If your a Telekom Baskets Bonn fan, then one can complain over the years about the inability of being able to celebrate a title in the former German capital as the team has been very close a few times and no closer than the 2009 finals losing in five games to the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. American players who have had the honor to strap on a Bonn jersey over the years may have been encountered with the expression “Bonn is the basketball version of the Buffalo Bills football team that lost four Super Bowl finals, but never won one. However one thing that fans can´t complain about is having had the luxury of seeing amazing players play in Bonn over the years like Beko BBL dinosauer Chris Ensminger, or ex NBA player Ronald Dupree, but even when one looks at the current team, there are so many fascinating players like high flyer who likes to dunk in a suit Ryan brooks, mr three point king Benas Veikalis, top Beko BBL point guard Jared Jordan who can pass the way that God rules and possibly the friendlist player in the league and one of the few guys that was on the roster of the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers Tony Gaffney. The fact that Jordan is playing his fourth season in Bonn and Gaffney came back for a second tour of duty has to speak for the respect that the Telekom Baskets Bonn organization carries. Gaffney is a 29 year old 205cm power forward from New England that is abck for a second tour of duty with Bonn. Gaffney who also played at Massachusetts (NCAA) and in Israel came to Bonn in the 2011-2012 season and played 37 games beko BBL games averaging 12.9ppg, 6.1rpg, 1.5apg, 1.3spg, Blocks-1(1.8bpg), FGP: 63.1%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 68.8%; EuroChallenge: 12 games: 11.6ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.1apg, 1.3spg, Blocks-1(2.1bpg), FGP: 63.0%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 58.8%. From his previous experience and stats, it was obvious why Bonn hauled in the Boston sports fan. “He is a very good player. He likes to attack the hoop, always helps rebound and is one of the fastest position four players in the league. He never stands around and is one of the most effective players”, added Andreas Bottcher. Bonn has had many talented and successful power forwards in the last years with Aleksander Nadjfeji, Brandon Bowmann and Ronald Dupree, but none add up to the talent of Gaffney. “We have had some good four men in Bonn, but never had such a good shot blocker like Gaffney. He has such long arms and can do so much on defense. He is a huge enrichment for the Beko BBL. I almost forgot, you should watch him dribble on the fast break”, smiled Andreas Bottcher. Last season Gaffney took his good stats from Germany and played in Spain for FIATC Joventut Badalona (Spain-Liga Endesa): 23 games: 11.5ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.8apg, Steals-5(1.6spg), Blocks-5(1.3bpg), FGP: 55.9%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 64.5%. Last fall he showed a great performance with the Memphis Grizzlies, but got caught up in the numbers game and was one of the last cuts. His stats are down a bit this season from his first season with Bonn, but since arriving hs has been fairly consistent, but just needs to improve his three pointer a bit. His teammates will never be bored, because he will always have NBA stories from the Celtics and Lakers and is proud that he was in their organization. “The Lakers treated me very well, They were very open to me. They told me how I was going to stay in this league. They showed me the ropes. I’m grateful for that. We talked for about half an hour and they explained the situation to me and how they wanted to keep me and finances just weren’t in my favor, which was understandable because this is one of the biggest businesses in the world,’’ As a rookie I got to see that first hand, which is kind of cool. The Celtics signed Shaq, Jermaine o Neal and Delonte West and it was obvious that there would be no room for me”, added Tony Gaffney. The dream of getting to the NBA is still there, but it is obvious that playing for the Telekom Baskets Bonn is very important to him and his number one priority now. “Gaffney knows that Bonn isn´t the limit. He will enjoy his time in Bonn and always give 100%. He knows exactly what he has in Bonn”, warned Andreas Bottcher. Bonn fans should enjoy every Jared Jordan-Tony Gaffney ally-op hook up, because there won´t be any better NBA Showtime in the Beko BBL than that. Separating Jordan and Gaffney in Bonn would be as hurtful like separating Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in Los Angeles. Rumours of Bamberg trying to get Jordan have erupted, but if Bonn management have any dignity should let the dollar signs sink in the Rhine river.
