Chris Brady is a 22 year old 208cm center from Greenlawn, New York that is playing his professional rookie in Europe in Germany with the Hebeisen White Wings. He played at Monmouth (NCAA) from 2013-2017 playing a total of 133 NCAA games and as a senior played 34 games averaging 9.0ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.7bpg, FGP: 59.6%, 3PT: 22.2%, FT: 69.1%. At Monmouth he was able to improve his scoring and rebounding each season. Currently with Hanau through seven games he is averaging 7,7ppg and 4,7rpg. He spoke to German Hoops near the end of the summer about basketball
You have arrived in Germany and arrived to Hanau where you will be playing with the Hebeisen White Wings. What has been your first impression of Germany?
So far my first impression of Germany is great! The people are very friendly, Hanau is a very nice city, and I’m enjoying my time here so far. The food is great too.
You are starting your rookie season in Germany. What did you know about the country and its basketball coming in? Did your ex teammate Max DiLeo of the RheinStars give you some tips?
I honestly don’t know a lot about the country and how the league works. I’ve been talking to the veterans on the team just so I can know what to expect. I am coming in every game looking to win. I’m ready to embrace every part of the country and learn its culture and customs. Max and I have also talked a few times throughout the summer both before and after I signed. He gave me some tips from his experiences over the last few years.
Have you marked the calender when you play against the RheinStars and Max DiLeo? How excited are you to see him again and now as an opponent and what will be the first thing that you will tell him on the court?
I haven’t marked the game against Max but he told me when we play a few weeks ago. I like to take it day by day that way I don’t look too far ahead and overlook games. I’m very excited to play against him as opponents because he’s such a hard working player. The first thing I’ll tell him on the court is good luck, we’ll have time to catch up after the game.
Head coach Simon Cote as well as the management was very high on your abilities. What was the deciding factor that gave you the green light to sign with this German team?
Coach Simon really sold me on his ability to develop players, and he’s just a genuine guy. I value a person´s character in making my decisions. He told me he could help me achieve my future goals and make a huge jump in my own development on the court within this season.
What has been your first impression of head coach Simon Cote? He is known as a very hard working coach that really takes a lot of time for his players. Have you felt that dedication to players mentality in the early going?
He is a very hardworking coach and makes sure all of his players are taken care of. He’s on the clock 24/7, if any of us need something he’ll help us out on and off the court. Yes I’ve felt that dedication to the players since I’ve been here. The same goes for coach Tuna. They both make sure guys are getting in extra individual work outside of our group workouts and practices.
There is a solid core of Americans on the roster so far with Americans Chase Adams who is a veteran and rookie Lavon Long. Are you already sensing a chemistry on the court with them?
I think there is a lot of chemistry between the Americans, but the German players keep us included. I’ve known Lavon since my freshman year of college so it’s cool to play with a former opponent. And Chase has been a mentor to the American rookies, he lets us know how everything works. We still have a long way to go to reach our goals but all of the guys on the team are great guys and teammates.
Over your 4 year career at Mommouth you battled against your new teammate Lavon Long twice each season and you had his number having a 6-2 record against him. Did you let him remember that great stat since you have arrived or have you held back?
Actually I never knew this stat. I’ll let him know haha. But I think the more important stat is who got the last win, and that one isn’t in my favor.
Now that Long is your teammate, have you thought back a bit more in your 8 battles against Siena over the years? Does the fact that you have a guy like Long as a teammate now bring back some of those positive memories?
I thought about our games a few times. He’s a versatile player. He was always someone that would stand out on the scouting report because he was effective on both ends. And it helps to play with someone who’s game you know and had to study and play against for 4 years.
You and Long don´t play the same position, but simply because you are both rookies and know each other on the court, do you feel like you will make an extra effort to try to make each other better as rookies as best possible?
Yes I do. We know each other’s games and know what we need to improve on. We both have goals on improving our games so we know we need to push ourselves and each other.
Let´s talk about your game. Simon Cote says you are a talented young big man that will give the team impulses around the rim, getting rebounds and blocks. How else would you describe your game?
I don’t want to give a scouting report on myself for the whole league to see. I would say my game needs work all around. Offensively and defensively. I definitely bring scoring, rebounding and blocks to the team. But there is so much I want to improve that my game can be drastically better come September 23rd.
If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would you chose that most resembles how you battle on the court?
This is hard for me because I try and study many players in the NBA. I don’t feel like I can accurately answer this question because the last 4 years I didn’t watch the NBA as much because I would watch other college games.
Head coach Cote also feels that Hanau will be able to strive on the fast break thanks to your hard work using your body to your advantage in the paint. Do you feel like you will be able to make a sound adjustment in terms of raising your physicality from the NCAA level to the Pro ranks?
