In case you missed it, Mexico won the Tournament of the Americas. Yes, Mexico, which hadn’t qualified for a World Championship Cup in 40 years. Gustavo Ayon of the Atlanta Hawks was the tournament MVP. What does this have to do with Eurobasket ’13? Only the fact that you never know what is going to happen in a FIBA tournament, as witnessed by what we are currently seeing in Slovenia.
After four years in the league, one Rookie of the Year award, two coaches, no playoff appearances and constant rumors of ownership changes and relocation, Tyreke Evans wanted some certainty and stability. When July 1 came and teams had the chance to talk to the new restricted free agent, the first team that called and showed interest was the newly renamed New Orleans Pelicans. Sam Amick reported that Evans and the Pelicans had an “in-person meeting” the minute free agency began.
Kevin Durant is a great player. He deserves a great owner. Durant may not know it yet, but he is becoming this generation’s Jerry West: a fantastic talent and class act whose career was marked by finishing second. In 14 seasons, West twice finished second in scoring (also winning once). He never won an MVP award, finishing third once and second a record four times. And he lost the NBA Finals seven times before finally winning in his 13th season. In six seasons,
The 2013 FIBA Eurobasket is upon us, beginning today in Slovenia. Which NBA stars will dominate the tournament? Which Europeans will burst onto the NBA scene? Who will earn the right to challenge Team USA in next summer’s inaugural World Cup? We have all that for you, and more.The most prestigious continental basketball competition in the world, this year’s competition will feature 24 teams competing for 6 berths to the inaugural 2014 Basketball World Cup in Spain next summer. (It
Group A Likely To Advance 1. France With likely MVP candidate, Tony Parker, leading the way for the French squad, Les Blues are the runaway favorites to take group A. While France may be missing a trio of NBA bigs, Joakim Noah, Ronny Turiaf and Kevin Seraphin, they have by far the most talented roster in this group, and are a virtual lock to earn a bid to the World Cup. After getting knocked off by Spain in the quarterfinals of the Olympics,
Group B Likely to advance 1. Lithuania One of the most fully loaded squads in his year’s Eurobasket, the Lithuanian squad is poised to be one of the juggernauts of this year’s competition. Veteran point guard Sarunas Jasikevicus will be sitting this one out, but the Grateful Dead’s favorite European basketball team will be a force to be reckoned with. Starting with Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, the Lithuanians will be loaded with horses in the paint. Valanciunas had a solid rookie season, but seems
Group C Likely To Advance 1. Spain Known as the most powerful basketball country outside of the United States, the winners of the past two Eurobaskets will once again be the favorites to win gold in Slovenia this summer. What is really crazy is that Spain is the favorite to win the tournament, but their list of players absent this year, which includes Pau Gasol, Serge Ibaka, future Chicago Bull and Spanish league MVP Nikola Mirotic, Juan Carlos Navarro, Victor Sada and Felipe
Group D Likely To Advance 1. Greece Greece is another squad showing up without some of their best players but still remain a contender for the gold. Even without pick-and-roll master Dimitris Diamantitis, Grizzlies guard Nick Calathes, Nuggets center Kosta Koufos and Maccabi Tel Aviv center “Sofo” Schortsanitis, the Greeks are poised to compete for their first medal since 2009. Italian coach Andrea Trinchieri, who recently moved from Cantu to Unics Kazan in Russia, will have no shortage of weapons throughout this campaign. Back-to-back