Jukka Matinen is a 33 year old 203cm forward that was born in Kerava, Finland. He started his basketball career in 1995 for New Wave. He then played for NMKY Helsinki, ToPo Helsinki, Tapiolan Honka and Honka Espoo from 1997-2002. He then played for the Skyliners from 2002-2006 playing 104 Beko BBL games, 19 ULEB cup games and 9 Euroleague games. He won the German championship in 2004 and reached the final in 2005. He then played for Honka Espoo Playboys from 2006-2011 playing 195 games winning the Finish title in 2007 and 2008. He spoke to German Hoops about the Pascal Roller farewell game and basketball in general.
How happy were you to be part of the Pascal Roller farewell game?
It was great to come back and an honor to be asked. I always enjoy coming back to Frankfurt. They have great fans there.
What was your impression of Pascal Roller. Was there much difference to 2006 when you last played with him?
He is still quick. He is still in very good shape despite being retired. He isn´t in as good shape as in 2006, but I think that he could still play in the Beko BBL now.
What was your impression of your ex teammates Nino Garris and Robert Maras?
You can see that both know how to play basketball. Nino is still in good shape, jumped a few times and hit some tough shots. Maras is slow, but he still has the moves in the low post.
The game was mainly for fun, but what was key in the end for the Skyliners getting the win?
They started very strong, then shifted down a few gears and let us get back into it. The game was for fun and everyone was there pay respect for Roller. Everybody wanted to enjoy the moment.
You are 33 and still playing in Finland. Was it difficult to come back and play in a team where most were retired?
No it wasn´t. It was fun and I didn´t have to learn x and o´s and new plays which is more difficult for a player when coming to a team.
With what Fraport Skyliner were you most impressed with?
I was impressed most with Jimmy Mckinney. I had never seen him play, but had heard good things about him. He is one of the best shooters that I have seen in a while.
Do you still follow the Fraport Skyliners?
Yes I do. I follow them over Eurobasket and their webpage. I check how they do each week.
The play of the game was the Pascal Roller dunk where he was aided by Marius Nolte getting a boost. Do you remember seeing Pascal Roller dunk back in the day?
I remember a couple games where Pascal dunked. The only difference now to then is that he didn´t need help to dunk back when I played.
Would the Opel Skyliners been German champion in 2004 without Pascal Roller?
We had very good players then. Pascal was our leader. Nobody could have replaced him that year.
What is the most important thing that you have learned from Pascal Roller?
How he treats people. The way he is is genuine and nothing is faked. He was always serious about winning, but at the same time, he could smile. They way he treated everyone well is unique.
In 2005, Pascal Roller, Chris Williams and Tyrone Ellis where known as the Bermuda triangle. How would Pascal have saved them of a deserted island in the Bermuda triangle?
He would have done like Johnny Depp in the movie Pirates of the Caribeen.
If you could describe Pascal Roller in one sentence how would you?
A great role model.
Can you remember your first meeting with Roller in 2002?
Yes I can. I was in Frankfurt for a try out and Pascal came on the second day. He had remembered that we had played against each other in an international club game. That was our first conversation that we had.
What was your nicest memory about his game on the court?
His jump shot. Pascal coming down on the fast break with high speed stopping and shooting as if he was standing still. The way he controlled his shot was amazing.
You play in Finland for KTP Basket Kotka. You are the oldest in the team. Are you their Pascal Roller?
If you look at our ages yes, but we are too different people and I am not like him. I lead the team with experience and see many things that the young players don´t see.
What goals do you still have? How much longer do you want to play?
I obviously want to win titles and have fun. I will continue to keep playing as long as I still stay healthy. If I start to get injuries or the younger guys get faster, then I may retire and then just play for fun.
Who is the best player that you played against in your career?
I played against Dirk Nowitzki at age 16 in a Junior national game. In Europe it was Dejan Bodiroga.
Who wins a one on one in practice, you or Tim Blue?
I would like to say it would be me, but if you were to bet, then the odds would be better for Tim Blue than me.
How long can you last in the sauna?
10-15 minutes. I don´t like to stay in longer, because I get to exhausted.
What were the most free throws that you have made in a practice in a row?
What was your most crazy shot in a game or practice?
In a shoot around after practice, I made a shot form the other end line with my back to the basket and made one form the center with one bounce.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Leon : The professional with Jean Reno.
Thanks Jukka for the chat.