As part of NBA Europe Live, the Philadelphia 76ers are in Barcelona for the first stage of training camp. They will practice at the Palau Sant Jordi arena and take on Winterthur FC Barcelona in a preseason game on Oct. 5. On Oct. 8, the Sixers will travel to Cologne, Germany where they will meet with the Phoenix Suns and two other Euroleague teams in a two-day, four-team tournament.
More Europe Live Blogs: Lyon & Paris (Spurs) | Moscow (Clippers) | Treviso & Rome (Suns)

Here's the latest from's John Schuhmann, who is traveling with the Sixers.

See Ya!
BARCELONA, Oct. 8 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 8, 2006, 1:05 p.m. ET

John Schuhmann/NBAE
Hey, what are you still doing here? We're in Cologne!.

Make sure you've read everything below, though.

Adios Barcelona
BARCELONA, Oct. 8 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 8, 2006, 8:30 a.m. ET

The Sixers went hard this morning at the practice facility, then boarded the bus bound for the airport. As I write, we're waiting at the terminal for the charter to Cologne.

Most players are either listening to music or thumbing their PSPs. Samuel Dalembert obliged an airport employee by posing for a photo.

The stay in Cologne should be short, but very busy, with four practices on Monday and the double-headers on both Tuesday and Wednesday - and a court dedication and video game tournament thrown in there somewhere.

I'll check back in when we touch down in Deutschland.

BARCELONA, Oct. 7 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 7, 2006, 11:50 a.m. ET

Andre Iguodala at Parc Güell.
John Schuhmann/NBAE
This afternoon, several players and coaches took advantage of an optional city tour and yours truly tagged along. The first stop was Parc Güell, where a few guys picked up some souvenirs (and ice cream) and many got some pictures of the view from atop the city.

Next up was La Sagrada Familia cathedral, which I visited two days ago before the game. The tour didn't have time to go inside, but a few players did visit (like I did on Thursday) the McDonalds across the street, a pleasant surprise for a fan in a Celtics jersey who somehow had a game program from Thursday night with him, now adorned with Andre Iguodala and Louis Williams autographs.

The final stop was the Plaça de Sant Jaume, which is where we waited for the wind to blow a week ago. After that, a few players broke off to go venture on their own, while the rest returned to the hotel, where some paella awaited them in the hospitality room. Before he partook in the feast, Rodney Carney filed his blog.

Tonight is my last chance to enjoy the city of Barcelona (hopefully with some of the Yankees game thrown in), as we leave for Cologne straight from practice tomorrow morning.

BARCELONA, Oct. 7 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 7, 2006, 6:40 a.m. ET

AI atop Barcelona
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

At 10 a.m. this morning, the players left the hotel believing they were going to practice. Instead they drove past the arena and up the mountain to the Castell de Montjuïc for team photos. An array of shots were taken (players, players and coaches, individuals, AI and C-Webb, etc.), and then began the rookie hazing.

First, the rookie staff sang "Louie, Louie." Then, the rookie players (and apparently, Shavlick Randolph is still considered a rookie - not sure why) were asked for a repeat performance of "Lean on Me" (they had performed it back at the hotel a couple of days ago, but Coach Cheeks missed that one). I hear it was quite good.

The best part about the whole thing? No practice!

"They hadn't had a day off and we worked pretty hard," Cheeks said back at the hotel. "They hadn't asked about a day off, but I thought it was the right time."

The other best thing? NBA TV got it all on tape. Stay tuned to the blog for that, as well as the photos.

Seeing What Barcelona Has to Offer
BARCELONA, Oct. 6 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 6, 2006, 12:25 p.m. ET

Kevin Ollie in the gym.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
The theme from practice is "We're moving on." After the three-hour (combined film and practice) session at the Palau Sant Jordi annex (the court in the arena has already been removed), the team returned to the hotel for a late lunch (tacos and fajitas). Before they ate though, some guys got a workout in.

And now, on their seventh day in Barcelona, some of them are actually leaving the hotel. Kyle Korver left to go shopping. Steven Hunter did as well, along with his wife and daughter. Louis Williams and a couple of the rookies are off to some unknown destination for dinner.

I could probably recommend a spot or two, but they didn't ask.

Oh, What a Night
BARCELONA, Oct. 5 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 5, 2006, 9:30 p.m. ET

Back at the hotel and the game report has been filed. Obviously, it wasn't a good showing by the Sixers. But give credit to Barca ... and the crowd. It was a great atmosphere, unlike any I've ever witnessed for a basketball game. Of course, it was my first real taste of international hoops.

