Archive for the ‘ International ’ Category

Romeo Travis signs with Alaska Aces in Philippines

Romeo Travis has signed with the Alaska Aces, a pro basketball team in the Philippines. They’re a part of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

More overseas games for Celtics next season

Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on the Celtics, who are already one of the most famous basketball teams in the world and will get even more live-and-in-person overseas exposure next season:

The Celtics might not be among the better NBA teams in the United States these days, but the franchise continues to be a major brand beyond the borders.

As such, it will soon be announced that the club is playing a third international game outside of the league’s footprint. It was reported here in November that the Celts will play preseason games in Milan and Madrid against local teams next October, and sources now say they will play a regular-season game against Sacramento in Mexico City in late November or early December.

The Kings will be the home team in that game, meaning the Celtics still will have 41 dates at the Garden, not including the preseason and playoffs.

Metta World Peace signs in Italy

Metta World Peace signs in Italy

Metta World Peace signs in Italy

Metta World Peace remains alive and well, and is still a basketball player. And will be taking his talents to Italy.

The Italian basketball team Pallacanestro Cantu, via their verified account, tweets that they have signed World Peace (the artist formerly known as Ron Artest) for the remainder of their season.

It’ll be interesting to see how Metta fares at this late stage of his playing career.

Gani Lawal signs in Athens, Greece

Gani Lawal signs in Athens, Greece

Here’s EurocupBasketball with an update on Gani Lawal:

Panathinaikos Athens added size and intimidation to its front court with the signing of big man Gani Lawal on Saturday. Lawal (2.05 metres, 26 years old) arrives from the Turkish side Trabzonspor where so far this season he averaged 9.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in the Turkish League, and 9.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in EuroChallenge action. Last season he played with EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, winning the Italian League title and being the second overall blocker of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague playoffs, rejecting 7 shots in 4 games.

Dallas Mavericks sign guard Yuki Togashi

mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed free agent guard Yuki Togashi.

Togashi (5-7, 143) was most recently a member of the Mavericks’ NBA Summer League team. In his four games, he averaged 5.3 points and 1.3 rebounds while shooting .467 from the field.

A native of Niigata, Japan, Togashi attended high school in the United States at Montrose Christian School which produced NBA players Kevin Durant, Terrence Ross and Greivis Vasquez. He was part of the 2011 Montrose team that captured the ESPN Rise National High School Invitational title.

Togashi graduated high school in 2012 and returned to Japan to play professionally in the Basketball Japan League. He signed with the Akita Northern Happinets and averaged 16.3 points, a league-high 7.6 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 58 games during the 2013-14 season.

Rockets maintain relationships in China

Here’s the Houston Chronicle Blog reporting on the Rockets:

Rockets CEO Tad Brown, former player Clyde Drexler and point guard Pat Beverley just returned from a trip to China where they met with some of the Rockets’ business partners and interacted with the fan base.

“It’s always great to go to China,” Brown said. “We are the most popular NBA team in China by a longshot and its great to reconnect with the fan base every year and see the passion they have for the Rockets.”

It was a quick trip — the three left Friday and returned Tuesday morning. In the short amount of time, they were able to make time for a handful of events and appearances to go along with the business meetings.

Brown said that Beverley was a hit among the fans.

Video: Best plays from 2014 World Cup

Enjoy this FIBA video of the best plays from the 2014 World Cup tournament:

Sunday in Spain, the USA beat Serbia 129-92 to win the 2014 World Cup gold medal. Enjoy these video highlights of some of the game’s best plays:

Watch the top five plays from the September 13 third-place game between Lithuania and France. The bronze medal was won by France, who squeezed out a 95-93 win.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on a Team USA player that recently took a nasty hit while playing in the World Cup:

Rudy Gay suffers fracture in jaw, broken tooth at World Cup

Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay said he has a fracture in his jaw and a broken tooth, but he insists that won’t keep him off the court as Team USA plays Serbia in the gold medal game of the FIBA Basketball World Cup on Sunday.

Gay suffered the injuries after getting elbowed in the fourth quarter of Team USA’s 96-68 victory over Lithuania in the semifinals on Thursday night in Barcelona.

“I’ve got a fracture in my jaw, a broken tooth and am going to probably need a root canal,” Gay told USA Today Sports on Saturday. “The top is where I got hit. It’s painful. It’s uncomfortable, and it still bleeds, so I’ve got to continuously gargle. It is what it is, man.”

