As we near the end of July, we edge closer and closer to the biggest international basketball tournament going - the FIBA World Cup!
The World Cup, which takes place in Spain this year, gets underway on 20th August, and will run right through to the 14th September.
The group stages of the competition will be played in Bilbao, Sevilla, Gran Canaria and Granada. The final stages of the competition will take place in Barcelona and Madrid.
Below are the groups, with all of the countries that are taking part, and a World Cup promo video to get you in the spirit of things!
We have got the official Molten World Cup Basketball in stock as well, so go check that out!
- Puerto Rico
- New Zealand
- South Korea
We love the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Not only does it soften the blow of the NBA season ending and leaving us high and dry, but it also lets us see what the newly acquired draft talent looks like on the big stage.
This year, it's Jabari Parker who is really showing some grit, skill and NBA-readiness when suiting up in Las Vegas.
Drafted 2nd in the 2014 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, and previously touted as being the most likely player to get picked 1st, Parker is proving that the scouts were right to hype him, and the Bucks were right to pick him.
Throughout the Summer League, he has been pulling out some NBA moves, and there's no way that he looks like a 19 year old, fresh out of college.
Check out this little highlights video that is getting us quite excited to see the Bucks back on the NBA hardwood later this year. (We never thought we'd being saying that…)
It is being reported that the New York Knicks attempted to trade for Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves this week, which according to sources was quickly declined by the Timberwolves front office.
The Knicks were willing to give up Amar'e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr, for Kevin Love, who for the Wolves last year averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game, leading his team to a 40-42 and missing out on qualifying for the playoffs.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls are the favourites to win Love's services, but after weeks of speculation no deal can be made. Love announced this week that he would pull out of Team USA's preparation for the FIBA World Cup in Spain.
We're stoked that Starter Black Label have officially announced, via their social media channels, that the Starter x Space Jam collaboration will be releasing this October!
We're well in on that action, and will be stocking everything from Space Jam snapbacks featuring the classic Space Jam logo and characters from the film, right through to Space Jam jerseys.
If you haven't had a look at what you can expect come October, you can have a little peek at the Space Jam jerseys here.
In the meantime, if you want to be the first to know when all of the dope Starter x Space Jam gear arrives, sign up to our mailing list here, then sit back and wait for the good stuff to roll in.
(IMAGE VIA @STARTERBLKLABEL)
If you follow the international dunk scene, then you might just be familiar with two of the biggest players in the game. Rafal "Lipek" Lipinski and Dmitry "Smoove" Krivenko are K1X athletes who know a thing or two about dominating a dunk contest.
With the Shut Up and Play World Dunking Tournament making its way to Berlin soon, Lipek and Smoove had a little bit of a 1-on-1 dunk contest warm up, wearing some of the best gear that K1X has to offer. (Some very nice Anti Gravity kicks knocking about there!)
Check out the dope video below!
We love checking out just how far German basketball brand, K1X, has come in recent years, and we especially love seeing their gear pop up all over the world.
We recently peeked the K1X Pelican Strapback making an appearance at the Footlocker x SLAM 2014 NBA Draft Suite, worn by SLAM's very own Abe Schwadron, as he interviewed some of this years draft prospects.
Check out the videos below, where Abe interviews Kyle Anderson, who was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs, and Chaz Wlliams, who went undrafted and returned to UMass for another year.
Luckily for you fine folks, we've still got a few of the K1X Pelican Strapbacks in stock.
Guest Post by Ciaran Mills
With the 2013-14 NBA season over, and the next one not starting until late October, you may have a basketball shaped hole in your life. But fear not, as next month the FIBA World Cup will be host to the greatest basketball talent in the world.
With 20 teams qualifying, and 4 teams gaining wildcard entries, the World Cup brings together the best players from around the globe. Stars from the NBA and Euroleague are on display, as well as players from lesser known leagues, based in Finland, Angola and South Korea.
Here is a guide to the top teams and players to look out for.
The reigning Olympic and World champions, the USA are the outright favourites for this tournament. It's hardly surprising considering the talent pool they have to select from. This year's preliminary roster surprised a lot of people, as it did not include big stars such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Instead younger stars got the chance, with first timers Bradley Beal, Chandler Parsons and Klay Thompson making the cut.
Mike Krzyzewski and his coaching team made another bold decision in picking Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose. Rose has battled with injuries for the past couples of years, and some fans wonder if he's ready for action. He, and the other 18 players named, will get their chance to impress in the USA's training events in late July.
