Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Jaaber Saga continues

The Jaaber Saga continues. One of the most controversial signings of this summer is yet to come to an end for any party. Ibrahim Jaaber seems to have signed a contract both with Panionios and Lottomatica Roma and although he decided to stay with Roma, Panionios wants compensation as they signed him first.

Dejan Bodiroga, GM of Roma, arrived in Athens today to meet with president Lianos of Panionios according to superbasket.gr. They didn't reach an agreement though and their talks will resume tomorrow. The greek team is still asking for the 400.000 dollars compensation and if nothing is agreed then the matter will be handed over to Fiba Europe. A similar incident was the case of Jumaine Jones that was disqualified for a year from playing basketball in Europe as he signed contracts with 2 different teams. Perhaps this case will have a similar fate.

Trikala released Gordon..

He only managed to stay in the team for 6 days and then the team announces his release from their contract. We're talking about Jamon Lucas Gordon that was announced by Trikala 6 days ago. Today they announced that the player will be leaving the team due to serious family problems. This comes as a surprise as the start of the regular season is very close in Greece.

Funny enough something similar happened when coach Christopoulos was the head coach of Olympias Patron and Guillermo Diaz was announced by the team and shortly after released because of serious family problems.. Coincidence..? Perhaps. Sadly enough, Olympias Patron was relegated that season.

Muoneke replaced Johnsen who will play in Ukraine

Gabe Muoneke replaced Britton Johnsen in the Utah Jazz training camp according to Deseret News. The nigerian-american power forward didn't waste any time after his untimely release from ASVEL Vileurban. Muoneke will continue training with the Utah Jazz in his effort to secure a contract with them. Muoneke has literally played all over the world including NBA teams and last season he helped Tau to overcome the loss of James Singleton but his contract wasn't renewed after the 3 months had passed. He currently operates as a blogger for Hoopshype. He averaged 6.5 points and 2.7 rebounds in 11 Euroleague games.

Johnsen did finally take up one of the offers he had from Europe and will be playing in Ukraine next season. He gave up on the Jazz and trying to get a contract with them and decided to return to Europe where he played before. He has played for Alicante in Spain, for Panellinios in Greece, for Orthez in France and the Euroleague and last season he played for Galatasaray after recovering from a serious injury. Rumors from ukrainian media are saying that he will be playing for BC Kyiv.

Cholet waives Nikkah and announces Grier

Cholet announced Vincent Grier(1.95-SG) and at the same time they announced that are releasing Samad Nikkah due to administrative issues. It was mutually decided with Nikkah to break his contract. The french team decided to sign Vincent Grier, who played for Gravelines DK last season.

He played for the Minessota Gophers after transferring from the University of Charlotte in 2003. He lead the team in scoring for two consecutive seasons, including a trip to the NCAA Tournament that resulted in a first-round loss to Iowa State. He was signed by the 2006 NBA champions Miami Heat but didn't really get to play with them. He averaged 13 points 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 30 games for Gravelines last season.

Zadar is getting rid of Romel Beck

Not even few days after the return from the French tour Zadar's coach Aleksandar Petrović changed his mind regarding the status of Romel Beck according to the Adriatic League website. What seemed to be a great transfer for Zadar at the time is ending in a contract break now. His intention not to have him in the team after an incident in France was backed by the club's disciplinary committee on Tuesday.

Beck picked a quarrel with the coach while being on the pre-season tour abroad and will now have to either find a new club or accept being loaned to one other team chosen by Zadar. Last season playing for Capo Di Orlando averaging 17.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 15 games. He is also a member of the Mexican National Team.

One of the candidates for Romel's spot is rumored to be Marlon Garnett that was the top scorer for Split last season and also the 2nd top scorer of the Adriatic League.

Cibona announced Rawle Marshall

Cibona announced Rawle Marshall(2.01-SF) who played for Hemofarm last season. There were rumors about the replacemnt of Earl Calloway -he has actually returned from the States that he went to for family reasons- and Marshall plays in a completely different position so it seems unlikey to replace him, given the fact that Cibona needed a point-guard the past few days and Marshall is nothing near a point-guard.

Marshall who played in the Adriatic League last season for Hemofarm, is an avid scorer and a competent rebounder. Coming out of Oakland University he wasn't drafted in 2005 but managed to win a contract with Dallas who traded him to Indiana in July 2006, having spent some time in the NBDL. In Indiana he played 40 games before moving to Europe. As a player of Hemofarm he averaged 15.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in 22 games in the Adriatic League.

An irishman in Sopot

Prokom announced veteran center Pat Burke(2.10-C) via their official website. It was rumored that Pat Burke wouldn't sign a contract this year as he wanted to stay with his family and spend some time with them especially now that he expecting his daughter to be born in October. Nevertheless he agreed to play for another season with the polish champion Asseco Prokom.

