Jordan Burris is a 26 year old 201cm forward from Bakersfield, California that completed his second season with BBC Coburg averaging 16,8ppg, 6,6rpg and 2,9apg. In the 2016-2017 season with BBC Coburg he averaged 21.4ppg, 8.8rpg, 2.3apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 60.3%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 69.2%. He started his basketball career in 2010 with Nevada (NCAA) where he played until 2013 playing 92 NCAA games. As a senior he moved on to CS San Bernar. (NCAA 2) playing 25 games: 14.8ppg, 5.6rpg, 1.2apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 46.3%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 72.0%. He turned professional in 2014 and played for teams like the Santa Monica Jump (IBL), Reno Bighorns (D-League) and Indiana Diesels (PBL). He spoke to German Hoops after his second season with BBC Coburg.
Jordan thanks for talking to German Hoops. You just compelted your second season in Germany with BBC Coburg. If someone had told you in September that the team would move back down to the Regionaliga would you have believed it?
No I wouldn’t have believed it but we had a lot of obstacles throughout the season that could of held any team back.
After such a great first season with BBC Coburg where you moved from the Regionaliga to the pro B, how disappointing is the fact that the club was unable to stay in the Pro B?
It’s very disappointing because BBC Coburg is such a great club and we have great fan support. But like I said from injuries to coaching changes there was a lot of obstacles to overcome that most teams didn’t have to deal with.
BBC Coburg didn´t start off well losing it´s first three games, but then caught fire winning three of four games. What kind of atmosphere was within the team with that 3-4 record at that time?
I think we kept the same atmosphere all year. Every week we came in optimistic because we knew we had a good team we just couldn’t seem to get over the hump.
The club showed that they could win in crunch time at that moment beating Leverkusen and Wurzburg, but then it all went down hill. The team then lost 6 in a row including tight affairs against Iserlohn and Rhondorf. Was this the turning point of the season?
I don’t think that was the turning point. We beat Elchingen right before the break, which gave us some momentum. We just couldn’t capitalize on that momentum and ultimately we lost too many close games.
Then came the huge 105-97 win against top team ScanPlus Baskets. One would have thought that after this big win, something would get ignited within the team, but you then proceeded to lose 6 of the last 8 games. Why do you feel after good moments, the club was unable to take the momentum and carry it into future wins?
Ultimately too many close losses I think we finished the season 9-19. And 13 of those losses were by 10 pts or less.
You were solid in the playdowns with a 3-3 record, but it wasn´t enough as Wurzburg remained in the Pro B with one win more. Was there a game in the playdowns what you feel cost the team the Pro B?
Yea I think the first game against Karlsruhe hurt us a lot. Karlsruhe is a good team but we came in to the play downs in a position where we needed to out play Wurzburg, so losing to the last place team was not an option. Also the game at Wurzburg was huge. But road games were not our friend all season.
The teams biggest handicap was their defense allowing 80 points per game. Why was the team unable to find a more consistent rhythm on the defensive end this season?
I think we were a very young team. I look at it like growing pains. No pain no gain. I think we are all better for having to go through a struggle like this.
It is no secret that success in the Pro B comes from having team unity, but also good imports and a good functioning German core. You had a lot of German experience on the club, but was the scoring depth missing at times from them?
No. Everybody played their part. We just came up just short too many times. I think if you look up the “team efficiency” stat we were up towards the top or middle which is rare that you end up lower in the rankings.
I would imagine the season highlight was the win against the ScanPlus Baskets. What are your fondest memories of this win?
Yea that was definitely a highlight (also Eividas Moloschiakas hitting the game winner against Wurzburg). But my fondest memory of that was 4th qtr and overtime. We struggled all year closing games on the offensive and defensive end. So to find success against the eventual champions felt great. Everyone stepped up big in that game. Especially Byron
Let´s talk about your teammates. How much of a pleasure was it playing with American guard Byron Sanford. How did you see his game develop throughout the season and is he ready to tackle a higher level?
It’s great playing with B. His motor is so high and it rubs off on everyone. Especially me because we lived together, everything was a competition. Which leads to each person bringing out the best in the other. He’s also very skilled and has a high basketball IQ. It’s hard coming over and adjusting to a different play style and different rules, but Byron handled it with ease, which says a lot about him. He’s definitely ready to succeed at a higher level.
How did you experience the daily battles with Anell Alexis on the court. He is in a way similar to you in that he is also trying to establish himself more in Europe. How do you feel did he profit from your game and vice versa?
Anell was very fun to play with. Like you said we play the same position so every day we competed (I always won of course😉). And his basketball IQ is very high and he can guard almost every position. He’s very versatile. Definitely benefited from playing with him. And I hope he feels the same about playing with me.
How long did it take for you to find out who Anell Alexis´s dad was? Do you remember hearing stories from back in the day?
Not long. His dad is a legend out here. I heard a couple stories from back in the day about how he dominated at Alba Berlin!
You played with many talented Germans, but if you had to pick one who developed the best who would you pick?
