Julian Gamble is a 26 year old 207cm power forward/center from Durham, North Carolina that will be starting his fourth professional season and first in Germany with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. He started his basketball career at Miami(NCAA) in 2008 and played there until 2013 playing a total of 127 games. In 2013 he started his professional career with Saint Vallier Basket Drome (France-ProB): 44 games: 16.3ppg, Reb-3(9.0rpg), 1.1apg, 1.2spg, Blocks-1(1.5bpg), FGP: 59.8%, 3PT: 10.0%, FT: 62.9%. In 2014 he moved to the Basic-Fit Brussels (Belgium-Scooore League) playing 25 games: 17.0ppg, Reb-3(7.6rpg), 1.4apg, 1.1spg, Blocks-1(1.6bpg), FGP: 57.0%, FT: 69.2%. Last season he remained with the Basic-Fit Brussels (Belgium-Scooore League) playing 36 games: Score-5(16.6ppg), Reb-2(8.3rpg), 1.3apg, 1.5spg, Blocks-1(1.9bpg), FGP: 60.8%, FT: 68.1%. He spoke to German Hoops after the huge 101-94 win against medi Bayreuth.
Julian thanks for talking to German Hoops. 2017 is here and coming into it´s third month. Did you make some new years resolutions or are you more the type of guy that doesn´t prefer that?
I did not make a New Year resolution. I focus on goals and improvements as they present themselves. Throughout the year this things change and are adjusted accordingly.
You have experienced carnival in Bonn this year. Was it a crazy time for a North Carolina boy or had you ever experienced something like this before?
It definitely not like something I had ever experienced before! The atmosphere was amazing and something I greatly enjoyed, the fan support that night propelled us to that big win.
What was the craziest experience that you had during the carnival season in Bonn and what costume will forever stick out in your mind when you look back at this time down the road?
Concerning the costumes, I saw a lot of great ones but I think us as a team was pretty special. We are a close knit group and had a lot of fun doing this together.
Congrats on the big 101-94 victory against medi Bayreuth. It was the second shoot out game win in a row. Are the Telekom Baskets Bonn now showing their true offensive potential in the last weeks?
We have always had great offensive potential. We have many weapons and you never know who will have a huge night to help us win. The great thing is, with our depth, it could be a number of different guys.
The Telekom Baskets Bonn struggled in the first half on defense, but had a 30 point explosion in the third quarter and limited medi Bayreuth to 17 points. What adjustments did the team make on defense in order to have this turn around?
We definitely wanted to set a more physical tone and let our defense create our offense for us. We came out with a different energy and were able to make a number of big plays to swing to momentum of the game. We knew with us playing at home that we would get back into the game for sure
Ken Horton made a ridiculous shot near half court when the game was already decided. Do you feel he was a bit motivated from last weeks Jake Odum shot?
The shot Ken made was amazing. I was unaware at the time, but they were playing to keep the direct comparison over us even in the loss and Ken’s shot ended that. So looking back on it, it was a big shot that could end up playing in our favor down the road.
The Telekom Baskets Bonn are perfect in February in the BBL with a 4-0 record. What do you feel have been the major improvements in the play of the team as of late and key for the success?
We knew coming into February that we had a favorable schedule to be able to start a streak. With 3 out of 4 games at home, feeding off of our fans, success was sure to come to us. We are playing with great confidence and a will to win right now and that is something that will continue for the remainder of the season.
How key had head coach Predrag Krunic been in his time here replacing Silvano Poropat on account of his health problems. How important was an already very sound team chemistry for him being able to come in and be able to preach his philosophy and have it be successful?
With our already strong team chemistry in place, it was a smooth transition for us. Everything we do is together as a unit, and we knew that as soon as we bought into his philosophy we would all be successful. Coach has also been great with making sure everyone is confident and knows what they need to do to help the team win.
How does Krunic function differently on the court than Poropat and how have you benefited from his coaching on the court?
I cant really speak much to how they are different on the court since we only spent the pre-season with Silvano. I know that the season does not compare to the pre-season, so actions will for sure be different. Coach now has just constantly told me how effort and intensity at all times will help me be successful. Along with that, using my speed and mobility to my advantage more on offense and defense.
The club obviously can still improve their defense not to have to be involved in tighter shoot out games. The team had good defensive efforts against Giessen, Vechta and Alba Berlin, but then again other games in the last weeks where they won because of their offense. Is inconsistency the biggest problem for the Telekom Baskets on the defensive end?
Inconsistency is definitely not a problem with our team. There has been times where we had a few let downs but we are a very capable and good defensive team. Even in the higher scoring games, we came up with the big stops when we needed them and made adjustments to slow down the opposing teams offense during the game.
The team continues to move on in the Fiba Europe Cup and next play Israeli team Ironi Nahariya. Obviously there is still a long way to go and many very talented teams left, but seriously is the team quietly dreaming of not only wanting to win the title, but also being capable of doing it?
We all know we are capable of winning the title, but we are a long way from that goal. For now we have to focus on each game and play our best to put ourselves in position to achieve that goal. It is very much a reality that we can win the title and we will continue to play hard to make that come true.
You stated this in our first interview last summer that “my goal production wise will not change, but ultimately I want to win. Whatever it takes to win is what I will do, but my personal ambition as a player is to be the best I can be. You aren´t producing as much as in Belgium, but Bonn is stocked with many more offensive weapons than with Basic-Fit Brussels (Belgium-Scooore League), but your winning with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. Your playing 6-7 minutes less this season. Have you been content with your season?
Winning is always my primary goal. I think even early in the season when I wasnt producing big offensive numbers, I was still able to help in the team in other important areas to help win some games. I love playing on such a talented team, it is truly a luxury, so personal numbers don’t mean near as much as winning with this talented group of guys.
Did you notice that your 13/15 shooting against medi Bayreuth last game was your best percentage as a professional? You had some good shooting games as a rookie with Saint Vallier Basket Drome (France-ProB), but your performance against medi Bayreuth stood out. Your shot selection was obviously spot on. Has it become easier over the years knowing in a few seconds when to make the moves or to kick it the ball out, or is it a challenge every game and practice?
I actually did not know that. Over the years I have tried to improve on shot selection and being more efficient with my moves. Also working on having a more rounded offensive game not just based on one thing has helped me a lot. It is always a work in progress and something I will continue to work on to be as good as I possibly can.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose?
Jordan, Lebron, Kobe, Bill Russell
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?
I think Lebron bringing a title brings him closer to be the greatest of all time but he still has work to do. It will be a never ending debate like you said, but he has forever changed the game of basketball. That is one thing that I dont think anyone will debate.
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
I think KG is the second best PF to play the game behind Tim Duncan. He was great, but Tim won at a very high level for pretty much all of his career and that cant be overlooked.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
I think that is the most efficient performance of all time! I dont think anything of that nature will ever be reproduced.
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?
I think what Westbrook is doing is amazing but to me it doesn´t compare to the longevity and how much Lebron has changed team and even the NBA with what he has been able to do year in and year out. Westbrook is great and is absolutely carrying his team and should win MVP this year if he averages a triple double
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?
That was amazing because its hard to imagine someone having so many blocks and steals in a game. These are the best players in the world and for somebody to pretty much single handedly shut down a team is amazing. If we wanted to, that night he for sure could have gotten a quadruple double.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Last movie I saw is Despicable Me 2. I watch this movie every day because my son and I know all of the words by heart by now. I’m looking forward to the new one that comes out this summer now!
Thanks Julian for the chat.