The irish veteran has played in quite a few teams in Europe. In Greece he played for Panathinaikos and Maroussi, then he tried his luck for a season in Orlando in the NBA. Later on he moved to Spain and Gran Canaria for 2 seasons and he spent one more season in Spain playing for Real Madrid. The next 2 seasons he played in Phoenix although he didn't get much playing time and last season he played for Khimky in Russia helping the team in 2nd half of the season and the play-offs. He averaged 7.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 11 games for the regular season.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Barcelona ever closer to Santiago

According to sport.es Barcelona seems to be ever closer to Daniel Santiago(2.16-C). Rumors of this transfer circulated in Spain the previous days but nothing was officially announced. The SuperCup showed to coach Pascual that there are too many players in the backcourt and not enough strenth and height in the low post. This is where Daniel Santiago comes in. The Texas-born giant seems to cover all these requirements and according to the article the administration of Barcelona will be accelerating the proceedings to sign him.

Santiago came to the end of 3-year contract with Unicaja Malaga conquering the spanish league and reaching the Final-Four of the Euroleague in his time with Malaga. Santiago has briefly played in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns. He played a total of 122 games. Last season he averaged 9 points and 4.2 rebounds in the Euroleague in 17 games.

Alex Acker ended up in Detroit

Alex Acker(1.96-SG/SF) came to Europe with high hopes of getting some good experience in the Euroleague and then return to the NBA. It did seem like that to begin with but during his 2nd season in Europe playing for Barcelona he did not meet up to the expectations of the spanish team. Fortunately for him the Detroit Pistons offered him a contract.

Alex Acker was number 60 of the 2005 Draft in the 2nd round for the Detroit Pistons. He played five games with the Pistons during the 2005-06 season, averaging 1.8 points and 1.0 rebounds per game. Acker ended his college career as the 20th all-time leading scorer in Pepperdine University history with 1,273 points. Named an All-West Coast Conference performer as a junior, he averaged 14.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals in 88 career games for the Waves and ranked seventh in career steals with 133.

Playing overseas the last two seasons, Acker averaged 6.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 30 games for FC Barcelona last season and 14.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists with Olympiacos in 2006-07 Euroleague play.

Slovenian referee Iztok Rems retired

After more then three decades of refereeing all around the world the Slovenian basketball referee Iztok Rems officially retired on Saturday according to Adriatic League website. Rems officially retired after the friendly game between Union Olimpija and Panathinaikos in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Rems, who will continue working as the general secretary of the Slovenian basketball Association, has been refereeing at World and European Championships, Olympic Games, ULEB Cup and Euroleague competitions, FIBA competitions and national Championships. He was one of the most respected and known referees in Europe.

Avellino released Dickau

Air Avellino released Dan Dickau and the earlier suspicions came true. The italian team will be playing in the Euroleague next season against powerhouses like Olympiakos, that have one of the biggest budgets in Europe and Dan Dickau was their prime target and their most expensive transfer -a contract of 1.1 million dollars- so now they need to replace him with an equally effective point guard. What seemed like a great transfer looks now like a major disappointment.

Rumors in Italy speak of 36-year old veteran Gianmarco Pozzeco who declared that he retired from professional basketball. So far no other names have surfaced as rumors for Avellino and perhaps they will seek a player in some of the last players that won't find a job in the NBA.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bulls add 3 players to their training camp

The Chicago Bulls announced that they will be taking with them 3 more players to participate in their training camp that is starting on Monday 29th of September. All 3 of them played in Europe last season.

Elton Brown(2.06-PF/C) played for Hapoel Holon last season during the second half where he averaged 13.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in 11 games. Roger Powell(1.98-SF) played for Teramo last season for 33 games and he averaged 13.2 points and 4.4 rebounds. Darius Washington (1.88-PG/SG) who played for Aris Thessaloniki last season 10 points 2.1 assists and 3 rebounds in 17 games.

Montegranaro waived Kemp and announced Hunter

The suspicions about the imminent release of Shawn Kemp were realised yesterday. Premiata Montegranaro announced the release of Shawn Kemp and the signing of Brandon Hunter. The former NBA superstar said that he feels sorry that the deal didn't go through and Montegranaro signed Brandon Hunter to take his place. Hunter was also mentioned in greek articles to interest the team of Trikala.

Brandon Hunter(2.01-PF) graduated from the college of Ohio in 2003 and he was selected at number 56, in the 2nd round of the 2003 draft by Boston. His rights were traded to Charlotte next year and after that he was loaned to Orlando.In 2006 he went to Greece to play for Panathinaikos where he only played a few games. During that summer the took part in the summer camp of Cleveland trynig to secure a contract in the NBA. Later on he went to Italy to play for Napoli, Livorno and finally last season he played for Biella. He averaged 12.9 points and 9.1 rebounds in 31 games in the LegaA1.

