Your lazy Sunday just got a little lazier. BallinEurope gives you another few good minutes of clock killing in rounding up some stories for your perusal. As the NBA lockout continues – and many reckon no blinking will be done by either side on Monday, therefore necessitating cancellation of the 2011-12 schedule’s first two weeks’ worth of games – there’s something of a NBA bent to some headline stories. Get some stuff on Deron Williams, Nicolas Batum, Jose Calderon and Kevin Seraphin below. And video clips!
• In his regular-season debut for SLUC Nancy, Nicolas Batum played all 40 minutes, scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds in his team’s 76-70 victory over JDA Dijon. The Portland Trail Blazer’s first suiting-up for France’s Euroleague side went down last week for an exhibition match against Chalon/Saône.
• On opening day (“or Opening Day, depending on how you feel about it” – Jim Bouton, Ball Four) in Spain, Caja Laboral Baskonia bested Cajasol, 73-60, yesterday. Mirza Teletovic was the stud for Baskonia, going for 20 points and seven rebounds. Also in double-figures for the victors were Kevin Seraphin, Brad Oleson and Pau Ribas, all with 11 each.
• Added bullet! Since the Greece-based Hoopfellas want to self-promote on BallinEurope, BiE’ll give ‘em a hand: Here’s a piece on the evolution of the point guard position at Caja Laboral from the late 1990s to the present, tracing the styles through Elmer Bennett (“The Legend”), Jose Manuel Caldera (“The Best”), Pablo Pritzioni, Marcelinho Huertas, and Thomas Huertel. It’s in Greek only, but some translation software will give you the main idea.
• Team USA women’s basketball were defeated by Czech Republic champions/FIBA Euroleague Women contender USK Prague last night, 83-77; this chased Friday’s USA 77-48 victory over Italy’s defending titlists Familia Schio. Today, the American ladies come to BiE’s homeland to take on UE Sopron. Sounds like a grueling schedule? Get this: They came on their European tour with just eight players, and now that Danielle Robinson has rejoined Ros Casares, they’ll be playing with seven in Hungary, including Swin Cash, Tina Charles, Renee Montgomery, Cappie Pondexter and Sophia Young.
Video of the Prague game may be seen here.
• First it was the Gasol Brothers … now Jose Calderon will also be training with FC Barcelona as the NBA lockout continues. Two things are for certain about the defending ACB champs: The team practices will start to look a lot like Team Spain’s and, regardless of the Euroleague success, Barca will be well ready to compete in the next NBA Europe tour … whenever that may be.
• The suddenly massive VTB United League – Would you believe 18 teams are competing in 2011-12? – has already played a few games, but there’s no reason BiE can’t let them introduce the season again. Gotta love the “Rocky” theme song still getting play 35 years on…
• American networks and the blogosphere have just been teeing off on Deron Williams, haven’t they? Here’s CBS, NBC and Sporting News weighing in … “unimpressive” and “disappointing” are big adjectives in describing Williams’ first few performances.
See for yourself below in clips of Williams’ (unimpressive) (disappointing) 3-of-13 performance against Dexia Mons-Hainaut in Beşiktaş’ bouncing from 2011-12 Eurocup play, but do heed the words of appropriately-named YouTube user SidelineBasketball: “Some people questioned Deron Williams’ legitimacy based on this performance. We, as ballers and fans, should remember that a few bad games have nothing to do with a player’s body of work.”
• Finally, this last clip has nothing to do with anything, except perhaps to warn the world that Australia is threatening to become a world-class power in unicycle basketball.