James Washington (182-G-87, agency: FCM, college: Middle Tenn.St.) is a 24 year old 182cm guard from St Louis Missouri. He played at W.Illinois (NCAA) from 2006-2008 and then transfered to Middle Tenn.St. (NCAA). In his senior year he played 32 games: 14.0ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.8apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 40.4%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 86.4%. Last season he started his professional basketball career for TBB Trier (Germany-BBL) 23 games: 5.7ppg, 1.8rpg, FGP: 38.8%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 80.0%. He spoke to eurobasket about basketball.
James where you currently at and how has your day been going?
I am currently in the states at my hometown St. Louis, Missouri. And my day has been going alright, I cant complain too much.
December is around the corner and you are still unsigned. Are you surprised that you still dont have a team at this point?
Yes, you can say I am surprised. But I mean that is the way it goes sometimes. I look at it as just a small bump in the road you know. A call will come soon though and I'll be more then ready.
Last season, you came late into the season to German Beko BBL team TBB Trier, so you know first hand from last season how difficult it is to find a team. Does the market seem to be even tougher to crack this season?
Well last season was difficult because of the NBA lockout and NBA guys were signing overseas to play. And of course me being a rookie and only having College stats didn't make it any easier. But this year its pretty tough too I guess. But my name was off the market overseas for a while because I had signed a contract to play in NBA D League this season at first.
How tough is it mentally to cope with being unsigned when many of your friends are playing overseas at this time? When it comes to being mentally tough that is usually me. But I cant even lie, every day when I talk to my bros playing overseas it bothers me a little bit. Especially when they tell me about some of the players and competition their playing against night in and night out. Then knowing my skills set, and my athletic ability makes it even worse. But hey, it be like that sometimes. like I said earlier, teams will call soon and I will be ready.
You had a solid season at TBB Trier last season playing 23 games: 5.7ppg, 1.8rpg, FGP: 38.8%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 80.0%. Wasnt there any chance that head coach Henrik Rodl would keep you? Thanks a lot. Yea I had an okay season I would say. Wish I could have played better though and helped my team get some more wins. I dont think I got to show all what I can do. And yes there was. Coach Rodl is a good coach and even better person off the floor. I had signed a 2 year player/team option contract with TBB Trier. I think its best we just leave it at that.
How were you able to further develop your game as a rookie in the German Beko BBL?
Being able to practice against Dru Joyce everyday really helped me. Dru is a really good PG is now considered a veteran overseas and he helped me out with my transition from college to a rookie. My boy John Bynum helped me also. But my entire team were great teammates and coach Thomas Pach and Henrik Rodl helped me get better with individual workouts too.
Would you like to come back and play in Germany? Would you even step down a level to the PRO A if a team came knocking? Funny you asked that because my bro Talor Battle and I were just talking about Germany on Skype yesterday. I would not mine going back to Germany at all. Germany was a great experience overall and the fans really support basketball even though soccer is the main sport there. Yes I would step down and play at a lower level. Especially now since the season has already started and I feel like I need to show what I really can do on the floor while winning at the same time.
What is a hidden strength in your game that doesnt always get noticed?
I would say a hidden strength would be my point guards skills and ability to run a team. It usually gets unnoticed because I shoot the ball so well and like last season playing next to Dru Joyce, the shooting guard was basically my only job.
If you can describe yourself in a few sentences how would you describe your game and how you can help any team now?
I am a point guard that can score and shoot the ball pretty well. I can run a team, and I have the heart and will to try to win every game I play. I can help a team by simply doing just that and also being a leader/coach on the floor.
Who won a one on one in practice last season you or Dru Joyce and how would you beat him?
HaHa this is a funny question to me. But Dru and I would go back in forth at it in practice during 1 on 1. When he sees this he will try to disagree because he is so competitive too. But I won the most games 1 on 1 with us.
How does a normal James Washington work out day look like now as you keep in shape?
Ummmm, A normal day for James Washington I have no idea what it goes like for the most part because that is my Grandfather haha. But for James Washington lll thats easy. I workout at 5 30 in the morning in the weight room, come home take my niece to school, get something to eat and relax for a little bit. Maybe talk on skype to my bros Talor Battle, Dru Joyce, LaRon Dendy, Dwight Buycks, and Mike Smith. Head back to gym for court workout with trainer, come home take a nap or play 2K13. Pick my niece up from school then go back to gym and play pick up ball. Late night Im chilling spending time with the family and watching NBA or college games on TV. And of course eat some dinner.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw? Last DVD movie I watched was Step Brothers on my laptop. Seen it like 10 times now, but its hella funny to me.
