Tony Gaffney is a 29 year old 206cm forward from Berkely, Massachusetts that is playing his second season for the Telekom Baskets Bonn. He is a forward who brings a high level of energy and athleticism to any teams he joins. He is a tenacious rebounder and great defender. He was the Atlantic 10 Conference defensive player of the year in 2008-09, and one of the nation’s leading shot-blockers. He played at Boston University from 2004-2006 and then went to Massachusetts (NCAA) where he played from 2006-2009. In his senior year, he played 30 games: 11.5ppg, RebA10-2(10.2rpg), 1.7apg, StealsA10-2(2.0spg), BlocksNCAA-3(3.8bpg), FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 64.6%: Finished career at UMass ranked seventh all-time in blocks (174). In 2009-2010, he played for Altshuler Saham Galil Gilboa (Israel-Premier League): 1 game: 2pts, 2reb, 1steal, 1block, but left next month, in Apr.’10 moved to Boston Celtics (NBA). In 2010-2011, he played for the Boston Celtics (NBA), in Oct.’10 moved to Turk Telekom Ankara (Turkey-TBL): Turkish League: 8 games: 6.0ppg, 2.4rpg, FGP: 63.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 80.0%; EuroChallenge: 3 games: 8.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.0spg; left in Jan.’11, same month acquired by Utah Flash (D-League): 38 games: 10.3ppg, 6.8rpg, 2.3apg, 1.4spg, Blocks-4(2.3bpg), FGP: 55.9%, 3PT: 27.8%, FT: 66.7%. In 2011-2012 he played for the Telekom Baskets Bonn (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): German League: 37 games: 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%. 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%.He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
A big 82-80 win in Vechta. The Telekom Baskets Bonn have had some huge wins this season like against Alba Berlin, ratiopharm Ulm or Tuebingen where you guys pulled it out at the end. Where would you rate the win against SC Rasta Vechta in comparison to other tight wins this season?
We have had many come from behind wins and close game wins, I think that the biggest factor in that is having a veteran team with a group of guys that never get rattled, and that is also part of the reason for having a 9-2 record on the road in the BBL, which as every player in this league knows, its not easy to win on the road. This Vechta game, being down 8 with 4:30 to go, in a game that we knew we had to win going forward late in the season and pushing towards the playoffs. From here on out, every single game is the most important game of the season, starting with Bremerhaven on Saturday at the Telekom Dome.
You have played in many loud arenas in your career like in the NCAA or in Spain and last night you played your first time in the Rasta dome. How did you like the atmosphere and how does it compare to the loudness of other small gyms that you have played in in Germany?
The atmosphere in Vechta was awesome yesterday. Their fans are extremely passionate, and Vechta is a team that works very very hard, and are far better than that of their record. Hard working teams are very easy to root for, and that is why their fans are so loyal and stick by the team. I love playing in gyms like that. Our fans also came in buses yesterday and were awesome. Our 180+ fans made up at least half the crowd volume in the arena. It was a really emotional and exciting game to be a part of.
Vechta guard Max Weber said that the deciding moment wasn´t the Veikalas buckets at the end, but the Jared Jordan steal with six seconds. Describe the last seconds in getting the win for Bonn?
The last seconds of the win was extremely fitting. Jared coming up with one of his many crafty plays to seal the win. Its what he does. Its what makes him Jared Jordan. Benas, Brooks and Jamel were all huge yesterday as they have been all season. They won that game for us.
RASTA VECHTA had 16 offensive rebounds. Dirk Madrich who is having a relief in his career had 10 rebounds. What was it like battling him? Many say he is a very physical player and is something that really helps his success.
Dirk is a great player and a lot of fun to play against. He works extremely hard and is a gifted player. I have a lot of respect for him, and am happy that he is finding his niche in the BBL. He deserves it.
It was the last game of your friend Jared Jordan. You twitterd saying that he deserved this opportunity and that everyone on the team supports him. How strange will it be not seeing him everyday anymore in practice? Many experts have said the whole season that FC Bayern Munich is the favorite and others keep advising that Bamberg is the real champion until they are beaten. How much more leverage do they have now with Jordan. Is Bamberg now back on one step with FC Bayern Munich in terms of sharing a favorite role for the Beko BBL championship?
Yesterday was an extremely emotional day for everybody. Knowing it was our last game with Jared made it really hard to play through those emotions. He’s been so much more than just a teammate to us. We have such a close group of guys on our team, 1 through 10, that I think as a team, were more emotional about the departure of our brother, and the person Jared Jordan, than we are the basketball player. It will be strange not having him around every day, and living next door to him. Having played nearly 2 seasons together now, I dont know if there is another player I’ve played with that I have connected with on the court like Jared. He has always known where I was on the floor and I have always known when he was looking for me. As for Bamberg/Munich, and the top of the league situation, that doesnt concern me right now. I am concerned with the Telekom Baskets using the next couple months to solidify our spot in this league and becoming the best basketball team we can be, and I still believe that the sky is the limit with the talent we have here in Bonn.
Bonn has gotten a new point guard with Eugene Lawrence who played at St Johns and also knows how to rack up the assists. How do you see the last two months of the season? Besides getting the American as integrated as quickly as possible what can we expect from Bonn? Will be a playoff team be tougher now?
Im excited about the signing of Eugene. I have heard nothing but good things about him and have heard he is an extremely tough, hard nosed player, and I believe that is something that we need in this situation. He knows the situation he is coming into, but he also knows he is coming to a team that is talented and works hard, so it will be a smooth transition I am sure.
Now that Jordan is gone, will we see your buddy Andrej Mangold taking over the ally-op feeding of Jared Jordan? Did Jordan give Mangold extra practice sessions or maybe even a Ryan Brooks who also can make nice passes?
As for the ally-oop passes. We have great passing guards that haven’t been given the chance to show that this season. The ball has been in Jared’s hands for 70% of most games if not more. Brooks is great with the ball in his hands, Benas is great with the ball in his hands, Dre is great with the ball in his hands. McCray is great with the ball in his hands. They can all make plays and pass the ball and see the floor very well, and now they will get the chance to do so.
What is your take on Jason Collins returning back to the NBA? Were you surprised it took so long for him to get a job? Was it more an marketing coup of the Brooklyn Nets or can he still play a role with the troops of Jason Kidd?
My take on Jason Collins is that its great. He’s been a great model for many people. He’s always been a solid NBA player as well, so as for it being a marketing strategy for the Brooklyn Nets, Im not sure, but maybe the two things go hand in hand, because it definitely doesn’t hurt, and he also has some game left in him.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The last DVD I watched was “Now you see me”…great movie, I highly recommend it.
Thanks Tony for the chat.