Brad Tinsley is a 26 year old 191cm guard from Oregon that is playing his fourth professional season and first in Portugal for FC Porto. He started his basketball career at Vannderbilt in 2008 playing a total of 134NCAA games until 2012 and as a senior played 36 games averaging 9.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 4.1apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 85.5%. In 2012-2013 he started his professional basketball career for Generali Okapi Aalstar (Belgium-Ethias League): EuroChallenge: 3 games: 7.3ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.3apg; Belgian Ethias League: 4 games: 4.5ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.0apg, left in Feb.’13, later that month moved to Saint Vallier Basket Drome (France-ProB) playingv 13 games: 10.3ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 42.6%, 3PT: 41.3%, FT: 80.6%. In 2014 he played for the Lakeside Lightnings (Australia-SBL) playing 31 games averaging 28.4ppg, 4.4rpg, 6.0apg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 80.2%. Last season he played for the MLP Academics Heidelberg (Germany-ProA) playing 33 games: Score-4(16.8ppg), 3.8rpg, 3.5apg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 76.7% He spoke to German Hoops before the Europecup game against the Fraport Skyliners.
Brad thanks for talking to German Hoops. Congrats on the huge 70-52 win in Holland against Leiden. That was pretty much a do or die game for the club to stay alive in the Europe Cup play. How thrilled were you to leave the floor as the winner?
I was very thrilled after that win, it was a huge game for our team. We had a good group of fans that travelled to support us and it was a great atmosphere all around.
It seemed the three point shooting and 22 Leiden turnovers was the difference, but then again the score does confuse one a bit as it was only 8 points. What do you believe was key for getting the win?
Our defense was pretty strong all game. We knew that it would be a 40 minute battle and we had a good game plan going in, we played with confidence and intelligence and was able to make successful plays down the stretch.
I think it was a game to forget for Worthy De Jong. He had already had a tough game against Frankfurt the week before, but you forced him to 9 turnovers. Did FC Porto especially key more on him in the game since he is their best player?
He is a very talented player, we switched up a lot of defenders on him to make him work for everything he got. But we knew they had other weapons on offense we needed to contain as well. Overall it was a good defensive effort by our team.
How key was the production of American Seth Hinrichs in this game who scored 9 points in 14 minutes?
It was very important for this game. Seth came in with confidence and toughness and that is exactly what we needed. He is constantly improving and learning the European game. He will only get better from here.
Next comes the rematch against the Fraport Skyliners. You suffered a very tough 89-81 loss. How badly does the team want to beat this team at home?
We definitely want to win this game but we can’t get too emotional before the game. We know they are a great team with a lot of very talented players. We need to stay within ourselves and just play as hard as we did the first game against them with just some minor gameplan tweaks. It will for sure be a tough game to win, but thats why we play the game.
What was the secret to cracking their defense which had only given up an average of 58 points in the first 3 Europe Cup games?
I dont think it was one particular thing, we just played well on offense that night. Our defense is what lost us the game, we werent focused for most of the game and let them pick apart our defense.
FC Porto had no luck stopping freak athlete Quantez Robertson who had 25 points. He is shooting an amazing 55% from downtown in Europe cup play. It seems it isn´t just him but the incredible ball movement of the team giving so many open shots. Is this going to be a big factor for success to get more contested shots?
Yes, they have a lot of great players on their roster, so we need to contain more than just one player to be successful. They know how to play team basketball, they pass the ball really well and find the open man for open shots. That is one reason why they are having such a successful season, they are a very unselfish team.
The Fraport Skyliners are the hottest team currently having a club record 12 game winning streak and beat Bamberg and Munich recently. What do you think is the secret to their success? What did you notice on the court that impressed you about this team?
They just play together very well on the court. They seem to never panic and always try to make the right play. When all 5 players on the court are unselfish good things happen most of the time, and I think thats what they have.
You are playing your first season with FC Porto. How amazing is this experience playing with such a famous team in Europe?
It has been a great experience. Just learning about the rich history and tradition has been great. I have enjoyed playing here since the beginning of the season.
Do you sense the tremendous tradition of this club everytime you put on it´s jersey?
I do, we have a great fan base that travels to a lot of our away games, many of which live outside of Porto. So it just shows how much success this club has had in the past and how well respected FC Porto is in Europe.
FC Porto have a 8-1 record and the title will most likely come down between you and Benefica. You lost the first game. Do you sense the motivation is rising for the game quietly and the second game will be totally different than the first game?
For a team to be successful you can’t get too high during wins and too low during losses. We have to approach it like every other game. We know its a very important game but we also realize that every game is important in this league. We can’t take a game off and never overlook an opponent.
The club prides it´s game on defense. What makes FC Porto such a good defensive team?
Our coach, Moncho Lopez, demands perfection on the defensive end every day in practice. We have learned how to play hard and smart in his system defensively. It is very tactical but the teams work ethic every game on both ends is evident.
You are leading the team in scoring in Portugal and are second in Europe Cup play behind Pedro Bastios. You had no problem adjusting to a new league and country. What do you believe made this transition go so fast for you?
I think just having a couple good seasons in a row has risen my confidence. I think being confident in yourself is very important to be successful. Ive also fit in well to this offensive system we run here. The coaches and my teammates have created a comfortable atmosphere for myself to be successful.
Are you more than just a scorer and leader on your team? What else does head coach Moncho Lopez expect of you?
He has taught me a lot about the game of basketball that I didn’t know. He is very aware of the small details of every play or situation. Im always trying to learn new things and improve my game. He has mainly helped me improve my defense. I still have room to improve but i’ve already made positive strides in this area.
FC Porto have many young talented Portuguese players, but how much fun has it been playing with Pedro Bastos who has had a kind of break out season?
Its been a lot of fun to play alongside Pedro. He is a great player with a very good touch from outside. I have already made close friendships with my teammates here, they are all good guys who strive for success everyday. You are who you associate with.
You have played with other Americans over the years in Belgium or Germany, but what kind of a special bond do you maintain with Seth Hinrichs and Nick Washburn this season?
It has been great getting to know Seth and Nick. We quickly became friends because we have very similar personalities. We hang out a lot off the court as well which has just added to my experience here. I try to tell them the things that Ive learned in my professional career to help their careers so that they can reach their potential.
What do you believe the Portland Trailblazers achieving in the NBA this season?
At first I thought they wouldnt be so great this year because they unloaded a lot of players in the offseason, but theyve had a strong start to the year and who knows how it will end up. They still got Lillard.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Will he ever be mentione din the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
I think it just depends on who you ask and what generation they grew up in. LeBron is considered the best player in the world right now although one could argue that Steph Curry is slowly taking that away from him.
What is your favorite spot to chill in Porto on a free day?
I love to go down to the river boardwalk with my wife and eat alongside the river. It is very beautiful and lively down there with many things to do
Thanksgiving has come and gone again. How did you celebrate it in Porto this year?
I went out to dinner with my wife and a couple teammates. We FaceTimed our families back at home and got to spend some time with them. Its hard not being home for family holidays but its a sacrifice we make for our careers.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. It was very good, I highly recommend it.
Thanks Brad for the chat.