Gibson Column: Sergio Scariolo on the hot seat in Milano

Sergio Scariolo, Olimpia Milano

BARCELONA — At the end of last season, Olimpia Milano fans had every reason to fret. A poor showing in the Italian League was rough enough on its own, but when it left them without a Euroleague license, the Italian powerhouse had the look of an organization that had bottomed out. Then the Euroleague issued a reprieve: a wild card berth. Milano would play in the continent’s toughest competition after all. Once the news was official, Milano cracked open the piggy bank

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Mitnick: The 10 best NBA prospects playing in Israel

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Lior Eliyahu, whose NBA rights are owned by the Houston Rockets

TEL AVIV – In recent years, there have been several strong rotation players in the NBA, including Will Bynum, Beno Udrih, Roger Mason Jr, Anthony Parker, Carlos Arroyo and Jeremy Pargo, who have honed their skills in the Israeli league in their quest for NBA success. While the talent pool in Israel has dried up significantly due to the end of the NBA lockout, there are still

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Gibson: Nets pick Bogdanovic’s big night is wasted

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BARCELONA — The first half was all his. Sinking deep threes with fingers in his face and racing out ahead of the pack for an emphatic flush on the break. At halftime, New Jersey Nets draft pick Bojan Bogdanovic led his Fenerbahce Ulker squad into the tunnel up 41-24 on UNICS Kazan of Russia. Bogdanovic led all scorers with 15 points, 12 of which had come as part of a 15-0 run by the Turkish visitors. The 26-day Euroleague layover hadn’t left

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Bostjan Nachbar Has a New Job in Russia

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BARCELONA — Toronto, New Jersey or Detroit. Those were several destinations on Bostjan Nachbar’s radar when he spoke to Sheridan Hoops in Lithuania this past September. But Nachbar’s newest employers are not in the Eastern Conference; they are in western Russia. UNICS Kazan announced today that the 31-year-old Slovenian forward had signed on for the rest of the season. Kazan will play its first Euroleague Top 16 game this Wednesday against Fenerbahce Ulker, and they hope Nachbar’s vast NBA and international experience can

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Gibson Column: Team USA’s “Other” Preliminary Roster

James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder

BARCELONA — Four days ago, this site was the first to publish Team USA’s preliminary roster, 19 names out of which Mike Krzyzewski is expected to whittle another Olympic champion. After winning golds at both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2010 World Championships with entirely different dozens, I’m in no position to question how the Jerry Colangelo regime at USA Basketball does business. But the problem with these 19 is that they don’t leave you with much firepower for friendly argument. Sure,

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Mitnick: Euroleague Round Of 16 Preview

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After an exciting first round that featured an unprecedented amount of imported talent due to the NBA lockout, the Euroleague is set to move on to its second round of competition. The “Round of 16” features the same number of teams as the NBA playoffs with a far different format. The 16 teams are split into four groups of four teams, where each group will play a round robin from which the top two teams in each group will advance. This type of

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Gibson: NBA Scouts Eye European Prospects

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BARCELONA — In a couple of years, Augustinas Jankaitis might be a name NBA fans can get excited about. A 6’7″ forward for Lietuvos Rytas who’d rather dribble through you than around you, the Lithuanian has already garnered attention from draftniks far and wide for his versatility and toughness.  Yesterday, Jankaitis led Lietuvos Rytas’ junior team to a 72-68 win over Barcelona for first place in the 2012 Ciutat de L’Hospitalet Junior Tournament. Then, he held in his hands much more tangible evidence

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Mitnick: Top 10 International Draft Prospects

Evan Fournier, France

The 2012 NBA Draft has the potential to be one of the strongest drafts of the last few years, mostly due to the number of talented American college players. Not so much with the internationals. While the 2011 draft had several top-level European players including Jonas Valanciunas, Nikola Mirotec and Jan Vesley, this year’s crop is significantly weaker. While there may be several NBA caliber players coming out this year, it is looking very likely that there

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