HoopsHype Russia rumors

October 4, 2013 Updates

Sergei Belov, a Russian basketball star who led the Soviet national team in its controversial gold medal victory over the United States at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, died on Thursday in Perm, Russia. He was 69. His death was announced by CKSA Moscow, the professional team he had coached. No cause was given. Belov, a guard who stood nearly 6 feet 3 inches and was quick off the dribble, had one of the smoother jump shots seen outside of the United States in his day. Sometimes called the Jerry West of Russia, he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992, the first international player to be inducted. New York Times

Belov expressed no doubt about the 51-50 victory. “They lacked courage,” he said of the Americans in a 2002 HBO documentary, “:03 From Gold.” He said the American players “couldn’t admit they were silver medalists.” “I guess basketball in American only means gold,” he said. New York Times

The Brooklyn Nets wish to express our condolences on the passing of legendary Russian basketball player Sergey Belov. The first international player ever to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Belov’s contributions to the game was unparalleled. As a player, he led the Russian National team to four European and two World Championships. He won a gold medal and three bronzes for his national team at the Olympics. He continued his winning ways as coach of two Russian teams and head coach of the Russian men’s national team, winning silver medals at two World Championships. He is considered by many to be the best international player to ever grace the game, and he will be missed. NBA.com

October 3, 2013 Updates

Former Soviet basketball great and Olympic gold medalist Sergei Belov has died at 69. His death was announced by CSKA Moscow, the team he played with for 13 seasons. The club said Belov died Thursday in the Ural Mountains city of Perm. It didn't give a cause. Belov helped the Soviets to the gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics, scoring 20 points in the famous 51-50 win over the United States in the final. The shooting guard also won three Olympic bronze medals and two FIBA world championship titles. USA Today Sports

October 1, 2013 Updates

Kirilenko has major value off the court as well—make that already has. He recently spent four days in Russia, where he ran into many new Nets fans because of his association with the team. He's also experienced the same hoopla so far in Brooklyn with the many Russians living there. As Kirilenko talked about why playing for the Nets was "a great opportunity," he also got excited about the prospects of generating basketball interest in rich Russian areas. "I think the Brooklyn Nets really became a home-based Russian team in Moscow, in Russia," he said. "All my friends, all the people around are asking a lot of questions about it. They said, 'We changed our priorities. We're going to cheer for Brooklyn right now.' It's a very good buzz. Bleacher Report

September 27, 2013 Updates

The NBA is on an international push and why not? Its players want to push their brand internationally, particularly in Asia, and each NBA team has a 1/30th share of NBA INternational. Yormark is not shy about the ultimate plan for the Nets, as the Nets CEO tells Bloomberg News. "We want to be the home NBA team in Beijing. We want to be the home NBA team in Moscow. So we have global aspirations and with the star power we have now, and especially when you speak to Russia with Andrei Kirilenko, we have the direct connect to those consumers and now we have to leverage it." NetsDaily

September 21, 2013 Updates

Given his experience last season, Mozgov is taking nothing for granted. “I have to be prepared,” he said. “We changed coaches, so it’s a different situation. We’ll see in practice.” Unlike last September, Mozgov will open training camp on a full tank. After helping Russia win the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics, Mozgov did not compete for the national team at Eurobasket 2013. “It was a hard decision to not go to the national team,” he said. “I feel like I needed to skip it because I need a good season. It’s an important season for me. I don’t want to be so tired (from the Olympics) like last season. I was not ready. It was hard (not playing this summer), but it’s what I need. It’s good for my body, good for my mind.” NBA.com

September 20, 2013 Updates
September 10, 2013 Updates
September 4, 2013 Updates

Demetris Nichols, who played at Syracuse University from 2003 to 2007, has signed with a professional basketball team in Russia, his agent said Tuesday. Nichols will play for Krasnie Krilya, his agent, Bill Neff of SAGA Sports, said Tuesday. The team is located in Samara, Russia. The Post-Standard

Nichols played for the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA's Las Vegas Summer League this past summer, but found no interest from NBA teams in terms of getting an invitation to a team's training camp. The Post-Standard

August 30, 2013 Updates

The announcement includes a brief (rare) interview with Babbitt. Here's an excerpt thanks to Google Translator. I've tried to clean it up slightly. Why did you move from the strongest league in the world (NBA) to Nizhny Novgorod? "I wanted to play for a team that will give me the opportunity to show what I can do on the court. I will try to prove that I was able to [play a] complete game and can do more than just [shoot] a three-pointer. In this sense, the situation in Nizhny Novgorod - a great opportunity for me." Is this the first time you've played in Europe? Do you think that basketball is different from the U.S.? "This is the third time I'm going to play in Europe. [I] participated in several tournaments when I was in high school and college. I think the game is a little different in style and there are some other rules to which I will have to adapt." Blazers Edge

What do you know about Russia and how did your loved ones react to the news about your move? "I know that the weather is cold in Russia, but my family and friends were very happy for me when I told them about [my] new team. In the near future I will be very happy to meet with [my] new teammates." Blazers Edge

August 29, 2013 Updates

“Your body should be soft like water,” Mr. Prokhorov, 48, explained as he rounded his 6-foot-8 frame and then, improbably, rolled on his back along the top of a hardwood bench. If he grimaced, nobody saw it. “When you were a child, you knew how to relax and roll,” he went on. “If even one muscle tenses, you will get hurt. Be like water. At first, it is uncomfortable for you, but then it will become uncomfortable for your opponent.” New York Times

Igor M. Bunin, president of the Center for Political Technologies, a political and business consultancy in Moscow, said Mr. Prokhorov is calibrating his political ambitions to avoid too open a challenge to Mr. Putin, in spite of provocative arrests of his candidates. Sometimes, his approach seems dry. Civic Platform, for example, has been derided as a “party of lawyers.” “He is speaking between the lines,” Mr. Bunin said. “He is saying he is an alternative to Putin, a possible successor. But he cannot commit to a stronger, more confrontational strategy. This is limiting his potential.” New York Times

Mr. Prokhorov said his goal in regional elections is a second-place finish in the City Council in Togliatti and solid enough results elsewhere to form factions in regional legislatures. This, he said, would lay the foundation for a solid showing by his party in parliamentary elections in 2016. New York Times

August 24, 2013 Updates
August 9, 2013 Updates

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