EuroBasket ended Sunday with a French championship. Now we are forced to watch preseason NBA basketball, at least until the games get real just before Halloween.
So let’s look back at the best of the European championship and its All-Tournament Team. The video is above, theplayers were:
Tony Parker, France. He was the best player in the tournament, won the EuroBasket MVP and led France to its first ever European championship. France had one of the best offenses in the tournament and it was because Parker just broke every team down off the dribble — NBA teams can’t stop him, in Europe he was scoring in the paint, drawing fouls and being a general disruptive force. He finished averaging 19 points and 3.3 assists per game.
Goran Dragic, Slovenia. He carried the host nation (along with his brother Zoran) to the quarterfinals with some of the most entertaining play of the tournament — he was quick, attacking and seemed to be everywhere. Dragic finished averaging 15.8 points and 4.5 assists a game, and his play got Slovenia into the World Cup next summer in Spain.
Bojan Bogdanovic, Croatia. He is a draft-and-stash guy who looked ready to come to the NBA. The Brooklyn Nets have his rights to Bogdanovic, who played in Turkey last season and averaged 17.4 points and 4.1 rebounds a game. He worked well off the ball and looked like a guy who can put up points in the NBA, when he decides to come over.
Linas Kleiza, Lithuania. His NBA years ended and he went back to play Fenerbahçe Ülker in Turkey last season, but he was the key reason Lithuania made it to the championship game. He can still score, and he can throw down some impressive dunks. He had 20 in the championship game.
Marc Gasol, Spain. The best big man in the tournament, and just like with the Grizzlies in the NBA you can get sucked into watching the flashier other guys and miss just how impressive Gasol is. His passing out of the high and low post set up the Spanish offense. Gasol averaged 13.9 points on 50.5 percent shooting, 7.8 rebounds and 1 block per game. He also was allowed to really play a zone and with that anchored a stout Spanish defense. If it hadn’t been for Parker, Gasol would have led Spain to a title.