FC Bayern Muenchen (BBL) signed 27-year old German international center Maik Zirbes (208-115kg-90, agency: BeoBasket). He started the season at Maccabi Fox Tel-Aviv in Israeli Winner League. In 9 games he had 8.3ppg, 4.4rpg and 1.0spg this season. Zirbes helped them to make it to the cup final. He also played 15 games in Euroleague where he recorded 8.1ppg and 3.0rpg. The last season Zirbes played at Crvena Zvezda in Serbian KLS. The team played in three different competitions (!!!) that... [read more]
FC Bayern Muenchen (BBL) signed 27-year old German international center Maik Zirbes (208-115kg-90, agency: BeoBasket). He started the season at Maccabi Fox Tel-Aviv in Israeli Winner League. In 9 games he had 8.3ppg, 4.4rpg and 1.0spg this season. Zirbes helped them to make it to the cup final. He also played 15 games in Euroleague where he recorded 8.1ppg and 3.0rpg. The last season Zirbes played at Crvena Zvezda in Serbian KLS. The team played in three different competitions (!!!) that year, and he was exposed to basketball on different levels. In 12 KLS games he averaged 10.3ppg and 4.8rpg. Zirbes contributed to his team winning the league title (twice) (also twice). A very impressive season as he was voted Eurobasket.com All-Serbian League Bosman Player of the Year, Center of the Year and named to 1st Team. Zirbes also played 27 games in Euroleague where he got 12.4ppg and 6.1rpg. He contributed to his team making it to the quarterfinals. Quite impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-Euroleague Honorable Mention. Zirbes also played 31 games in ABA League where he got 13.2ppg and 5.9rpg. He contributed to his team winning the ABA League championship (twice) despite they ended the regular season at the second place (twice). A very spectacular season in his career as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-Adriatic League 2nd Team. Zirbes has been also a member of German international program for some years. He has regularly played for German senior team since 2009 and previously for U20 National Team between 2009 and 2010. Zirbes represented Germany at the Qualifications to European Championships 2015 three years ago. His stats at that event were 6 games: 7.2ppg, 4.8rpg, FGP: 65.6%, FT: 33.3%. Zirbes has played previously for five other Germany teams: Gladiators, Brose Baskets, Saar-Pfalz Braves, DJK MJC Trier and Trier Baskets.
Chase Adams (177-PG-88, college: Pittsburgh)s a 28 year old 188cm point guard from Baltimore, Maryland playing his second season for the Uni Baskets Paderborn in the (Germany-ProA). He started his basketball career at Centenary (NCAA) in 2006 where he played three seasons and a total of 89 NCAA games. As a senior he moved to Pittsburgh (NCAA). He turned professional in 2011 and played briefly in the ABA and in the UBL before making Germany his home as he played for teams like Dortmund, Bo... [read more]
Chase Adams (177-PG-88, college: Pittsburgh)s a 28 year old 188cm point guard from Baltimore, Maryland playing his second season for the Uni Baskets Paderborn in the (Germany-ProA). He started his basketball career at Centenary (NCAA) in 2006 where he played three seasons and a total of 89 NCAA games. As a senior he moved to Pittsburgh (NCAA). He turned professional in 2011 and played briefly in the ABA and in the UBL before making Germany his home as he played for teams like Dortmund, Bochum, and Science City Jena. He spoke to eurobasket after the tough loss to Trier.
Chase thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. 2017 is here and are you the type of guy that goes into a new year with new years resolutions or more a guy that doesn't bother with that? It's certainly important to reflect on the first half of the season at this point and evaluate what needs improvement. A new mentality is always a helpful way to regain focus and set new goals.
The Uni Baskets Paderborn suffered a tough 69-66 loss to Trier. They had the 37-26 lead at halftime. It took you a while as a team to get going scoring 24 points in the third quarter to get back into the game. What adjustments did you make? We were sluggish and emotionless, so coach wanted us to turn up the pressure and play more lively. Communication and strong rotations were the emphasis.
Paderborn had the 66-63 lead with 2.54 minutes to play and were controlling the last 4-5 minutes keeping the lead, but then lost control allowing Trier to close out the game with a 6-0 run. How bitter was this outcome losing like this? Is that worse then getting beat by a buzzer beater?
Losing period is hurtful, especially with a team that we will potentially be fighting against for a playoff spot. We must collectively play better in those defining moments.
What was key in the last few minutes that allowed Trier to get the momentum and win the game?
Besides handing them free throws, it was the bad offensive possessions where we didn't get a good shot up.
Do you feel like there would have been a different outcome at the end had you not fouled out at 1.10 minutes to play?
Absolutely. These are the moments that I've been working hard to be prepared for and I was more than ready to perform. Unfortunately it didn't go as planned and it really hurt to have to watch.
