Michael Cobbins is a 24 year old 201cm forward from Amarillo, Texas playing his second professional season and started this season with AS Apollon Patras (Greece-A1) playing 12 games averaging 6.7ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.2apg, 2FGP: 61.4%, FT: 55.6%, in Jan.’17 moved to s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-BBL). Last season as a rookie he played for the Oklahoma City Blue (D-League): 27 games: 1.7ppg, 1.4rpg. He played his college ball at Oklahoma St. (NCAA) playing a total of 106 NCAA games and as a senior played 29 games averaging 6.8ppg, 5.9rpg, 1.8bpg, FGP: 58.2%, FT: 56.9%. He spoke to German Hoops recently when he arrived in Wurzburg, Germany.
Michael thanks for talking to German Hoops. You recently joined German team s.Oliver Wurzburg after starting your rookie season with Apollin Patras in Greece. How big an adjustment has it been for you coming from the warm coast of Patras in Greece to cold Germany? Is the beautiful Wurzburg scenery and river a little consolation?
Yes, the scenery was a big change but I am enjoying my time here and the views of this town.
What kind of a feeling was it for you having to play your first professional game in Germany against top club FC Bayern Munich?
It was a great first game to get a feel for the league and the fan base was amazing! Having a crowd like that at home always helps.
You played against top Greek teams Olympiacos and Panathinaikos holding your own with seven points. Were these two teams with their lineup still a notch above what you saw from FC Bayern Munich?
These teams are all good and play at a high level. But the style of play is different from both leagues.
The s.Oliver Wurzburg suffered a tough 68-63 loss against FC Bayern Munich. The club started off well scoring 20 points, but then were limited to 8 points in the second quarter. What adjustments did FC Bayern Munich make to lead 32-29 at the break?
They took advantage of some of the mistakes that we made.
The fourth quarter was a real dog fight as Wurzburg regained the lead once thanks to American Marshawn Powell. What in the end was key for the opponent to come away with the win?
They hit some timely shots down the stretch at the end which was key for them.
FC Bayern Munich have the best German power forward duo of Maxi Kleber who didn´t play and Danilo barthel who played NBA Summer League in 2014 with the likes of NBA players Justin Hamilton and Shabazz Napier. What was it like for you as a second year man battling him?
It was a good matchup and a good first test.
You had two points and a block in 12 minutes of work. How do you like the style and talent level of the EasyCredit BBL. How would you compare it to the Greek first division?
I believe that this league is a little bit more up tempo and physical.
You are playing for legendary head coach Dirk Bauermann who coached the German national team for many years. You can surprise me by saying you knew who he was when you arrived, but seriously how quickly has he impressed you with his coaching philosophy and what have you learned to appreciate most about his coaching?
He is very straightforward with what he wants to get done and he has a way of giving confidence to his players when they need it.
What kind of role do you have with the team and do you figure getting more minutes as time goes by?
I’m an energy guy and that’s what I plan on bringing to this team whether I’m on the court or on the bench.
How valuable do you see American Marshawn Powell in your first weeks? How has and will his game help yours as you continue to develop as a playe?
He is a veteran and he provides knowledge of the game and life if you just talk to him.
You started the season with AS Apollon Patras (Greece-A1) playing 12 games averaging 6.7ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.2apg, 2FGP: 61.4%, FT: 55.6%, They had a very full front court. Was it a numbers game at the end that led your move to Wurzburg?
I just felt that it was a good opportunity for me and my career to pursue.
You had one of your strongest games against Koroivos where you had 11 points and four blocks. Do you feel like you are a better defender than what you get credit for?
I never really try to take credit for much. Everything is a team effort and I do what I can to help the team progress.
What was your wake up call to being a rookie in European in Greece where you knew that you were very far away from Amarillo, Texas?
The time change, the food, some of the rules, and the way different countries operated.
As a rookie you played for the Oklahoma Thunders D-League team Oklahoma City Blue (D-League) playing 27 games averaging 1.7ppg, 1.4rpg. What kind of experience was your rookie season in the D-league. How disappointed were you with very limited minutes?
It was a great learning experience for me and helped me to work on my game.
What example can you give from your rookie season where you realized that the D-league and getting to the NBA often has more to do with the whole thing being a business and less with a player´s skill level?
I believe it has a lot to do with having a good character, good skill, but most of all a drive and a will to make things happen.
You played at Oklahoma State from 2010-2015 and played two seasons with current Boston Celtic Marcus Smart. Isaiah Thomas really has exploded this season and continues to make strides. How much will Smart profit from him as a teammate and does Smart have the potential to step up his game and become more than just an average point guard in the NBA?
Marcus has always been a leader so I have no doubt that he will step up and become one very soon. Having someone to show him the ropes will help him tremendously, but I’m excited to see what his future holds.
Oklahoma State was never really to make any real big noise at the NCAA tournament, but when you look back at your career there, what was your most memorable game?
Beating Kansas on their home court
You played for Travis Ford at Oklahoma State. How did he groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Pushing us every day is practice so that we knew what it meant to work hard.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Le Bryan Nash?
I’m honestly not sure if we ever played one on one but if we did now I would have to put money on myself.
Who was the best player that you battled against in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?
I would probably have to say Thomas Robinson although there are many more who are pretty close on that list.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose?
Jordan, LeBron, Tim Duncan, Kareem
Lebron ﬁnally brought an NBA title to the Cavs. Where does he stand at the moment in the never ending debate with where he stands as the best of all-time?
It helps his case to be the greatest of all-time and he still might go down as the greatest of all time. But the debate will forever be a thing talked about
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
On my list of most recent players I would have to rank him at #3
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
It’s ﬂat out amazing and he was on ﬁre that night. When shots are falling like that for a guy you have no choice but to keep feeding him the ball.
One always talks about Lebron and Curry, but one has to mention Russell Westbrook. He is averaging triple double stats at the moment. Is he stat wise the best player in the world right now?
Of course he is.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The Book of Eli
Thanks Michael for the chat.