Last season the Telekom Baskets Bonn finished the season in seventh place with a record of 18-16, but had to met 2009 Beko BBl champion EWE Baskets Oldenburg in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. This was no easy task and they couldn´t get revenge for the five game series loss in the 2009 Beko BBL final and lost this series in a tough hard fought 5 game series as well. Despite changing Fischer with Koch, the club decided not to do a full shift house cleaning, but kept a healthy core of players from last season and implemented the new foundation with solid components. The most important player to remain was Mr pass Jared Jordan. Jordan is a 29 year old 188cm point guard from Harford that is playing his fourth season in Bonn having led the Beko BBL and Greek lead in assists once. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2007, but has said goodbye to his NBA dream as he has accepted the European basketball and lifestyle. Last season he played 38 games: 10.1ppg, 3.5rpg, Assists-1(7.6apg), FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 69.8%; EuroChallenge: 14 games: 9.1ppg, 3.0rpg, Assists-3(5.9apg), FGP: 57.4%, 3PT: 55.2%, FT: 76.9%. His ally-op passes to Tony Gaffney go hand in hand like the blind understanding that Karl Malone and John Stockton had back in the day. The club also held onto 30 year old 192cm guard Benas Veikalis from Lithuvania who will be playing his third season in Bonn. Last season he played 36 games: 11.4ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 50.4%, 3PT: 43.1%, FT: 83.3%; EuroChallenge: 12 games: 9.7ppg, 2.3rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 58.8%, 3PT: 36.7%, FT-3(88.0%. His shooting is his biggest strength as he never shot under 40% in the Beko BBL in a season and his great understanding of the game and decision making make him very valuable. The club also kept Jamel Mcclean who is a 25 year old 203cm forward, but has moved to center with Bonn. This is his third professional season and second with Bonn. Last season he came in the second half of the season and made an impact right away playing 21 games: 13.7ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.3apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 59.3%, FT: 65.9%, 6.6rpg, 1.0spg, FGP: 58.6%, FT: 69.6%. The Xavier graduate who also played in Belgium and Italy is a very physical player that wont make the same mistake twice under the basket. The team also kept durable and reliable Germans David Mccray and Andrej Mangold. Mccray is a 187cm guard and might only be 27 years old, but is starting his tenth professional season. He already played 39 BBL games between 2004-2007 with BG Karlsruhe and then played five seasons in Ludwigsburg and last season for Bonn played 8 games: 7.0ppg, 1.9rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 70.0%; EuroChallenge: 14 games: 5.6ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 25.9%, FT: 41.7%. He is best known for his pit bull defense, but has grown as an offensive player and can score in bunches. Who could forget his 23 points against Hagen in 24 minutes. The only thing missing is being more consistent on the offensive end. Mangold is a 26 year old 190cm point guard starting his third season with Bonn and got his first real chance in the top german league under Michael Koch. After playing in Oldenburg, Hannover and Munich, he got into 26 games for the Artland Dragons in 2010-2011. Being reunited with his budy Tony Gaffney will surely spark his game as well. Florian Koch who is a 21 year old 197 forward also is back. He is a very versatile player that can play multiple positions and has a solid shot. Last season he played 7 games: 1.1ppg; EuroChallenge: 3 games: 3.7ppg, 3.0rpg, had also a licence to play for Dragons Rhoendorf (ProB): 23 games: 13.9ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 35.0%, FT: 85.1%.
The club lost lots of scoring power with Kyle Weems and Robert Vaden and inside presence with Johannes Wolfarth-Bottermann, but Fischer did a good job compensating for these loses by possibily bringing in more versatily at other positions. The most important signing was Tony Gaffney who is a fan favorite in Bonn. After a preparing with Bonn in the pre season, he left shortly before the season to try his luck with the Memphis Grizzlies, but was cut. Gaffney who is the only player to have been on the roster of the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers and never played a game is a 28 year old 205cm forward from Boston. Last season he played for FIATC Joventut Badalona (Spain-Liga Endesa): 23 games: 11.5ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.8apg, Steals-5(1.6spg), Blocks-5(1.3bpg), FGP: 55.9%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 64.5%. The ex Umass player who also played in Israel and Turkey is a high energy player and one of those players that fans especially come to watch. His athletic dunks will surely be featured in many top 10 plays this season. The team also hauled in 25 year old 193cm guard Ryan Brooks who is known for having played at the same high school as Kobe Bryant. He is playing his fourth professional season after having played at Temple(NCAA) and has played mostly in Germany except for a season in Finland. Last season he played for LTi Giessen 46ers (Germany-BBL, starting five): 19 games: 15.9ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.4apg, 2FGP: 54.8%, 3FGP: 37.3%, FT: 75.4%, in Jan.’13 moved to Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-BBL, starting five): 15 games: 13.3ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 30.4%, FT: 73.7%. Brooks is very athletic that likes that mid distance jumper and will get Gaffney on the break more than once with his aggressive defense. The club also brought in defensive specialist Kurt Looby who is a 29 year old 210cm center from Antigua, but also has the American citizenship. Looby played at Iowa and in countries like Greece and Poland. Last season he played for Trefl Sopot (Poland-TBL, starting five): 34 games: 5.6ppg, 5.0rpg, Blocks-3(1.6bpg), FGP-1(66.1%), FT: 64.8%; EuroCup: 6 games: 3.7ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.2bpg. It doesn´t matter where he has played, but is always near the top in shot blocking. For some it takes four years to set NCAA records, but for Looby finished two year career at Iowa ranked seventh all-time in blocked shots with 96. The team also brought in German Steve Wachalski.. Wachalski is a 30 year old 202cm forward that is mostly known for being a very good shooter and has that special sense of game intelligence. He also is one of those rare players that went from 8 long hard years of Regionaliga/German second Bundesliga with Osnabruck to getting his first chance in the Beko BBl in 2010 with Bayreuth. He played the last twos easons with the Mitteldeutscher BC. During the season, the club said farewell to Zavackas after Gaffney returned from the Mmephis Grizzllies and Enosch Wolf left to play for NBC in the German Pro A.
