One thing will never change in the Bavarian capital of Munich and that is that football will always outlast basketball in popularity like a juicy steak bone will for a dog over it´s master. FC Bayern Munich basketball could win the next 8 titles in a row, give away a free Audi at each home game or sign a Lebron James for a 3 game contract and still it probably wouldn´t change much except for a few more clicks on their website and the one or another new visitor to the Audi Dome to see what the fascination is for basketball something that the football infested country of Germany still hasn´t been able to understand as they rather follow the slower sport for 90 minutes and go home satisfied with a 0-0 game. Especially in the last weeks, there has been much gossip talk with the FC Bayern Munich football team with the seemingly from another planet play of Robert Lewondowski who has been scoring goals at an amazing alarming rate as recently it was 5 in a span of 8 minutes, the play of favorite son Bastian Schweinsteiger who tries to lead Manchester United to titles and FC Bayern Munich legend and current honorary president Franz Beckenbauer having to answer to the current DFB scandal. It would be giant news as if in say 10 years when the illustrious career of Schweinsteiger ends, he joins the FC Bayern Munich office for duty, but for Steffen Hamann the ex captain and recently retired guard has began the same duty for the basketball department and that was a side note in a press release. As if FC Bayern Munich basketball wasn´t already deep in the shadow of the football department, they now have even more freedom and calmness to work hard for their goals which is just winning, winning and hardly losing something that Germany´s most famous sports brand has stood for ages at least when you mention the football department whereas in basketball since reaching the Beko BBL in 2011 still have a very long road to go down to be able to achieve success and hardware at the rate of the soccer players as they have only one title in their first four seasons being the 2014 league title. After their win in 2014, they returned last season as the defending champions and beat the Fraport Skyliners 3-1 in a series where they somewhat underestimated the BBL 2004 champion and then went to the wire with 8 time BBL champion Alba Berlin being down 2-1 and needing to win their last two games and did needing two nail bitters to reach the final. In the final they were beaten by the Brose Baskets Bamberg who were back on the top of the throne while FC Bayern Munich had to carry the recognition as a finalist and crawled back to Bavaria while nobody noticed as the off season jibber about which new stars would be hauled in by Pepe Gaurdiola were in the heads of everybody expect for family Pesic who had a long summer in front of them. Two years ago they won with an American point guard Malcom Delaney who was key and power forward Deon Thompson and big country John Bryant while last season only the massive center was on board and there was no American point guard. This season an American point guard is back again with Alex Renfroe and Thompson is back to be that stabilizer again on defense and Bryant as always hasn´t moved either. This could be the season where FC Bayern Munich win a title again stopping a wanted dynasty start in Freak city as the craving and expectations soar each day in basketball Munich. “Pesic got the right players with Renfroe and Thompson that were missing last season. With Renfroe they gained a player that has the creativity and can make the needed space for his teammates and with Thompson a player that gives the team the needed athleticism and he was missing in the Euroleague last season. He knows Pesic and the BBL and is a very versatile inside player”, stressed Giants Nordlingen head coach Mario Matic.
FC Bayern Munich want to forget last season as quickly as possible as even big wins during the regular season against the Brose Baskets Bamberg and Alba Berlin couldn´t replace their almost loss to Alba Berlina and final loss to Bamberg. Defense always has been an important recipe for success for head coach Svetislav Pesic, but that wasn´t there on a consistent basis last season as the club relinquished 70 points or more in the regular season 23 times. One has to also add that the club was splattered with injuries all season long as they couldn´t build that important chemistry on defense the way the 1993 Euro winner wanted. That extra aggressiveness was missing on defense especially in the closer games and the club didn´t rebound as well as in the 2014 title season. The two most important puzzle pieces are intact with Alex Renfore who belonged to the top three point guards last season and will make another step in Munich as well as ex North Carolina native Deon Thompson who was the anchor on defense in the title season and with John Bryant will add a nasty defensive stopper mentality in the paint. American KC Rivers also will added important scoring power and his strong rebounding will fill a hole that the team didn´t have last season. The club also kept seven players from last season as there will a team chemistry foundation already intact. FC Bayern Munich will put up many points this season and are already on a good route averaging 88 points in the BBL and giving up 76 which will improve with gained experience from week to week with playing with each other. Currently the team is 4-1 and have taken care of every opponent easily handed in their wins, but let one slip away at home against the Telekom Baskets Bonn 91-84.
