HoopsHype Euroleague rumors

May 10, 2012 Updates
April 18, 2012 Updates

The Euroleague Rising Star Trophy has a repeat winner for the first time! Real Madrid forward Nikola Mirotic, whose breakout a year ago earned him the vote of Turkish Airlines Euroleague head coaches, is the Rising Star Trophy winner once again after dramatically improving his output this season. If last season Mirotic rose from a prospect to an important contributor for Los Blancos, this season he took the next step as a full-time starter and bona fide star. It was a season full of firsts for the 21-year-old forward. After just 10 weeks, Mirotic had notched his first Euroleague double-double, his first weekly bwin MVP honor and his first bwin MVP of the month award, for December. Despite being its youngest regular player, Mirotic led Madrid in performance index rating, 14.6 per game, and ranked among the team's top three in scoring, shooting percentage from all ranges, rebounding, steals and fouls drawn. Moreover, he was the Euroleague's single best free throw shooter, making 56 of 61 tries for a 91.8% accuracy rate, while ranking ninth overall in performance index rating. Euroleague.net

January 12, 2012 Updates
November 28, 2011 Updates
November 20, 2011 Updates

In which way do you think basketball in Europe has changed since you left? Sasha Vujacic: It has become a little bit faster, a little bit more physical that it used to be, but still not at the NBA. It’s very tactical. It changed in a good way. There are better players, better teams, better excitement. A lot of people that I’ve been talking to, they’ve been watching and following the Euroleague a lot. HoopsHype

Do you feel fortunate that your experience in the NBA took place for the most part in L.A. with the Lakers? SV: Yes. When I was younger, when I decided to go to the NBA, I always wished to play with the Lakers. That was the team that I was aiming, the team that was the best fit for me. I was fortunate that I had the best players and the best coaches, learning from them. They taught me a lot. Also winning a couple of championships… As fortunate as I was, it didn’t come for free – it took a lot of hard work. I love the organization, they’re my family and they treated like family when I went to New Jersey, so L.A. is home for me. HoopsHype

November 1, 2011 Updates

After earning a status as one of the most successful coaches of the last 15 years in Europe, Ettore Messina was hired this summer by the Los Angeles Lakers as an assistant coach. Messina is known for his charismatic and irrepressible attitude on the bench but has also the gift of self-irony outside the court. A few days ago, he spoke about leadership in a conference on sport business and digressed on the first challenges of his new life as a Laker. “The other day I was on the phone with the Lakers staff, asking advice on where I should get a house,” said Messina. “I was told some people prefer living close to the practice facilities; others, like Kobe, live further away. Sometimes, in order not to challenge the incredible L.A. traffic, Kobe even comes to practice by helicopter. “At that point I thought: ‘This guy makes $25 million and comes to practice by helicopter – What am I supposed to say to him? “Down with that ass, bend your knees”?’” Ball In Europe

September 17, 2011 Updates
August 30, 2011 Updates

Electronic Arts and Euroleague Basketball are pleased to announce their licensing partnership that makes the leading global interactive entertainment software company an official partner under the video gaming category. Under this agreement EA SPORTS will include Turkish Airlines Euroleague players in the upcoming release of the mythical arcade game NBA Jam: On Fire Edition. This is the first time that European clubs will be officially represented in the NBA JAM franchise, one of the most successful video games in sports history. All fans will be able to choose any of the four participating teams in the last Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four. Dimitris Diamantidis and Mike Batiste of Panathinaikos Athens, Lior Eliyahu and Sofoklis Schortsanitis of Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, Bo McCalebb and Ksistof Lavrinovic of Montepaschi Siena, Sergio Llull and Carlos Suarez of Real Madrid will be amongst the players representing the four Euroleague teams in the 2–on–2 basketball games. Euroleague.net

August 21, 2011 Updates

If there’s finally a shortened season or no season at all, would you consider playing overseas? Derrick Rose: I’m staying. I don’t play pickup basketball. I’m working out in Los Angeles right now. I haven’t taken into consideration yet playing overseas. Right now, if I do think about it, the Euroleague is definitely an option I would consider. I would have to talk to my agents and make sure that everything is OK, but I’m hoping right now there’s a season. HoopsHype

August 9, 2011 Updates

"When FIBA decided to say that the transfer [of NBA players] will be valid only until the lockout will be over, it was strange," Bertomeu said. "Never in the FIBA history has there been any condition like this. This is very strange." Bertomeu raised the possibility that FIBA negotiated the terms of its ruling with the NBA. FIBA did not announce its ruling until July 29, almost a full month after the NBA players had been locked out by the owners amid their stalled negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. "We were asking FIBA for their position since the month of May, pending the official announcement of a definitive lockout," Bertomeu said. "The day after the NBA lockout announcement, FIBA should have stated their position. And it took a month. Obviously, since May until now, [the delay] could have been because they were talking with the NBA." SI.com

An NBA official told SI.com that it had no such discussions with FIBA, which is notoriously deliberate in its decision-making. The official pointed out that commissioner David Stern had declared his opinion during the NBA season -- months before FIBA's declaration -- that NBA players would be free to pursue job opportunities around the world if they were locked out. The decision to hold NBA players accountable to existing contracts after the lockout makes sense for FIBA, which clearly wishes to avoid becoming a third party to potential lawsuits between NBA teams and players over the validity of contracts. "This was purely FIBA-generated," the NBA official said. "FIBA doesn't want to be drawn into litigation." SI.com

"In Europe, it is true that sport is a form of entertainment," Bertomeu said. "However, the sporting result is more important than the entertainment value, so at the end of the day a team has to win. ... The team needs to win the championship. That's the competition level the European teams have. "There is the perception that the European clubs are little bit like the NBDL -- a developmental league. But the games that you see in Europe are of high quality. The idea that the NBA championship is titled as the 'world championship' [creates] the idea that the NBA or any American league is the top sporting competition, and anything other than that is compared to the NCAA or NBDL." This is why recent reports suggest that NBA stars are now focusing on the Chinese league as a potential destination during the lockout. SI.com

There is also the question of whether European clubs can afford to pay big salaries to NBA players amid the worldwide recession and the financial crisis in Greece that threatens to spread to other countries in Europe. Bertomeu warned that the biggest clubs in Europe have the wherewithal to recruit any player. "When you talk about teams such as FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Fenerbahce Ulker [of Istanbul],'' he said, "you're talking about clubs whose budgets double the Lakers' budget." While it's true that FC Barcelona, Madrid and other big clubs draw from enormous budgets, most of that money is created by -- and allocated to -- its soccer club. SI.com

May 7, 2011 Updates

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