Do you feel also had the team contained American Brandon Spearman better and limited his trips to the free throw line that you would have been able to preserve the win? We expected him to attack and lucky for him he got the calls. It was a smart effort on his behalf, but we should have executed better on offense.
A big problem of the Uni Baskets Paderborn in their current 5 game losing streak has been the inability to close out games. Has this trend turned into an unwanted type of disease?
I wouldn't call it a disease, if anything it's showing that we have heart and even though we are down at the moment, we aren't a door mat you can walk over. We can go toe to toe with any team and any game versus Paderborn will be a battle.
After the wild 130-125 double OT win against the Drsden Titans in October, you said that this will be a season to remember. Do you still feel this now at 7-11 and out of the playoff spots?
I stand by my statement whole heartedly. I won't give up until the season is completely over. At the end if we don't make it then we don't make it, but as long as we lace up and we throw on that jersey We are planning to win them all.
The Uni Baskets Paderborn played Kirchheim and Crailsheim very tight. What do you believe is missing for you to be able to beat these caliber type teams?
Defensive discipline in the last seconds of the shot clock and simply offensive execution when the game is on the line. Completing those possessions with a stop and not giving them second chances or easy looks. Offensively getting highly efficient shot attempts. These two factors have decided these close losses.
Before the loss to Trier, Paderborn was allowing 80 points per game. The team defended a lot better against Trier. Do you feel that Paderborn could hold more Pro A teams to around 70 points which would put you in a lot better position to win?
If we put our mind to it we can do anything. Everything else is in order, so the next step is take more pride in defense and to stick to our principles. The effort needs to stay at a high level for 40minutes.
Currently your third in tea s coring, first in assists and steals and second in rebounding. How happy have you been with your first half performance?
Not Satisfied one bit. It's just not enough in my book. To get over the hump I must turn it up a couple notches.
You continue to be a great defender leading the team with 2,6spg. How does a top notch defender like you continue to excel at this trade? What do you do in practices that has you always ready in games?
Defense is built on toughness, determination to stop your assignment and to give your all for the team. You just show up with that mentality everyday in practice so it's natural in game. Another key factor is paying attention to scouting. Taking time to study players habits and teams plays
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
This year. That's a top 5 performance.
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now?
Without a doubt. Nobody has a motor like him.
Russell Westbrook obviously has gotten a lot of attention with his constant triple doubles, but James Harden is doing the same thing with the Houston Rockets. Where do you see him head to head against Westbrook as best point guard at the moment in the NBA?
All though Westbrooks stat lines are out of this world, Hardens team has the better record so maybe Harden gets the nod for best PG.
Which 2 clubs will make the Superbowl and who will win it all?
The Giessen 46ers have reacted to the injury of Thomas Scrubb and snatched up Bazoumana Kone (190-G-93, college: Bremerhaven) Kone is a 23 year old combo guard that has BBL experience with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and Eisbaeren Bremerhaven and got a contract until the end of the season. Kone played with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg this season, but got a little lost in the guard rotation averaging only 11,8 minutes per game. In 13 games the German averaged 3,3ppg, 2,1rpg and 1,6apg in the... [read more]
The Giessen 46ers have reacted to the injury of Thomas Scrubb and snatched up Bazoumana Kone (190-G-93, college: Bremerhaven) Kone is a 23 year old combo guard that has BBL experience with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and Eisbaeren Bremerhaven and got a contract until the end of the season. Kone played with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg this season, but got a little lost in the guard rotation averaging only 11,8 minutes per game. In 13 games the German averaged 3,3ppg, 2,1rpg and 1,6apg in the EasyCredit BBL. In Champions League play he got into 8 games averaging 2,3ppg and 1,4rpg. "I am happy that we got him in our second try. He is an interesting player with enormous potential. He wants to prove himself and has fun playing and we need that in Giessen. I am convinced that he will be integrated quickly and help us with his abilities. His quick and aggressive play suits us", stresed Giessen 46ers head coach Denis Wucherer.
Kone started his basketball career with the Bramfelder SV Hamburg junior team and also played with the SG Braunschweig junior team. In 2011 he moved to BSG Bremerhaven (2.Regionalliga): 11 games 13.6ppg. He then got his first BBL experience with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven from 2012-2014 playing a total of 22 games. In 2014 he took a step back moving to the Pro A and playing two seasons with the Hamburg Towers where he got adequate playing time and could devlop his game better. In his first season with the Hamburg Towers he played 18 games averaging 8.7ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.7apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 29.6%, 3PT: 26.9%, FT: 72.5%. He made his Pro A break out last season playing 30 games: 14.5ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.1apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 25.7%, FT: 79.0%. Awards and achievements in his basketball career have been German NBBL Championships Finalist -12, German U20 National Team -13, and Eurobasket.com German 2.Bundesliga Pro A All-Domestic Players Team -16.