Interview: Kasım Ersoy, TrendBasket
Last night, the Charlotte Hornets snatched a 99-85 win at Golden 1 Center against Sacramento Kings. After the game, we had an exclusive interview with the Hornets’ French star Nicolas Batum on the Hornets, France youth system and EuroBasket 2017.
First of all, congratulations for the win. You snapped your 5-game losing streak. What are your general thoughts about the game?
We were serious for 48 minutes. We had a great start in the first quarter. We had a 12-0 run to start a game and then, everything came in. We did a good job off the bench as well. We tried to keep our good lead all the way. At the end of the day, we did a good job.
You joined the Hornets two years ago and in those two years, you have had statistically the best years of your career. What’s the reason behind this?
This is a new system to me but our coaches are doing a great job to put me good positions. We got great teammates. They trust me and believe in me. It’s just about the group I’m in.
This season you’re playing at shooting guard position, instead of small forward. What kind of advantages did this bring to you?
My size makes the difference. I’m pretty tall for that spot, so I can take advantage of my size. It’s a little bir different from 3 spot because you’re up against a smaller guy now. So, that’s the advantage I have.
Besides your generation, France youth system is still producing a lot of good and talented prospects. What is the secret of the continuity of France youth system?
We got great coaching, great coaching staff. They teach you the game at an early age. It’s on you to learn the basics of the game but the coaches are doing a good job on that. We’ve been successful for the last 10 years and we know that for the next 10 years, we will be good as well. That’s good props to all the coaching and learning system.
Great European players like Hidayet Türkoğlu and Andrei Kirilenko went on to be the President of their Basketball Federations. As a part of France’s Golden Generation, do you have any plans of doing something like that?
Why not? Yes, I’d consider that.
Are you going to be in EuroBasket 2017?
I don’t know. I haven’t made my decision yet. It’s a long season and it is what I’m focusing on right now. I’ll make a decision, once the season is over but I don’t know yet.