“Best of the (Basketball) Net” is one day late this week, but that extra 24 hours or so will surely make all the difference in terms of quality. For some most interesting recently-posted basketball-related stuff from the interweb, read on to check out excerpts from a classic of basketball literature, see highlights from a big ACB upset, discover Dirk Nowitzki’s secret weapon, and to witness the first-ever truly 21st-century dunks. Enjoy!
• Anybody who remembers the seminal book Heaven is a Playground will definitely want to check out this interview with Rick Telander conducted by the amazingly-named Bethlehem Shoals. For those of you not-in-the-know, be sure to check out the extended excerpts from the book which ran at Slam online in October 2008 and precipitated the book’s recent new edition out of University of Nebraska Press; and you can click here for the book’s official site.
Incidentally, the book was also morphed into a, um, not-so-great film starring D.B. Sweeney in the Telander role and featuring ballers Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon (no, really) and former NBAer/Hank Gathers teammate Bo Kimble.
• Most crucial game of the week? Aside from the elimination of defending champs Panathinaikos from Euroleague play, it had to be Gran Canaria’s 86-85 upset of Caja Laboral to put Baskonia an emphatic two games behind FC Barcelona on the ACB table.
• Profile piece of the week was probably Slam online’s story of Holger Geschwindner. Who is Holger Geschwinder? He’s “A Boy from Wurzburg” without whom “Dirk Nowitzi wouldn’t have made it.” Dallas Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson says the former Team Germany captain “taught [Nowitzi] the fundamentals of basketball. He’s probably the guy who gets overlooked the most and deserves the most credit.”
• Draft Express has an excellent and extensive story on Partizan Belgrade’s success as something of an underdog, thanks to economics, in 2009-10. Much credit is given to the fans and that coach “Somewhat of a cross between Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich,” Dusko Vujosevic.
• How about a little Vinsanity of the non-dunking sort? Here, Carter takes and makes an 86-foot sitting “jumper.” (Big deal; try it with a defender, dude!)
• On the same tip, BiE doesn’t know if Bobby McLaughlin and Blake Campbell will someday become household names for their basketball shooting prowess, but YouTube will certainly help the popularity of their 3.01 minutes of fame.
• Finally, these guys have seen the future of the Winter Olympics. And it combines the half-pipe with basketball. You saw it here first.