John Bynum is a retired 37 year old 191 cm guard from Visalia California that is looking to get into coaching. He came out of a short retirement in 2013 and played for New Energie Elephants Grevenbroich (Germany-Regionalliga) before leaving in January 2014. In the 2012-2013 season he played for BV Chemnitz 99 (Germany-ProA): 21 games: 11.8ppg, 5.2rpg, 3.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 50.8%, 3PT: 15.4%, FT: 62.2%. with TBB Trier playing 32 games: 6.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 39.9%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 63.6%. He played college basketball at College of the Sequoias Junior College:from 1996-1998 and then transferred to Metropolitan St. (NCAA2): and played there from 1998-2000. He started his professional basketball career in 2001 in the Uk for the Solent Stars (United Kingdom-NBLConf): 31 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assist. In 2002-2003, came his first tour of duty in Germany for BSG Grevenbroich (Germany-Regionalliga): 24.7ppg, 9.2rpg, 6.7apg, 3.5spg. In 2003-2004, he played for the Ulriken Eagles (Norway-BNLO): Regular Season: 14 games: 20,1ppg, 8,1rpg, 2,5apg, 2,9spg, 0,4bpg.In 2004-2005, he was back in Germany playing for BSG Grevenbroich (Germany-2. can Bundesliga): 30 games: Score-5(26.0ppg), 7.7rpg, Ast-4(5.4apg), 1.7spg, 2FGP: 55.5%, 3FGP: 33.3%, FT: 63.6%. In 2005-2006, he played for InterCollege Etha Engomis (Cyprus-A1): only pre-season, then joined COOCOON Baskets Weiden (Germany-2.Bundesliga, starting five): 8 games: 15.6ppg, 5.9rpg, 2.0apg, 1.6spg, 2FGP: 51%, left in Jan.’06 and later that month signed at Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-1.Bundesliga): 21 games: 7.8ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.8apg, 2FGP: 56.5%. In 2006-2007, he played for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven (Germany-1.Bundesliga): 31 games: 5.7ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.2apg, 2FGP: 43.1%, 3FGP: 25.0%, FT: 55.9%. In 2007-2008, he played for USC Heidelberg (Germany-ProA, starting five): 14 games: 14.4ppg, 4.4rpg, Assists-5(4.6apg), 2.3spg, 2FGP: 54%, 3FGP: 27.3%, FT: 58.5%, left in Jan.’08 due to shoulder injury, in Feb.’08 moved to Digibu Baskets Paderborn (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): 13 games: 6.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.4apg, 2FGP: 51.8%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 70.0%. In 2009-2010, he played in the PRO A for Proveo Merlins Crailsheim (Germany-ProA) 27 games: 16.9ppg, 7.1rpg, Assists-3(5.4apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 51.8%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 62.8%. He played for TBB Trier from 2010-2012. He spoke to German Hoops about his future aspirations.
John thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Thank you for the interview Miles. My summer was short but as usual nothing beats California during the summer time. At the moment I am in the city I grew up in Visalia, California just getting ready for the upcoming junior college basketball season as I run my own news service www.signalthelightbasketball.com which covers mens junior college basketball within the state of California. So for the next six months it is going to be a lot of writing articles and a lot of watching basketball up and down the state.
The new season in Germany has already started in the Pro A and Pro B and BBL starts Friday. This is the second autumn where you aren´t on a professional basketball team since you retired from the game. Does missing the game get a bit easier as time goes by?
To be honest, it has got harder as time has gone by and I do miss it a little bit more this season than the first season sitting out. I mean at first I didn’t really think about it because I thought about how my career ended. The thought of that situation did not make me think about it but looking back now how I handled things and realize I should have appreciated a lot more towards the end of my career. I thought more about the things I didn’t have instead of enjoying the experience and seeing the bigger picture. I think more than anything it has made me appreciate things. Plus, I had to transition my life without basketball so without having a career and trying to find out what I was going to do without playing ball, I didn’t really think about missing it.
I believe that you could still play now in the Pro A or Pro B in Germany. Do you ever reflect about what it could be like if you were still playing now?
Well thank you for the compliment Miles, of course I think I could still play at that level, but then that thing called reality sets in and I realize that I would be playing against guys my nephews age and then I think about running up and down a court and that kills that thought. But in all reality, of course I wonder if I could especially when I see guys who are my age still playing but I only wonder and that’s as far as that thought goes lol.
It has been 18 months since you last played professionally in Germany. What do you miss more about the game now then say you did a few months after leaving the game?
