Tag: Germany


Agent confirms Durant in discussions with German club

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That Photoshopped image (right) of Kevin Durant in a BBC Bayreuth uniform may turn out to be prophetic. But not soon.

Durant has said he was serious about looking overseas and now his agent has confirmed to Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated that they are in talks with that German club. But as we have often seen during this lockout, the European club tends to think things are father along and going better than anyone else does.

Amick spoke to Aaron Goodwin, Durant’s agent.

“We’re just discussing it,” Goodwin said. “We’re in discussions and it’s definitely a consideration, but we’re not in the final stages.”

An overseas report from spox.com quoted Bayreuth general manager Uli Eichbaum saying, “We’re in the final stages of a deal and I’m an optimist. It’s not looking bad.”

There also have been conversations with Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv as well as the Spanish club Valencia (which just signed Tiago Splitter of the Spurs). What is interesting is those two clubs are considered elite, while BBC Bayreuth is not (it did not qualify for EuroLeague and is currently 14th in a 20-team league).

Wherever he lands, Durant seems to seriously be considering making a move. Clay Bennett just felt a chill run down is spine.

Kobe’s knee work was more cutting edge than we thought

Kobe Bryant

We know that Kobe Bryant is playing on knees that have about as much cartilage left as knee as Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has money left.

The difference is Kobe is smart about it, and is trying to figure out how to make what he has left last. Hence the trip to Germany this summer to get a new high-tech blood procedure on his knee that could help it heal and last.

Except this is Kobe, so he didn’t get the standard platelet-rich plasma. He pushed it about as far as he could, according to a story by ESPN.

According to a source familiar with Bryant’s treatment, his blood was treated to isolate growth factors that attack inflammation, and then cultured with chemicals to increase their potency before being injected into his arthritic right knee.

Wehling declined to confirm or deny that he treated Bryant. But in a rare interview about his work, he told ESPN The Magazine, “I am the only one to have found a way to cure arthritis….”

Although Wehling’s procedure shares some similarity to traditional platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, the physician says he’s achieved a nearly 90 percent success rate by genetically screening his patients to personalize their treatments. His website shows him with his arm around actor Nick Nolte.

If everything is going to go as good for Kobe as it has for Nolte….

This doctor worked on Tracy McGrady, who did seem to be moving better last season than he had previously. Wehling also worked on Pope John Paul II.

Will what worked for the pope work for Kobe? Who knows. But if Kobe gets added rest from a lockout — and doesn’t go off playing in Italy — it will be hard to say if the credit belongs to the fancy treatment or just more rest for an aging body.

Nowitzki taking break, will not sign overseas until November

Dirk Nowitzki EuroBasket
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Dirk Nowitzki is tired. Not to go all Lili Von Shtupp on you, but he’s tired of being admired; tired of love uninspired; let’s face it, he’s tired.

After a run all the way to the NBA championships he partied all over the globe, then after a short break there was a few weeks of private workouts with his longtime shooting coach Holger Geschwindner, then he went to Germany to train and play with the national team in EuroBasket.

Nowitzki told ESPN’s Marc Stein that since Germany was eliminated early from EuroBasket — a loss that knocked them out of any spots in next year’s Olympics — he is taking some time off and will not sign with any overseas teams until November, if the lockout lasts that long.

“I’m going to get away for a little bit and get some well-deserved rest that I didn’t get before,” Nowitzki said, referring to the whirlwind existence during and immediately after the Mavericks’ long playoff run to their first-ever championship. “That’s my plan….

“Let’s see where the lockout is in a few weeks and then we’ll have something to talk about,” Nowitzki said of finding temporary employment abroads.

(Yes, I know that quote doesn’t say November, but it is used elsewhere in the article.)

If Nowitzki does play overseas, he likely would sign with German powerhouse Bayern Munich. But we don’t have to worry about that for a while. For now, Nowitzki is recharging the batteries.

EuroBasket roundup: Spain looks good, Germany in trouble

Marc Gasol of Spain looks on while being guarded by Nowitzki of Germany during their FIBA EuroBasket 2011 basketball game in Vilnius
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Here is where we are at with EuroBasket — two groups of six teams each, with the top four from those groups advancing to the eight-team knockout round. What we saw Wednesday was three teams taking control — France, Spain and Lithuania — while Germany may have sealed its doom.

What follows is your Wednesday wrap up:

Spain 77, Germany 68: This was the two best front courts in EuroBasket going head-to-head and Spain slightly winning that battle behind the Gasol brothers. Marc Gasol had 24 points (and five boards) while Pau had 19 and seven. Dirk Nowitzki had exactly the same 19 and seven as Pau, and Chris Kaman had 15 points and 12 boards. Still, down the stretch the Gasol brothers dominated the scoring (the last 9 Spanish points) and Germany could not stop them.

The real difference was Spain had the better backcourt. Juan Carlos Navarro had 14 points and while Ricky Rubio had another blasé offensive game he was strong on defense with four steals and a clutch one late in the game to help seal the win.

The win has Spain at 2-1 and Germany at 0-3 in the second round of group play. That is an almost impossible hole or Germany to climb out of (and Spain should advance unless they completely collapse).

France 68, Turkey 64: France remains undefeated (3-0), and Tony Parker remains the guy in front for the MVP trophy. He has 20 in this one. The question about France coming in was would they have enough offense, Parker has almost singlehandedly answered that question. That said, Turkey had some late success with a 2-3 zone to slow Parker’s penetration, France is going to se a lot of that going forward.

Turkey is now 1-2, same record as Serbia. Barring some dramatic upsets, one of those two teams will advance to the knockout stage, one will be sent home. The two sides play Friday in what will be the biggest game of the tournament for both sides.

Lithuania 100, Serbia 90: Big win for the host Lithuanians, who now hold the power to advance to the knockout stage in their own hands (they are 2-1, same record as Spain, but Spain holds the tiebreaker, so basically Lithuania is third in Group E). Raptors fans had to be drooling in this one as their No. 5 overall pick Jonas Valanciunas had 18 points on 9-of-9 shooting. The kid has skills and he may end up being the best player out of this past draft class.

If you want the stat that decides it, Lithuania won the bench battle 47-19. The old cliché is that role and bench players do better at home, and Lithuania is benefitting from that.

As we said before, the Serbia vs. Turkey game Friday may well determine who advances to the knockout stage from Group E with France, Spain and Lithuania.

Nowitzki given Germany’s highest sporting honor

Dirk Nowitzki Wurzburg Germany
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See what winning a ring can get you? A Silver Laurel Leaf.

Which is a huge deal to Dirk Nowitzki.

The Silver Laurel Leaf is the highest honor Germany can give its sporting heroes, and Nowitzki got one, according to ESPN Dallas.

German President Christian Wulff presented Nowitzki with the Silver Laurel Leaf, praising the Mavericks forward as one of the “giants of German sport…”

Wulff praised his fellow German for remaining “modest and restrained” despite his success.

This is well deserved. And it is also a little elbow to the ribs trying to make sure Nowitzki will play for Germany next summer if they qualify for the London Olympics. Which he will if healthy, he’s helping the team qualify for EuroBasket, which starts Wednesday.

It also got me thinking, what is the American equivalent? Getting your statue out in front of the arena where you played? Getting a street named after you around the arena? I think the best comparison is getting your jersey retired league wide — something only Jackie Robinson and Wayne Gretzky have had done. But not sure I want to see that done in the NBA.