Coaches have told me I’m a great runner for my size. All of our bigs are great runners. Also I think it’ll be an easy transition in physicality, there will always be a difference when you go up a level whether it be from high school to college or college to pro. It’s my first year so I’ll work hard on maintaining my strength. I’ll be in the weight room working on my body and making sure I’m in great condition throughout the season.
You are a guy that can rebound and block shots well, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
Communication. A lot of coaches emphasize it but some players don’t execute it. Letting your teammates know where to be on the court, who’s guarding who, when a screen is coming, etc. it makes a big difference on the court and I think it’s an important skill to work on.
You might not necessarily score in double figures each night, but do you feel like you will be able to be an impact player as a rookie with the game you play?
I will score in double figures each night. I’m a very humble man, but I have that confidence in the work I put in and my game. I’ll definitely impact the game and raise the level of play each game. When I’m on the court I love to encourage my teammates and see them make plays.
You played 4 years at Monmouth(NCAA) and as a freshman was far away from a professional career. What was the turning point in your first two years at Monmouth that got you on track to having a solid NCAA career?
When I got to Monmouth Coach Rice and I talked about where he saw me when I finished. He told me I can make a lot of money playing this game, I bought into his words and put the work in. It was just a matter of getting in better shape each year and my on court development. The coaching staff and players at Monmouth pushed me to get better every day, so I give them the credit for believing in me and he’ll my confidence on the court. Justin Robinson and I were roommates freshman year and always talked about becoming pros.
How did head coach King Rice groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
I mentioned it above. But he just kept believing in my potential and made me work. I give credit to the coaching staff at Monmouth. They all helped my game in their own way and all pushed me to become a better player.
You played two seasons with Max DiLeo at Monmouth. What was your fondest memory of him on and off the court?
His energy he brought to each game. I respect Max a lot as a player because he gives his all every time he steps on the court. Not sure I would call it the fondest but most memorable game was when we played at Canisius my freshman year and Max was pressuring Billy Baron the whole game. I guess Baron got frustrated with Max because he threw an elbow and broke Max’s front teeth. Max got the blood cleaned up and continued to play. A lot of guys would give up or switch but Max was right up on Baron the next play. I think that tells a lot about how Max is as a player.
In your junior season you celebrated big wins against top NCAA teams UCLA, USC and Georgetown. Do these wins belong to your fondest memories in the NCAA?
Definitely, that whole season was a lot of fun. The Monmouth Bench blew up with all their bench celebrations and gave us more attention. Then people realized that we were a great team and it wasn’t luck.
When you remember playing against a guy like Tony Parker at UCLA who wasn´t drafted, but should land at a top team in Europe, what do you feel is still missing form your game to get to his level?
I don’t think that you can compare our games because they we are different. I like to compare my game to myself. What can I do better, and how can I continue to grow. At the end of the day I’m my biggest competitor and worst enemy. No one I play against can affect my game as much as I can. A lot of players don’t see that and put a mental limit on themselves. I could have an almost perfect game and I still criticize myself. I’ll say to myself and others… I could’ve made this shot, I didn’t run back, I gave up this many points, etc.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Zac Tillman?
I did, Zac can’t guard me one on one, I’m a whole different player one on one.
Who was the toughest player you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?
Hard to say, I’ve played against a lot of great players over the years. I think Justin Jackson from UNC played great against us. It felt like he didn’t miss a shot. Jake Layman from Maryland’s game is great too. I thought he was hard to guard and very consistent.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?
I got MJ, Shaq, Kobe and Bron
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?
MJ is still the best, 6 championship appearances, 6 championships. However I feel like Lebron has had better competition overall. Everyone is so skilled in the NBA nowadays that it raises the competition. Yes when MJ played there were great players but the game has changed to less physicality and more skill compared to when MJ played. MJ is the greatest to play, Lebron is the best all around player, Kobe is the best scorer.
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 any player who hunts rebounds is beneficial to a team. There is no such thing as being selfish with rebounds. And if he did rebound to hell his stats, so what. He’s trying to do everything he can to help his team win while playing at a high caliber
How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?
I didn’t pay much attention to the draft because my boy Jrob didn’t get called. I think a lot of teams overlooked his ability as a player. It’ll be fun to watch what rookies show up consistently this upcoming season though.
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?
I think they have a serious run in the playoffs but I can’t make a fair judgement until the season starts. It’ll be interesting to see how the teams in the West play, there are a lot of loaded teams.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Last movie I watched was Wonder Woman. It was a good movie, can’t wait for the other DC movies to come out.
Thanks Chris for the chat.