Daily Gossip (Final Four edition), Thursday, 15-5-14

In 24 hours the Euroleague Final Four officially begins in Milan with CSKA Moscow facing Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv and Barcelona going up against Real Madrid. And the buzz leading up to the event is underway.

Bogdanovic and Dunston absent to collect trophies

Partizan’s Bogdan Bogdanovic and Olympiacos’ Bryant Dunston were unable to be in Milan to pick up their respective Rising Star and Best Defender trophies due to domestic action.

Bogdanovic’s Partizan side face Crnokosa, while Dunston’s Olympiacos go into tonight’s game two with Panionios 1-0 up.

Messina focused on CSKA. NOT Lakers, says players

It was an expected answer in a way, but Aaron Jackson and Milos Teodosic say that coach Ettore Messina has not let the rumours, linking him with the Los Angeles Lakers’ coaching position phase him.

“He’s much too experienced to let that news get in the way of a Final Four,” Teodosic said. “He is on a wavelength and we are on that same wavelength to him. We are focused on CSKA winning this Final Four.”

Guard Aaron Jackson added: “He [Messina] is still 100 percent focused on the team, and what we have to do to win. So he’s been really professional about it and he’s doing a real good job with the team.”

Wifi problems in Milan already (hence TB’s delays)

Unless you were Italian, getting into the wifi at the fanzone was a real challenge with many members of the media, outside of Italy struggling.

The Euroleague’s “FanZone Wifi” crashed numerous times during today’s opening press conference, meaning that the media were unable to use social media or the internet in general until just after the press conference.

(Away from the Final Four…)

Bjelica to re-sign with Anadolu Efes?

Milko Bjelica is rumoured to be re-signing with Turkish side Anadolu Efes, local Turkish media reports.

The Serbian started the 2013-14 season with Laboral Kutxa, but moved to Istanbul half-way through the season and it looks certain that he will re-sign for next season. Bjelica averaged 9.4 points a game in this season’s Euroleague.

George Karl Cleveland bound?

Former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl is reportedly interested in the vacant Cleveland Cavaliers job, reports USA Today’s Sam Amick.

The Cavs recently fired Mike Brown as a Cleveland squad featuring NBA All-Star Game MVP Kyrie Irving and Luol Deng failed to make the Playoffs.

Nets owner Prokhorov issues statement.

Miami Heat gained revenge for being swept in the regular season by the Brooklyn Nets, by beating them in the Eastern Conference semi-finals 4-1.

After the Game 5 loss, Nets owner Mikail Prokhorov issued this statement:

“I’d like to thank Nets management and players for all their efforts over the course of this crazy season. Despite roster changes, injuries and a difficult start, you clawed us back into contention. It made for a thrilling spring. And to the fans, thank you for your support through thick and thin. Next season, we pick up right where we left off!”