Chevon Troutman is a 36 year old 202cm forward from Williamsport, Pennsylvania playing his 13th professional season and second with Regatas Corrientes (Argentina-LigaA). He played at Pittsburgh(NCAA) from 2001-2005 finishing career ranked first all-time in career field-goal percentage (.625) and ranked in top-20 all-time among Pittsburgh scorers with 1,274 points. He started his professional basketball career in 2005 with Villaggio Solidago Livorno (Italy-SerieA). He also played 3 seasons with Adecco ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne (France-ProA), 3 seasons with FC Bayern Munich((Germany-1.Bundesliga) and with Air Avellino (Italy-SerieA) Stelmet Zielona Gora (Poland-TBL) and Entente Orleans 45 (France-ProA). He won 2 titles in Poland and France and one in Germany. Eurobasket last talked to Chevon Troutman in 2013 and thought it was time to catch up with him again and talk basketball.
Chevon, thanks for talking to German Hoops. At the moment you are chilling in a hotel room in Formosa Argentina preparing for a game against La Union. In Europe at this time of year spring is settling in as in Argentina winter is nearing. After playing most of your career in Europe, your playing your second season in Argentina. How proud are you that you landed in Argentina at age 34 then say 28? Many talented guys land in Argentina a lot earlier. Landing in South America for many guys is often when their career is winding down.
Yes, I am relaxing on gameday in Formos La Union. Yes this is my second season in Argentina. Regatas is my team and its ok here. I was home handling my home back state side and finalizing some personal things that held me back from leaving for Europe I had a few offers that I couldn´t explore because of the timing of my situation while I was home the season before last. I am proud that I still compete at a high level and still show some parts of my game that haven´t changed to much at the age of 36 now I still feel good and the body is still healthy. As far as the timing I just came to explore another part of the world to see if I can adapt and at the moment even though my role isn´t super impactful in the stats here I still have an important role on this team on stabilizing and securing some of our play. As well as taking the time to try to enjoy this game that has brought me a along way . I came back because there wasn´t so much stress and pressure from all things that don´t pertain to the on the court play so it was easier to accept the second year option of the contract. I know I´m 36 and counting and I know you can´t play basketball forever but until now I´m just enjoying as much as the life can help to offer and experiencing anything while I can while I´m still playing. I´m just grateful to explore another part of the world and see different ways of life and culture.
Your playing your second season in Argentina for Regatas Corrientes. What kind of experience has it been for you playing in South America? It is no secret that the pay is good, the lifestyle is nice and you meet old colleagues on the court. What have you enjoyed most from this experience?
Last year we won the north conference title and competed on the finals but came up short to a very organized team and we didn´t have a few of our main players to compete but we finished second best team and it was fun to be in another finals on a big stage. The experience being here has been a good on, but it is very different then Europe or the States so you can´t really compare them at all. The culture has showed me another aspect of the world and it has been fun to be ingulfed in the life of living here. I have been surprised to see former opponents when I came here and former friends from college and around the world. It shows you that there are many directions people take then end up in the same place as well as meeting new players and forming new respect for players you never seen play before. The most that I have enjoyed is the calmness of the life. It´s not super crazy or fast paced as far as the life and there is not enough time to dwell on a loss or mistakes of the last game because we play so many games you can´t mentally drain the player as well as physically because adding the extreme climate here that would be a disaster for the players.
Most clubs have 1-2 Americans, but for you it is like a German BBL reunion as your teammates are Brandon Thomas and Alex Harris all who were in the BBL when you were there. On top of that ex NBA player Gerald Fitch is also on the team. How often do you guys talk about the good old days in the BBL?
I think the rule for Americans isn´t strict. If you can get your players wherever they are from you can without an extra tax on your team. As far as the players here now it is nice to see Brandon Thomas and Alex Harris as you know there is a lot of turnover as far as players coming and going fast so it´s nice to have familiar faces that at least we have a respect for the leagues we competed in and know that we played at a great level so that´s understood as far a Fitch he has moved from the team for personal reason. Well it´s easy to think about the past days but we don´t so much because it was very stressful and difficult for you to fulfill your basketball goals with pressure from everywhere but I can say that my years in Europe was good to me and I thank Livorno Basket for giving me my entry and Lyon Villeurbanne Asvel for the opportunity as well as most notable FC Bayern Basketball for my entry to Italy France and Munich Germany.
What memories stand out from the BBL when you think of Harris and Thomas?
My memories of the two is that I was happy that I didn´t have to guard them when we played them because when they saw Fc Bayern they was coming to play a great game and put on a show for the people watching.
With so much import talent, the club isn´t at the top, but resting at seventh place with a 15-12 record. The club averages 83 points per game, but also allow 83 points per game. Is getting the defense on the same page something you believe the team can do?
Not to make any excuses there has been things unforseen for the club the whole year injuries, player changes and more injuries. It´s been tough to catch a flow with all the changes. And changes have continued but you never know with this 16 team league if you make the playoffs in a new format so as long as you get to the end of the season everyone has a chance as you never know who will make the best run in the end. The defense has never been the focus because we score so fast and often but as of late with a few adjustments with some of the players we realize where our defensive play needs to be better and hopefully all the players will get the concept that defense wins games as well as scoring.