We had a close game, we had a loud crowd, we had the commissioner in the house and of course, we had showgirls. More of that next February.

For now, we go (to bed, and then) back to practice with the Sixers for a few more days here, before moving on to Cologne and a pair of double-headers. Over in Lyon, we see the Spurs took care of business, while tomorrow, the Clippers will play their first game in Moscow (12 p.m. ET) and the Suns get going in Rome (3 p.m. ET), both on NBA TV.

All She Wrote
BARCELONA, Oct. 5 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 5, 2006, 5:50 p.m. ET

Oscar Goodman brings a taste of Vegas overseas.
David Dow/NBAE/Getty Images
Jaka Lakovic seems to have put the finishing touches on the a surprise win for Barcelona with a pair of free throws to give them a seven-point advantage with just 10.9 seconds on the clock.

Gianluca Basile's four-point play with just over a minute to go was the back-breaker.

Protect Your Head
BARCELONA, Oct. 5 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 5, 2006, 5:10 p.m. ET

The whistling has reached a fevered pitch and the "BARCA - BARCA" chants have begun as a few calls have gone the way of the Sixers. Barca leads 74-73 after three.

Turnovers have been a problem for Philly all night.

It's a 24-Minute Game
BARCELONA, Oct. 5 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 5, 2006, 4:25 p.m. ET

We're all tied at 51 at the break. Barca seems to have disrupted the Sixers with their pressure defense, but Philly still has 51 points. Chris Webber was key in the second for the Sixers, stepping back and hitting a couple of jumpers at the top of the key.

Our blogger Rodney Carney went back to the locker room midway through the second with what looked like a knee injury, but he returned a few minutes later.

12 Minutes in the Books
BARCELONA, Oct. 5 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 5, 2006, 3:47 p.m. ET

The Sixers built an early lead by pushing the ball, but Barca came back to take a two point lead before Allen Iverson drew a foul on a three just before the buzzer. Hit all three from the line and the Sixers lead 30-29 after one.

Iverson received the biggest ovation before the game, but this crowd is decidely pro-Barca.

Cue the Black Eyed Peas, Part II
BARCELONA, Oct. 5 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 5, 2006, 3:00 p.m. ET

The arena is filling up, the teams are warming up (with some of the Sixers putting on a dunking exhibition), the atmosphere is heating up and Las Vegas mayor Oscar B. Goodman is behind the baseline accompanied by a pair of showgirls. It's showtime!

I Must Be in the Front Row
BARCELONA, Oct. 5 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 5, 2006, 1:50 p.m. ET

After a quick trip to La Sagrada Familia (under major construction and with a 40-minute line - much too long - to take the lift to the top) and an even quicker meal at McDonalds (I know, I know, but I didn't have time to wait on a waiter), I'm here courtside at Palau Sant Jordi. The trampoline-dunking gymnasts and the dancers are done rehearsing as final preperations are being made. Several Sixers are on the floor warming up while Roko-Leni Ukic shoots alone on the other end.

In just a few minutes, David Stern will hold a press conference with Euroleague CEO, Jordi Bertomeu.

Game time: 3 p.m. ET, NBA TV.

Game Day
BARCELONA, Oct. 5 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 5, 2006, 8:20 a.m. ET

I made a quick visit over to Sixers shootaround this morning and caught them as they were wrapping up earlier than scheduled. Assistant coach Jim Lynam called it a typical game-day shootaround. They're taking this like a regular game day.

If you haven't been checking out the postcards, please do so. There are some great sites to be seen here in Barcelona and we probably won't get to see half of them on our visit. I'm going to try to get out there now before heading back to Palau Sant Jordi for the main event.

Also, if you need some catching up, check out the Barcelona archive. We've been putting in work.

And if you've got more time, check out Joe Juliano's piece on the popularity of AI here in Spain.

Wrapping Up the Day
BARCELONA, Oct. 4 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 4, 2006, 6:30 p.m. ET

Iguodala enjoys a laugh with a fan.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
It's past midnight here in Barcelona and the practice report has been filed. While we were at the FC Barcelona practice, Samuel Dalembert and Rodney Carney were off making a dedication. Our anonymous reporter was there ...

