Michael Bramos is a 30 year old 196cm forward from Michigan that also has the Greek citizenship playing his third season with Umana Reyer Venezia (Italy-Serie A). Last season with the Italian team he played 45 Serie A games averaging 9.2ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 38.2%, FT: 72.3%. In the BCL, he played 22 games averaging 8.0ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 40.6%, 3PT: 38.8%, FT: 81.3%He started his professional career in 2009 with DASH Peristeri Athens (A1). He then followed playing two seasons with C.B. Gran Canaria 2014 (Spain-ACB) and two seasons with Panathinaikos Athens (A1):.He played at Miami, OH (NCAA) from 2005-2009 playing a total of 120 games and as a senior played 30 games averaging 17.9ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 40.2%, 3Pts: 35.7%, FT: 83.3%. He played at the 2011 and 2013 European championships with Greece. He spoke to German Hoops before the Basketball Champions league game against medi Bayreuth.
Thanks Michael for talking to German Hoops. I saw you play LIVE once in November 2011 when you beat Frankfurt in Germany 71-58 and you had 10 points. Do you remember anything from that game like Jon Leuer being there?
I don´t remember much. I remember it was a Eurocup game, but it was a long time ago.
You have played against so many teams in your career, but if I asked you how many games you won against German teams in your 11 games could you guess the correct number?
I would say I won 8 times.
You have 9 victories and played against teams like Bamberg, Ulm, Artland Dragons, Fraport Skyliners, Ludwigsburg and Bayreuth. Do you have a memorable win against one of these teams in the last 7 years?
My most memorable game was when we won in Bamberg. They were really good then.
After winning 4 titles with Panathinaikos Athens (A1), you joined Umana Reyer Venezia (Italy-Serie A) in 2015 and are playing your third season with the club.You won the Serie A title last season in your second season there. After achieving so much with Panathinaikos, what did that title mean to you last season?
It was a different experience for me. It was nice winning this title, because it was the first one for them in their history.
It is obvious the goal to win the Serie A again, but does the team have the right pieces this season to win the Basketball Champions League after reaching the Final 4 last season?
We first have to get out of our group. We have two games left and we want to win both.
You are preparing for a Basketball Champions League game in Bayreuth. You snuck away with a win at home 70-67. Bayreuth is one of the rising teams in German basketball in the last 2 years. What makes it so difficult competing against this team?
Bayreuth play very well together. They have a good blend of experienced and young players. They play basketball the right way.
Umana Reyer Venezia (Italy-Serie A) has a lot of veterans which sparks the team. What kind of a special bond do you have to Marquez Haynes who you were teammates with early in your career in 2011 with Gran Canaria?
He is a very good player. We played together a very long time ago. We both got more experience over the years. We both have been in tough situations during games and know what the other does on the court in those situations.
You were a big time scorer in the NCAA your last two seasons and as a professional that versatile 2-3 player that filled up the stat sheet and always shoots the ball well. Has your role always been the same with Venice or has it changed over the years?
I think that it has been the same since the start. I try to play good defense and on offense take what the defense gives me.
You’re a guy that can fill the stat sheet and are an amazing shooter. To what NBA player would you compare your game best to and what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
I don´t know about the NBA player. My hidden strength is that I can guard many different positions. We switch a lot on defense.
Can you as a player really be able to enjoy what Venice has to offer or is it a bit of a clicee in that the arena isn´t on the city island. Do you get to the water city often or is it too much of a tourist attraction?
It´s easy to get to the city. I live only 10-15 minutes away. We don´t get there too much during the season, but on an off day I like to get there and see what the city has to offer.
You played with Panathinaikos Athens (A1) from 2012-2014 winning 4 titles. Were these the most enjoyable years as a professional?
I really enjoyed every place that I played at. I won the most with Panathinaikos. I didn´t have a bad experience anywhere.
You played a season with Mike Batiste who will always be classified as a winner: Did his leadership qualities rub off on you?
