Davonte Lacy is a 24 year old 193cm guard from Tacoma, Washington that is going into his second professional season and first with German Pro A team Ehingen. Last season as a rookie he played with UBC Magnofit Gussing Knights (Austria-A Bundesliga) playing 11 FIBA Europe Cup:games averaging 7.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.1apg, 1.0spg, 2FGP: 37.8%, 3FGP: 20.0%, FT: 80.6%; and 21 Austrian A Bundesliga gamesaveraging 10.9ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.4apg, 2FGP: 49.4%, 3FGP: 32.9%, FT: 80.2%, left in Feb.’16, later that month moved to BC Hallmann Vienna (Austria-A Bundesliga) playing 15 games averaging 5.9ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 66.7%. He started his basketball career with Washington St. (NCAA) in 2011 playing a total of 110 NCAA games. His best season was his junior season where he played 23 games: averaging 19.4ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.4apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 42.9%, 3PT: 39%, FT: 83.5%. In his senior year he played 31 games averaging 16.9ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 77.0%. He spoke to German Hoopsearlier in the summer about basketball.
Thanks Davonte for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
At the moment I am back home in the Tacoma/Seattle area just working on my game. And enjoying family before I leave.
Congrats on signing with German pro A team Ehingen. You didn´t play last season. How thankful are you that you will be able to continue your professional career?
I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to continue my career I know I can still play at a high level I just need the opportunity and thanks to coach and the management at Ehingen for believing in me.
How tough was it for you being away from the professional game for so long? What was toughest in this time for you to accept?
It was extremely tough but I needed to heal my body and make sure that I am 100% and ready to make a team better. The hardest to accept was the fact I had to wait and not have the chance to play.
The Ehingen team are very excited to have landed you, but are being patient not wanting to raise the expectations too much. After a up and down rookie season and break after that, do you feel pressure going into your second professional season to show what you really have on the court?
I don’t believe there is any pressure I do believe from what I been told that we should have an opportunity to be competitive in the league so I would like to do my part and help the team be the best we can be.
You stressed in the Ehingen press release that the main reason you chose Ehingen was because it will give you many opportunities to develop further. What else convinced you about joining Team Ehingen?
The coach plays a good system and believes in player development. Also I believe in Germany it will give me competition to be better and advance my career further.
You played in Austria and lived next door to Germany. What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball? Do you have any friends playing in Germany?
I just know the culture between Germany and Austria are similar. I know a few German words like please and thank you. I know there is a lot of history here in Germany. And the basketball culture keeps on growing into one of the biggest markets in the world. My friend I grew up with is Abdul Gaddy and he just signed in Wurzburg (I believe that’s how you spell it), so it will be both our first times over there.
Let´s talk about your game. Your shooting and scoring really stand out, but what other strengths do you have that prove that you aren´t a one dimensional player?
Well ever since I became a professional I have focused on being more of a playmaker, making my teammates better, and setting them up to succeed. Also my defense has took a major step since college, and I take as much pride in that now as I do my offense.
You grew up looking up to NBA superstars Allen Iverson and Tracy Mcgrady, but if you had to pick an NBA player that most resembles how you play who would you chose?
I believe that I tried to mold my game after Carmelo Anthony in the sense I try to be proficient at every level in scoring but I can see comparisons to Damien Lillard in the playmaking and explosiveness sense.
You’re a guy that can flat out score, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
I believe that my basketball IQ and passing ability has always been a strength of my game that has not always received a great amount of attention.
As a rookie you played in Austria for two teams UBC Magnofit Gussing Knights (Austria-A Bundesliga): FIBA Europe Cup: 11 games: 7.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.1apg, 1.0spg, 2FGP: 37.8%, 3FGP: 20.0%, FT: 80.6%; Austrian A Bundesliga: 21 games: 10.9ppg, 2.6rpg, 2.4apg, 2FGP: 49.4%, 3FGP: 32.9%, FT: 80.2%, left in Feb.’16, later that month moved to BC Hallmann Vienna (Austria-A Bundesliga): 15 games: 5.9ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 66.7%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were far away from home in Tacoma?
I believe my wake up call was just being told I was a point guard and learning the position on the fly while learning how to play a different style of basketball. Because Europe plays a different way thea the states so learning a new position and new game was a little harder than expected.