Friday, September 26, 2008

France wants Maljkovic to lead them

The basketball federation of France has got only one target for the position of the head coach, Bozidar Maljkovic. The serbian coach who won the Champions Cup (now known as Euroleague) with Limoges in 1993 is very popular in France as he also coached Racing Paris in 1998.

He is considered to be one of the most successful european coaches as he has won 6 international (4 Euroleague titles) and 14 National level titles. France was devastated by their national team's inability to qualify directly in the Eurobasket 2009 and they want to make sure that this won't happen in 2009 as well.

The Shawn Kemp deal is off??

Shawn Kemp is said to make frequent journeys back to the States according to italian media and the administration of Montegranaro are not very happy with his performance and the current situation. Kemp has been visiting the States, in some cases with the pretext that he needs to make sure his home is ok and it hasn't been trashed by Hurricane Ike among other things.

In effect he has lost a big part of the team's preparation and his physical condition is not up to scratch for professional level. Rumors have been flying around regarding his imminent replacement. One of the names that was implicated by the italian press was that of Eddy Fobbs (2.13-C) who played last season in Turkey for Mersin (averaged 12.2 points and 8 rebounds in 30 games) but he is said to have already agreed with israeli team Ashkelon. This story isn't finished yet.

Avellino is on the lookout for a point guard

According to mondobasket.it, Air Avellino is on the lookout for a replacement point-guard. The reason behind that is the problem that Dan Dickau is having with persistent back pains. Dan Dickau was their most expensive transfer (close to 1.1 million dollars) this transfer and they had high hopes for him but the condition of his back gives them now something to worry about.

Dickau has more than 300 games in the NBA in total and he played there for 6 years so we're talking about a very experienced and skilled player with great offensive talent. Dickau averaged 5.3 points 1.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 67 games with the LA Clippers last season.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hapoel Migdal signs Jordan Fliegel

Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem hopes to have found a diamond in the rough with the signing of Jordan Fliegel(1.98-SG/SF) for the coming season according to the Eurocup Official site. The forward, who has been on trial with Hapoel for the past two weeks, signed a full contract with the club on Thursday.

Fliegel graduated this summer from Bowdoin College in his native United States, where he played Division III college hoops and averaged 13.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game as a senior. He finished his college basketball career second on the school's all-time games played charts and in the top 10 in career blocked shots. Fliegel traveled with Hapoel on its preseason tour in Belgium and signed with the team upon their return to Israel.

Trikala 2000 interested in Brandon Hunter

According to greek site basketblog.gr is after american power forward Brandon Hunter (2.01-PF) for the 2nd non-european player position. The team is trying Brandon Hunter graduated from the college of Ohio in 2003 and he was selected at number 56, in the 2nd round of the 2003 draft by Boston. His rights were traded to Charlotte next year and after that he was loaned to Orlando.

In 2006 he went to Greece to play for Panathinaikos where he only played a few games. During that summer the took part in the summer camp of Cleveland trynig to secure a contract in the NBA. Later on he went to Italy to play for Napoli, Livorno and finally last season he played for Biella. He averaged 12.9 points and 9.1 rebounds in 31 games in the LegaA1.

The Lakers announced DJ MBenga

The LA Lakers have announced the signing of DJ Mbenga(2.16-C) that was involved in rumors regarding Tau Baskonia among other players. Hence the congolese center will be playing with the Lakers next season so it's one more player off the list of possible candidates.

MBenga comes from Congo but he also has a belgian passport. He played for Golden State and LA last season. He is a dominating presence defending the paint and has uncanny flexibility for a player of his size. Last season he averaged 2.5 points and 1.6 rebounds in 26 games with the Lakers.

Maarty Leunen to play in Turkey

According to the general manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Moley, Maarty Leunen (2.06-PF) will be playing in Turkey next season. The american-dutch power forward who was drafted in the 2008 Draft by the Houston Rockets in the 2nd round at number 54 will be playing for a team that is related to Efes Pilsen. This team might be Darussafaka. In his own words:

Daryl Moley : "Maarty's going to sign in Turkey with a team associated with Efes Pilsen. It will be a good situation for him; he'll be playing good competition and it will help him develop overseas. And just like all our recent international players, if it looks like they're going to be ready, all of them are available to come over the next offseason."

Maarty Leunen graduated from the University of Oregon and in his last season with them he averaged 15.2 points 9.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 32 games. He also took part in the Las Vegas Summer League where he averaged 16 points 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 5 games for the Houston Rockets. Leunen can acquire a dutch passport as both his parents have dutch roots but it seems high unlikely he will do so this year.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Trikala 2000 announced Jamon Lucas Gordon

The greek team announced their new player via their official site, combo guard Jamon Lucas Gordon(1.90-PG/SG). He graduated from Virginia Tech where he played for 3 seasons and in his last season he averaged 11.4 points 4.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds in 34 games staring in the point guard position for most of them.

