Josh Adams is a 24 year old 188cm point guard from Colorado that is playing his second professional season and first with Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul (Turkey-BSL). He started the season with Anadolu Efes Istanbul (Turkey-BSL) playing 6 Turkish BSL games averaging 11.0ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.3apg, 2FGP: 68.4%, 3FGP: 26.3%, FT: 86.2%. In the Euroleague. He played 16 games averaging 7.0ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.0apg, 2FGP: 56.8%, 3FGP: 38.5%, FT: 83.3%. He played his rookie season with Avtodor Saratov (Russia-VTB) playing 13 games averaging 12.1ppg, 2.2rpg, 4.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 61.7%, 3PT: 34.4%, FT: 73.9%; and also played 4 BCL games averaging 7.8ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.3apg, 2.0spg. He played at Wyoming from 2012-2016 playing a total of 130 NCAA games and as a senior played 31 games averaging 24.2ppg, 5.6rpg, 4.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 51.0%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 82.1%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Basketball Champions League game against medi Bayreuth in Bayreuth.
Josh thanks for talking to German Hoops. Welcome back to Germany. You have a 1-1 record against German teams Oldenburg and Bamberg. What do you remember from the loss in Oldenburg? Possibly the 34 point game of Brian Qvale?
That was a terrible game for me. That wasn´t long after the accident I had had. That was a time where I was trying to get the bearings back in my game. I tripped on the last play and we lost the ball and game. I remember that the most and less the 34 point game of Brian Qvale.
Do you count your blessings every day that you can still play the game you love after your scary car accident in the summer of 2016 that almost left you paralyzed?
Yes, I absolutely do. I have been counting my blessings since I got a scholarship to a division one school and signing my first professional contract. There are people that can´t see or walk down the street so that really puts it into perspective just how quickly you can have nothing.
What do you know in general about the country Germany and do you have any friends that have played in Germany before?
I don´t know too much other than it is a good basketball country. I actually had talks with the Telekom Baskets Bonn last summer. They were interested, but in the end I signed in Turkey. My teammate Kyle Weems talks highly of Germany since he has played here in the past. I know Gabe York who plays for medi Bayreuth.
Before coming to Besiktas, you played this season with Anadolu Efes Istanbul (Turkey-BSL) averaging 11.0ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.3apg, 2FGP: 68.4%, 3FGP: 26.3%, FT: 86.2%; and in the Euroleague: 7.0ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.0apg, 2FGP: 56.8%, 3FGP: 38.5%, FT: 83.3%, You didn´t play bad at all, but held your own. Was the guard rotation to stocked there?
There were a lot of different things that came in to play for me leaving. The club expected more from me. I really never understood why they were upset, because I put up good numbers. I felt I put up pretty good numbers for my first professional season and Euroleague season and played good defense. Then a new coach came in and he didn´t want me. It just wasn´t a good situation for me. It didn´t matter if I hit two three´s or had two turnovers in two minutes, I wouldn´t have averaged more than eight minutes there. Besiktas gave me a good offer and wanted me.
You were already scoring coming to Efes, but could you soak up anything further from the lethal scoring qualities of Errik Mcollum?
Errik ia a great scorer. We all have certain jobs to do and he is good at scoring and drawing fouls. He is a high volume scorer. We talked a lot and he always told me to stay confident no matter what was happening. His advice helped me especially then in my tough situation. I just try to keep improving as a point guard and keep moving up the ranks and possibly someday have an NBA spot.
You have joined Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul (Turkey-BSL). Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul (Turkey-BSL) is having a very successful season in Turkey battling for the title. There are handful of teams that can win it all. The team is one of the best defensive teams. Do you feel like the team will step up the defense even more as the playoffs arrive?
Yes absolutely. Defense is our style. We have very good communication and we will rely on our good defense down the stretch.
You are in Bayreuth preparing for medi Bayreuth in the playoffs. Did you get any insider information from Kyle Weems about his ex team?
It is a different team to when Kyle played there. We will stick to our scouting report and make the needed adjustments. Two very good teams will go head to head.
Medi Bayreuth is one of the rising teams in Germany in the last two years. Their big strength is their coach and team chemistry. What do you feel will be most vital to rattle them and win this series?
We have to be solid and keep our defense as good as possible. We have played good defense all season long and it has gotten us this far and we expect it to continue to carry us.
You have joined a new situation and have needed no adjustment period. What has been key for you being able to adapt so well with your new team?
I think important for me was going through a tough period last year with my accident. That helped me this season moving to Besiktas and they have helped me a lot through the process.
You’re only in your second professional season, but have seen a lot so far in your career. However talk a little about how important the versatile DJ Strawberry has been for your development and overall experience of Earl Clark for your first season in Turkey?
My teammates have been a big help. Especially when you have guys like them that have NBA and Euroleague experience. They have helped me make the transition a lot easier. Hearing their stories and how they communicate on the court has been important.
Let´s talk about your game. You’re a guard that can score, but also do many other beneficial things on the court. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player now who would you choose?
That is a tough one. If I played like that NBA player, I probably would be in the NBA. People have compared me to a Russell Westbrook because of my firey competitiveness and similar mentality. But Westbrook is on another level.
You’re a very tough player that doesn´t shy away from diving for a loose ball. Is there a little bit of Larry Bird in you when it comes to diving on the floor? Jeremy Shyatt called you a crash-test dummy.
Yes it´s true. But that has always been my mentality and how I play. Larry Bird was before my time, but my parents and uncles helped instill my on floor play that has made me the player that I am today.
