Kyle Hines is a 29 year old 198cm power forward from Sicklerville, New Jersey that is playing his third season with CSKA Moscow. He is a powerful player who loves to attack the basket. Has a good 1-vs-1 game and likes to go inside. He is undersized to play the power forward, but his great wingspan (7-1) allows him to guard taller players and to intimidate. He’s also a great leaper and reads the opponent’s game well He played at NC-Greensboro (NCAA) from 2004-2008. In his senior year, he played 31 games: 19.2ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.4apg, 1.8spg, 3.1bpg, FGP: 55.6%, 3Pts: 12.5%, FT: 62.8%. He was invited to play at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 3 games: 17.3ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.3apg, 2.3spg, 3.3bpg, FGP: 78.6%, FT: 72.7%. He then had predraft workouts with Sacramento Kings and the Charlotte Bobcats (NBA). He then went to Europe to Italy and played with Prima Veroli (Italy-Lega2, starting five): 34 games: 16.9ppg, Reb-4(8.6rpg), 3.0spg, Blocks-2(1.8bpg), FGP-2(66.0%), FT: 58.5%. In 2009, he took part in the Orlando Pro Summer League (Oklahoma City Thunder). In 2009-2010, he stayed in Italy with Prima Veroli (Italy-Lega2, starting five): 40 games: 18.5ppg, 8.1rpg, Steals-2(3.5spg), Blocks-4(1.6bpg), FGP-3(64.0%), 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 57.8%. He played NBA Summer League in Las Vegas (New Orleans Hornets) in the summer of 2010.In 2010-2011 he played for the Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany-1.Bundesliga): Euroleague: 10 games: 12.9ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 64.3%, FT: 46.7%; German League: 46 games: 10.4ppg, 4.6rpg, Blocks-3(1.2bpg), FGP-3(61.1%), 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 52.4%. He won the double with Bamberg. He played for Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-A1) from 2011-2013 winning two Euroleague titles. Last season for CSKA Moscow he played 39 games: 6.7ppg, 3.9rpg, FGP: 64.8%, FT: 60.6%; Euroleague: 30 games: 6.8ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 62.2%, FT: 68.2%. He spoke to German Hoops in Bamberg on the eve before the Euroleague game against his ex team Brose Baskets Bamberg.
Kyle thanks for talking to German Hoops. You are back in Germany and will play Euroleague against your ex team Brose Baskets Bamberg. With what kind of feelings are you going into this game?
This is a big game for both teams and for us getting a win on the road is always big. This will definitely be a good test for us against my old team. I am looking forward to coming back to Bamberg and seeing the fans and friends there.
When you go back into the Stechert arena for the first time what is the first thing that you will do? There are so players left from your season. Even Wolfgang Heyder has left.
It is like day and night now. The whole organization is different now. Because of that it will be like any other kind of game. The only thing that won´t be different is seeing the fans. I am sure that I will see many familiar faces. I am not sure what kind of welcome I will get. Bamberg are known for being the most fanatic and respected fans.
After two strong and successful seasons in Italy you made the next step to Bamberg and continued to play and develop further there reached got you into the door with Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-A1). How thankful are you still today for having had this chance to play in Bamberg?
I am very grateful for having had the chance to play with the Brose Baskets Bamberg. Bamberg set the foundation for my professional basketball career. I had come from two years in Italy and had a different mentality and was all about stats and knew nothing about winning. When I came to Bamberg I learned how to become a professional and how to win. Guys like Casey Jacobsen, Predrag Suput and John Goldsberry taught me what it took to become a champion
You have won many titles as a professional, but where do you place the 2 titles that you won with Bamberg? They obviously can´t rank with a Euroleague title, but they must be very special for you?
Those two titles with Bamberg definitely rank up with my best titles. Obviously every title explains a different story, but both were special because they had won both the year before and now repeated and it is never easy to do that. I can remember being down in the finals and guys like Reyshawn Terry and John Goldsberry hit big shots. I remember as if it was yesterday.
You performed very well with the Brose Baskets, but how important were the fans too you? Have you ever spelled your name Karl Heinz by mistake?
Ha ha ha, no that hasn´t happened yet, but my wife who is German makes fun of me all the time about this spelling of my name. The Bamberg fans are so important because they make the team what it is. They help motivate the players in a special way and make the city special which has a great basketball foundation.
That season you played with so many amazing players including a Casey Jacobsen. Would you agree with me that he ranks in the top 3 of the most professional players that you have played with in your career?
He is in my top 3. I learned how to lead on the court and how to be a professional off the court.
Did you ever have a feeling and even converse with Brian Roberts about the NBA when you were teammates? How sure were you that he would reach the NBA?
I always thought that Brian Roberts was one of the most talented offensive guards that has played in Europe in the last years. He has amazing natural instincts and I always thought that with the right situation he could play in the NBA. He has proven in the last years that he can stay in the NBA. He is a very reliable player and just does what he is supposed to do on the court. He always works hard on the court and has stuck in the NBA.