An outdoor ceremony to dedicate the refurbishment of a basketball court and play space for the Liuisos de Garcia youth facility in Barcelona became a true neighborhood affair today.

The neighborhood?

A cozy 4,000-mile connection between the streets of Philadelphia and the 76ers' adopted training camp home in the midst of the tiny, cobblestone confines of a beautiful Barcelona town square.

After the outdoor festivities were complete and the appropriate dignitaries were able to proudly assist in the dedication, the focus returned right to where it belongs.

To the boys and girls of the Liuisos de Garcia community.

Sixers center Sam Dalembert and rookie guard Rodney Carney had the honor of representing the NBA and adidas, the partner of the court dedication. NBA legend and global ambassador Darryl Dawkins had the honor of splashing his tremendous smile and personality on a gathering that felt his warmth, while they swamped Chocolate Thunder for a signature from Lovetron.

Upstairs, in the facility, a brand-new court and baskets awaited along with about 50 boys and girls who were ready for some basketball. Shooting, dribbling contests and the icing on the cake – a special milk chocolate cake – came out as a "thank you" from the kids to the players.

Talk about "sweet." It was nothing short of heart-warming.

Some autographs, a bunch of pictures and interviews followed. The Barcelona media – TV crews and photographers, 20-strong - were glad they had didgital cameras, rather than loading film. Trust us.

And fresh off his chicken and squats, Andre Iguodala went down the street to the local FNAC store to sign some autographs as part of an EA Sports promotion.

It was another busy day here in Barcelona, but just a prelude to what we'll have for you tomorrow ... basketball!

NBA TV will have the game between the Sixers and FC Barcelona live at 3 p.m. ET.

And in case you haven't had enough of NBA TV Broadband, here's some more video for ya ...

Tuesday's hospital visit
Tuesday's Special Olympics event
Andre and Andre interview
All Access Sixers - Day 1

Time for bed. Tomorrow, we'll head over to Sixers shootaround and maybe do some more sightseeing before the game.

Bonus Lunch
BARCELONA, Oct. 4 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 4, 2006, 10:40 a.m. ET

Hunter takes his KFC upstairs.
John Schuhmann/NBAE
On Monday, I wrote about Andre Iguodala's wish for some KFC. Well, today that wish was granted. While the players were in their meeting, a bucket of chicken (along with some mashed potatoes) was delivered by the NBA TV crew and Andre gratefully accepted it when he came out of the room. The nice teammate that he is, he shared it with Samuel Dalembert, Willie Green, Steven Hunter and Chris Webber.

The others took the food up to their rooms, while Andre headed for the weight room.

Got Some Shots In
BARCELONA, Oct. 4 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 4, 2006, 10:05 a.m. ET

I'm back from practice (not before getting in a few jumpers on the arena floor) and so is the team. They're in the hospitality room at the hotel right now, meeting with the officials, while I sit next door typing away. A full practice report will be up soon, including the lowdown on who got water poured on them by whom during an NBA TV interview.

In the meantime, check out Rodney Carney's blog about the floor of Palau Sant Jordi and what he will or will not eat for dinner.

Tonight, FC Barcelona will take the floor for practice at the arena. We'll try to take some notes and solicit some quotes.

All Access
BARCELONA, Oct. 4 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 4, 2006, 2:30 a.m. ET

Our NBA TV camera crews have been working hard here in Barcelona and we're able to show you, the readers of the blog, the fruits of their labor. First, we got you the exclusive Iverson interview.

Now, we've got three All-Access clips from practice, where we've had some of the players and coaches mic'd for sound ...

Mo Cheeks from Sunday
Allen Iverson from Monday
Chris Webber and Jim Lynam from Tuesday

Last night, the Sixers went out for a team dinner. We should have footage of that down the line, but Jesse Garrabrant was there with his Canon, and some shots can be found at the end of yesterday's gallery, which includes even more shots of the NBA Cares events.

I'm on my way to Day 5 of practice in a little bit, the last day before the first preseason game. I'm anxious (and so are the players I imagine) to see this team in some real action, as well as get my first taste of a Euroleague arena (although FC Barcelona actually plays their regular games in a smaller gym than the Palau Sant Jordi).

Spreading the Love
BARCELONA, Oct. 3 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 3, 2006, 12:20 p.m. ET

When you're a parent (even if you're not - but I am), walking through the pediatric ward of a hospital can be a tough thing to do. But when you see the smiles that a group of basketball players can bring to the faces of the kids there, it makes you proud to be a part of the NBA. And that's no PR shilling.

