Brad Tinsley is a 29 year old 191cm guard from Oregon that completed his fifth professional season and first with Chemnitz averaging 9,3ppg,3,1rpg and 3,9apg. He started his basketball career at Vannderbilt in 2008 playing a total of 134 NCAA games until 2012 and as a senior played 36 games averaging 9.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 4.1apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 41.5%, FT: 85.5%. In 2012-2013 he started his professional basketball career for Generali Okapi Aalstar (Belgium-Ethias League) playing 3 EuroChallenge games averaging 7.3ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.3apg; and in the Belgian Ethias League playing 4 games averaging 4.5ppg, 1.0rpg, 1.0apg, left in Feb.’13, later that month moved to Saint Vallier Basket Drome (France-ProB) playing 13 games averaging 10.3ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 42.6%, 3PT: 41.3%, FT: 80.6%. In 2014 he played for the Lakeside Lightnings (Australia-SBL) playing 31 games averaging 28.4ppg, 4.4rpg, 6.0apg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 80.2%. In the 2014-2015 season he played for the MLP Academics Heidelberg (Germany-ProA) playing 33 games: Score-4(16.8ppg), 3.8rpg, 3.5apg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 39.6%, FT: 76.7%. He played for FC Porto from 2015-2017 winning 2 titles and last season averaged 10.9ppg, 2.0rpg, Assists-3(5.1apg), FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 69.6% He spoke to German Hoops after his season in Germany with Chemnitz.
Brad thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and did you catch any added sites it Europe after your season in Germany before heading home to the states?
I am currently at my home in Portland, Oregon, relaxing and enjoying my time with family and friends. My wife and I took a short trip to Paris to see the sights and visit some old friends. It was an amazing experience.
Our last interview was in December 2015 when you were playing for FC Porto. Since then you won another title in Portugal and played in Lithuania before coming to Chemnitz. Has time flown by since that Fiba Europe Cup game in Frankfurt?
Yes it definitely has. That was a fun game in Frankfurt and I miss playing in the FIBA Europe Cup.
You started the season with Vytautas Prienu (Lithuania-LKL) playing 2 Basketball Champions League games averaging 10.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.5apg. In the Lithuanian LKL you played 7 games averaging 7.1ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.1apg, 2FGP: 48.3%, 3FGP: 26.1%, FT: 66.7%. You were only a few months there. Did you gather anything positive from that experience and why was your stay so short?
Yes I gathered a lot of positive things from that experience. The LKL is a very competitive league. It is very physical with a lot of talented and tough players-they know how to play good basketball there. I had a lot of great teammates that helped my transition there, which was great for me because I was the only American on the team.
You moved to Chemnitz for your second tour of duty in Germany. How was it returning to Germany after helping Heidelberg to the playoffs in 2015? What had you missed the most from Germany on and off the court?
I really enjoy playing and living in Germany. The people are very kind and the food is good. It made me reminisce about my time in Heidelberg. I missed how enthusiastic the fans are in Germany. Most gyms and fans can get pretty loud and exciting to play in. I was lucky enough to play in front of some of the loudest at Chemnitz.
Chemnitz finished only in 11th place. After playing 5 months with the team did you feel like the team´s goals weren´t reached?
Yeah, I think it was an up and down season for sure. The league was pretty close for the most part from 14th place to 3rd place. It was only separated by a few games all year and unfortunately we weren’t able to win those close games that could of swayed our season one way or the other.
Chemnitz reached the playoffs the last two years and last season had a 2-0 lead in the playoffs against Gotha needing one win for the easyCredit BBL and couldn´t get that one win. Do you feel like the team felt that they were playing with pressure every game during the season?
No I don’t think so. Sometimes teams have different goals each year but I don’t think that any of the players or coaches were thinking about the previous year and what went wrong or right. It’s a new season with new players, a lot of different variables that can build a successful season or not.
Consistency seemed to be the team´s biggest problem. The club put together 4 two game winning streaks. It seemed like after 1-2 good games, in the next contest you would stink up the arena. Was that healthy team chemistry never built?
I thought we had good team chemistry, like I said earlier we just weren’t able to win the 5-6 close games that came down to the wire for whatever reason.
What positives can you take from the season? What were the season highlights from a team perspective? Perhaps the thrilling 89-88 win against #1 team Vechta?
Yea, I think that was definitely up there with one of the best moments of our season. It just shows how good we were as a team; we just weren’t consistent enough to finish games. I was also able to make great relationships with some of my teammates that I regard highly.
Let´s talk about your teammates. How refreshing was it seeing a German lead the team in scoring with Malte Ziegenhagen. He didn´t get much minutes with BBL team Bayreuth last season. Do you feel his stellar play this season could be his ticket back to the BBL?
Malte is a great player. I really enjoyed playing alongside him. He plays with an energy that is contagious and can spark a team. I think he is good enough to play a key role in the BBL.
What was your impression of young Polish national player Andy Mazurczak? Polish national team coach Mike Taylor speaks very highly of him. How did you see his development in the Pro A?
