Smack / Sep 9, 2009 / 5:43 am

Gasol, Parker put in work at FIBA Europe; Durant covers Dime #51

Tony Parker

Tony Parker

For the second day in a row, the two marquee teams at the FIBA European Championships didn’t look that good. Spain was upset by a scrappy Serbia squad over the holiday weekend, then on Tuesday they struggled again with a team they rightfully should have 20-pieced. Playing without Ben Gordon or Luol Deng (or Michael Olowokandi — although that’s probably a good thing), Great Britain gave Pau Gasol and Co. all they could handle, taking a brief lead in the fourth quarter before Spain (sparked by a Pau three-pointer) got it together in time to hold on for a win. Gasol dropped 27 points and 11 boards, while Rudy Fernandez scored 13 and Ricky Rubio added five points and six assists. In case you’re wondering, Rubio is starting at PG ahead of Raul Lopez. His regular competition, Jose Calderon, isn’t playing in this tournament … Meanwhile, France had a tough time beating a Dirk-less German squad over the weekend, and it didn’t get any easier against Latvia yesterday. Again it was up to Tony Parker to take over in crunch time, as he scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half to help France edge out a win. Andris Biedrins grabbed 20 rebounds to go with six points for Latvia … Remember ex-UNLV big man Kaspers Kambala? He’s one of Latvia’s top players, putting up 18 points and seven boards yesterday. Kambala is coming off a two-year suspension for cocaine, and during his break he took up boxing, building a 2-0-1 record as a pro … In other FIBA Europe action: Hedo Turkoglu had a quiet eight points in just 15 minutes as Turkey blew out Bulgaria; Tal Burnstein scored 25 points for Israel in a loss to Macedonia; Jan Jagla, a Penn State alum who is basically playing the temporary role of Dirk for Germany, had 19 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Russia; Boki Nachbar had 17 points and nine boards in Slovenia’s win over Serbia; Roko Ukic (a.k.a Brandon Jennings‘ and Luke Ridnour‘s towel guy in Milwaukee) led Croatia with 15 points in a loss to Greece; and host country Poland knocked off Lithuania, getting 22 points and 10 boards from Maciej Lampe, and 15 points and 17 boards from Marcin GortatDime #51 is out. We put Kevin Durant on the cover this time, catching up with KD for a long overdue cover shoot just as he was officially blowing up the NBA’s spot this summer at the Team USA camp in Vegas. Check out the digital Dime issue HERE, which includes a feature on Eric Gordon; a huge fashion spread/feature section on the ’09 NBA rookie class; and other stuff from the likes of Scottie Pippen and Danny Granger … Hopefully ending some recent trade rumors and providing the player in question some peace of mind, Pat Riley said the Heat organization is fully behind Michael Beasley while he goes through his rehab/counseling stint. “I was told this by somebody: Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future,” Riley said in an Associated Press interview. “You can’t put yourself above and beyond anybody. We all have periods where things haven’t gone our way for whatever reason, and we’ve all had an opportunity to grow. Because of what’s happened in the past, we hope there’s growth spurts for him.” … Not much as far as personnel moves in the NBA yesterday: Rodney Carney agreed to sign with the Sixers, which gives them a crazy athletic layup line crew of Carney, Thad Young, Lou Williams, Jrue Holiday, Marreese Speights and Andre Iguodala, but doesn’t greatly impact Philly in the standings one way or another … On that note, though, how good do you think Iguodala will be this year? Word is new Philly coach Eddie Jordan is envisioning A.I.2 as a big-time scorer in his system, and he’s got a little more confidence after having a few standout playoff moments last spring. Iguodala could be poised for one of those 23 ppg, 6 rpg, 6 apg, 2.5 spg seasons people were predicting when he was constantly compared to Pippen coming out of Arizona … Perhaps taking a clue from Michael Jordan‘s choosing of David Thompson to introduce him at the Hall of Fame, John Stockton said he’ll have Isiah Thomas usher him into the Hall. Stockton cited Zeke’s status as one of the small guards who changed the game. (Where did Isiah rank on the list of guys Jordan wanted to introduce him? Somewhere between Kwame Brown and Jerry Krause, we’d imagine.) Jerry Sloan will have Charles Barkley introduce him, which will inevitably turn into Barkley telling jokes about himself … We’re out like Kwame …

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  • http://luckylester.com luckylester

    Barkley will be great…

  • BRUCE

    Where did Isiah rank on the list of guys Jordan wanted to introduce him? DEAD LAST!

  • BRUCE

    Freezing out THE GREATEST during the All-Star Game.

