Archive for the ‘ International ’ Category

Nemanja Bjelica headed to Timberwolves

It’s always fun to see how players who have achieved success in the Euroleague wind up doing in the NBA. It’s an adjustment. And in general, even within the same league, a player’s role in one system isn’t nearly as successful in another.

As for the Timberwolves, here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting

The Turkish team Fenerbahce Ulker overnight announced that Euroleague MVP Nemanja Bjelica has exercised an opt clause in his contract to leave for the NBA,

That clears the way for the Wolves to sign him, five years after David Kahn drafted him 35th overall in the 2010 NBA draft.

Expect Bjelica to sign a three-year deal worth at least $12 million, possibly more. The Wolves will use a good portion of their mid-level exception to sign him.

He was under contract with Fenerbahce until the clock struck midnight last night.

Here’s Euroleague.net with an update on a key veteran in Spain:

Five weeks after he lifted the Turkish Airlines Euroleague trophy as team captain, veteran big man Felipe Reyes and Real Madrid have agreed to a new two-year contract. Reyes (2.04 meters, 35 years old) was named to the All-Euroleague First Team last season after posting 10.7 points and 5.1 rebounds in 19 minutes on average over 30 Euroleague games. He ranked third among all Euroleague players in offensive rebounds, with 2.5 per game, and sixth in per-minute production, prorated to a performance index rating of 27.85 over 40 minutes. Reyes also became the Euroleague’s all-time leader in total rebounds midway through last season. He is Real Madrid’s longest-serving player, with 11 seasons on the club, after having played the first six of his career with another Madrid club, Estudiantes. Reyes also won the 2007 Eurocup title with Real Madrid.

The Dallas Mavericks announced that they have selected center Satnam Singh with the 52nd overall selection of the 2015 NBA Draft.

Singh (7-2, 290) last played for IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), where he averaged 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game during the 2014-15 season.

A native of Chawke, India, Singh has represented the India national basketball team at the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship and the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship.

The German Basketball Federation announced today that Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen will join the coaching staff of the German men’s national team this summer. He will join Head Coach Chris Fleming during the preparation heading into the European Championship, also known as EuroBasket 2015, from Sept. 5 – 20. The preliminary round featuring Germany, Spain, Serbia, Turkey, Italy and Iceland will be played in Berlin, Germany. The best four teams will advance to the final round in Lille, France.

“Alex is a big asset for our national team,” said Head Coach Fleming. “He has proven at multiple places to be a coach who can develop young players. The dynamic improved performance of Rudy Gobert at the Jazz has a lot to do with the excellent work of Alex. He played for several years in Europe and is very well versed in international basketball.”

Jensen is entering his third season as a member of the Jazz coaching staff. Before joining the Jazz, Jensen spent two seasons (57-43, .557) as the first-ever head coach of the Canton Charge of the D-League from 2011-13, advancing the Cleveland Cavaliers-owned team to the playoffs in both seasons. He was named the 2013 Dennis Johnson NBA D-League Coach of the Year after leading the Charge to a franchise-best 30 victories and an East Division title. Jensen then coached the D-League Select Team in the 2013 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, leading his squad to a 4-1 record against NBA team entries and advancing them to the quarterfinals of the inaugural summer league tournament. Jensen began his coaching career as an assistant under Rick Majerus at Saint Louis University from 2007-11.

A native of Bountiful, Utah, Jensen attended Viewmont High School there, leading the Vikings to a state basketball title as a junior and was named Utah’s Mr. Basketball in 1994. Jensen played four seasons at the University of Utah (1994-95, 1997-00) under Majerus and helped the Utes to the NCAA Championship game in 1998. Following his collegiate career, Jensen played seven professional seasons in Turkey and one season with the Yakima Sun Kings of the CBA. While playing in Europe, Jensen was named All-FIBA Europe Cup Defender of the Year in 2004, along with being named to the All-FIBA Europe Cup First Team.

Boston Celtics playing October preseason game in Milan, Italy

Here’s the WEEI blog reporting on the Boston Celtics, who are playing an international exhibition game in October:

The Celtics will be going international to open their preseason this fall.

The NBA, in conjunction with Euroleague Basketball and RCS Sport, confirmed Wednesday that the Celtics will play a preseason game on Oct. 6 against Olimpia Milano in Milan, Italy, as part of NBA Global Games Europe 2015.

The 17-time NBA champion will play the three-time Euroleague champion and 26-time Italian League champion Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum in Milan.

“On behalf of the Celtics organization, we are proud to return to Milan for NBA Global Games 2015,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a statement. “I have particularly fond memories of playing in Europe almost 30 years ago, and I am sure our current players will relish this unique opportunity.”

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.

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