Jason Boone is a 31 year old 198cm power forward/center from Sugar Loaf, New York that is playing his tenth professional season and first with TBV Start Lublin (Poland-PLK). He started the season with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg where he had been with since 2015 and this season averaged 1,3ppg and 1,0rpg in the EasyCredit BBL and 2,0ppg and 2,0rpg in the Champions League. He played three seasons with the s. Oliver Baskets Wurzburg and three seasons for BG Goettingen. He played at New York University(NCAA 3) from 2003-2007. In his senior year, he played 28 games averaging 14.1ppg, 9.6rpg, 2.4bpg, 2.9apg, FG: 63.0%, FT: 64.3%. In 2007-2008, he turned professional and played played at Bernau(Regionalliga) before making the jump up three leagues to MEG Goettingen. In 2008-2009, he averaged 4.4ppg, 4.0rpg, FG: 53.7. In 2009-2010, he won the Eurochallenge for BG Goettingen playing EuroChallenge: 16 games: 10.7ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 59.6%, FT: 53.8%; German League: 35 games: 9.1ppg, 6.1rpg, FGP: 60.3%, FT: 55.9%. He also played a season with Torku Konyaspor (Turkey-TBL): 14 games: 6.1ppg, 4.2rpg, 2FGP: 60.7%, FT: 46.2%, in Mar.’15 moved to SO Maritime Boulogne (France-ProA) playing 12 games: 9.7ppg, 6.1rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 63.6%, FT: 51.4%. He spoke to German Hoops for the 75th time this time talking about his departure from the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg leaving head coach John Patrick with whom he played for in Goettingen, Wurzburg and Ludwigsburg and the future.
Jason thanks for talking to German Hoops. Did you make any new years resolutions coming into 2017 or are you not the type of guy that does that?
I’m a big believer that if you want to make a change you shouldn’t wait until January 1st to make it. I spend a lot of my free time in the fitness center and it was full the first two weeks of January, but around the middle of the month it was back down to the regulars. That sums up my relationship to the New Years Resolution.
I just finished reading your blog entry “My real life can wait” and realized that you went through a lot in only half a season. Were the last 6-7 months the most difficult in your basketball career?
Everything seems difficult as you go through it but in hindsight is never as bad as it seems in the moment. This season definitely wasn’t the easiest but at the end of the day I was able to be a part of a successful team and a great group of guys.
Your basketball life in Ludwigsburg came to an end recently. Was this a good example that like in so many other facets of life, business is always king while everything else is far behind?
Didn’t you watch the BBL Dunk Contest this year? Kelvin Martin is King. Point Blank. Period.
You were able to use a clause in your contract that allowed you to find a new team? Was the fact that you were parked behind an ex NBA player and best German center in the BBL the reason for making this step?
It never comes down to just one fact. I wish things could be that simple but that’s never the case. Jack and JT are both phenomenal players that are a large reason for the success of that team to date but my decision came from many other factors.
I cringed every time I read the Ludwigsburg box scores on Sunday night and observed how little you played or didn´t at all. How tough was having to swallow this for so many months?
Putting pride aside for the betterment of the team is something that a lot of players have a tough time doing. It often becomes detrimental and causes more harm than help. I was determined to show that if that was what the team needed from me, I would be able to do it. When you genuinely like the guys on your team it isn’t as difficult as one may think.
One could carefully say head coach John Patrick was a very important figure for you bringing you to Gottingen in 2008 out of the Regionalliga and the rest is history including a Eurochallenge title in 2010. Could you understand why he had to do this having you as the third back up center. Would you have done the same thing if you had been in his position?
One of the most interesting dynamics in basketball is between the player and coach. It’s rare that they see the same thing in the same way. What I do understand is that it’s hard to play three guys at the same position. And JP has always been about winning. I’ve trusted his decisions for the teams success my whole career
Did you have a talk with JP at the start of the season and everything was pretty much understood or was it just one of those things that was understood and went it´s course as the season progressed?
JP doesn’t decide anything before the season. It’s always been performance based. The better you play, the more you play. Practices are competitive and you always have a chance to earn more minutes. As the average age of players and the amount of games/travel have increased, it’s become more difficult to compete every day in practice. Therefore as this season progressed, things were understood.
Despite having ex NBA player Jack Cooley in front of him, do you feel like German Johannes Thiemann could profit from your game and experience on and off the court?