Here’s Reuters reporting on an aging basketball legend:

Future of Pau Gasol on Spanish national team in doubt

Spain centre Pau Gasol has doubts about his future with the national team following the hosts’ shock quarter-final defeat by France at the basketball World Cup on Wednesday.

The Spaniards, packed with NBA talents and joint favourites with the United States, were expected to reach the final but the contest against France which began with fans in festive spirits ended with calls for coach Juan Antonio Orenga to resign.

The defeat could well mean the end of an era for a successful Spanish side who lifted the 2006 World Cup, bagged silver medals at the last two Olympics and won two of the last three European Championships.

“You never know when it is your last game or your last tournament,” Gasol told reporters after the 65-52 loss.

The Chicago Bulls player has been the talisman for the side but he, like several others in the squad, are approaching the end of their illustrious careers.

Here’s ESPN New York with a World Cup update that Brooklyn Nets fans should care about:

Well, this should get Nets fans pretty excited.

Bojan Bogdanovic, the European sharpshooter who signed a three-year, $10 million contract with the Nets in the offseason, had a game-high 27 points for Croatia on Saturday in the team’s 69-64 elimination loss to France in the round of 16 at the FIBA World Cup in Spain.

Bogdanovic had 14 of his points in the fourth quarter as Croatia nearly rallied back from a 16-point deficit. He hit a 3-pointer with just more than a minute left to bring his team within two, but he missed a long triple out of an isolation set 28 seconds later that could’ve given Croatia a 67-66 lead.

Bogdanovic scored nine points in the first quarter, but he was held to just four in the next two quarters as he stopped getting touches before erupting in the fourth. His offensive talent was on full display, and he showed that he can get hot in stretches and isn’t afraid to take the big shot.

Here’s ESPN.com with an update on a talented international player:

Finnish point guard Petteri Koponen hopes to be playing in the NBA by the 2015-16 season.

Here at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, Koponen told ESPN.com he intends to make the jump to the NBA after completing the final season on his contract with BC Khimki in Russia.

“I always said my dream is to play in the NBA,” Koponen said. “Every summer we talk a little bit with Dallas to see what the situation is and what they think. I’ve got one more year left on my contract in Russia and then of course I would like to come over. I hope I get some options to go there and show I can play at that level.”

The Mavericks acquired Koponen’s NBA rights in 2011 in a draft-night trade trade with Portland. He was selected by Philadelphia on behalf of the Blazers with the last pick of the first round in 2007, having played in the Nike Hoop Summit that year against a future MVP named Derrick Rose.

Friday night in Madison Square Garden, the USA beat Puerto Rico 112-86 in an exhibition. Enjoy these video highlights of some of the game’s top plays:

Kings sign center Sim Bhullar

kings

The Sacramento Kings have signed center Sim Bhullar to a contract, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

It’s unclear how long Bhullar will remain with the Kings or if he’ll be able to stick around in the NBA, but at least he has a shot to prove himself.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Bhullar becomes the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA team. The 7-foot-5, 360-pound center was a member of the Kings squad that captured the 2014 Samsung NBA Summer League title in Las Vegas.

In his two seasons at New Mexico State, the Aggies standout averaged 10.2 points (.633 FG%, .496 FT%), 7.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 2.9 blocks and 25.3 minutes per game in 65 career games. Bhullar was a two-time Western Athletic Conference Tournament MVP, helping the school reach the NCAA Tournament in 2013 and 2014. As a freshman, he was named WAC Freshman of the Year after accruing averages of 10.1 points (.621 FG%, .465 FT%), 6.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 2.4 blocks and 24.4 minutes per game for the Aggies. He set a single-season school record for most blocked shots with 85 and his .621 field goal percentage ranked fourth on the NMSU single-season list and first in the WAC in 2012-13.

“I’ve long believed that India is the next great frontier for the NBA, and adding a talented player like Sim only underscores the exponential growth basketball has experienced in that nation,” said Kings Owner Vivek Ranadivé. “While Sim is the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA franchise, he represents one of many that will emerge from that region as the game continues to garner more attention and generate ever-increasing passion among a new generation of Indian fans.”

During the past NBA 2013-14 season, the Kings televised over 20 live games in India, launched a website in Hindi to connect with a rapidly growing Hindi-speaking fan base from around the world, sent the Sacramento Kings players and dancers to Mumbai, and signed the team’s first India-based sponsor.

Al Harrington signs with team in China

Here’s the Washington Post Blog with an update on veteran forward Al Harrington:

Al Harrington signs with basketball team in China

Al Harrington spent some of his summer as a de facto assistant coach for the Wizards’ summer league outfit in Las Vegas, but will not be returning to the team in any capacity at least to start the upcoming season. The veteran forward announced on Instagram Sunday that he will play in China for the Fujian SBS Xunxing Sturgeons. Harrington signed a one-year deal, according to Bleacher Report.