The host of this year's tournament, Spain are the only team, aside from the USA of course, that can boast an All-NBA starting five. With guards Ricky Rubio and Jose Calderon, their team is already looking strong. When you add a frontcourt that includes stars such as Marc and Pau Gasol, Serge Ibaka and former Euroleague star Nikola Mitotic (who will join the Chicago Bulls this year), Spain are beginning to look like a dominant force.
If they do win the tournament this year, there is a real chance that they can go to the top of the world rankings for the first time in their history. With the home support behind them, there is no reason that the Spaniards can't repeat their first, and so far only, victory in 2006.
Winners of the 2013 EuroBasket, France look like one of Europe's best hopes. But they've already been dealt a major blow when San Antonio Spurs star point guard, Tony Parker, declared that he was to give the tournament a miss, instead wishing to rest. Add to this the fact that France have never placed higher than 5th at the World Cup, and it's not looking good for the chances of a French victory.
Drawn into a tough Group A, France could even stumble at the first hurdle. Still, they have an NBA champion in the form of Boris Diaw (pictured above), and a young star with Nicolas Batum. Hopefully Batum has matured since the 2012 Olympics, where he infamously punched Spanish Juan Carlos Navarro in the groin.
The Australian team had possibly the easiest qualifying route of any team competing in Spain. Only two teams entered the FIBA Oceania tournament (New Zealand being the other) and they both qualified for the World Cup.
But don't let this lack of competition fool you, Australia are no pushovers. They'll have to do it without two of their biggest stars though, as both Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut have been ruled out with injury. This will cause a lot of pressure to be placed onto young guard Dante Exum (pictured below).
Recently drafted by the Utah Jazz, Exum has impressed a lot of people at the Summer Leagues and will hope to transfer this form to the international stage. Also watch out for swingman Joe Ingles, one of Australia's most prolific scorers at the 2010 World Cup and 2012 Olympics.
In the last FIBA World Cup, Argentina had two players in the top 5 scorers of the tournament. Now power forward Luis Scola (pictured below) and swingman Carlos Delfino are looking to repeat that feat.
Before the USA took over in 2010, Argentina were number 1 in the world rankings. They've experienced a dip in form recently, but are hoping to change that this year. This has been made much harder with the news that Manu Ginobili may miss the tournament due to a stress fracture in his leg.
By losing Ginobili, they have lost the most accomplished South American player of all time. This could severely harm the chance of a second Argentinean world cup success. They still have plenty of talent though, with point guard Facundo Campazzo has been making waves in his home country.
So, that's a guide to the favourites, but who do you guys think will win? Hit us up on social media!
About the Author:
Ciaran Mills is an an avid basketball fan, with hopes of becoming journalist. He started by writing match reports for his team in the local paper, before setting up his own blog, The Hoops Life, in February 2014. The blog gives Ciaran the space to write more developed pieces, focusing mostly on news from the NBA.
You can read more of Ciaran's work on his blog, The Hoops Life, or follow him on one of the social media accounts below.
Jamal Crawford showed out at the Seattle Pro-Am tournament at the weekend, exploding for 63 points, while even managing to hit the game winning shot to lead his team to a 117-115 win, in from of a huge crowd of fans, which included NBA legends Kobe Bryant and Gary Payton.
Check out some of Crawford's highlights in the video below. Damn he scored loads of hard 3-pointers.
Zach LaVine showed off his insane vertical at the Las Vegas Summer League this week. Watch this video below of the rookie highflyer, throwing down the tomahawk dunk against the Phoenix Suns.
LaVine, who was picked 13th in the 2014 NBA Draft, finished the game with 20 points in the Timberwolves' 86-77 win against the Suns.
Lance Stephenson made the headlines for a lot of reasons last season, some good and some, well, not so good. Those not so good stories led to questions about what would happen next for the Indiana Pacers craziest player.
It has now been reported that Stephenson will be taking his antics to a new team next year, having agreed a 3-year, $27 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets, with a player option on that 3rd year.
The Pacers had been working with Stephenson to come to some agreement to keep him in Indiana, which included a deal for 5-years at $44 million, but Stephenson reportedly felt insulted by that offer.
Stephenson averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assist for the Pacers last season, with his aggressive style of play either making him the hero or the villain, depending on who you ask.
As far as the Hornets are concerned, Stephenson isn't too bad of a catch. For a team who has relied on Kemba Walker to create their offence, and Al Jefferson to put up numbers in the paint, Stephenson will be another source of offensive creativity right across the court.