Last season he played in Turkey, in the team of Antalya BSB where he averaged 10.8 points 4.5 rebounds and 3 assists in 23 games. He also played 4 games in the playoffs averaging 10.8 points 5 rebounds and 2 assists.

Miami agreed with Matt Walsh

According to the Miami Herald, the Miami Heat have agreed to a one-year with contract with american small forward Matt Walsh(2.00-SF). This comes to verify last weeks publication that Walsh is training with the Heat and he might sign with them.

The 6' 6" forward originally signed as an undrafted free agent from the University of Florida with the Heat. He was waived on November 18, 2005, playing one regular season contest. In the 2006 preseason, he was signed by the New Jersey Nets and released in October.He started his european career in Greece and Olympia Larisa(2006-2007) and the next season he started in Manresa in Spain but ended up in Chareroi in Belgium in February. He helped Charleroi to conquer the belgian league. The article says that Walsh took part in a Heat workout last week. Walsh averaged 14 games: 12.4 points 4.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game in 14 games of the Belgian league for Charleroi.

Turkoglu wants to become a free agent

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Hedo Turkoglu(2.08-PF) wants to become a free agent. The article says that he likely will opt out of his contract after the season to become a free agent. His current contract with the Orlando Magic is one of 39 million dollars for a duration of 6 years.

He could play out his final season in 2009-10 at $7.3 million. But he seemingly has gained enough leverage and equity after earning the NBA's most improved player award last season. He turns 30 next March, meaning this is likely his last shot at a lucrative long-term contract.

Turkoglu averaged 19.5 points 5.7 rebounds and 5 assists in 82 games for the regular season with the Orlando Magic.

Forbes and Dickens are leaving Napoli

The 2 players were signed earlier this summer by Napoli but due to the decision of the italian federation to exclude Napoli from the league they will be leaving the team.

Kaniel Dickens will probably moving to Varese according to eurobasket.com. Dickens was one of the best scorers in the NBDL for the Colorado 14ers. He averaged 19.2 points 5.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 38 games in the D-League. Earlier this year he was in negotiations with the Cherkassy Monkeys but the deal didn't go through.

Gary Forbes has offers from Turkey so he will be possibly continusing his career there.He began his career in NCAA with Virginia and later on he moved to Massachusetts with a gap year in between where he had even better seasons (2006-2008). In May 2008 he participated in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft) where in three games he averaged 15.7 points 7.0 rebounds 8.7 assists. He is also a member of the Panama National Team.In his last year in the NCAA he averaged 19.4 points 7.3 rebounds and 3 assists per game.

Red Star announced Milan Milosevic

Red Star announced the acquisition of young promising forward Milan Milosevic (2.05-C/PF). Milosevic is part of the national team of Bosnia and played for Sloboda Dita last season in Bosnia. It only took 3 practice sessions to convince the technical team of Red Star to sign him for the next 4 seasons according to the Adriatic League site.

Milosevic was one of the best players of Sloboda Dita last season averaging 9.5 points and 5.3 rebounds in 23 games.

Russia to get 2 teams in Euroleague 2009/10?

According to eurobasket.com Russia might get another team in the Euroleague in the season 2009-2010. At the moment Russia's only representative in the Euroleague is CSKA Moscow. Considering how well they are doing it might seem a bit odd to have only one team in the best european basketball league. In the last few years the only time Russia had 2 representatives in the Euroleague was when Dynamo Moscow conquered the Uleb Cup in 2006 and got the right to play in the Euroleague during season 2006-2007.

This might spark quite a debate as to why Russia didn't have more teams participating in the Euroleague especially when teams like Dynamo Moscow and Khimky featured rosters objectively superior to certain teams that took part in the Euroleague of last season for example. This summer has undoubtably shown the financial prowess of russian teams by showcasing transfers like Pargo, Delfino or Gargajosa and it still seems strange that some of the best paid players in Europe will not be taking part in the top league.

Rumors about Hollis Price

There are plenty of rumors going around at the moment about Hollis Price. This might seem odd as the player has already signed with Dynamo Moscow for 2 years and since Zalgiris has already signed Willie Deane for the position of the starting point guard. The rumors began with Lietuvos Rytas (the newspaper that owns the team) who claims that the technical director of Dynamo Moscow, Ginas Rutkauskas, who has spent most of his career in Zalgiris offered to get rid of the contract of Hollis Price.

This might seem plausible as Dynamo signed Jannero Pargo so Price might seem obsolete for the position. Another lithuanian newspaper wrote that Lietuvos Rytas is interested in having Hollis Price back. As everyone can see this doesn't really make much sense at the moment so it remains to be seen if anything will come out of this. 16.9 points 2.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 20 games in the Euroleague last season.