He was a winner. He won many titles. He was my roommate that year. He told me good stories and gave me little tips about the game that helped me in my career.
After two very successful seasons with Panathinaikos Athens (A1) you have moved on to Venice. Was there ever thought of becoming a Panathinaikos Athens (A1) lifer or was a new challenge taking a step back with Venice more appealing?
They actually let me go. I was injured and Umana Reyer Venezia gave me the best offer.
You played with Gran Canaria from 2011-2013. How did the ACB prepare you best for the next challenge with Panathinaikos Athens (A1)?
The ACB was a tough league. Each team was good from top to bottom. Playing against the best competition got me ready for the next step to Panathinaikos.
As a rookie you played with DASH Peristeri Athens (A1) playing 26 games averaging 8.9ppg, 2.2rpg, 1.2apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 41.0%, 3PT: 45.7%, FT: 77.6%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were very far away from Michigan?
My wake up call was my first training camp in Greece. It was in the middle of nowhere and the internet wasn´t working. All I did was eat,sleep and play.
Near the end of your rookie season you lost to Oliympiakos 102-80 where you battled against top players Milos Teodosic, Patrick Beverly, Josh Childress and Linas Kleiza and scored 20 points. Was this one of those games where you realized you could be an impact player against the best?
That game was a good experience for me as it was my first year coming from the NCAA. It was a big confidence builder, but at the same time I also knew that I still had a long way to go. I knew I had to keep working hard to reach their level.
You played NBA Summer League twice in 2009 with the Detroit Pistons and 2014 with the Atlanta Hawks. What memories do you have of both and what kind of feedback do you remember getting and was the whole production NBA the same of did it change in those 5 years?
Both times was a positive experience. In 2009 my first one, I was coming out of college and didn´t know what to expect. I played little, but remember playing well. In 2014 I was injured and played only 2 games. As I got older, I understood that reaching the NBA was a matter of being in the right place at the right time and having luck plays a big role. All in all it was a good experience and I got positive feedback. I learned that there were no guarantees, but you have to earn everything
You played at two European championships in 2011 in Lithuania and 2013 in Slovenia. You had a short run. How do you summarize this time and who was the best teammate that you had? Possibly an Antonio Fotsis?
It was a good time and it was early in my career. I played against many great teams. All my teammates were great. They all played at a high level. I remember Fotsis being a quiet guy, but when he was on the court he was very competitive.
You played at Miami, OH (NCAA) from 2005-2009 winning the MAC tournament in 2007 and being named player of the year in 2009. What was your fondest memory of these 4 years there?
I had many great experiences, but the most memorable was when we played Oregon in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Spokane, Washington. I remember taking our own plane. You felt right away that the whole environment was special.
You had many great games like your 18 points vs Michigan as a freshman, helping beat Akron in OT or your 36 point masterpiece against Dayton which was the most points from a Miami player since 1999 when last ex NBA player Wally Szczerbiak did it. What was your personal favorite game?
I never forget the Dayton game, because everything I shot went in. From a team perspective my fondest memory was beating Akron in the MAC tournament and going to the NCAA tournament.
How did head coach Charlie Coles groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
He was a tough coach. He challenged me everyday and stressed to always get better and never be satisfied.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Tim Pollitz?
He was tough. We both won our share of games. But honestly he probably won more than I did.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA right now
That is hard to remember, because it was so long ago. I will have to pass on that.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?
Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, Larry Bird
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 have to go with Jordan.
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?
He is just trying to win. He is the ultimate competitor and doesn´t care what people think.
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?
When they are healthy they have a chance, but the Warriors will be tough.
How do you rate the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade? Who got the better deal and which team will profit better in the long run?
The Celtics got the better deal long term. Kyrie is a special player.
Where will the journey of the Oklahoma Thunder go this season with Westbrook, George and Anthony? Can they make a serious run in the west?
They don´t have enough besides the three stars.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I watched the TV series Stranger Things.
Thanks Michael for the chat.