You played for top organizations in Europe, but describe what is like playing for an Argentine professional team. How is the whole experience on and off the court different from what you witnessed in Europe?
Regats is no FC Bayern or even Villeurbanne and that´s clear but it’s a little more relaxed and easy going. That was the total opposite to Europe with the two a days plus working out in the middle long videos and game plans. It´s not bad to have the extra time to relax and get focused to burn the gas on the court. Off the court there is just more downtime. So actually you could get to see more of what the city has to offer. In Europe I found myself trying to force making sure I had a moment to try to enjoy some part of the culture when I didn´t have the time.
Your 36 years old and don´t seem to be slowing down. How long do you still see yourself playing. Your ex opponents Derrick Allen, Immanuel Mcelroy and Julius Jenkins are all still playing. Who of the lot do you think will play the longest?
I never try to think about it. I guess as the jobs continue to come I´ll continue to think about the next move if I´ll continue or if I´ll stop but It´s always a thought. Those guys are going play until they can´t. I´m not sure if I´ll play to the point that I can´t walk but I´ll play until it hurts as well but when it becomes painful that´s when I would have to just give it up lol.
What do you see yourself doing more with your game now at age 36 then say when you were 28? How are you still an effective player today at age 36?
My role hasn´t changed and I play in a different offense where its more guard orientated. I came to a team that didn´t have my defense and that´s where I show another part of my game. I statistically don´t have the greatest games but my games in general are consistent as they always have been and I only defend and rebound as well and shoot the open jump shot and pick and roles and trying to help the team as best as I can.
You played three season´s with FC Bayern Munich and crowned your stay with the BBL title in 2014. What was your most memorable experience with Germany´s most famous team?
I can´t just pick one memorable experience. I have found and made so many memories while I was there. It was amazing and happy for all the experiences Munich and Germany had offered. But being in the Euro league and playing for the championship team that year was amazing and just being a piece of the puzzle to help win. It was amazing and then to see some of the other players go on to do bigger and better things like winning more chips and Malcolm Delaney getting picked to go back home was amazing also as well as Dion Thompson getting a chip also while I got another Championship and Cup in Poland was very nice.
Didn´t it bother you very much that you had lesser of a role with FC Bayern Munich in your third season when you won the chip?
No I wasn´t bothered. We had 15 solid players and everyone had a role and the coaches had the plan for each game and there wasn´t enough minutes for 15 players to play 30 minutes. So I knew when I was called upon I had to perform which I did when I was given the time when I look back on it all. My teammates were great and I am glad that we had strong people and leadership that could handle the mental and physical pressure that was demanded for us to handle because not winning a Championship in Munich is unheard of because the legendary Football teams win so much it´s a must to win in Munich at all sports.
FC Bayern Munich hasn´t won a league title since 2014. Many critics blame not having the right point guard. Would FC Bayern Munich have won in 2014 without Malcolm Delaney?
Malcolm should have not been let go in my eyes. He was the best point guard they have ever had and his leadership as well as floor play was on a level that you don´t get to see often on both ends of the court so for me he was FC Bayern´s golden ticket and should have given him the contract to stay. And also when you have a championship team why change it things only get better as the players know each other When you change players every year your starting over the chemistry process and all players don´t fit well but when you wins together you learn each other better the next years.
You had many great games with FC Bayern Munich, but what do you remember of the 123-97 win against Phoenix Hagen where you dropped 29 points going 12/13 from the field. Was this a top 3 game in your career?
I do remember this game and yes it was a fun game. Hagen made us play faster and thanks to my team they found me in good places to do this kind of performance. I remember one of the guys said they never saw a performance like that, but I always tried to play smart team basketball and sometimes it pays off but my team was feeding me and when someone is hot you try to find them as much as you can. This game was one of my best performances but I have had some other stellar ones also in other leagues as well.
You won the cup with Stelmet Zielona Gora (Poland-TBL) in 2015. What memories do you have of your battles with Quinton Hosley? He was so dominant early in his career. Did it surprise you that he didn´t have a steady Euroleague career after playing with Real Madrid?
I didn´t know Quinton Hosley before but I was surprised of his gameplay but he was in a spot where he outmatched all his opponents which is every players dream. He was a good player for the structure of the Gora team and was major in our run to the championship.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?
Mike Jordan Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Lebron James, Shaq and Wilt Chamberlain. It´s 5 for me.
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 neverending debate of who is the best of all-time?
Lebron is the best. That´s done. Just look at the stats then second look at him. He fits the part and as of his play this year he is amazing to watch and to see how he commands the masses. He is great. Even though you can´t compare the time frame of old school basketball and the way it has changed to today´s basketball LeBron could have competed in all and killed in all as well as Shaq, Mike and Jabbar
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?
Russell is a go getter if you don´t want to make the passes he will, and if you don´t want to rebound he will. He has the motor to do it. He has done it the last few years and has also been on another level of basketball.
What was the last movie that you saw? Let me guess Black Panther.
No Titan and Insidius 3 and ufc 222, but I can´t wait to catch it. I love the Marvel universe
Thanks Chevon for the chat.