You’re shooting at your best in your career in the Basketball Champions League at 46%. Do you feel over time and more reps that you can put up some 40% and plus shooting seasons anywhere?
Yes, I definitely think I can. When I came out of school, it was my athleticism that helped me, but I knew that if I didn´t shoot the ball better that that would only take me so far. I continue to keep working on my shot and it will only get better.
You’re a guy that can fill up the stat sheet, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
I think that it´s my passing. I like to create and am always in pass mode. I was seen more as a scorer during the pre-draft time. I feel I can always create for my teammates because I´m always in attack mode. I like to make that pass and see guys succeed more than me and let them have the highlight play.
Last season as a rookie you played with Avtodor Saratov (Russia-VTB) playing 13 games averaging 12.1ppg, 2.2rpg, 4.2apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 61.7%, 3PT: 34.4%, FT: 73.9%; In the BCL, you played 4 games averaging 7.8ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.3apg, 2.0spg. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Russia where you knew that you were very far away from Colorado?
My wake up call arrived as soon as I touched down in Russia. It was a completely different world and I was alone. Every road trip was a three to four hour plane trip.
Your were teammates with Nick Minnerath last season. Did any of his immense competitive edge rub off on you and why isn´t a guy like that in the NBA?
Nick is a competitive guy like me. The only way he helped me was our competitiveness and each other trying to be more competitive than the other. We fed off each other. I don´t know why he isn´t in the NBA, but there is always some reason why. He is very talented and he was a fun guy to be around last season.
You lost 95-80 last season in the VTB league against CSKA Moscow, but put up 17 points. What kind of experience was it playing against some of the best players in Europe with Teodosic, De Colo, Hines,and Higgins? Did a game like this give you the confidence that you could be a Euroleague player?
I believe that I can be an NBA player. When I played against CSKA Moscow and those guys I believed I could beat them. It was cool playing against those guys. I still watch them today and try to pick up things from their games.
You played the last two summers at the NBA Summer league with the Nuggets and Mavericks. What kind of experience was this for you and what kind of useful feedback did you get from teams, coaches etc?
It was an interesting experience. I saw that it was a business. I also learned that what coaches say doesn´t necessarily equal what the decision makers do. I went into the NBA Summer League twice and just played the role that they wanted me to play which was distribute the ball and play solid defense. There was interest from the Dallas Mavericks who wanted me, but just didn´t work out with the roster at that time. Efes came around and gave me a very good offer. If I go back and play NBA Summer League again, I will definitely do it differently. I would play my aggressive game the next time and let the chips fall into place. If the NBA don´t call me then I will be happy to come back to Europe. For me it is a blessing to be able to play the game I love.
Was there any memorable experience on and off the court you remember in Las Vegas? There are always many important people walking around.
I met incredible people. I met Jamaal Murray who became one of my good friends and a guy I see every other day during the summer. It was also cool being able to play with Dennis Smith Jr. I can honestly say he is the only guy more athletic than me at my height. Also playing for the great Rick Carlisle was amazing.
You had a great senior year at Wyoming (NCAA) playing 31 games averaging 24.2ppg, 5.6rpg, 4.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 51.0%, 3PT: 37.8%, FT: 82.1%. Was there ever any draft talk or was the school and conference that put a road block in that?
It was frustrating. I had great games, but not against the big schools.Teams would tell me that I couldn´t do certain things because I didn´t show it against the top schools. But I count my blessings that I could still play professional basketball.
Did you get a chip on your shoulder after that great senior year or was it already there before your senior year as you have always felt as though you have been doubted by many about your abilities on the court?
I have had a chip on my shoulder since third grade. That continues to motivate me. I´m a firey competitor and that keeps me playing hard.
How tough was having huge nights against Montana St with 36 points, 32 points against California, 37 points against Marshall, and 34 points against Houston and losing? Did that put a little damper in your personal season?
These loses gave me something to improve on. Failure is the perfect opportunity to learn from.
Was your 38 point game in the win against N Mexico or 37 point game in the win against Colorado State your most memorable?
My most memorable game was winning the 2015 MAC tournament against San Diego State. I only scored 10 points. Big numbers don´t mean as much as winning that title. Big games are awesome, but they won´t top a title.
How did head coach Larry Shyatt groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
He was a basketball mind. He had played at Kentucky and was the dog in me. We were on the same page and had an unspoken bond. By playing for him, I understood what it took to play at the professional level.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Jeremy Liebermann?
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA right now?
Tyler Johnson who plays for the Miami Heat. He is an incredible player that was always difficult to stop.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?
Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Shaq, Wilt Chamberlain
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?
For me the greatest will always be Michael Jordan. He won six titles and didn´t move around. Even if Lebron might be the better all around player, Jordan is the GOAT.
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 so competitive. He doesn´t care as much about numbers as wins. If he had to sacrifice his numbers for wins he would do it.
How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?
I scrimmaged Kyle Kuzma twice in school and I didn´t really remember his game so much. But now as a professional he has been incredible. He is the sleeper.
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?
Yes, they can make a run, but Golden State are stacked at every position and it will be tough to beat them. If anyone could then it would be the Rockets.
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?
At first Boston got the better deal, but with Thomas leaving and the Cavs getting so many young players, I would say it´s even now.
What was your take on the Cavs wheeling and dealing sending away Thomas, Wade and Rose? How quickly will they be successful?
Anytime you have a Lebron, you will be successful regardless. I think if those new young players can grow and be molded the right way then they will have success.
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?
The playoffs are always different as teams always pick it up a notch. The Thunder have the talent to do something.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Josh for the chat.