Jordan Theodore is a 27 year old 182cm point guard from Englewood, New Jersey that is playing his fifth professional season and first with Banvit Basketbol Kulubu (Turkey-BSL). Last season he had his most successful season as a professional winning the FIBA Europe Cup with the Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-BBL) playing 37 games: 14.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 4.7apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 46.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 83.1%; FIBA Europe Cup: 18 games: 14.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.6apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 90.2%. He started his basketball career in 2008 with Seton Hall (NCAA) where he played until 2012 127 NCAA games and as a playing a total of senior played 32 games averaging 16.0ppg, 3.1rpg, 6.6apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 41.2%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 82.7%. In 2012, he started his professional career with Antalya Buyuksehir Belediye (Turkey-TBL) playing 29 games averaging 15.8ppg, 3.6rpg, Assists-for Mersin Buyuksehir Belediyesi (Turkey-TBL) playing 27 games averaging 12.3ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 45.1%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 73.5%. In the 2014-2015 season he played for JL Bourg Basket (France-ProA, starting five): 17 games: 12.7ppg, 3.6rpg, Assists-2(6.1apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 21.6%, FT: 87.2%. He spoke to German Hoops before the basketball Champions League game against the EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Oldenburg.
Jordan thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. How does it feel to be back in Germany. I believe you were in Frankfurt recently on a break in play?
Yes I was a couple days in Frankfurt to clear my head. It feels good to be back in Germany and always fun to come back, but my trip to Oldenburg is all business.
You are in Oldenburg getting ready to battle the EWE Baskets in the Champions League Playoffs. You had a 2-1 record last season against them, but lost the second regular season game in Oldenburg. What memories do you have of that game?
I remember that game. It was a tough loss that we lost by 4-5 points. But it was the start of the season where everyone was still coming together. We had got John Little a week earlier and no one really knew their role yet. I was the point guard and was still picking my spots. We came together and later in the season had no problem beating them twice.
The EWE Baskets Oldenburg aren´t really to much of a different team from last season returning 9 players. They are having an average BBL season, but playing a great Champions League season. How is Banvit going into this series?
We are going onto the series with Oldenburg looking to play hard and do what it takes to win. We are coming off the cup win and a win last season in the BSL league and are ready. We will like always play our brand of basketball of playing tough defense.
When looking at the team stats, the points scored, points given up, rebounding and three point accuracy are pretty much even. This looks to be a big battle. How confident are you that the Banvit defense will prevail and stick out more in the two games then that of Oldenburg?
I am very confident that our defense will prevail. We trust each other on defense and have shown that the whole season. We will play defense for the whole 24 seconds and if we can do that and rebound well then we will come out with the win.
How excited are you to duel against another German team. Since winning your first title with German team Fraport Skyliners last season, do your competitive juices flow more when playing against German teams?
My competitive juices aren´t any different against German teams. My goal is too win every game. That is how I have always approached the game.
You played against Ricky Paulding three times now and will do it two more times now. At the moment he is the number #1 identity figure in German basketball. What does it mean in general to play against him and where does he rank in your all-time opponent competitor scale?
I don´t know Ricky so well and we don´t guard each other. I know that he is a huge identity figure in German basketball. For me it is always nice to play against Americans and guys like Paulding that are great compeitors and as an American has made a name for himself overseas.
Honestly how many more years do you see Quantez Robertson playing and could he one day eclipse a Paulding in league identity figure status?
I see Tez playing his entire career in Frankfurt. Tez will always be seen as the recognizable player for Frankfurt basketball. Comparing them is difficult, because you have to look at them differently. Paulding is that scorer that can dominate while Tez is the hard worker that does all the liitle things necessary to win.
You have played against many feisty and very annoying guards in your career, but where does Chris Kramer rank. Do you need eyes in the back of your head when your coming down on the break and you know he is somewhere lurking in the shadows?
I don´t think I need eyes in the back of my head when he is on the court. I respect his game a lot, but I don´t look for him on the court. He always comes to play and I am looking forward to the challenge against him.
I have to congratulate you on the fine season Banvit is having currently #5 in the BSL League. I honestly didn´t think you could hold it as a team as I don’t feel your bench is deep enough as many other teams. How has the team improved since the series against the Fraport Skyliners in the Autumn?
We haven´t stopped improving since the Frankfurt series. We get better every day and are never satisfied. We had some tough loses this season, but we never complained, but always got back into the gym and continued to get better. Nobody thought we could win the Turkish cup, but we did. Our goal is to be better than yesterday. That is our approach each day.
Banvit has a strong starting five, but as leader of the club what players do you have to specifically laud for helping bring this club to the level that they are at now?
I have to laud the whole team. The whole team is important. Our young guys weren´t playing that well at the start of the season, but have begun to step up and we now rely on them. We have many young talented Turkish players and they are all understanding their roles now and performing well.
You have an incredible 7-1 record against Euroleague teams. Is it a combination between getting up extra more against these teams and them possibly underestimating you a bit, or is it perfect scouting? How do you explain this amazing stat?
Maybe teams underestimated us a bit at the start, but we continued to win games. The scouting obviously is great, but we are a very confident team and think we can beat everyone. We go and play every possession. We don´t go into games just wanting to do ok, but we want to always be the best.