Webber and Iverson smile for the camera.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
But smiles are exactly what Rodney Carney, Andre Iguodala, Willie Green, Ivan McFarlin, Shavlick Randolph and Louis Williams brought the kids today at the Hospital Sant Juan de Deu. The players split into groups of two (with Iguodala and Green joined by FC Barcelona forward Rodrigo de la Fuente), with one group visiting every room in the ward, which spanned seven floors.

I doubt most of these kids (or their parents) knew any of the players' names -- McFarlin was generally treated with the same stupefaction as Iguodala -- but that didn't matter. They were genuinely excited to see los hombres altos. Many waited in the hall for their visitors. Most received autographs and a gift of a basketball or a teddy bear. Several had pictures taken with the players (a couple by me, which I will be mailing back after I get home).

And the players were clearly affected as well. They couldn't communicate well with the patients, but they did their best to encourage them and give them hope. Rodney Carney talked about the visit in his blog afterwards.

The hospital visit was just one of several NBA Cares events that will take place here in Barcelona and across Europe this week. Another was the Special Olympics clinic, led by Darryl Dawkins and the other 10 players on the roster, that took place at the practice court of Palau Sant Jordi.

Here's the report from an " reporter" at the clinic:

The players that certainly shined the most were Allen Iverson, Chris Webber, Kyle Korver and Samuel Dalembert. They all did a tremendous job with the kids. There was a shooting session, a dribbling session and a rebounding session. Darryl Dawkins took part in the clinic and really brought his personality to the event. The players posed for photos and signed some autographs. And at one point, they all gathered around the court, sat in a circle and posed for a photo, shouting "NBA Cares!" and waving to the cameras. Allen Iverson then met with the media for 10 or 15 minutes.

So, that's what happens when the NBA hits the road. We get to spread a little love. Which is a good thing.

Exclusive AI
BARCELONA, Oct. 3 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 3, 2006, 9:10 a.m. ET

We've got the exclusive Allen Iverson interview from yesterday for you here, before it hits the air.

I'm at the Hospital Sant Juan de Deu, waiting on Andre Iguodala and some of the other players who will be visiting the pediatric care unit. Meanwhile, another group of players is back at the practice court of Palau Sant Jordi with Daryl Dawkins, giving a clinic for some Special Olympics kids.

The Sixers had another intense practice today and I'll get the full report to you soon.

It's a busy day.

Old School
BARCELONA, Oct. 2 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 2, 2006, 12:30 p.m. ET

A classic
Noren Trotman/NBAE/Getty Images
Darryl Dawkins and I go way back. In the early 80's, I spent a couple of summers at Brookdale Basketball Camp in Lincroft, N.J. and each year, we would get a special visit from Chocolate Thunder. He would talk to us for a bit, play one-on-five with some overmatched fourth-graders and put on a display of his various dunks (like the "In Your Face Disgrace" or the "Look Out Below"). Somewhere back at my parents' house lies the first autograph I ever received ... that of Darryl Dawkins.

So, when the NBA Legend ("Sometimes they just call me Old School") walked into our Barcelona office this afternoon, I had to get a couple of words with him. Here's what the (very big) man had to say:

On Europe Live: "With all of the European players coming into the league, it's only right that we have training camps over here, so that their fans that have followed them all this time could get a chance to see how they've improved and could get a chance to see the other stars on the team."

On Allen Iverson: "He's still one of the most exciting players in the league. He brings the noise. Most of the excitement that happens with Philadelphia comes from Allen Iverson and the other A.I. He's a guy that you can never count out as a showman."

On his role here at Europe Live: "I'm gonna do some NBA Special Olympic clinics and NBA Cares events, hang out at the games, meet and greet. I enjoy people, so I like meeting and greeting."

On playing in Europe (he played here five years): "Once you hear the whistling, you gotta cover the back of your head, because that's when the coins come. They got these two-dollar coins that are copper in the middle and silver around the edges that really hurt."

Dunk you very much, Mr. Thunder. We'll catch up with Darryl again later this week.

Let's Play Two!
BARCELONA, Oct. 2 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 2, 2006, 9:30 a.m. ET

When NBA teams practice twice in one day, one of the practices must be "non-contact" and this morning's session was it. The Sixers went for a little more than an hour and a half, focusing mostly on defense, but keeping it light and also going over some out-of-bounds plays and all the different options they present.