  • BRUCE

    The Big Three of my era: Magic, Bird, and Jordan. Before I die, I will visit the HOF, Summer 2010!

  • K Dizzle

    Stock got Isaiah bringin him in? Didn’t see that one comin…

  • alf (from melmak)

    Dime, how much tick did Rubio get? It is his second stinker. I say, replace the coach!

    Witty line on Barkley. How much opposite the lives of Sloan and Barkley are. Farm guy versus Vegas guy. But then again both are fierce competitors on the basketball court.

    My meal allowance says the current Sixers lineup cannot top its 1983 circa team in terms of athletecism.

  • Damon

    alf, go to eurobasket.com > Euro chapmionship, everything is there… (he played 22 minutes) but remember this is european basketball, teams focus a lot on defense, the paint is always crowded (especially when teams play the zone), sometimes you can’t seem to be able to make a pass. Just another style, not as spectacular as the NBA, but still fun to watch.

    France did an UGLY second quarter, scoring just ONE basket for three points (an all-time worst), then everything began to work (when referees stopped calling against France), hopefully they’ll win tonight against Russia and their centers… Biedrins did as expected an excellent job on the boards, but it seems there is absolutely no system for him so he doesn’t get any points… seeing him being rejected by Turiaf was the highlight of the game.

  • jzsmoove

    Could it be that the rest of the world is actually catching up in talent to the other world powerhouses? Maybe not, but it wont be too long.

    Irrelevant question but Ukic got traded from the Raptors to Milwaukee? There was not even a blip on the radar on that. A lot of people here actually liked the guy behind flashes of being good. I prefer Jarrett Jack who is a big upgrade at PG relief.

    I wonder who will be the first HOFer to call on MJ to enshrine them into the Hall of Fame? Or how many will look into it. Everybody wanted to be Like Mike.

  • Kobeef

    @Jzsmoove
    Roko went to Milwaukee in the trade for Amir Johnson – which you probably heard about.

    Anyone remember when Macej Lampe was traded to New York? The kid has talent but kind of reminds me of Darko in that he never seemed happy or comfortable on his team. It’s too bad since obviously he can play.

  • doc

    2jzsmoove-its gonna be about who Mike choose to do it for.He aint gonna just be going out there every year to talk.That aint Mike style.Zeke and Mike might not have liked each other as people,but best believe they respected eachother greatness.Zeke froze him out a little in that first all star game.But I seen All Star games when Mike and Zeke be working the West out together as a tandem.Stock respect Zeke greatness you can see.Everybody thought Zeke didnt like him because he played for the dream team over him but obviously he got some type of respect since he bringing him in the fraternity.Zeke was THE MAN as a little dude and won 2 chips.Who else did it at his size?If i wait for a answer I’ll be here forever.Until any of them little men (AI,CP,whoever else)win chips as the guy they aint saying shit.

  • doc

    And he got his in the middle of the Magic,Bird,Mike era like…Excuse me fellas Ima just snatch these two and get out yall way.He’d be running shit now!

  • yahoo man

    Anyone surprised rubio can’t even get his season average of 10 and 5 assists in fiba play?? He’s such an average pg it’s hilarious.

  • doc

    Im not even gonna get on Rubio.Ima just keep listening.Iknow he better have at least one “breakout” game where he show something.

  • FedEx

    Assists are not credites so generously in FIBA as in NBA, you’d struggle to find players with 5 or 6 assists, never mind 10…Don’t judge him by those stats alone.

  • Buffalo Brave

    Fuck Rubio!

  • http://luckylester.com luckylester

    I think Stockton asked Zeke to introduce him to pay Mike back for that push-off last basket to ice the Jazz… The one guy MJ didn’t want to see on his hall of fame day is introducing the guy going in right before Mike. Ha. I hope Thomas says something to poke at Jordan, that would be awesome.

  • K Dizzle

    @ Doc

    no diss to Zeke, but if Magic and Byron don’t get hurt in ’89, it’s 3 in a row and Detroit only gets one chip. Still, Isaiah the king of little men and I give him his props for gettin it done and the game he played with that busted ankle. Huge heart.

    Who’s Houston’s starting 2 guard just outta curiousity?

  • dial up

    Who the hell is judging rubio just on stats. He was a backup pg behind calderon when Spain went on to the gold medal game. Now it’s his team, and they’re mightily struggling. Backup pgs don’t do well as starters, im telling you.

  • BHop2009

    NBA and FIBA need to get together. NBA and FIBA should have the same exact rules since there playing the same game. How is one thing going to be illegal in the NBA be legal in FIBA(touch the ball when its on the rim). LOL at FIBA’s 3 point being the same as the WNBA and shorter than the NCAA.