Dusan Ivkovic will remain as head coach of Serbia

According to championat.ru it was decided by the serbian federation that Dusan Ivkovic will remain the head coach of Serbia after their successful qualification to Eurobasket 2009. The Serbia National Team qualified with a 7-1 record only losing to Finland, a result that was a massive suprise but didn't spoil the plans of the serbian team.

Dusan Ivkovic will therefore remain as the head coach for the Eurobasket 2010 qualifiers in Istanbul

AEL is aiming for Sammy Mejia

According to greek site sport24.gr Sammy Mejia(1.98-PG/SG) seems to be another target for AEL to cover the 2nd foreign player position. AEL initially signed Bruce Price who didn't convince coach Alexandris and later on tried Rob McKiver but that option was dismissed as well. Another target for them was Marlon Garnett but he asked for too much money, 210,000 dollars, that the grek team just couldn't cover.

Their next target seems to be combo guard Sammy Mejia who graduated from DePaul University and then proceeded to get drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 2007 at the 2nd round at number 57. The Pistons waived him in October 2007 and then he moved to the NBDL and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. He played 13 games with them averaging 19.8 points and 8.4 rebounds but the NBDL released him due an injury in the right ankle. Mejia moved to Italy and Capo Di Orlando, he averaged 11.5 points 5.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 13 games in the regular season of the LegaA1.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Calloway went back to the USA

The 25-year-old american player Earl Calloway, who was signed by Cibona during the summer on a temporary basis didn’t leave with the team on a friendly tour in Belgium but returned to USA. The club explained the reason is of the administrative nature.

Namely according to Cibona, Calloway just needs to settle some documents needed to get a work permit in Croatia; coach Perasović expects him to be back for the friendly games played in Russia at the end of the month.

Barcelona interested in Santiago

According to marca.com Barcelona is in negotiations with Daniel Santiago(2.16-C). The puertorican center gave up on his NBA dream and pursued a contract with one of the big spanish clubs the last few weeks. It seems that Barcelona is keen to sign him in order to fill the gap that Mario Kasun left behind leaving for Efes Pilsen and the article also says that he might even be announced this week.

Santiago came to the end of 3-year contract with Unicaja Malaga conquering the spanish league and reaching the Final-Four of the Euroleague in his time with Malaga. Santiago has briefly played in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns. He played a total of 122 games. Last season he averaged 9 points and 4.2 rebounds in the Euroleague in 17 games.

Spartak Primorie booked Ermin Jazvin

According to championat.ru Spartak Primorie signed bosnian center Ermin Jazvin(2.11-C) who played last season in Greece for Maroussi. The russian team has not officially announced this.

He can cover both center and power forward positions although he will mostly play in the center position. Jazvin played for Maroussi the last 2 seasons and he also played for Bosnia National Team in the Eurobasket qualifyers. He has also played for Ludwisburg in Germany and in Bosna Telecom. Last season he averaged 4.5 points and 3 rebounds in 29 games in the greek A1 league.

Malaga announced Joseph Gomis

Unicaja Malaga announced the acquisition of Joseph Gomis(1.80-PG) via their official website. The french point guard agreed to a 1+1 years contract with the team's option for 2nd year if they see fit.

The player needs to undergo a medical exam first and then the contract will be valid. Gomis was released by CB Valladolid as the spanish team was relegated to LEB Gold at the end of last season so they couldn't actually pay all of their player contracts. Malaga decided to sign the player after they discovered they will lose Berni Rodriguez for 3 months.

He had a great season with Valladolid but the team didn't manage to stay in the ACB, he was in fact the 2nd best scorer in the ACB during the regular season with 18 points per game right after the impressive Rudy Fernandez. He has been playing for Valladolid for the last 3 seasons and before that he played for Leche Rio Breogan for another 3 seasons. Before moving to Spain he played in Evreux for 6 seasons and Nancy for one season. He is also a member of the France National Team.

He averaged 18 points 1.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 34 games for Valladolid.

Rumors about Wojcik returning to Poland

There are rumors going about in the polish media about Adam Wojcik(2.08-PF) returning to play in Poland. The 38 year old polish veteran was signed by Capo Di Orlando but the Italian Basketball Federation decided to exclude the team from the coming season's league so if this decision is final then Adam Wojcik will be possibly be released from the team.