I think more than anything now, I miss the friendships and hanging out with the guys more than anything. Stepping out on the court on Saturday nights and just going into battle, and hearing fans cheer your team on. Being part of a team is something that many people don’t get to be a part of. I mean the idea of building something from the ground up whether it was teamwork or friendships is what I miss more now than a few months after I stepped away for sure.
You played for 7 teams in Germany. If you had to choose one player who you would say was your best teammate that you ever had who was it?
Wow that is a tough question because I had so many great teammates and I also played for a lot of different teams as well. But guys like Dru Joyce, Donald Law, Malik Moore, Billy McDaniel, R.T. Guinn, Brian Jones to name a few helped make the transition team to team easier. I mean like I said I had a lot of great teammates and enjoyed my experience with each of the 7 teams I experienced in Germany.
You have been quite busy in the last year back home. Talk a little about what you have been doing and how important your knowledge of basketball was for that?
Well the past year I started up a news service for California Junior College mens basketball called Signal The Light Basketball which focuses on covering news, scouting and is sort of a media service from the ground up. So basically I was writing articles, giving weekly rankings, making all state teams, and scouting and giving my personal evaluations to four year universities across the United States. So from October-March is covering and writing news for the state so I guess you could say I have a voice in California Juco basketball and my knowledge of basketball is much needed in my career field at the moment. I think watching games, seeing what players do well and things they need to work on has helped me see the game from a different side.
You have got an itch to return back to Germany not to play, but to get into the coaching ranks. What is it about German basketball that would have you chose to come back?
Well to be honest, I always wanted to be on the sideline after I finished playing and never really wanted to leave Germany, but things happen for a reason. Germany has always been a special place for me as I spent more time in Germany throughout my 20’s and 30’s than I did in the states. So with that being said, it is just my knowledge of the leagues and my overall time spent in the country which makes it very attractive to get back over there at some point. I just really miss being over there and feel like I could help out a team in so many ways.
You played for many good coaches over the years, but who had the most impact on you? Possibly a Henrik Rodel?
I had some great coaches in Germany for sure and learned a lot from each one I played for. I mean without Rapheal Wilder, I never would have been able to showcase my skills in Germany. As I got to playing at higher levels, I just learned from different coaches on how to play the game and read different aspects of the game. But one thing that stands out about all my coaches is they were all good people off the court and made me a better person by experiences that were made whether they were good or whether they were bad.
What kind of plan do you see yourself having getting back into coaching? What kind of route do you want to take at first?
I think the biggest thing for me is just to get my foot in the door. I know what I can bring to the table with my knowledge and experience. I have played for some great coaches and if I am able to teach or reach a player with half the things my coaches taught me then I will be a great coach. I would like to be an assistant at a high level but understand that I have to be patient but at the same time, I know that I could help a team out in so many ways. I just am looking for a chance or shot.
You are a rookie again as now you want to be a coach? What kind of coach do you see yourself being and becoming over time?
I think the one area where I would focus on is player development and being a players coach. I think it is SO IMPORTANT that a coach gets along with all of his players. I see myself as a coach that will be willing to listen to ideas from players who are on the court, open to new ideas within our team values. Teams usually shape out and take the personality of their coach so I think it is important to work hard and have high expectations.
Why do you feel that you could be a good coach that would help a team and help players develop further?
I believe I could be a good coach because I can relate to players. The things that they do each day in practice and games are the same things that I did, so I look at it as I have been there and done that without sounding arrogant. I think the biggest asset of a coach is reaching his players and I think I can relate to a lot of players. As far a developing players, that comes with repetition and learning traits about players on how to reach and knowing how to get the best from different players. I know I could be a valuable asset to a club.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Most say one should compare him to a Kobe Bryant, but do you feel just from skill and success that he will ever be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
I think Lebron is the best player in the NBA at this time and doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. I think if you compare him to anyone I think you could say Magic Johnson as they both make their teammates better. MJ is the goat but Lebron will go down as an all time great due to the fact that he makes others around him better and has impacted the game of basketball ON AND OFF the court in such a positive way.
Where will the journey of the Denver Nuggets end this season?
I will always rep my nuggets but we are in a rebuilding phase at this point in time. As long as the Nuggets finish higher in the western conference standings than the Lakers then it will be a good enough year for me. But the west is a tough conference and with that being said, I think its going to be a lottery year for the Nugs this season.
What was the last movie I saw?
The Perfect Guy lol