It isn´t always easy to compare two different teams, but one would have to come to the conclusion that this Bonn team is stronger than last years team just on paper. The biggest strength on the team is keeping a part of the roster in tact as well as the experience on the team. There are many players that have Beko BBL experience and guys like Jordan and Gaffney are hungry to win their first titles in Germany. The team is very athletic and will want to use this strength to get out of big defensive plays and get easy buckets with many resulting in dunks. This will be a very interesting team on offense with the creative point guard Jordan finding good shooting opportunities for his players. The club has many good shooters, but also inside will be able to do damage with Gaffney and Mcclean. The defensive duo of Gaffney and Looby will annoy many Beko BBL teams this season. If this team can try to set a goal and keep teams between 73-78 points or even better, than they will win many games. The bench isn´t deep, but hungry as with Germans Mangold, Mccray, and Walchalski, guys who will always be fighting in practice for their minutes and want to prove their worth in games. The x factor on the team is Jared Jordan. Every team will be gunning to slow him down. When he is on his game, then Bonn always ahs very good chances to win. If Jordan is slowed down, then it obviously becomes for difficult to win.
In the last Six seasons, the Frankfurt Skyliners only have a 6-14 record. It doesn´t matter if Frankfurt played at the old gym or in the new arena in Bonn they have lost 11 games in a row there. The last time, The Frankfurt Skyliners won in Bonn, New England patriot Tom Brady had not sipped champagne yet as a third Super Bowl winner, Jurgen Klinsmann was still coach of the German national soccer team, Paul Potts was still selling cell phones and singing in front of the mirror and the terrifying Tsunami was only a few days old as Frankfurt won in Bonn on January 1st 2005 with a 79-67 win as Chris Williams exploded with 27 points and 16 rebounds.In the 2010-2011 season the Skyliners lost a tight 92-89 game shortly before the new year as Nic Wise took control in crunch time. The 20 point, eight rebound and seven assist performance didn´t help in the losing cause from Dashaun Wood. Frankfurt got revenge in the return date in the Ballsporthalle as they took apart Bonn 78-60 as Dashaun Wood led all scorers with 20 points and no Bonn player scored in double figures. In their first meeting in 2011-2012, the Telekom Baskets Bonn won 79-64 as Bonn was leading 41-34 at halftime and had a strong 22-12 third quarter that iced the cake for the win. Simonas Serapinas Led Bonn with 20 points, while the two ex Skyliners Justin Gray contributed 21 points and Jon Leuer 16 points. Frankfurt shot under 40% and were out rebounded badly. In the return game in Bonn, Frankfurt lost 81-62 not reaching the Beko BBL playoffs. The Skyliners had no method of stopping Chris Ensminger that had 24 points. Jermareo Davidosn added 18 points and Jimmy Mckinney had 13 points in his last game as a Skyliner. The Fraport Skyliners won the first game last season in Frankfurt 78-53 displaying the typical Katzurian defense and containing top point guard Jared Jordan to nine points and only two assists. Frankfurt was led by ex Skyliner Dion Dowell who had 17 points and Zach Peacock chipped in with 14 points. In the return game in Bonn, despite a 25 point, 11 rebound, five assist effort by Zach Peacock, Bonn won 81-75 as Benas Veikalis was hitting from everywhere except the bank of the Rhine river as he netted 22 points. Jamel Mcclean added 18 points. In the first game this season, the Telekom Baskets Bonn destroyed the Fraport Skyliners 89-67 with hot timely shooting from Ryan Brooks with 19 points and 18 points from Benas Veikalas. The Fraport Skyliners were led by the big German three of Danilo Barthel with 17 points, Konstantin Klein had 11 points and Johannes Voigtmann chipped in with 10 points. The Telekom Baskets have been up and down in 2014 with a 2-4 record coming off a loss in Munich while the Fraport Skyliners are still looking for their first win in 2014 currently having a five game winning streak. The Fraport Skyliners continue to have massive injuries woes as Marius Nolte, Jacob Burtschi and Jarred Dubois are out. It is still unclear if Konstantin Klein and Kevin bright can suit up in Bonn. Ex NBA player Andrew Rautins flew back to the States last Sunday to have doctors check him out. He may have to be operated. It remains unclear if he will even return this season. Nobody is thinking about the injuries or 11 game losing streak in Bonn dating back to January ist, 2005 and are just focusing on now. “We will have our hands full in Bonn. They always play well and are very confident at home. We have to play with our heads up and stay confident. Despite our losing streak, we can´t give up and have to continue to battle”, stressed ex ratiopharm Ulm forward Dane Watts. “Bonn has very good shooters, but we have to keep our heads high. Despite our injuries we have been in every game the last three weeks. We seem to make mistakes late in games. We have to correct this and make good on the little things”, warned Jacob Burtschi. The Telekom Baskets Bonn welcome the Fraport Skyliners Febuary 23rd.