Ronald Dupree Bringing A Breath Of NBA Air To The Telekom Baskets Bonn

Ronald Dupree is a 29 year old 199cm shooting guard/small forward from Biloxi, Mississippi. He played at LSU from 1999-2003 and was SEC champion in 2000. He wasn´t drafted by an NBA team, but played in the worlds best league from 2003-2008 with teams like the Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves. And played 154 NBA games. He was NBA central division champion in 2005 and 2007. Last season, he played in the D-League for the Tulsa 66ers playing 18 games averaging 19.8ppg, 6.6rpg, 3.7apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 46.8%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 69.2%, and in Jan.2009 agreed to terms with the Utah Flash playing 33 games averaging 17.3ppg, 7.2rpg, 3.9apg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 27.4%, FT: 79.2%. Ron spoke to German Hoops about the current Telekom Baskets Bonn season.

From 1999 to 2009, you played in the NCAA, NBA and D-League. Now you are playing your first season overseas in Europe. Has it been a culture shock for you?

Not really, because basketball is a universal game. There are small, detailed differences like with the footwork and the 3 second violations.

Why did you decide to come to Europe after being in the States for 10 years?

I was hoping for a long NBA career after being in the NBA for 5 seasons but then, after playing in the D-League and playing in the Utah Jazz preseason training camp, I decided I may have better chances to explore Europe, instead of waiting for a call from the NBA. I have heard good and bad things about Europe and I just felt it was the right time to come here and see how it is.

How do you like Bonn, it is not Detroit, Chicago or Cleveland?

No, it is not. Bonn is a nice city with Cologne nearby, the people are very nice and it is very Americanized. I am learning German and I am open-minded and I always welcome the challenge to learn about different cultures.

You played in the NBA for quite a while. Now you are in a team with many good players, is it difficult for you not to be the superstar?

I knew that Bonn was a good team, I also knew I was coming in for injured Vincent Yarborough. I am a role player who has to help the team win and just play solid. I do not need to score 30 points each night.

Was it difficult adjusting to the league because you came to Bonn so late in mid November?

It was a little adjustment, I would rather have started the season in training camp but I am surrounded by good players and a good coach, I have been able to adjust to the system and fulfil my role.

What is the secret of the success of the Telekom Baskets Bonn?

We have unselfished play and have commitment to defense. Coach Koch has done a good job making successful individuals. We all enjoy each other and it is a lot easier to play well when everyone understands each other.

You are very athletic, can shoot the ball and can penetrate to the hoop. Would you agree with me that you also have a high basketball IQ?

Yes, I agree with you, I have a high basketball IQ but that comes through experience, playing with good players, being coached well and I just love the game.

You have played against all the good teams in the league. Can Bonn finally win the title?

I think we have good chances to win. Whenever you are playing near the top, you always have a good position to win it all.

How is your relationship to coach Michael Koch?

Koch lets me play my game, he wants me to play defense but also score. He is a players’ coach, he was great as a player and made the transition to coaching. Being a good player, does not always mean that you will turn into a good coach but Koch was able to do this.

Bonn has the inside game, good win players, good role players from the bench and a talented point guard with Jared Jordan. The defense has improved in the last months but what else does the team need to improve on?

We can always improve on defense. In order to be a championship team, you can always improve in all aspects of the game. Our bench players have been getting better. You have to be efficient as a team, you are not going to get 15 to 20 shots but 9 or 10. You just have to be consistent on offense and defense.

You are from Beloxi, Mississippi, how was your childhood? Did you spent much time by the water?

I did not spend much time at the beach, I was usually playing and watching basketball. It is a good place. It is still rebuilding since hurricane Katrina.

Who were your NBA idols?

Michael Jordan, Kevin Garnett and Reggie Miller.

To what NBA player would you compare your game to?

A younger James Posey and a more athletic Luo Deng.

Your favourite player is Allen Iverson. Were you able to play against him in the NBA?

Yes, I played against Iverson. Yes, he was one of my favourite players but I think I was a bit misquoted. Iverson was more my third favourite player. I like him because he loves to play and plays with a big heart.

You played at LSU, where Shaq also played. What was so special about the 1999/2000 team where you became SEC champions?

That was my freshman year, we had some very talented players like Torvus Bright and Jabar Smith. We got to the sweet 16, which LSU had not accomplished in the longest time. It was just a special team.

What was your nicest memory of the Detroit Pistons?

My first season where Larry Brown was coach, the team had won the year before, we went to the final and the team was like a brotherhood. We still keep in contact today.

You told me that you saw a gentleman with a two-piece glittering suit at Burger King, I am sure you experienced some really crazy things in the NBA as well?

This is kind of negative and I hate to bring it up but it would have to be the brawl between the Pistons and the Pacers. That was when Ron Artest went into the stands, I had never ever seen anything else like that before and it was just very unfortunate and kind of added to the unique season.

Do you see yourself trying to reach the NBA next season?

My ultimate goal will always be to get back in the NBA. The experience in Bonn has been great, I will keep my options open next summer but people have told me that the first season usually tells the tale if you will stay or leave. I would not mind coming back to Europe.

The 2010 NBA slam dunk contest was a disappointment, how can that be?

That is just the nature of it. It is not always going to be great but you hope that it will bring some entertainment. Of course it is very difficult when big guys like Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or Vince Carter are not present but I think it will be good again in the future.

What was your craziest shot?

A ¾ shot in practise, we were always playing around in practise to see who can hit it.

Who would win a one on one contest, you or Bryce Taylor?

That depends how we play, Taylor is a quick athletic guard but if I am on the post, it will be difficult for him to win.

What would you like to do after your basketball career?

I would like to stay around basketball, get into coaching or management, perhaps be an entrepreneur, but whatever I do, it will have to be a challenge.

What are your hobbies?

Listening to music, movies, plays, I picked up reading two years ago on the road and I have been reading novels. I also like X Box Live.

What was the last DVD that you saw?

Inglorious Bastards, I thought it was pretty funny and I like Brad Pitt.

Thanks, Ron, for the chat.

4 comments

  1. Wow, I didnt even know that Ronnie is playin overseas! Thought he was still ballin in da d-league.
    Nice to see that he has found a new challenge over there

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