JT is a matchup nightmare. He’s too quick for the traditional big man and strong enough to hold his own against anyone in Europe. I know that because there isn’t a stronger front-court on this continent than Jack Cooley and myself. But more than his raw ability and potential, JT is a true professional and dedicated to being the best player he can be. That’s going to take him extremely far through his career and I’m excited to see how much he can achieve.
You played one and a half seasons in Ludwigsburg. What was your fondest memory on the court?
There’s a picture somewhere that sums up what I loved about Ludwigsburg all at once. Last season, Brad Loesing had just taken a charge during one of our four games against Berlin. All four players on the court are extending a hand to help him up. The fans in the background are all standing and cheering. Team unity, sacrifice and support. What more could you ask for?
It hasn´t been the easiest of seasons for the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg, but how confident are you that they will be one of the top 8 teams come May 2017?
It’s not supposed to be easy. We were sitting around before the Giessen game evaluating the season to that point and realized we were one game out of playoff contention, advancing in the Champions League and going to Berlin for the Final Four. Pretty successful no? But not one person in the locker room was satisfied. And that is how I know that it wasn’t enough. I’m very confident that they’ll be playing into late May and June.
You played your last game with Rocky Trice who you had been teammates with at BG Goettingen. What one memory from Goettingen with him is something you would never shy away from telling?
Goettingen was a town where everything was in close proximity. So when the spring rolled around, a few of us decided to get bicycles. We didn’t bother learning hand signals though…bad idea. One day we were riding to practice and Rocky made a right turn but the car behind him didn’t know. Luckily it was not traveling so fast, but as the collision was about to take place, I saw him tap into those cat like reflexes, that have made him a terror on the court, to avoid serious injury.
You are starting a new adventure in Poland with TBV Start Lublin. What has been your early impressions of the club and country?
So far so good. I’ve been in Europe long enough to know how to transition but the team here has made it as smooth as it could be. I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity.
The club is near the bottom. Is your biggest goal to help keep the team in the league and help develop young center Jaroslaw Trojan?
They were clear on what they are looking for from me. And after the first week here I’m sure that this will be a great fit for me as a player and a person. I’m very eager to get these games underway.
Do you see this opportunity being one where you will see sufficient minutes again and help the name Jason Boone again on the market when the summer comes along?
The main reason I chose this team is because I had something to prove and because what they were looking for doesn’t require me to do things out of my comfort zone. Play hard on offense and defense, bring a physical presence and push my teammates to improve on a daily basis. That’s all I’ve been doing my entire career. This will be a great chance to show everyone I can still do it.
A lot has happened in the world in the last months including the election of Donald Trump. If someone had told you 5 years ago that he would be president soon and you might not be able to become a German citizenship what would you have thought?
I would have thought why that “someone” was so good at predicting the future and I would have asked way more questions than just those two.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose?
George Washington would be replaced by George Mikan. He was the pioneer of the big man position and needs to be on there. Thomas Jefferson was one of the most storied politicians because of what he was able to accomplish so he would have to swapped out for Bill Russell, the epitome of success. Teddy Roosevelt, by far the youngest on the mountain would have to be LeBron. Politics were changing just like the league was. He became the new face of it. And definitely the most iconic but arguably the best President too, Lincoln would have to be replaced with Michael Jordan. No surprise there.
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 know I just put him on my Mr. Rushmore but I don’t think you can talk about best player of all time until his career is finished. He’s definitely got the potential to be the greatest of all time but depending on what era NBA fan you ask, there will always be an argument.
Where do you rank Kevin Garnett with the best power forwards that ever played the game?
There are maybe three or four players I could argue were better than him at that position. Duncan, Barkley, Petite, and maybe Malone. But he has to be in consideration for the best of all time at the PF position.
Klay Thompson recently hit 60 points in 29 minutes touching the ball for only 90 seconds. Where does this performance rank with you?
That’s pretty ridiculous to be that efficient. Playing for JP I’ve been trained to keep an eye on that +/- though. So although offensively that has to be one of the most efficient performances of all time, was his man also scoring?
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?
The ability to fill up a stat sheet doesn’t mean as much if your team is not winning. I think there are a number of NBA players that could average a triple double if winning was not the goal. Forget stats, I think Russell Westbrook is one of the best players in the world right now because he’s always in attack mode. He doesn’t take a play off.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I don’t remember the last movie I’ve seen but I just finished a book by Bob Rotella entitled “How Champions Think: In Sports and Life” There were a lot of golf references but it’s definitely one I would recommend.
Thanks Jason for the chat.