The club held onto seven players with captain Bryce Taylor who is a 29 year old 193cm shooting guard that is playing his eighth professional season and seventh in Germany. He played a season with Bonn and Artland, two with Alba berlin and is playing his third season with FC Bayern Munich. The Oregon graduate who played as a rookie in Italy last season with FC Bayern Muenchen (Germany-BBL) played 34 games: 9.9ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 51.9%, 3PT: 40.4%, FT: 84.4%; Eurocup: 8 games: 9.6ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT-2(58.8%), FT-3(95.0%); Euroleague: 2 games: 5.5ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.5apg, 1.0spg. He likes to nail the three and can be a highlight film when he is flying through the air. The team also held John Bryant who is a 28 year old 208cm center from San Pablo, California that is playing his seventh professional season and sixth in Germany. The ex Santa Clara big man was a rookie with Erie Bay Hawks (D-League) and then played three seasons with ratiopharm Ulm and is now playing his third season with FC Bayern Munich. The three time BBL´s best rebounder with Ulm last season played 45 games: 13.3ppg, Reb-3(7.5rpg), FGP: 62.1%, 3PT: 41.7%, FT: 67.2%; Eurocup: 8 games: 13.3ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 62.7%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 81.3%; Euroleague: 10 games: 10.8ppg, Reb-4(7.7rpg), 1.5apg, FGP: 48.1%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 76.7%. He is the best center in the league that controls the boards like man does the remote control in the living room. The team also held 25 year old 197cm forward Nihad Djedovic from Bosnia. He already played Euroleague as an 18 year old with FC Barcelona and also played in Rome, with Alba Berlin and is playing his third season with FC Bayern Munich. Last season he played 36 games: Score-4(15.2ppg), 3.6rpg, 2.7apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 75.5%; Eurocup: 4 games: 12.0ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.0apg; Euroleague: 10 games: 11.6ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.4apg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 81.8%. He is without a doubt the best small forward in the BBL that can score inside and out and just beat you when he wants to.
The team also kept Dusko Savanovic who is a 32 year old 203cm power forward from Serbia playing his second season with FC Bayern Munich. In the past he played for top teams like Cajasol Sevilla, Valencia B.C., and Anadolu Efes Istanbul and has played 99 Euroleague games coming into this season. Last season he played 46 games: 10.5ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 32.9%, FT: 84.3%; Eurocup: 8 games: 9.6ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 48.9%, 3PT: 29.2%, FT: 76.9%; Euroleague: 10 games: 13.1ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 44.4%, 3PT: 46.2%, FT: 75.0%. His scoring is meanacing and his experience and passing qualities give him added depth in his game. The team also kept 30 year old 182cm guard Anton gavel who is playing his second season with FC Bayern Munich. He has experience having played with BG Karlsruhe and Giessen and then played in Spain, Greece and Slovakia before going to Bamberg where he won 7 titles. Last season for FC Bayern Munich he played 39 games: 7.6ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 45.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 80.5%; Eurocup: 8 games: 7.6ppg, 2.5rpg, 3.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 58.6%, 3PT: 21.7%, FT: 75.0%; Euroleague: 7 games: 8.1ppg, 2.1rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 42.9%, 3PT: 27.8%, FT: 90.0%. Gavel remains a very team orientated player that owns one of the more unorthodox shots in the BBL. The team also held Paul Zipser who is a 21 year old 201 swing man that went from injured to a starter at the Euro 2015 for Germany. He started his basketball career with USC Heidelberg (ProA) and moved to FC Bayern Munich in 2013 and last season played 33 games: 4.3ppg, 2.2rpg; Eurocup: 5 games: 4.6ppg, 2.4rpg; Euroleague: 3 games: 3.3ppg, 1.7rpg. He is a big athletic player that can do it all and his decision making is very good for his young age. Vasilije Micic is a 21 year old 196cm guard from Serbia that was drafted in 2014 by the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA,2rd(52). Last season with FC Bayern Munich he played 33 games: 6.8ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.3apg, FGP: 45.3%, 3PT: 23.7%, FT: 87.9%; Eurocup: 5 games: 7.4ppg, 1.4rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 37.5%, 3PT: 60.0%, FT: 50.0%; Euroleague: 6 games: 7.5ppg, 1.5rpg, 3.2apg, FGP: 53.3%, 3PT: 20.0%, FT: 87.5%. He is a pass first guard that can also finish himself.