I was very impressed with Andy this year. I saw a lot of similarities in his game that I share as well. He has a basketball IQ beyond his age and is an elite passer. The sky’s the limit for him and I can’t wait to see his growth as a player in the coming years. He is also a great guy off the court and we got pretty close during the year. I wish him nothing but the best moving forward.
20 year old German Jonas Richter averaged 6,0ppg for the second season in a row in the Pro A. What kind of steps did you see in his game this season that warrants hope that he will make his real breakthrough in the next years?
Jonas is another player that I can’t wait to see where his development takes him in the coming years. He has a lot of potential and is a hard worker. Unfortunately, he was injury ridden this year so people couldn’t see him play as I could see him every day in practice. If he wants to be, he can be a very effective player not just in Germany but in Europe as well.
Let´s talk about your game. With Chemnitz you averaged 9,3ppg, 3,1rpg and 3,8apg while shooting 32,6% from outside. How content were you with your game considering you came very late to the club?
It’s always hard joining a team mid season, finding and establishing roles, and a team rhythm. I wasn’t content with my game this year; I know I can play better than what my stats and the team standings showed.
What kind of role did you have this season with Chemnitz? It seemed like you had to play the classical combo guard role more than just shooting guard. There were quite a few games where you had to find your teammates and put the scoring on the back burner.
Yes, I played a lot more PG than SG this season but I don’t mind that at all. I think my court vision is one of, if not the best attribute to my game. I love finding my teammates for open shots or open layups. I feel comfortable playing either position as I have grown up playing both. I have developed in that regard since my first professional season- not just being labeled a “scorer” or “pass first” player. I try to expand my game every year to reach new goals.
You had your worst three point shooting season since turning professional. How much does that unnerve a good shooter like yourself? Was the shot selection at times fault?
I don’t think my shot selection was to fault. It took me a little longer to find my rhythm on the court this season for different reasons. I think everyone has seasons or years that challenge them in ways they weren’t expecting, or see numbers they don’t like. However, it’s only going to motivate me this offseason to be better.
Players that I talk to always rave about head coach Rodrigo Pastore as having a huge basketball IQ. What besides his basketball IQ did you notice that helped your game?
He has a very impressive basketball mind. He helped me a lot in terms of how I can better myself through film study. We had several team and one-on-one film sessions where we would study the positives and negatives of my game and how the team is playing. I think film study is underrated in the development of a player. I also really enjoyed the intensity and precision of his practices, it helped me a lot because it felt like I was in a college atmosphere again.
What is the next step for you? You had success in Portugal. After 2 titles there was it never an option to become a FC Portugal lifer?
I truly feel that FC Porto will always be a second home to me. I have made so many lifelong relationships with teammates as well as people outside of basketball there. I enjoyed my two seasons there and will never forget it. As for the next step, I’m not sure. As is the life of an overseas player, we aren’t sure what the next step is until mid to late summer. I’m just taking one day at a time and will weigh my options as they arrive.
You will be 29 next season. I can imagine you don´t feel like you have hit your prime yet. On what things will you be focusing most on this summer to help tweak your game for next season?
I feel like I’m in a great place right now mentally and physically. There is always room for improvement and things I need to work on. I will work on different types of moves and shots that I constantly find myself experiencing in games and situations the previous year/years. I also will be focusing on my body foundation specifically; SAQ mechanics for movement efficiency, proper joint mobility, diet and hydration.
How does a summer work out day look like for you on and off the court?
I am usually up around 6am to eat a healthy breakfast, then off to a strength and conditioning workout with my trainer for 1-2 hours. Fuel up, and from there I will go to a basketball specific workout with another trainer for 1-2 hours. I will then grab my third meal of the day, maybe take a nap, and then either go back in the evening to get some shots up or play some 2v2 or 3v3.
Who was the toughest player that you faced on the court in the Pro A this season?
That’s a tough question, there was a lot of talented players this year in the Pro A.
If you had to construct your own Mt Rushmore which 4 NBA heads would you chose?
LeBron, MJ, Magic, Bird
What is your personal opinion about the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
I think Lebron will end up being the greatest of all time when he is done playing. The things he is doing on the court every season since he was 18 are pretty remarkable; things that no one has ever done. I also think he is playing in a more difficult era than MJ did.
How did you experience the 2018 NCAA March Madness? What was the most spectacular upset in the tournament?
It was very exciting to watch. I really enjoyed watching Loyola make that run. They were fun to watch.
Deandre Ayton seems lie he could be the #1 NBA draft pick in 2018. But having been in Europe this season you must of seen some highlights of Real Madrid´s 19 year old stand out Luca Doncic who belonged to the best players in the Euroleague. Should a guy like that be the automatic #1 pick just from sheer experience and talent?
That’s tough to say. Both are really talented but I think Ayton’s body and his abilities on the court are very impressive. He’s 7ft and really long/athletic, hitting jumpers and doing whatever he wants out there.
Lebron James makes amazing passes in every game, but really showcased it in a game this season against the Los Angeles Lakers. He already is like a point guard, but if he played just point guard and concentrated only on playmaking how many assists do you feel would he average per game?
He would average like 12 or 13 a game if that were the case.
What was the last movie that you saw? Let me guess Black Panther?
The last movie I saw was 12 Strong.
Thanks Brad for the chat.