Interview: Osman Ertörer and Caner Onal, TrendBasket

Editing: Derviş Göksun and Onur Coşkun, TrendBasket

1-) You have had a much better start to the season as a team. You have got a better rhythm on offense and most importantly you are winning. What is the reason for this improvement in your opinion?

“We have a great coach and organization. One of the league’s most important players, Jimmy Butler, joined to our team in the summer and he is having a huge impact on the court. Also, we have been playing together for the last couple of years without changing much and we are playing good.”

2-) In the last two seasons, you’ve been a sub-par defensive team, as the stats suggest, in spite of
the presence of Coach Thibodeau and the quality players on the roster. What do you think is the reason behind this?

“I think it’s all about adjusting to the game. Personally, I needed more time than I thought I would needed to adjust to the game. We were young, there was a coach change but we are now on a good way. We still have enough room to play much better in defence but we are one of the best offensive teams in the league now. This is NBA, every night you play against great players and teams so it’s always hard.”

3) You have always been a great three point shooter, but especially this year you are smashing it. You are shooting with almost 60%. Could we link this with your increased confidence on the court or maybe getting more open looks?

“It’s a lot of hard work. I am in a good rhythm now but of course no one can shoot with this high percentage for the rest of the reason so there will be some ups and downs. I now know what I am able to do here and my role on the court has totally changed since I came here. In Europe I was in a creator position. I was playing a lot with the ball to help my teammates but now I have different role and I am happy with this as long as we are winning. Because I am a part of a great team.”

4) There are some high profile Serbian rookies this year like Milos and Bogdan. Have you been sharing your NBA experience with them? Coaching them in any way?

“Yes. I spoke with Bogdan and Milos, they need time to adjust themselves to the league because they have to accept a different role than what they used to. I think Bogdan is in great hands in Sacramento. He is already a starter. They might have been losing but they are a young team and I think they will build a team around Bogdan which will be great for him. For Milos, he was the best point guard in Europe and he is one of the best in the league now but he was just unlucky with the injury. I can’t wait to see him back.”

5) In the last two years, you couldn’t be a part of those Serbian teams that lost two finals to the USA and Slovenia. Would these results be different if you were with them?

“I feel a part of this team, I watch them from TV but trust me, it’s very hard for me to watch those guys play and not be able to help but I hope this will be the last year that I skip national team. I like playing for my national team and represent my country so I  can’t wait to join them.”

6) Last year, Fenerbahce won the EuroLeague for the first time in club’s history. How did you feel when you saw them on the top?

“I felt great. Those guys deserved it. I know how we struggled in our first year with Zeljko but they understood that everything takes time. They have the best coach in Europe and great system so it does not matter who is playing because they know what they are doing. I think they are going to win this year again. I wish them all the best. And I wish the best to Fenerbahce fans too!”

Osman Ertorer


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