“Looking forward to the Challenge at hand,” part of Harrington’s Instagram caption read. “To help my team reach the Playoffs and WIN once we get there. Secondly I wanna say THANK YOU to the Washington Wizards Organization…”

Hawks hire Neven Spahija as assistant coach

The Atlanta Hawks have named Neven Spahija (NEV-in SPA-hee-ah) an assistant coach, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

“Neven is one of the most successful coaches in Europe and we’re thrilled to add him to our staff,” said Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. “As an organization, we have great respect for international basketball and we will benefit tremendously from his perspective and his wealth of experience.”

Spahija, a Croatia native and former Croatian Coach of the Year with nearly 30 years international coaching experience, was most recently head coach of Cibona Zagreb (Croatia) last season. From 2010-12, Spahija led Fenerbahce Ulker (Turkey), winning a Turkish Basketball League and Turkish Cup championship in 2010-11 after directing the club to a 27-3 regular season mark.

Spahija had previously guided Cibona from 2000-01, additionally serving as head coach for four other Euroleague teams since that time – Krka Novo Mesto (Slovenia), Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuania), Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) and Tau Ceramica (Spain).

He has won domestic league titles in six countries – Slovenia, Croatia, Lithuania, Spain, Israel and Turkey. Spahija has also been a head coach in Russia (Avtodor Saratov), Italy (Roseto) and Croatia (Gradine Pula). He won the 2009-10 Eurocup with Valencia (Spain), reached the finals of the 2003 ULEB Cup with Krka and the 2008 Euroleague Final Four with Tau Ceramica.

Spahija has also spent time as head coach of the Croatian National team (2001-05) and the Under-22 National Team (2001).

Kevin Love withdraws from Team USA

Kevin Love has withdrawn from this summer’s USA Basketball roster because of his uncertain NBA status, leaving the Americans without one of their most experienced international players.

Team USA announced the decision on Saturday. Love, who won gold medals at the 2012 Olympics and 2010 world championship and was one of the first players to commit to play this summer, told USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo that he would be unavailable for training camp that starts Monday.

– Associated Press

Chicago Bulls sign second round draft pick Cameron Bairstow

The Chicago Bulls announced today the signing of 2014 second round draft pick Cameron Bairstow. Chicago selected Bairstow (BARE-stow) with the 49th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

“We like Cameron’s combination as a player with his size, energy and physicality,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. “He is a hard worker who will only get better with time.”

A native of Brisbane, Australia, Bairstow is a 6-9, 250-pound forward who played four seasons at the University of New Mexico. In 134 games with the Lobos, he posted 9.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.8 apg and 0.74 bpg in 20.8 mpg. For his collegiate career, he also shot .517 from the field and .717 from the line.

San Antonio Spurs hire Etorre Messina as an assistant coach

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have hired Ettore Messina as an assistant coach. A four-time Euroleague Champion and a two-time Euroleague Coach of the Year, Messina brings over 25 years of coaching experience to the bench.

“I am honored to have such an accomplished individual join our program,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. “Coach Messina is an exceptional coach, a great leader and someone we can all learn from.”

Messina joins the Spurs after spending the last two years as the head coach of the CSKA Moscow in the Russian League, his second stint with the team. Before returning to CSKA Moscow, Messina served as a coaching consultant for the L.A. Lakers in 2011-12. Prior to making the move to the NBA, Messina spent four seasons (2005-2009) at the helm of CSKA Moscow where he led the team to two Euroleague Championships (2006, 2008) and four Russian SuperLeague titles (2006-2009).

Before coaching in the Russian League, Messina served as a coach in the Italian League for over 15 years. He earned two Euroleague Championships (1998 and 2001) as well as several Italian championships with Virtus Bologna, where he had two stints as head coach (1989-1993, 1997-2002). After leaving Bologna, Messina went on to coach Benetton Treviso from 2002-2005, guiding the team to an Italian championship in 2003.

Named one of the Euroleague’s 10 Greatest All-Time Coaches in 2008, Messina has earned numerous coaching accolades throughout his career including European Coach of the Year in 1998, Euroleague Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2008, and Italian Coach of the Year in 1990, 1993, 1998, 2001 and 2005.

A native of Catania, Italy, Messina also served as head coach of the senior men’s Italian national basketball team (1993-1997), where he led Italy to the silver medal at the 1997 European Championship.

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