The team brought in four new players including key American players Alex Renfroe and Deon Thompson. Renfroe is a 28 year old 190cm guard from Tennessee playing his seventh professional season and third in Germany after helping Bamberg to a league title in 2013 and last season played for ALBA Berlin (Germany-BBL): 39 games: 10.8ppg, 4.8rpg, 4.8apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 55.2%, 3PT: 39.4%, ilije Micic is a 21 year old 196cm guard from The ex Belmont(NCAA) guard also played in countries like Latvia, Croatia, Italy,Spain and Russia. He is regarded as the most complete point guard in the BBL. Deon Thompson is a 27 year old 203cm forward from Torrance, California playing his sixth professiuonal season and third in Germany after having played seasons in Berlin and Munich. The ex North Carolina stand out reaching the NCAA Elite 8 and Sweet 16 also played in Greece and Slovenia. Last season he played for Liaoning Jiebao Hunters (China-CBA): 50 games: 18.7ppg, 8.3rpg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 57.0%, 3FGP: 20.0%, FT: 68.9%, in Mar.’15 moved to Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel-Winner League, starting five): 15 games: 12.8ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 62.1%, FT: 68.6%. The team also brought in American KC Rivers who is a 28 year old 196cm guard from Charlotte, North Carolina playing his seventh professional season and first in Germany. The ex Clemson(NCAA) guard also played in countries like Italy, Spain, France and Russia and last season played for Liaoning Jiebao Hunters (China-CBA): 50 games: 18.7ppg, 8.3rpg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 57.0%, 3FGP: 20.0%, FT: 68.9%, in Mar.’15 moved to Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel-Winner League, starting five): 15 games: 12.8ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 62.1%, FT: 68.6%. He could form the best 1-2 guard duo in the league with Renfroe as both can score. The team brought in Maxi Kleber who is a 23 year old 207cm forward that started his basketball career in Wurzburg and last season made the jump to Rio Natura Monbus Obradoiro CAB (Spain-Liga Endesa, starting five): 33 games: 11.5ppg, 6.5rpg, FGP: 51.3%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 81.2%. Most likely the most complete German 207cm player that is battling an injury once again. The team also added German Andreas Seiferth who is a 26 year old 209cm center making the jump to Munich from the Artland Dragons (BBL): 34 games: 7.3ppg, 3.1rpg, FGP: 57.8%, FT: 65.3%; Eurocup: 10 games: 6.2ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 47.4%, FT: 61.5%. He started his career in the Alba Berlin organization and made his break through with TBB Trier under Henrik Rodl where he played three years. He is a worker under the basket that makes most of his shots near the rim.
In the 2011-2012 season the two teams split the season series. FC Bayern Munich won in Munich 58-57 a game that the Fraport Skyliners had as good as won, but let Je Kel Foster get hot in crunch time securing the win. In the return date in Frankfurt, The Fraport Skyliners humiliated FC Bayern Munich 68-49 as they limited them to nine points in the first quarter and 22 points in the second half. Frankfurt showed a strong defensive performance for 40 minutes and was led by Jimmy Mckinney with 18 points and Jermareo Davidson chipped in with 12 points. In the 2012-2013 season FC Bayern Munich won in Frankfurt 73-59 as Robin Benzing led all scorers with 21 points while Dawan Robinson added 15 points for the losers. “It wasn´t a finesse game, but a physical game. We got tired and just didn´t bring the intensity that we should have on the rebound”, added Ted Scott. There was one positive aspect to the loss for the Fraport Skyliners. “We fought and never gave up. We really showed a lot of desire to win”, stressed Dawan Robinson. In the return game in Munich, Bayern Munich won 79-72 as it was Robin Benzing again that hit big shots. Chevon Troutman led all scorers with 26 points while the Fraport Skyliners were led by Zach Peacock with 16 points. In the 2013-2014 season, The Fraport Skyliners lost the first game of the season in Munich 97-65. FC Bayern Munich was led by Malcolm Delaney and Heiko Schaffartzik with 15 points a piece while Yassin Idbihi chipped in with 14 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Andrew Rautins, Dawan Robinson and Danilo Barthel with 12 points a piece. In the return game in Frankfurt, FC Bayern Munich lost 67-62 as they had a masterful game by Ramon Galloway with 20 points while FC Bayern Munich was led by John Bryant with 12 points and Malcom Delaney contributed 10 points. Last season the teams split the season series as FC Bayern Munich won at home 80-73 as Frankfurt played a potent first half, but fell apart in the second half. FC Bayern Munich was led by Nihad Djedovic with 20 points and Dusko Savanovic added 18 points while the Fraport Skyliners were led by Konstantin Klein with 16 points and Danilo Barthel added 15 points. In the return game the Fraport Sklyiners won for the second straight time at home with 76-73 as Frankfurt was led by Sean Armand with 22 points and Justin Cobbs had 15 points while FC Bayern were led by Nihad Djedovic with 17 points and Bryce Taylor had 15 points. In the playoffs Frankfurt was 1-1 at home. It is the fourth against the eight as the 5-1 FC Bayern Munich travel to meet the 4-2 Fraport Skyliners. FC Bayern Munich will be coming off little rest after playing against Real Madrid in Spain 72 hours earlier. Frankfurt continue to defend exceptionally giving up 65 points per game in the last five games while their offense has been weak as consistent execution still isn´t there. FC Bayern Munich takes a three game winning streak to Frankfurt averaging 93 points while giving up 75 points. This will be a real test for Frankfurt as their defense will be spot on, but if their offense isn´t then it will be a long afternoon especially inside where FC Bayern Munich have the advantage.