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John Celestand Knows Europe

The former NBA player has insight on the World Championships.

He played in Europe for five years, so he knows a lot of the top international players personally. He should be a great person to preview the World Championships (by the way, I bet this baby would be five times as popular if they would change the name to the "World Cup of Basketball.")

The bummer is, 90% of his insight is stuff I could tell you from scanning the rosters, and tossing in some Whit Watson-style homespun wisdom. It's light on actual insight. Did any one of you not already know that "Johan Petro is a big body and Ronny Turiaf will bring a lot of energy; both have NBA experience. If France can find some cohesion they could be a problem?" It doesn't take a half-decade in the trenches of Euroleague to know that.

I'm being mean. I think it's just because I have been craving good, solid intelligence about the other teams in the World Cup of Basketball, and this teased me, for a second, into seeming like it might be it. And you know what? It's not all simple-minded. There is some real insight here. For instance, if Lithuania's Darjus Lavrinovic busts out big-time, you heard it from Celestand first.

UPDATE: The Painted Area has a pretty nice preview.