Andre and Andre.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
Afterwards, Allen Iverson sat down with the media for the first time since he left Philly and had some interesting things to say.

Meanwhile, Rodney Carney filed his blog and Andre Iguodala stepped outside for an interview with NBA TV's Andre Aldridge. Iguodala is enjoying his time here in Spain, but he apparently misses his KFC. We'll see if we can do something about that before the week is through.

After the team arrived back at their hotel, Iverson sat down for a brief but compelling interview for NBA Access with Ahmad Rashad, so look out for that in the near future.

This morning, the team decided to move the second practice up from 6 p.m. to 4 p.m., so they probably didn't have much time to rest after a quick meal in the hospitality room. As I write this, I see Allen Iverson making his way back to meet up for the bus ride back to Palau Sant Jordi. This afternoon, they scrimmage.

A quick check of the Philly papers finds Phil Jasner writing about the defensive focus and Joe Juliano profiling undrafted rookie, Steven Smith. Tomorrow, we promise, will be all about A.I.

Update: The restaurant on the water from last night is La Barca Del Salamanaca, owned by a friend of NBA Senior Manager of Basketball Operations and former FC Barcelona baller (1996 European Player of the Year), Arturas Karnisovas. The next time (and the time after that) you're in Barcelona, make your way to Port Olimpic and partake in the *gastronomic delights.

*The (un)official adjective of NBA Europe Live.

More: Rodney Carney's blog from Barcelona | Allen Iverson Quotes

Got My Meal
BARCELONA, Oct. 2 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 2, 2006, 2:20 a.m. ET

Yesterday evening, I took the Metro and walked up to Palau National, taking a few dozen pictures along the way. A lot of my excursions this week take me back eight years to my post-graduation trip to Barcelona with my college friends.

None more than our trip to Port Olimpic last night for dinner ... but the college story won't make it to the blog. Dinner was fantastic. Sangria, wine and a vast array of seafood were served family style as our party of 16 dined on the marina.

There's photographic evidence of the damage I did (love the prawns!) somewhere and we'll try to get that on the blog before the day is done. As well as the name of the restuarant, as we will be making our way back there very soon.

We start getting real busy today, as the team begins two-a-days. A couple of community events are also upcoming.

Back At It
BARCELONA, Oct. 1 -- posted by John Schuhmann on October 1, 2006, 11:20 a.m. ET

They did it again. For the second straight day, I was surprised how intense practice was. I thought that today would be light after yesterday's travel and fast-paced session. I was wrong.

I have now learned my lesson. Check out all the details here.

So the total number of Philly reporters in town is three. Dei Lynam is here from Comcast SportsNet (along with a camera man). Joe Juliano is here from the Philadelphia Inquirer and Phil Jasner is here from the Philadelphia Daily News.

In today's paper, Juliano proposed 5 Questions for the Sixers, not all of which can be answered right away.

I'm off to take in a beautiful Barcelona afternoon before settling down somewhere for some football and perhaps some of that Catalonian cuisine I've been seeking. The photography crew and I went for Japanese last night, which was excellent, thank you very much.

I didn't get any cake, though.

More: Rodney Carney's blog from Barcelona | Sixers notebook

Cue the Black-Eyed Peas
BARCELONA, Sept. 30 -- posted by John Schuhmann on September 30, 2006, 3:45 p.m. ET

Iverson d's up.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
Let's get it started, hah!

Mo Cheeks wasted no time, getting his team in the gym the same day they landed in Barcelona. They even arrived early, beating our camera crew to the Palau Sant Jordi annex. And despite the jetlaggedness (no, that's probably not a real word) of the players and coaches, they went hard for two full hours, much to this writer's surprise.

Defense was the word of the day. They did one-on-one, two-on-two, four-on-four and five-on-five defensive drills, even breaking out the ol' monkey-in-the-middle drill that I remember not-so fondly from my youth. Pump-fake, wrap-around bounce pass!

The only offense was transition offense, running some basic fast-break drills.

After the practice, Cheeks acknowledged that he wasn't quite sure what time it was. The one thing he was sure of was what his team needed to do to improve off last season's 38-44 record.

"Most of our instruction was on the defensive end," he said, "and that's what we'll continue to do to try and get better throughout this camp and while we're in Europe. Because we understand where we were defensively and we understand where we were offensively. And in order for us to be a better team, we've got to play better defense. It starts right today."

