Giordan Watson is a 29 year old 178cm guard from Southfield Michigan. He is playing hiss econd season for CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu (Romania-Liga Nationala). He is an unselfish player who gets others involved but also has the ability to score if needed. He sparks the team with passing and ball movement and is a great defender. He played at Central Michigan from 2004-2008 and in his senior season he played 31 games averaging 16.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 4.5apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 41.7%, 3Pts: 38.6%, FT: 75.0%. As a rookie he played for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven playing 33 games averaging 10.1ppg, 2.7rpg, Assists-5(3.8apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 73.4%. In 2009-2010, he played for the Giants Noerdlingen (Germany-ProA) playing 17 games: 15.2ppg, 3.3rpg, Assists-4(5.2apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT: 30.7%, FT: 72.7. In 2010-2011 he played for UMFN Njardvik (Iceland-Express League) playing 6 games: 22.7ppg, 3.7rpg, 7.5apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 68.4%, 3PT: 37.9%, FT: 75.8%. In 2011-2012, he played for U.M.F. Grindavik (Iceland-Express League) playing 31 games: 16.3ppg, 4.4rpg, Assists-1(7.2apg), 1.8spg, FGP: 53.1%, 3PT-2(43.4%), FT: 78.3%. In 2012-2013 he played for Karhu Kauhajoki (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 53 games: 16.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 4.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 32.6%, FT: 83.3%. Last season for CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu, he played 29 games: 11.7ppg, 3.1rpg, Assists-3(5.5apg), 1.8spg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 72.0%. He spoke to German Hoops before the 2015 Eurochallenge Final 4 in Turkey.
Giordan thanks for talking to German Hoops. After playing in Germany, Iceland and Finland you have found a home in Romania. Is this a place where you could imagine finishing your career?
Thanks for having me. We have good chemistry here with the guys on the team, coaching staff and the club, but each year you have to decide what’s best for you. Playing well and being comfortable is something important to every player, but new challenges are always what I am looking for as well.
You play for team CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu and are in the playoffs. How good are the chances for your team that finished in fourth place to make a real run or even win the championship?
I think we have a really good chance to make a push. We are matched up with the defending champions, so it’s a big challenge ahead, but we are ready.
Last season you won the cup in Romania. Winning a cup is different than winning a league title. How special was this win and how did it compare to your cup win in Iceland in 2012?
Winning the cup is much different from winning a league title because it’s not a series. You win, and advance, or you lose and it’s over. You don’t have time to break down film after a game, you have to make in game adjustments, and anyone can win on any given day. When I won in 2012, our team was the favorite, but last season we shocked a lot of people, so last season was more special.
You are playing your second season with veterans Americans Porter Troupe and Louis Darby. How important have they been for the success of the team?
Darby and Troupe are great players, and better people. Porter Troupe is a really, REALLY smart player. He is our glue guy. His team first, selfless attitude has held us together and his knowledge of the game has helped me so much, and makes my job as a point guard much easier. Not to mention he is one of the best shooters I think i’ve ever played with. Darby has been great this year as well. He has had some injuries this season, and played through them without complaining. He has played out of position many times this season, and has done a great job. He is by far the best athlete I’ve played with and his determination to win this season has been inspiring. Hopefully, everyone can see what I know about them the rest of this season.
Congrats on the huge Eurochallenge season. I believe no one would have thought at the start that you could come so far. If someone would have told you at the start that you would come so far what would you have said to that person?
If someone told me that we would make it to the Final 4 in Eurochallenge, I honestly wouldn’t know what to say. I think a lot of credit goes to our group of guys as a whole. We have a new coach, Antonis Constantinides, and you can not believe how much of an impact he has had on our team, and our club in general. I always believed in my teammates, and with the addition of coach, it has been the difference.
One could say that CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu is a crunch time team. Without big wins at the end against Lukoil, Kormend, Enei Brindisi, Aalstar or Astana the team would not be in the Final four. How do you explain the secret of this success achieved so often at the end?
I think the thing with winning close games, home or away, is just to stay calm. You have to know going into the game that the other team will go on scoring runs, and you might get down big, but remain calm and keep playing. Same thing for the end of games, just stay calm and trust your coach and teammates.
Does the success of CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu show that even teams with perhaps a little less talent than other teams can be just as successful?
Well again, maybe I am strange, but I believe in my teammates and coaches. Our problem may be we are not the deepest team, but when I look at the roster of our team and then compare them to other guys we are playing, I don’t see the problem.
Is the degree of talent that one sees across teams in Europe in some cases not really as much when you compare a team like CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu or Le Mans?
Well, we have seen some unbelievably talented players this season. I could list names all day. Le Mans had very talented players, but I think it goes to show our strength as well.
It seemed like team play was key in the do or die game against Le Mans where you had six guys in double figures. Could unselfishness get you into the final in Turkey?
Unselfishness and having something to prove has been our thing all season. Of course nothing is perfect on the court, but when we play, we have a good feel for each other and just want to win games, more than individually do well. When we win, and play together, we all look great.
How important has the late addition of American Lamont Mack been? Does he give that needed extra offensive presence from the bench?
Adding Lamont Mack has been great. He gives us a toughness at the 4 spot, can play some 3 position, and reads the game well. He plays unselfish as well, so he fits in perfect. Mixed with him and Nemanja Milosevic, the 4 position is well covered.
You are the leading scorer on the team and average five assists per game. How have you developed your game in Romania in the last two years?
I feel good on the court. I have good chemistry with my teammates and coach has put the ball in my hands as a point guard and really trusted me. Prime is an interesting word, but I think things are going good. As a player, you really try not to think about that, you just go out and do your best.
CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu square off against Turkish team Trabzonspor Basketbol. What kind of game can we await?
The game with Trabzonspor will be a high intensity game. Both teams are very active on defense, and have different threats on offense. We are going into their home court so we have to play smart. I know their home court advantage will be strong, but its something we have to deal with.
How excited are you to playing against Americans Dee Bost and Dwight Hardy? Another chance for you to show what you can do against two guys that were close to the NBA.
Playing against great guards is always a challenge and that’s what makes the game fun. Opportunities to play in Final 4’s like this don’t come around often, so you have to take advantage while you can.
What will be key for CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu reaching the final?
I think controlling the tempo and playing defense will be the key for us. On the road, you can’t rely on made jump shots or scoring the ball, so we have to play good defense and not let them get easy baskets on us.
The other semi final pits Frankfurt against Nanterre. What do you expect from that series and who will win?
Frankfurt and Nanterre should be a really good game. Both teams seem to be rolling in their domestic leagues, so a good game should be awaiting.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was Fast 7 and before that, Focus with Will Smith. Both were cool movies.
Thanks Giordan for the chat.