," Childress said. "We stay in a hotel on game days because they don't want anything to interfere with the mind or the performance.

"Last year, we lost a game and I tried to go eat afterward, and it was like I was walking around like a crazy man -- like, what is he doing out when he should be home sulking? The type of fan support obviously is great, but it can have its drawbacks, too. We went back to our training facility one time after we lost a game and [discovered] some things had been broken and the fans had kind of rioted. On the court, you try to focus on the game, but if you're not playing well, they'll let you know. I've gotten used to it, but last year it was a tough adjustment."

Consider how much one year in Europe did to elevate and harden Bucks rookie point guard Brandon Jennings. Childress, 26, has undergone similar improvements. Not only is he tougher, but NBA scouts say he has become a better shooter and a more versatile decision-maker. As one NBA team executive put it, "He's making more money over there than he could have made in the NBA, and he's going to come back with a better understanding of how to play different positions. At the end of the day, he made a good decision to go over there."

But he insists he hasn't decided whether to stay with Olympiakos for a third year, or to try to return to the NBA before the anticipated lockout of 2011.

• To bet or not to bet? The Euroleague broke ground this season by negotiating a provocative endorsement. Go to the league's official site and you'll see that a main sponsor is Sporting Bet, an online sports gambling service that enables fans to bet on Euroleague games.

"We feel comfortable with Sporting Bet and our relationship with them," Euroleague communications director Kirsten Haack said. "Everything indicates that our players, our referees and our coaches aren't influenced by the betting results."

Sporting Bet trades on the London Stock Exchange. "They have alarm systems installed in their betting systems, so that when they notice sudden peaks or algorithms that don't make sense, they freeze the betting," Haack said. "Betting on the games is an accepted part of European culture. In Spanish football [soccer], there has always been some kind of lottery or betting system -- that has always existed in Spain and a lot of countries in Europe."

European soccer has been dealing with a gambling scandal based in Germany and other countries, but basketball has yet to generate similar big-money interests.

When NBA referee Tim Donaghy was betting on the games he was officiating, he was doing so to win money on his bets. But European basketball operates on a different dynamic. When European referees have been accused of fixing a game, the riggers haven't been interested in gambling on the outcome -- they've simply wanted their team to win the game.

The Euroleague hopes its partnership with Sporting Bet will enhance interest in basketball by encouraging fans to literally invest in the games and therefore care more about the outcome. The bottom line -- despite the official denials -- is that all leagues probably want fans to bet on the games.

The NFL is so popular in part because of betting; the hysteria over the NCAA tournament has everything to do with the entire nation gambling on the 64-team pool. If your games aren't attracting wagers, it means your league is irrelevant and in trouble.

The example of the Euroleague's breakthrough partnership with an online gambling partner was one reason NBA commissioner David Stern told me in December that someday his league may view nationally legalized gambling as not only a "possibility" but also a "huge opportunity."

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