Some random notes from practice:

We got our first look at the new adidas practice gear that will be worn throughout the league, with the signature three stripes down the side.

Cheeks was an active participant in the running and stretching exercises to start practice.

During some downtime (there wasn't much of it), Allen Iverson went up for a dunk in front of a group of his teammates. He didn't get up quite high enough and as he came down, he feigned a back injury.

More: Rodney Carney's blog from Barcelona

They're Heeeyuuure
BARCELONA, Sept. 30 -- posted by John Schuhmann on September 30, 2006, 10:45 a.m. ET

C-Webb signs an autograph upon arriving in Spain.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
The Sixers have arrived. They touched down here in Barcelona at approximately 7:45 a.m. and our photographer (and my main man) Jesse Garrabrant was with them on the trip.

Before they departed Philadelphia though, and as I was typing yesterday's blog, they held their annual media day at the Wachovia Center. This was the last chance for most of their 30 some-odd (I'm exaggerating a bit here) beat writers to talk with the team before they return on Oct. 12.

He's not a beat writer, but David Aldridge was there to hear Chris Webber and his teammates talking the talk.
-- [Philadelphia Daily News]

Allen Iverson says that if changes need to be made, he's willing to make them himself.
-- [Philadelphia Daily News]

Filming Les Ramblas
John Schuhmann/NBAE
While some believe that Billy King should be the one making the changes, Kyle Korver is happy that the roster basically stayed the same.
-- [Allentown Morning Call]

As far as the trip abroad, A.I. and the gang see it as an opportunity to bond.
-- [Camden Courier-Post]

That opportunity is now and the team will practice here at 6 p.m. local time tonight. I'll be there and I'll give you the lowdown on everything that went on right here.

This morning, I tagged along with the NBA TV crew as they traveled around the city to shoot "scenics" which will be used as bumpers going into and coming out of commercial breaks during their game coverage as well as on NBA Access with Ahmad Rashad.

I learned that, as the camera man has to use patience when waiting for the wind as he shoots the flags atop a city building. I also learned that he needs strong shoulders as he climbs up to Parc Güell.

More: John Schuhmann's postcards from Barcelona
Gallery: Sixers arrival

No Sleep 'Til Les Ramblas
BARCELONA, Sept. 29 -- posted by John Schuhmann on September 29, 2006, 2:20 p.m. ET

Les Ramblas
John Schuhmann/NBAE

Cross-Atlantic flights (going East at night) are bizarre. You leave in the evening and they pretend you're still in the Eastern time zone for a few hours as they serve you dinner and show a movie. Then, they turn the lights out for exactly 120 minutes. After that, the lights come back on and they serve you breakfast ... less than four hours after they served you dinner.

I guess if you sleep through that lights-off period, you could be fooled into thinking that it was really morning. But not me.

Needless to say, I'm a little out of wack as I type here in my Barcelona hotel room. After arriving, I made my attempt to get on GMT +01:00 by taking a three hour nap (enough to recharge the batteries, but not enough to keep me up late tonight).

Then it was downstairs, underground into the Metro (where I paused in amazement at a vending machine that sold books) and then back up at the northern tip of Les Ramblas, the grand, tree-lined promenade of Barcelona.

It was a beautiful, early fall day and if you like to people watch, this is where you want to be on a Friday afternoon. Les Ramblas was teeming with both tourists and locals. Automobile traffic flows on either side of you and there are plenty of street performers seeking your attention (and your spare change) and stands that sell everything from flowers to live chickens.

There are also countless cafes where you can take a load off and down a pint or two, and that's exactly what I did halfway through my stroll. I was hungry, so I ordered a very interesting concoction of bread, cheese and tomato sauce. They call it "la pizza." Delicious!

OK, so I wasn't ready to completely dive into the local culture right away, but I will certainly partake in some Catalonian cuisine before this trip is through. Stay tuned ...

The Sixers will arrive here at 7:45 a.m. Saturday morning. They'll probably get a siesta in before practicing at 9 p.m. They'll have two-a-days on Sunday and Monday and then single, three-hour practice sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday (10.5), they'll play their first preseason game against FC Barcelona (3 p.m. ET, NBA TV).

Mo Cheeks and his squad will then practice once each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday before traveling to Cologne Sunday afternoon. I'll be with them all along the way, and we'll get into more basketball talk tomorrow.

Until then, this boy needs some rest.

More: John Schuhmann's postcards from Barcelona