“My name is X and I’m an addict.” is the standard introduction at the American (Basketball) Anonymous Association. Sports addiction isn’t commonly considered a bad thing, and certainly no way comparable to “THE ADDICTIONS”…. off the top of my head I’d name these as cigarettes, drink, heroin and gambling…..oh and crack. Who can forget those nasty “before” and “after” images of those afflicted by that scourge.

An NBA addict has no problems going cold turkey after the finals. We’ve had enough basketball, we’re full, and it’s time to get outdoors, be that your local court, beach, park or similar. As nights darken around October, us NBA addicts do get the urge for basketball. The beast is once again awoken with slow and painful agony with of awful preseason games. This is “NBA lite”, a watered down intro fix for the NBA fiend. These exhibition games then trigger memories of a few choice playoff highlights and after a quick check of the latest player movements we’re back on the NBA wagon “Jonesing” for NBA excitement. At this precise moment they tease and lock in our addiction with the upcoming NBA schedule.

So my first look was to check out last years EuroLeague Champion, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv as they played the NBA’s new Cleveland Cavaliers. This is coach David Blatt’s old team vesus his new team which now includes Kevin Love, my main man Mr. Kyrie Irving and of course some other guy. The Cavaliers manage to squeak out a win and I was impressed by the new coaches poise and composure. I suppose coaching becomes really, really easy with Hall of Fame players on your team. As a side story it will be interesting to see how highly touted coach Erik Spoelstra does this year without LeBron firepower in Miami.

 

My next step was to look around closer to home. This means “ZZ Leiden” a Netherlands professional basketball team featuring my main main man. Worthy De Jong. (That’s a homage to Armad Rashād, an old school sports personality) Now Worthy or “Work” as I call him put in a great performance with 35 points and 11 rebounds as he led his team in the blowout win.

 

So to close this little blog, good basketball can be found in Europe. It’s not served up and marketed as slickly as you’ll find with the NBA. What IS nice, is that basketball games in Europe can be attended and watched at a decent price and with great views of the action. The atmosphere in local European sport halls is cozy and at the same time electrifying. The refereeing is definitely suspect. Randomly executed and easily biased. Personally, I prefer to attribute the officiating to the special wacky flavor to European basketball where crazy things happen and referees like to make it so. It does take bit of searching and research to figure out when the good teams are playing in Europe as soccer or football is pretty much the only subject in the media. So here’s a hint, Maccabi gets a chance to redeem itself when they play Alba Berlin on Sept. 10th at 20:00…. these guys just beat the 2014 NBA champions the San Antonio Spurs with a last second shot.

And here’s the highlights from the game.

An exciting one that ended up being awarded the European Game of the Week.


 
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