What memories do you have of being the teammate of Tibor Pleiss. What one ability do you feel was his ticket to the NBA?
Just his overall skill set. He can do so much on the court. He showed that he had potential to get better in the last years. It didn´t surprise me that he reached the NBA. Everyone expected that he would, but it was just a matter of when. I feel once he finds his rhythm and understanding, then he will have a long NBA career.
He was sent to the Idaho Stampede a few days ago to get playing time. Do you feel that he has the game to become a full time NBA player down the road?
Tibor definitely has game. In the NBA it isn´t always about skill and talent which many players have, but about the situation. Once he gets the opportunity he should be a good NBA player.
After two years in Italy, you came to Bamberg making the next step. What do you feel was the biggest asset that your game got that year that helped you make the next step to Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-A1)?
I think that the Chris Fleming coaching staff had a lot to do with it. They gave me a lot of confidence and I understood that I could play at a high level. They also taught me what type of preparation I need to have when I am on a high level team. The coaching staff has shown that they are capable of teaching as many players have succeeded after leaving the Bamberg organization.
You and Chris Fleming are New Jersey guys and obviously understood each other well. How did he make you a better person off the court?
He had a very distinct way of getting his point across and challenging you. He also knew how to motivate you and had the ability to show that he cares for a players well being on and off the court. He also challenged us intellectually giving us books and making us become a better person.
You last won the Euroleague in 2013 and the last two seasons with CSKA Moscow you reached the final 4 and last season just the semi-finals. How big is the desire to win this competition again for you?
My desire is very big. After not winning the Euroleague the last two seasons, my desire has grown more and more. I want to get back to getting that Euroleague winning feeling. I have the ultimate thirst to win that third Euroleague title.
Was winning the VTB league back to back at least a small condolence for not winning the Euroleague?
If you don´t win a Euroleague with CSKA Moscow, it is considered a lost season, but winning the VTB the last two season was a good feeling, because under the circumstances how we won. Both seasons had dents and we had different diversity to overcome and winning these two titles proved that we can still win and be dominate if we want to be.
Currently CSKA Moscow is 8-1 in the VTB league and 6-1 in the Euroleague. Is this the strongest team that you have been on since arriving in 2013?
I think that each team has been different the last three years. One of our knocks the last years has been that our roles weren´t defined. However this season we understand our roles. We are on the right page now and there is still much room to grow.
The club has kept most guys but have brought in guys like Corey Higgins and Joel Freeland. Do you feel that the team chemistry has been a big factor for the success?
Our team chemistry is one of our biggest positives this season. We kept a lot of guys from last season and they know what to expect. The new guys have followed lead well. The new players are willing to follow it which is very important.
You have played with many great players, but honestly is there a better 1-2 guard combination in Europe with Milos Teodosic and Nado De Colo?
There are many great guards in Europe, but they are my teammates and I have to be biased. There isn´t a better 1-2 combo in Europe. They are scoring guards that compliment each other so well and do so many things well.
You play 19 minutes in VTB and 26 minutes in Euroleague and average 9,3ppg and 5,1rpg and 7,0ppg and 4,0rpg. Has anything changed with your role in comparison to your first two seasons?
My role has changed a bit this season with the injuries. I am averaging more minutes than the last two seasons. In the past CSKA Moscow had a bigger front line, but this season the club has gone more with the trend of small ball. I am forced to play more now, but I want to play.
You are 29 years old now. Are you in your prime now? Besides winning titles what do you still want to reach as a player on the court?
I just want to continue to work hard each day and be the best player that I possibly can. I want to accomplish our team goals and help team win titles.
You played two seasons with UNC –Greensboro against Davidson and Steph Curry. You played them 5 times and lost each game. Was there a particular game that stood out that you won´t forget what Curry was capable of doing?
I remember the game my senior year at home. We were up by 20 at halftime and thought that we had control. Steph Curry took control and scored something like 25 points in the second half and finished with 41 points. I knew then that he was the real deal. What people see him do now, I was seeing 7-8 years ago.
Does it surprise you that he is the heir to Lebron James as the greatest player now?
Not really. At the moment he is looking unstoppable. He is in conversations now with greats like Kobe and Lebron. Those guys have been consistent over a very long period of time. He is at peak now and if he can continue to put up consistent numbers then he will go down as one of the all-time greats.
The Fraport Skyliners have a 13 game winning streak at moment and are the hottest team in the Beko BBL. What memories do you have of freak athlete Quantez Robertson and what was your biggest win streak?
I think 29-30 games last season with CSKA. Games at Frankfurt were always fun. I remember Quantez Robertson as being freakish athletic and a guy that could score.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Will he ever be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
This is difficult, because I am a huge Michael Jordan fan. I grew up watching Jordan. Both were different players, but had a big impact on the game. The NBA will never see a player like Lebron again. He can do it all. When all is said and done, Lebron will be top 5 all-time.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Ted 2 on the flight to Germany. It wasn´t as good as the first one. They tried too hard to make Ted 2 good.
Thanks Kyle for the chat.