Devotion
Josh Powell - Olympiacos Piraeus champ - Final Four London 2013Hello again, Euroleague fans! This is Josh Powell of Olympiacos Piraeus, the reigning Euroleague champions! I feel blessed and privileged to accomplish this, especially in my first year in the Euroleague. I am very happy to be a part of this great situation, with great teammates. We made history and it was a great year for us. We had a quiet celebration in London but were able to enjoy everything once we finally got back to Athens. Then, the team got together and celebrated.

My son was with me on the podium, celebrating with the team. He likes coming to our games and is, of course, very supportive. Being able to experience all that with him was great, too. It was fun to hang around in the arena after the game - we were there for a long time and even had a photo session with the Euroleague trophy. Those moments are definitely great. For me, having my family there being part of it with me was very special.

I believe that we played our best defensive game of the season in the semifinal against CSKA. We had a lot of time to prepare for this game after the series against Efes. We started immediately after we made it to the Final Four, working on a game plan defensively and offensively. What everybody saw was carried over from how hard we worked during those two weeks. One of the keys was playing physical, and that allowed us to show our best brand of basketball. We needed everyone to be physical and aggressive on defense. Our energy and how we talked to each other, helping each other out, led to easy baskets for us.

We knew that we had one... more
POSTED BY Josh Powell - Piraeus, Greece
DATE: May 23, 2013
C.J. Wallace - Barcelona Regal - EB12Quick turn around here blog world, my services have been demanded once again. The moment is upon us. Headed to London today for the Euroleague Final Four.

Obviously you are wondering how I will pass the time during the flight from Barcelona to London. After settling into my seat, I will strap on my customized FC Barcelona Regal beats (ask and you shall receive!!) and press play on a playlist of jams ranging from country classics to techno club thumpers. Then, as we ascend into the air, the Mariokart dream team consisting of CJ Wallace, Joe Ingles, and Alex Abrines will take on the least talented gathering of Mariokart losers ever assembled, also known as Victor Sada, Xavi Rabaseda, and Marcelinho Huertas.**

At media day yesterday, the journalists were supremely interested to know about our injuries and how we feel about our chances this weekend. Injuries are a part of basketball, and obviously heading into the weekend without Pete, and with doubts surrounding what seems like half our team, it would be easy to hang our heads. But....one of my favorite quotes is from one of my high school coaches who used to always tell me, "excuses are like (a part of the human bottom), everyone has them and they all stink." This is the Euroleague Final Four and it's a great chance for players to step up and for teams to show up. We appreciate all the concern, but our team thinks we will do alright.

Super excited to be headed to London today! And here's a last little batch of blog wisdom before the festivities begin.

Song: Last blog didn't have a Country tune so obviously this week's song suggestion... more
POSTED BY CJ Wallace - Barcelona, Spain
DATE: May 8, 2013
Josh Powell - Olympiacos Piraeus - EB12Hello again, Euroleague fans! I am Josh Powell of Olympiacos Piraeus, writing to you days before my Final Four debut. We are looking forward to this opportunity! The preparation for the game is key and so far we have had extremely intense practices; we are working very hard, offensively and defensively, on our game plan. We are putting in a great effort, trying to be better every day. As you know, we play against CSKA Moscow in the semifinals. I wasn't able to watch last year's team, but heard many things. As far as myself, I want to make sure that I do everything in my power to be prepared, go out there and have a good performance. We are feeling good; we are focused and excited about this opportunity!

People are definitely excited about us going to the Final Four. You can feel the love from our fans, the energy when you go to places, everybody is waving and smiling... they are definitely excited about us going to London and of course, they want us to perform well and get the win. There is a lot of excitement around the team, going to the Final Four again, back-to-back situations. We definitely want to make sure that we make the most out of it.

I know that CSKA is a good team; they have many good players and the team can score in many ways, with many different plays. They have great athleticism on the wings with Sonny Weems and the... more
POSTED BY Josh Powell - Piraeus, Greece
DATE: May 7, 2013
Aaron Jackson - CSKA Moscow - EB12Hello again, Euroleague world! I am Aaron Jackson of CSKA Moscow, getting back to you as we head to London for the Euroleague Final Four. The team is feeling good. We beat Khimki in the Russian League right before getting ready for the next big game against Olympiacos. We played really well. We struggled a bit at the beginning of the game, but managed to overcome that and the win gave us a lot of positive energy. In other words, we are ready for the Final Four! As you read this, we will have already landed in London. We are travelling on Tuesday, getting there with our families and the whole CSKA organization to avoid any distractions. We will do whatever it takes to win the title.

If you look at Olympiacos, you see they are a bunch of warriors that never quit. They have been down and never quit, like they did last year in the final against CSKA and this season in a crucial game against Efes. They have a lot of players that can ignite a run at any moment. They just need a key play – a block, a three-pointer, a fast break basket – to ignite that run. Vassilis Spanoulis does a great job at the pick and roll, too.

One of the scariest things when you play a team like this is just that – they never give up. Sometimes you play against teams that you get an 8-9 point lead and you can see in their face that they are playing against CSKA and are supposed to... more
POSTED BY Aaron Jackson - Moscow, Russia
DATE: May 7, 2013