The rumors say that Czarni Slupsk is already interested in Wojcik. Andrzej Twardowski from the team said that he has already discussed this with Wojcik but he also said that it's too early to say exactly what will happen. The point remains that Czarni Slupsk would like to have Adam Wojcik to play for them. Wojcik played for Capo Di Orlando last season as well and he averaged 7.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 34 games.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim announced his retirement

Sacramento Kings forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim today announced his retirement
from the NBA as a player due to a reoccurring knee injury. He was selected by the Vancouver Grizzlies with the 3rd pick of the 1996 NBA Draft. Abdur-Rahim enjoyed 12 seasons in the NBA with four different teams(Vancouver, Atlanta, Portland and Sacramento ), amassing career averages of 18.1 points (.452 FGs, .297 3FGs, .810 FTs), 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game through 830 outings.

He became the 6th youngest player in NBA history to reach the 10,000-point plateau when he scored 18 points at Washington at age 26, trailing only Kobe Bryant, Bob McAdoo, Shaquille
O’Neal, Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with that distinction. He scored a career-high 50 points (including a career-high 21 field goals made) versus Detroit on November 23, 2001, becoming the first Hawks player to hit that mark since Dominique Wilkins poured in 52 points in 1991. Abdur-Rahim was a member of the gold-medal winning United States Olympic team in 2000. He was selected to the Eastern Conference NBA All-Star Team where he scored nine points in 21 minutes as a member of the Atlanta Hawks in 2002.

“Regarding my career, I’ve been really blessed and fortunate,” said Abdur-Rahim. “I’m thankful that I had basketball and was able to play in the NBA. There aren’t a lot of people who actually get to do what they grow up dreaming about doing. I’ve had that opportunity and I’m really thankful for that. I’m also thankful for the coaches, trainers, owners, front office people and friends I’ve made through my time in the NBA. It was a tough decision, but in no way am I bitter. I’m just really thankful and happy that I was given the opportunity to play in the NBA.”

Abdur-Rahim has a long-standing history of community service involvement. He was named by The Sporting News as the NBA’s Number 1 Good Guy for 2004 after funding the Reef House in Atlanta through his Atlanta-based Future Foundation with the purpose of assisting at-risk and underprivileged youth.

The Phoenix Suns announced Goran Dragic

The saga of the Goran Dragic(1.90-PG/SG) transfer has come to a happy end. The Phoenix Suns have finally announced the transfer of the talented slovenian combo-guard; a story that started in the late days of June when the Spurs traded his rights to the Phoenix Suns. He was selected at number 45 in the 2nd round of the 2008 Draft by the Spurs.

Dragic began his professional career in the year 2003 at the age of 17 with the Slovenian 2D League club Ilirija Ljubljana. He played there for one year before transferring to the Slovenian Premier A League and Adriatic League club KD Slovan in 2004. Much controversy was created in Slovenia regarding this transfer later on as it tried to take Tau to the courts.

After spending two years with Slovan, he transferred to the Spanish ACB League club Tau Ceramica. Dragić joined the Slovenian League, Adriatic League and Euroleague club Olimpija Ljubljana in the year 2007 on loan from Tau, and he played there for one year, during the 2007-08 season, winning the Slovenian League championship with them. He averaged 9.7 points 2.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists in the Euroleague this season in 13 games for Olimpija Lubljana.

Finally he played for Slovenia in the Athens Olympic Qualifying Tournament where he averaged 6.3 points 1.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists but Slovenia didn't qualify in the Olympic games.

Rieti announced Jiri Hubalek

Solsonica Rieti announced another player for this season, czech NT player Jiri Hubalek (2.11-PF/C). Jiri has just finished playing in the qualiffying games of the Eurobasket.

Jiri Hubalek played for the last 3 seasons for Iowa State in the NCAA where he averaged 12.3 points and 7.4 rebounds. In April he took part in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament where he sought to attract the eyes of the NBA and Europe scouts and he also took part in the pre-draft camp in Orlando but did not manage to get drafted. The 25-year old power forward will now be joining Rieti in the italian LegaA1 league.

In the Eurobasket qualifiers he averaged 7.5 points and 3 rebounds in 6 games and 17.8 minutes per game.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chalon announced Thierry Rupert

Elan Chalon announced Thierry Rupert(2.03-PF/C). The french veteran forward has never played outside France in his career and now he will be continuing it in another french team to be added to a long list.

Rupert started his career in Poissy in the ProB league and later moved on the Antibes and Limoges. He also played for Paris for 3 seasons where he had some of the best games in his career and after Paris he moved on to Strasboug and later on to Pau Orthez where he played for 4 seasons and he has been playing there until today.

The new stop in his career is Chalon and he will be training with his new teammates tonight and he might even take part in tomorrow's friendly game with Dijon. Last season he averaged 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 29 games of the regular season in the LNB.

Matjaz Smodis the first foreign captain of CSKA

Today during the team meeting Matjaz Smodis was elected CSKA captain. Co-captain will be Trajan Langdon. Let us recall that captain’s position stayed vacant after the transfer of Zakhar Pashutin to Spartak St.Petersburg.

