Monday, October 23, 2006

Euroleague 101

Henry Abbott at True Hoop brings some news that is sure to interest every purple & orange blooded Phoenix Suns fan. Apparently, a concerted effort is being made by a French website to provide weekly English language coverage of the Euroleague. Remember the days when we had to scour the internet for obscure videos of Thabo Sefolosha or Sergio Rodriguez because of the Suns' purported interest in drafting them? Julien Debove of promises weekly reports and player profiles that will obviate the need to watch "those old-fashioned video clips".

I read the preseason ranking of euro teams and found some of the comparisons to NBA teams pretty humorous. (text in bold italics is especially funny, text in red italics is to be smirked at)

1. CSKA Moscow (Russia)
The reigning champs are back (Papaloukas, Langdon, Coach Ettore Messina…).
NBA team look-alike : San Antonio Spurs ’05-06

2. Panathinaikos Athens (Greece)
Best frontcourt in the League (future NBA players Scola and Splitter)…and the backcourt ain’t bad either…
NBA team look-alike : Detroit Pistons ’04-05

3. Tau Vitoria (Spain)
The Spanish champs might be even better without last year studs Garbajosa & Herrmann.
NBA team look-alike : Dallas Mavericks ’04-06 (better without an MVP)

6. Olympiakos (Greece)
Big fat contracts and a big fat center (Baby Shaq).
NBA team look-alike : New York Knicks post-Ewing era (replace Baby Shaq by Jerome James)

10. Efes Pilsen (Turkey)
4 experienced Americans and a good European supporting cast.
NBA team look-alike : more Americans than the ’06-07 Toronto Raptors roster

13. Joventut Badalona (Spain)
A young and fearless squad led by 21-year old star Rudy Fernandez and S.I.X.T.E.E.N. year-old phenomenon Ricky Rubio. Imagine LeBron James playing in the NBA while a sophomore in high school. You got the picture…
NBA team look-alike : Cleveland Cavaliers ’05-07

17. Zalgiris Kaunas (Lithuania)
Has been on the downside since they won the Euroleague in 1999. Bad omen when your best player might be the owner of the team (former Blazer Arvydas Sabonis)…
NBA team look-alike : Washington Wizards ’00-01 and Charlotte Bobcats ’06-07 ???

18. Le Mans (France)
A very exciting team which likes to play up-tempo. Would be ranked much higher without an awful start in the French league…
NBA team look-alike : A Taiwanese imitation of the ’05-06 Phoenix Suns

23. Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia)
The Slovenian team has as much money available as a Donald Sterling tip.
NBA team look-alike : The vintage Los Angeles Clippers (before Sterling started acting like Isiah Thomas)

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