Steven Smith: From Philadelphia to Panathinaikos

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Steven Smith is the starting power forward for the Greek team Panathinaikos, which will be competing in the Euroleague Final Four in Istanbul next month. After having a successful career at La Salle, where he was a two-time Atlantic 10 player of the year, the Philadelphia native took his talents overseas after a short spurt with the Philadelphia 76ers. After working his way through the ranks in Europe, Smith will get an opportunity to participate at the highest level of competition in

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Gibson: Kirilenko should NOT be Euroleague MVP; It should be Spanoulis

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ISTANBUL —When the NBA locked out its stars last offseason, Andrei Kirilenko rode into Russia on his wild horse to exorcise the memories of CSKA Moscow’s atrocious 2010-11 Euroleague season, in which they failed to make it to the Top 16 after a record eight straight Final Four appearances. Kirilenko’s debut was something straight out of 2005: 17 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and four blocks in a 74-87 road win against Sonny Weems’ overmatched Zalgiris squad. His casual dominance landed him the

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Wang Zhelin impresses at Nike Hoop Summit

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Nineteen points, eight rebounds and two blocks. To the casual eye, that reads as a pretty nice box score. But, for Wang Zhelin and Chinese basketball as a whole, it will remain as a historic stat line stuffed with something way more important than just numbers: Potential. By now, word of Wang’s impressive aforementioned performance has gotten around to basketball circles all around the world. In China, he’s getting some love for what is by far the best showing a Chinese player has ever

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Weijia: Marbury wins title, wants to coach Chinese National Team

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BEIJING — The championship that eluded Stephon Marbury in the United States did not elude him in China. After scoring 41 points with seven assists, Marbury was in tears yet again Friday night with the outcome of the game still in doubt. How many times did he cry this season? How many tears had been shed? Even Marbury couldn’t give an accurate count. When he cried for first time Friday night, Game 5 of the CBA Finals was still going on, but Marbury

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Mitnick: Euroleague Playoff Update: Calathes (Mavericks) leads Panathinaikos over Maccabi

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TEL AVIV — After yet another exciting game, Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Panathinaikos are set to face off in a do-or-die showdown in Greece next Thursday. Last night, Panathinaikos edged out Maccabi 78-69 in a grind-it-out duel, in which Panathinaikos held a mere three-point lead with two minutes remaining. Taking place in Tel-Aviv’s Nokia Arena, a relatively small gym that holds 11,000 rabid fans, the atmosphere had at least as much intensity as an NBA playoff game. Every possession was a battle,

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Weijia: Marbury leads Beijing to win in Game 1 of CBA Finals

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BEIJING — After his tears had dried up, Stephon Marbury was the star of Game 1 of the Chinese Basketball Association finals. Marbury scored a game-high 36 points with five assists, five rebounds and one altercation as the Beijing Ducks went 1-0 up in their best-of-seven CBA finals against the defending champions Guangdong Southern Tigers with a 108-101 victory Wednesday night. Prior to the series, when the Ducks qualified to play the defending champions (who now have Aaron Brooks in their arsenal), the 35-year-old

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Mitnick: Euroleague Playoff Preview – Maccabi Vs. Panathinaikos

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  In a rematch of last year’s Euroleague Championship, Maccabi Tel-Aviv is set to take on the Greek team, Panathinaikos, in the first round of the Euroleague playoffs. With both teams possessing several NBA-caliber talents, and Maccabi rolling with two of the top Greek players in Theo Papaloukas and Sofoklis “Sofo” Schortsanitis, this promises to be among the more exciting playoff battles. While two of the premier coaches in Europe, Zeljko Obradovic and David Blatt, will face off, this matchup contains some of

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Gibson: Eurostash Trade Assets: Eastern Conference

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BARCELONA — When it comes to finding NBA talent in Europe, the Eastern Conference is admittedly a step or two behind the West.  General managers such as San Antonio’s R.C. Buford and Houston’s Daryl Morey have a knack for squeezing value out of overseas talent they’ve either drafted or acquired for picks and cash. Now the East is making a comeback, hitching their wagon to quality instead of quantity. So while the Spurs and Rockets’ combined 12 rights-held players are more than

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