That’s a tough question. We had so much talent. Chris Wolf is a great shooter and smart player and great competitor . Max Von Der Wippel is a huge body but still has soft touch around the rim. Steffen Walde throws some of the most amazing passes I’ve ever seen and finishes with kyrie irving like layups! Yasin Turan is the prototypical point guard and plays with so much heart. Eividas Moloschiakas great shooter, great passer and great defender. Daniel Stawowski might be the best post scorer I’ve ever played with. Kevin Eich is a great shooter with a great handle on the ball to set up teammates. Sinan Özdil was the most talented person in life. He’s literally good at everything. Matze Fichtner is an excellent shooter with unreal athleticism, I’m really excited for his future. Even our young guys Bauer, Ben, and Louis showed good signs and got better throughout the year.
Let´s talk about your game. This season in the Pro B you averaged 16,8ppg, 6,6rpg and 2,9apg. How content were you with your game this season?
I’m never content. I’m always looking for ways to improve myself and the play of the team.
You played about the same minutes as in the Regionaliga, but averaged 4ppg and 2,rpg less. What kind of adjustment was it for you coming from the Regionaliga to the Pro B?
It was definitely a different level of play. I think the two major differences were the level of talent and the other teams preparation. I didn’t get a lot of wide open shots like I did in Regionliga.
How do you feel has your game developed since coming to Coburg in 2016? How would you describe Jordan Burris the player in April 2018?
Like I mentioned before Germany has a different style of play than the U.S. so I feel that I’ve incorporated both into one to become a better player. It’s made my basketball IQ higher. Also I was one of the older guys on this years team so I feel that I grew a lot as a leader. All together I’m 2 years wiser and 2 years better than when I started in Coburg. And I feel that I’m entering my prime now as a player where I’m combining basketball IQ with my peak athleticism so I´m excited going forward.
Your three point shooting was down from 42% to 38% this season. What goals do you continue to have with your outside shooting? Do you feel like you can become a guy who can be around 40% or higher?
Yea I definitely feel that I’m a 40% or higher type of player from 3. This year I took a lot of late shot clock and half court buzzer beaters that dragged my percentage down a little. But no excuse those are shots that I expect to make still.
You also had six games with 5 or more assists and improved your assist average from last season. Do you feel like your creating for others has progressed having been introduced to the European game?
That was definitely a personal progression of mine. It just opens up the game for everyone. If the defense is worried about the pass, the drive and the 3 there is no way they can guard all 3. It also speaks a lot to my teammates that had to finish the plays and make shots.
You stated in our first interview that a hidden strength is your communication. How tough was it for you this season as being the glue guy having to accept the losing? What positives can you take from the season that will make your game stronger in the future?
It’s tough on everyone when you have a losing season. But some positives I took from the season was learning how to be a better leader, learning the importance of communication on and off the court whether winning or losing.
Your best personal game was probably the win against the ScanPlus Baskets where you steered home 32 points, but let me unearth another good game in the 90-78 win against Wurzburg where you had 14 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 7 steals. With all the games you play is that a game you still remember?
Yea that was one of my most complete games of the season. Also the one time we beat Munich. I think I finished with 16 pts, 10 rebs, 8 asts, and 4/5 stls. But the most important stat in all 3 of the games is that we won.
How cool was it seeing Pro B guys Kameron Taylor, Jeril Taylor and Miles Jackson-Cartwright make the jump to the easyCredit BBL. Does that give hope for you in the unending process in your quest to move up the basketball ladder?
It gives me confidence I know those players are good but it also lets me know that I can definitely compete at the highest level. I’m happy for them and wish them nothing but success and health!
What is the next step for Jordan Burris? Would you like to stay in Germany or test another country?
That’s one thing about this game and lifestyle is that the next step is so unpredictable. It’s fun but also makes you nervous you know? I’m confident that things will play out for the best though!
How does a summer work out day look like for you on and off the floor? On what things will you be working on this summer to keep tweaking your game?
Summer workout consists of 2/3 workouts a day. In the morning I try to lift and do a basketball workout. Then afternoon come in and get some shots up. Then at night play open run 5 on 5 to get some cardio and work on new moves. I really enjoy the summer grind. This summer I’m looking to add some post moves and work on explosiveness as well as tuning up some areas I’m already strong in.
Any chance of catching up with Kobe Bryant this summer? You were in a commercial with him some years ago. Did some kind of connection remain with him or is he just to big to keep a connection like that?
I haven’t kept in contact with him but that’s still one of my fondest memories. He’s my favorite player and a legend so even if it was for just a couple hours getting to pick his brain and him personally giving me a lesson on his fadeaway was a once in a lifetime unforgettable experience for me!
Who was the toughest player that you faced on the court in the Pro B this season
That’s a tough question because there was a lot of talent this year but I would say Kam Taylor and Karim Jallow were the toughest competitors.
How did you experience the 2018 NCAA March Madness? What was the most spectacular upset in the tournament?
I actually didn’t get to watch much college basketball this year given the time difference. But my Alma Mater University of Nevada, Reno advanced to the sweet sixteen so that was pretty cool to see!
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?
I got to watch a little bit of both and I don’t think you can go wrong with either one. Both are very young and very talented.
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?
Lebron is one of the greatest players to ever live. There’s no telling how many assists he could average. Same thing can be said for scoring or rebounding. If he decided to focus on only one thing there’s no telling how great he could be at each one individually. But that’s what makes him great is that he does it all.
Thanks Jordan for the chat.