So, CourtSide Diaries is one year old.
We are a collective of basketball writers based all around the world who share the passion of writing and conversing about every aspect of the sport – from the most glamorous highlight to the anonymous kid throwing a ball to the basket under the night sky – that decided to come together and create an online space where the culture of basketball will be discussed, analysed and celebrated. CourtSide Diaries are our journals.
The quoted text above acted as our manifesto in the landing page I set up, a tad more than a year ago, serving as a placeholder while I was finalizing the work on the to-be-launched site. And it basically describes the one and only aim that I had in mind when I started getting in touch with people I thought might be interested in joining this project. That aim: gather all the people that love European basketball, and writing about it, in order to celebrate it.
367 days, 82 articles, 3360 tweets, 35 videos, numerous gifs and a season later, a lot has changed: the current team of writers is quite different from the initial one. Our approach to writing, editing, and publishing is taking different forms. The sport itself is ever-evolving. What hasn’t changed is the aim of people coming together, articles being written and basketball getting discussed, analysed, and celebrated.
That being our ambition, we would like to expand our collective of authors. So we invite each and every one of you reading this right now with interest in giving the world your five (or two, or one) cents on anything basketball-related to get in touch with us and join our small yet passionate team. There are no deadlines or quotas you have to fill – we are all doing this because we like it. So, don’t think about it twice, just send us an email or message us on twitter or facebook!
And if you are wondering what kind of things we write about, analyze and celebrate, let me tour you around our first 365 days of being online:
- We started by publishing a quite extensive series about the FIBA v. Euroleague feud which consisted of three pieces:
First, Evangelos Karagiannakidis wrote about the first split between FIBA and a couple of clubs in 2000. Vassilis Kagias then wrote about the schism in the making, and Sebastian Komianos concluded with a very long but information-rich piece on how FIBA sees itself, being the international federation of basketball.
- Antonis Morrison, very well-known in the circles of Olympiacos BC fans online for his extensive archive of historical facts and material, wrote about the first ever game of the EuroLeague, between Real Madrid and Olympiacos BC.
- We were there in Miloš Teodosić’s best moments of the season with Vassilis Kagias presenting five of his passes from the early phase and Nick Flynt, our editor, writing about the show that he finds himself running quite often. Miloš had a crazy game against Baskonia early in the season and our man for everything animated, Giorgos Kourtis, compiled the video this performance deserved:
- Dušan Ivković was inducted to FIBA’s Hall of Fame and was also honoured with the title of Euroleague Legend this off-season and if you admire him Evangelos Karagiannakidis’ piece about the formative years of Duda’s career might be of interest to you. Talking about coaches, Baskonia is going to be led by Pablo Prigioni this season and Vassilis Kagias wrote about his homecoming last season.
- Staying in Spain, Rafa Zamorano wrote about Rudy Fernandez’s slow decline, Nick Flynt noted that Luka Dončić is not, I repeat, is not, a mystery and Leon T, one of the guest authors we had (coming from basketballguru.gr), presented how he thinks Adam Hanga will be one of the glue guys for Barcelona this season. And since we are talking about guests, check out Konstantinos Panas’ words for the players he considers to be the top scorers of EuroLeague (we’ll have to do a new version of this soon, as Miloš has moved on to the NBA, Langford is rumoured to be headed to China, and Langford is headed to China).
- Of course, we didn’t just write about players: Bamberg’s pretty disappointing start of the season was analyzed in detail by Sebastian Komianos, who also wrote about Malaga when they won the EuroCup and joined Andrew Bernucca to say that they’d both loved to have seen Žalgiris Kaunas in the EuroLeague playoffs (twice!). Finally, another guest from basketballguru.gr, Panos Roumpas wrote about the very impressive case of Trento which keeps getting promoted and sending players to teams all around the continent while performing some fascinating basketball feats.
- We also had pieces about leagues in general: Sebastian Komianos travelled to Tenerife and wrote about the semifinals and the final of the first ever Basketball Champions League Final Four, Jan Sodoge of go-to-guys.de compiled a wrap-up of the German Basketball Bundesliga and Cagri Turhan examined the claim that the Turkish BSL is the best league in Europe (he disagrees).
- The pieces for the Basketball Champions League had a couple of visualisations but they were not the only ones as Sebastian Komianos also made maps to show how countries were represented in European competitions as well as how EuroLeague teams had travelled throughout the season.
- But it wasn’t only us taking ourselves seriously: We tried to make predictions, we made NBA-style trades for EuroLeague teams and we hosted Moshe Barda and Yuval Barak to review the teams of the first ever International Hoops Draft (an idea from Bobby Mummery) that took place on Twitter (and really annoyed Edwin Jackson).
- Finally, Sebastian Komianos published an extensive summary of events regarding the Antetokounmpo case before EuroBasket 2017 and Pierre Francoual wrote about France’s identity crisis. Pierre also explained the Boris Diaw transfer and Sebastian compiled a light technical breakdown of how Spanish teams have used their big men in the early days of the season.
The image below is the wordcloud from everything we published last season:
It’s not surprising that the most common words were “team” and “game” and it gives me an amazing opportunity to repeat our invitation call to all of you with a cheesy wordplay: If you got game and want to join our team, let us know!
Text edited by: Nick Flynt