How has your relationship grown with American Jeremy Chappell on and off the court? Do you have that blind understanding that you had with many Skyliners on the court from last season and that brother feeling off the court?
Our understanding is blind and have that brother feeling off the court. He is the only other American on the court. We have bonded a lot as we are roommates as well on the road. But the whole bond on the team is very tight. It is tight on and off the court and that is exactly how it was in Frankfurt last season and that is why we were successful there and this season with Banvit.
You recently won your second professional title the cup with Banvit. Was the Skyliners Fiba Europe Cup title the sweetest simply because it was your first and where does the Banvit title compare to the Skyliners one?
I really don´t want to compare these two titles. I was great to win both, but I am thankful for both as there are so many guys that play a whole career winning nothing. The first one with the Skyliners was great, but the cup win with Banvit was maybe a bit sweeter. We were expected to reach the Fiba Europe Cup Final 4 with Frankfurt last season. We only lost one game. We weren´t expected to win the Turkish cup. No one expected us to beat Besiktas or Efes, but we did and we played with a lot of pride. It wasn´t like the final against Efes was close, but we were winning the whole game.
You’re playing your best season as a professional first in scoring and second in assists in the BSL league and first in assists and ninth in scoring in the Champions League. When you look back at your mind set at the start of the season would you have thought that your season would be going this well?
Yes I would have thought that. My mind is the same as it was in Frankfurt and before that. I always want to win. I have just been playing with better players the last two seasons. I get better each season being able to play with better players. I have to give all the credit to my teammates and coaching staff, but I also have a lot of confidence in my abilites to lead the team.
You have stated that you feel like you are the best point guard in Europe. How can one justify that over Euroleague players like future legends Teodosic and Spanoulis?
It´s tough. I can´t justify that. I respect them very much and am looking forward to playing against them next season. I understand that the Champions League isn´t the same as the Euroleague, but I have to be confident. If I don´t think that I am the best then why am I playing? I am 7-1 against Euroleague teams and you can check my stats. Numbers don´t matter, but it´s all about winning. Anyone can have numbers and be losing, but I love my teammates. We are a perfect fit and that is why we are winning.
I see a trend with you similar to a Malcolm Delaney as he developed in Europe and went step by step finally reaching the NBA in his sixth season at age 27. The only difference is that he started winning titles right away in France, Ukraine and Germany. Could you be in the NBA in 2 years after playing Euroleague next season?
I think so. It was always a goal to come to Europe to win and show that I can be one of the best and then take my talent to the NBA. Each season has been a stepping stone for me and I don´t think that the NBA is far away. My main focus now is Banvit where it´s my job to lead the team and win more titles. I will cross that bridge with the NBA one day, but in the mean time I want to continue to win and show that I can play. The NBA will come.
Last season you fed Johannes Voigtmann the ball for easy buckets and this season ex NBA Shane Larkin is feeding him the ball. When you see his game or from other ex NBA player point guards in Europe now, how much difference is there between them and you in terms of skill level being able to play in the NBA?
I don´t think there is any difference. It is all about getting the opportunity. You are put in a position to make or break. At the start of my professional basketball career, I didn´t have a chance yet, because I was losing games. Even though I was playing well, it didn´t matter because I wasn´t winning. But as soon as I am put with good players, I was able to raise my game. I know that I will get my chance against the greats and I will be ready.
You have stressed interest to play with the Turkish national team. Did you talk to Bobby Dixon about his experiences and how are the talks going?
I haven´t talked with anybody about the national team and not with Bobby Dixon either. I came out and expressed interest to maybe play with the national team one day. This is my third season in Turkey and I love it here. The people are amazing, the food is great as is the lifestyle. All I know is that if I am able to join the Turkish national team, I will definitely be able to help them.
Mike Morrison recently put up 35 points in the Champions league and Aaron Doornekamp texted Gordie Herbert minutes after the game asking if his stats had been correctly. What was your first thought when you saw that stat?
I didn´t believe it either. My teamamtes asked me if I watched the game and I said no and they said he had something like 30 points at half. I heard Mike hit a fade away bank shot. I remember Mike doing that in a practice last season and coach Herbert stopping practice and saying “Come on Mike. What are you doing”? Mike is a good player that can finish at the rim and always brings energy. There are many players that are just gifted, but don´t bring the heart and emotion that Mike brings. Mike brings that every night and I respect him for that. I know the Skyliners had a slow start and Herbert was out and were trying a lot of different things, but I know that they can get it together and make a run for the playoffs.
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
I will ask my roommate Jeremy now. He says Kevin Garnet. He is a big Garnet fan. Tim Duncan is two.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
That has got to be number one. He is the first one to do that. Come on now, how can you beat that performance.
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?
Russ is in my top 3. Him and I approach the game the same way in that we are always in attack mode and do the things needed to win. I love watching him play. I also put James Harden in my top three. He can do it all.
Draymond Greene recently had a triple double without scoring 10 points or more. Why do you believe has it taken long for someone to do this?
I don´t know why it took so long either. I guess so many like to score.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I don´t remember. It was a horror movie I saw in Frankfurt.
Thanks Jordan for the chat.