Sep 16, 2011

Trash Talk: News and notes on Lithuania and EuroBasket2011

cross posted on 30 Home Games blog

On Lithuania
  • Basketball is their first religion. My mormon running mates tell me Catholicism is their second. I would argue Foosball is their third
  • Its a tourist cliche, "[Insert Country] has the most beautiful women" but the Lithuanian women are fine and more importantly the people are friendly
  • The Spanish seem to be doing well on and off the court in Lithuania
  • Lithuanians are great hosts. I've been invited by strangers to their universities and homes to watch Lithuania's marquee games.
  • Gedimino, the main street of the capital Vilnius is decorated by Basketball ornaments, Non-basketball tourists tell me "its lit up like its Christmas". I concur smiling, "It is".
  • Haven't figured out whether its because I love Lithuania or I love basketball, but the EuroBasket 2011 theme gets me quite emotional. Lithuanian version here.
On EuroBasket2011
  • I Keep forgetting to google why Serge Ibaka is on the Spanish Team
  • It seems I'm not alone in thinking Macedonia's Pero Antic looks like Carlos Boozer
  • Spain's Juan Carlos Navorro doesn't know how to miss
  • As much as I want to like him, apart from his off-target shooting Ricky Rubio's game is nondescript
  • Lithuanian TV is mindful not to keep showing that heart-breaking turnover but it seems you can find all sorts of EuroBasket torture videos on the net. Who ever made this video must be some sort of Macedonian version of the bad guy from 'Saw'.
  • My France Finals prediction came through, shame for everyone the Lietuva leg didn't hold up
  • France's Nicolas Batum probably has the most impressive highlight reel of the Tournament
  • Batum's white makeup of the Crazy Light's gets my vote as Sneaker of the Tournament
  • Second best sneaker goes to Darius Songaila's Lithuanian colorway of the Kidd Zoom Flight 5's
  • My initial love for Serbia's Miloš Teodosić dropped as his turnovers piled up (highest of Tourney). I would guess NBA scouts felt the same way, though people tell me he prefers Europe anyway
  • American-Born Bo McCaleb is likely to have more desire to play in the NBA and has the most calls to return as his stock rose together with his Macedonian team. A case has been made that he was a smarter fit for contenders The Magic and Lakers
  • Despite the final day not featuring host nation Lithuania it provides the most compelling matchups. Featuring the 4 Group leaders, each team dropping no more than one game in their respective pools. Both games promise tantalizing rematches, the bronze medal game gives Macedonia a chance to avenge their buzzer-beater loss against Russia. Headliners Spain up against a full strength French team in the Gold medal game, the two favorites ready to treat the fans with the barn-burner they withheld in the qualifying stages.

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