HoopsHype FC Barcelona rumors

May 1, 2013 Updates
April 23, 2013 Updates
March 16, 2013 Updates

There are natural goal-scoring strikers and Stockton-esque midfield setup men all over the world soccer map, but no one has ever combined those two talents like Messi. Not even Maradona. Which is why a certain Mr. Bryant, self-avowed Barcelona fanatic, chimed in to say that Messi actually has more in common with The Great One than basketball's Chosen One. "Messi," Kobe told ESPN.com this week, "is more (Wayne) Gretzky." ESPN.com

For Luol Deng, All-Star swingman from the Chicago Bulls and a lifelong Arsenal supporter who knows precisely how it feels to chase James around a 94-by-50 hunk of wood, it's Messi. Deng introduces an interesting fresh variable by bringing up Messi's ceiling, which is indeed higher than LeBron's because his whole legacy changes in a dramatic way if Argentina wins just one World Cup in his time. "As good as LeBron is," Deng says, "I have to go with Messi. Because what he's doing, he's about to, he's on pace to (become) the best ever." Whoever Barcelona's playing, you're just interested to watch because Messi's playing." ESPN.com

Said Simone Sandri, NBA correspondent for Italy's famed La Gazzetta dello Sport and a former professional soccer player in his country's Serie B and Serie C divisions with, among others, his hometown club Novara: "If I have to cast my vote, I have to say LeBron. Leo is obviously having another fantastic season, but LeBron, in my opinion, is having a bigger impact. Barca is such a machine that I really believe, for the sake of argument, that they could afford a Messi injury and still reach some of their goals at the end of the season. "It's hard to imagine the same thing for the LeBron-less Heat. I would have to say that, right now, LeBron is bigger threat to his opponents. Not to put Messi down, but shutting Messi down does not mean shutting Barca down. That's a team that can hurt you in many ways. Shutting down LeBron doesn't guarantee you a win over the Heat, either, but it's a bigger step in that direction." ESPN.com

March 11, 2013 Updates

Gustavo Ayon: FC Barcelona has not reached out to me. But If it was up to me, if it was my call, we would have talked already. Since it's basically not up to me, I don't want to cause them any harm by telling them I could go there. If the situation continues like this this season and the following one, I would love to go over there. SER

March 6, 2013 Updates

International basketball source says we should anticipate the stream of NBA-caliber talent coming from overseas to dip in coming years because the economy has shrunk the pool of talent foreign clubs are capable of supporting. The biggest clubs -- the Real Madrids and Barcelonas and CSKA Moscows -- will continue to find and work with the best of the best, but the price of training and developing young players and the dwindling number of companies with discretionary funds to serve as sponsors is thinning the herd. Sulia

February 24, 2013 Updates
February 8, 2013 Updates

While the minutes have been limited for him playing behind Euro basketball maintays like Juan Carlos Navarro and Pete Mickeal, Ingles says he's relished his experience with Barça. The NBA, a lifelong dream for Ingles, could very well come next. "My dream (growing up) was playing in the NBA," Ingles said during the Spanish Cup that takes place this week in Vitoria. "Also playing in the Olympics with Australia. That's huge for us. But obviously everybody that plays basketball wants to play in the NBA one day." HoopsHype

January 24, 2013 Updates
January 23, 2013 Updates
January 22, 2013 Updates
November 28, 2012 Updates

Guess who Kobe's talking about: "I don't think I've ever seen a player really at any level in any sport play ..." "I don't think I've ever seen a player really at any level in any sport play at such a high level of efficiency. He's just been phenomenal." Bryant was praising Barcelona's Lionel Messi. "The year that Messi is having is just off the charts." Sulia

October 20, 2012 Updates

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.