Matjaz Smodis:

- It’s a great honor for me. As far as I know I am the first foreign captain for CSKA. So I am happy because everyone – players, coaches, club’s managers believe in me. I don’t think my new role will change me as a player or as a person. The captaincy shows that what I did here previous years I did right so I don’t think it is necessary to change something.

Andrei Vatutin, CSKA CEO:

- Smodis begins his fourth season in CSKA. He is a charismatic person, the real leader on and off the court. I am sure his human qualities will allow Matjaz to become the link between our veterans and a newcomers. It is also very important that he speaks fluent Russian.

Ettore Messina, CSKA head coach:

- Matjaz has a great personality and a big heart. He is also a player I like so I think he can show a good example for our new players.

Hanno Mottola decided to retire from pro basketball

Finnish legend Hanno Mottola(2.11-PF) has announced his decision to retire from professional basketball last Saturday. Mottola decided to end his career early after 12 years. Mottola is probably the most popular finnish basketball player and he currently is the first and only finnish player to ever play in the NBA. He is also one of the natural leaders of the Finland National Team.

He started playing basketball for the University of Utah and later on he was selected in the second round, 40th overall, in the 2000 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks. He played for 2 seasons with the Atlanta Hakws before returning to Europe to play pro basketball. He averaged 4.6 points and 2.9 rebounds in a grand total of 155 games in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks

After his time with the Hawks, he returned to Europe, playing in Spain with TAU Cerámica of the ACB, then in Italy with Skipper Bologna (2003-2004, reached the Italian Championship finals and Euroleague final) and Scavolini Pesaro (2004-2005), in the Russian Basketball Super League with Dynamo Moscow and in the Lithuanian League with Žalgiris Kaunas. He conquered the Uleb Cup in 2006 as a player of Dynamo Moscow.

The last team he played for was Aris Thessaloniki and he played last season in the greek A1 league and the Euroleague with them.

Some of his career highlights are:
* First native of Finland to play in a regular-season NBA game
* Started first three games of 2000-01 season as a rookie
* Ranks 14th all-time in school history at Utah with 1,492 points
* Set Finnish National Team record for most points in a game when he scored 43 against Latvia in August, 1998
* Named to the GTE Academic All-America Second Team as a junior

Mottola said in the interview that it was a long overdue decision and he wanted to leave basketball while he was still at the top of his game. His family also influenced his final decision and his business plans. Mottola always played at the highest level of European basketball and his absence will not go unnoticed.

AEL is aiming for Marlon Garnett

AEL is searching high and low to replace Bruce Price, who has not satisfied coach Alexandris with his game, and one of the candidates to replace him is Marlon Garnett(1.88-SG) who was the 2nd leading scorer of the Adriatic League last season with KK Split averaging 19.2 points per game. He also averaged 3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in a total of 24 games.

He played in the past briefly for the Boston Celtics in the NBA but then he moved to Europe where he played for Estudiantes, Benetton, Milano, Messina and Varese in the past. Garnett is a natural scorer and this is the type of a player that coach Alexandris is looking for. He was rumored to be a target for Olympia Larisa earlier this year but coach Bartzokas booked Terrell Castle instead who has a bosnian passport.

Ural Great announced Paccelis Morlende

Ural Great announced french point guard Paccelis Morlende (1.90-PG) via their official website. Morlende was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 50th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft however he did not play in the NBA.

He has played in Gravellines for the last 2 seasons and before that in Benetton, Valladolid and Rosetto. He started his career in JDA Dijon where he played for 6 seasons. Last season he averaged 4.6 points and 2.7 assists in 7 games with Gravellines.

Gomis is a candidate for Malaga

According to solobasket.com Joseph Gomis(1.80-PG) is a candidate for Unicaja Malaga. Gomis was released by CB Valladolid as the spanish team was relegated to LEB Gold at the end of last season so they couldn't actually pay all of their player contracts. Among the players that were released were Joseph Gomis and Vasko Evtimov.

Gomis had a great season with Valladolid but the team didn't manage to stay in the ACB, he was in fact the 2nd best scorer in the ACB during the regular season with 18 points per game right after the impressive Rudy Fernandez. He has been playing for Valladolid for the last 3 seasons and before that he played for Leche Rio Breogan for another 3 seasons. Before moving to Spain he played in Evreux for 6 seasons and Nancy for one season. He is also a member of the France National Team.

He averaged 18 points 1.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 34 games for Valladolid.

Tartu Rock booked Viktor Sanikidze

Tartu Rock signed Viktor Sanikidze(2.03-F) according to eurobasket.com. The georgian who covers both forward positions and who is also a member of the Georgia National Team will be playing for estonian champion Tartu Rock in the Baltic League this season. Sanikidze will join Tanoka Beard who signed with Tartu Rock earlier this summer.