Talk about your rookie season in Austria. After a stellar career in Washington State and taste of the NBA were your expectations a bit too high going into your rookie season? Were you expecting to put up huge numbers in Austria?
Well my rookie year I had huge expectations and in preseason it was going to plan. And then like I said previously my coach wanted me at the point guard and never playing that position before I struggled scoring like I used too because I was trying to get everyone involved. So I struggled finding balance between scoring and facilitating.
Before turning professional you played NBA Pro Summer League in Orlando (Indiana Pacers): 4 games: 3.0ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.3apg. What kind of experience was this for you? Larry Legend Bird was at every practice. Did you run into him and get some advice from him?
It was a great experience it showed me what I need to do basketball and body wise to compete at the highest level. Yea the few times we communicated was brief but he just expressed that I should make the most of this opportunity and don’t take it for granted.
Your goal is still the NBA. What do you feel is still missing from your game? Defense has been a knock in your game. Is this something that you will continue to work on this season in Germany?
Just continuing to improve my all-around game is ideal for me to get back for another opportunity at the NBA. But like you said my defense is a huge key in my development. Along with just being a knock down shooter.
You played at Washington State finishing as the alltime leader in three pointers made and fifth all-time in scoring. How much does that three point record mean to you considering one of the worlds best shooters now Klay Thompson played there?
It means a lot because coming from where I was I wasn’t known as a three point shooter. So to be known as one of the best ever after missing a lot of games my junior and sophomore yeasr means a lot. And to be mentioned with okay is an honor hopefully some day I can reach his level.
You played for head coach Ken Bone for three years and as a senior for Ernie Kent. How did these two guys groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
I believe both coaches help me with just how to be a professional. Also they helped me understand how to be coachable.
How do you remember Abe Lodwick in your freshman year. Was he a guy that inspired you in your first year? Are you surprised that he recently already retired from the game?
Abe was a good leader for me as a freshman, I talked to him today to congratulate him on his new job.
You had so many great games and memories, but was playing your arch rival Washington the biggest game and experience for you at Washington State? As a senior you won by three and lost by three pouring in 23 and 25 points. Do you think you will ever witness an atmosphere again like you did in those games?
Yeah I believe the atmosphere will be the same at the higher level but the passion and just the dislike between the two teams I don’t think can be matched.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Ike Iroegbu?
I beat Ike every time no question lol
Every night you played against the best in the NCAA. Who was the toughest player you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?
I would have to say that Allen Crabbe was the best because he was a senior when I was freshman so that was difficult to guard.
Your from Tacoma the same city where Boston Celtic Isaiah Thomas comes from. How have you followed his career and does his story of how he elevated his game to a new level and put the Boston Celtics back on the map inspire you to take your game to the next level?
Yeah I followed his career a lot since we went to the same high school. Of course seeing him being successful makes me believe I can also be successful.
How does your summer workout plan look like on and off the court in 2017?
Summer workout plan is I workout every morning doing skill work then play either 4v4 or 5v5. Then at night try to either lift weights or do hot yoga. Then play in the Jamal Crawford pro-am every weekend.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?
My own Mount Rushmore would consist of Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, and Shaquille O’Neal (in that order) lol
Lebron James failed to win his fourth NBA title and is still three away from Michael Jordan. Where does Lebron stand right now in your opinion in the never ending debate of who is the best of all-time?
I believe right now Lebron is right behind Jordan and will surpass him when he becomes the all time leading scorers and top 5 in both rebounds and assists.
There has been criticism of Russell Westbrook to be focusing more on rebounding to help inflate his stats and possibilities of getting triple doubles instead of focusing on his defensive assignments. Do you feel that this is a fair assessment to the player Russell Westbrook?
I think he Does everything for his team to win and as long as they do that and get into the playoffs then I don’t see anything wrong with it. Especially if his opponent is not an offensive threat.
How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?
This draft could end up being as good as the 2003 draft. But the biggest sleeper I think is Dennis smith jr. I think he has a chance to be as good as Derrick Rose pre injury.
Where will the journey of the Houston Rockets go this season with Chris Paul and James Harden in the back court. Do they have enough to make a serious run at the title or is something missing?
As long as Golden State has their core nucleus (KD Steph Klay Draymond) it’s going to be hard for anyone to be a serious title contender in my opinion.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I just seen guardians of the galaxy yesterday and I highly recommend it. It was very funny and had great graphics.
Thanks Davonte for the chat.