Sanikidze was selected in the second round at number 42 at the 2004 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, but his draft rights were traded the same day to the San Antonio Spurs for a 2005 NBA Draft second-round pick and cash considerations. The Spurs still hold his NBA player rights, but they have yet to sign him to a contract. Sanikidze lead the Georgian National Team in the Eurobasket qualifying rounds of Division B with 21.5 points and 8 rebounds in 4 games.

Paok is close to signing Tony Akins

According to superbasket.gr Paok has reached an agreement with american point guard Tony Akins(1.78-PG) in order to cover the point guard position that has been suffering lately.

Akins has played in numerous teams in Europe, having played short contract for french and polish teams, Roanne, Paris, Sokolow to name a few and has also played in Karsiyaka in Turkey. Last season he played for KK Split in the Adriatic League where he averaged 12.6 points 2.8 rebounds and 6 assists in 25 games in the Adriatic League.

Partizan agreed with Stephan Lasme

Partizan Belgrade has reached an agreement with ex-NBAer Stephan Lasme(2.03-PF) ,according to eurobasket.com, who was waived by the Miami Heat earlier this month. The gabonese forward played for the Heat last season but didn't get much playing time.

Lasme was one of the best defensive player in the NCAA while playing for Massachusetts where he averaged 13.5 points per game 9.5 rebounds and 5.1 blocks per game in his senior year. He was drafted in 2007 by the Golden State Warriors in the 2nd round at number 46. He never actually played for Golden State, then moved on to the LA Defenders in the NBDL and then signed a contract with Miami. He averaged 5.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16 games last season and was later released and became a free agent.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Triumph Lyubertsy signed Alan Anderson

BC Triumph Lyubertsy signed a one-year contract with 26-year old american guard-forward Alan Anderson (1.98-SG/SF). Last season he played for Virtus Bologna in the italian LegaA1 and the Euroleague.

Anderson started his sports career in Michigan State University and played in NCAA Final Four in 2005. That season he signed 2-year deal with Charolotte Bobcats in the NBA, but mainly played in the NBDL. In 2007 he moved to Europe and played two seasons for Virtus Bologna. He averaged in 11.2 points and 3 rebounds in 9 games in the Euroleague; he averaged 14.4 pts 5 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 28 games in the LegaA1.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Britton Johnsen has offers from Europe

The american power forward Britton Johnsen(2.07) is currently trying to secure a contract on the NBA according to the Deseret News. Johnsen has played in quite a few teams in Europe before. He has played for Alicante in Spain, for Panellinios in Greece, for Orthez in France and the Euroleague and last season he played for Galatasaray after recovering from a serious injury.

He has also played for Indiana and Orlando in the NBA but he didn't get much playing time. He said in an interview that he wants to try his luck in pursue of an NBA contract although knowing that the chances are slim. He also said that he has offers from Europe but this is his main priority now. Johnsen averaged 5.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in 10 games for Galatasary last season.

He played for the Jazz at the Rocky Mountain Revue this summer but an injury on his left thigh allowed him to play only 2 games. Johnsen will be joined at training camp by fellow NBA hopeful Gerry McNamara, a 6-2 point guard from Syracuse, among others who have not yet been announced.

Tau is on the lookout for another center

Tau Baskonia is on the lookout for one last player to complete their front line according to unconfirmed sources. Dusko Ivanovic apparently has 3 players at the top of his list and all of them are highly skilled and qualified.

At the top of the list is ukrainian center Oleksiy Pecherov(2.13-C) of the Washington Wizards. The 23-year old center didn't get much playing time in the NBA and this season he averaged 3.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 35 games of the regular season. He has also played for Paris and BC Kyiv.

Next candidate is another ukrainian center, Kyrylo Fesenko(2.16-C) of the Utah Jazz. Fesenko spend some time in the NBDL with the Utah Flash and then returned to the Jazz for 9 games.

Last but not least is DJ Mbenga(2.14-C). MBenga comes from Congo but he also has a belgian passport. He played for Golden State and LA last season. He is a dominating presence defending the paint and has uncanny flexibility for a player of his size. Last season he averaged 2.5 points and 1.6 rebounds in 26 games with the Lakers.

Maccabi did get rid of Fizer's contract

The imminent release of Marcus Fizer(2.02-C) from Maccabi is now a fact. The israeli team announced via their official website that the agreement has been mutually breached and so Fizer will be looking for a new team to continue his career in.

It seems that the results of the MRI-scan about the knee injury of the american center wasn't as good as they expected. This is the meniscus injury he suffered in a Euroleague game against Olympiakos last February. Fizer has also played for Chicago, New Orleans, Milwaukee and Murcia in the past.

He averaged 11.5 games 3.6 rebounds in 15 games in the Euroleague last season.