Kris Davis is a 24 year old 188cm guard from Detriot that will be going into his fourth professional season and first with Phoenix Hagen. He played the last three seasons in Spain. Last season he played with KIA Sakimovil Navarra de Pamplona (Spain-LEB Silver) playing 35 games averaging 14.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 75.0%. Two seasons ago he played with Arcos Albacete Basket (Spain-LEB Silver) playing 30 games averaging 15.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 39.7%, FT: 72.5%. As a rookie he played with Penas Huesca (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 40 games averaging 7.1ppg, 1.4rpg, FGP: 49.7%, 3PT: 30.9%, FT: 65.3%. He started his basketball career with SIU Edwardsville (NCAA in 2011 playing a total of 110 NCAA games. In his senior year he played 28 games averaging 14.3ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.4apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 44.2%, FT: 69.9%. He spoke to Germanhoops.com earlier in the summer about basketball.
Kris thanks for talking to Germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been treating you?
Right now I am in St. Louis, Missouri for a family reunion. So far my summer has been good. It’s always nice to see family and friends for a little while before hearing back to Europe.
Congrats on signing with German Pro A team Phoenix Hagen. After three seasons in Spain, what were the main reasons for choosing Phoenix Hagen?
Thank you! And after spending 3 years in Spain, I felt like I needed a change to showcase all of the aspects of my game. Luckily, Phoenix Hagen came along and has given me an opportunity to do so.
You come from Detroit just like Marlin Mason who will be your teammate this season. How important was it for you having Marlin on board?
I was glad to hear that Marlin had already signed with Phoenix. We have kept in contact since high school and have always wondered what it would be like if played for the same team again. I’m excited to reconnect with him on the court!
What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball? Do you have any friends or ex opponents playing ball here or in the past? Did your ex teammate Moussa Kone of Iserlohn give you some insight on Germany?
Yes exactly. Moussa explained me how his situation was in Germany and it gave me an instant interest. Not just from a basketball point of view but how his lifestyle was off of the court. He also told me that the style of play in Germany is a little more free and less tactical. I think this style of play fits my game perfectly.
Let´s talk about your game. You’re a combo guard that will mostly be playing the two, but can play the one. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player that best fits your style who would I be?
If I had to compare my game to an NBA player, I think I’m most comparable to Gary Harris. I can score from 3, mid range and with floaters. And I also have the ability to make plays for my teammates.
Your known as an amazing shooter. What other strengths does your game possess that would prove that you aren´t a one dimensional player?
I’m also good and driving the ball and kicking to open shooters/playmaking for my teammates. For a guard, I rebound the ball well and I’m also a willing defender. I’m good at moving off the ball as well. Things like setting screens for big men, backdoor cuts, coming off of screens, etc.
You can fill up the stat sheet well, but what is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed right away on the court?
A hidden strength of my game is making the right play for the team. Whether it’s sprinting back on defense, making an extra pass, or committing a foul to not allow an easy basket.
Yu shot 58% from outside as a freshman and 44% from downtown as a senior in school, but never eclipsed the 40% mark again as a professional. How challenging is the daily grind of trying to perfect your shot?
It’s always a challenge trying to keep your shot on point. Especially with the 3 point line being a little further back, you just have to adjust. However, practice makes perfect and I’m confident that I will reach 40% shooting from Three again.
Last season you played for KIA Sakimovil Navarra de Pamplona (Spain-LEB Silver) playing 35 games averaging 14.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 50.6%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 75.0%. What kind of experience was it living in the famous Spanish town of Pamplona? What was your most memorable experience last season on and off the court?
Pamplona was an incredible city to live in. It’s a tourist city so lots of different people come there to visit and see the historical aspects the city has to offer. My favorite memory off of the court was visiting the trail where the bulls run for the famous San Fermin that is in Pamplona every July. My favorite on the court memory was us battling back against Alicante in the playoffs being down 0-2 and tying the series at 2 games a piece.
You lost a tough 5 game series to Lucentum where you scored in double figures in four games. You had had played three playoff series as a rookie and lost the final. Was it tough digesting the playoff series against Lucentum?
It was tough losing the series against Alicante. After dealing with injuries all season and to be able to come back after being down 2 games to zero, it was difficult to digest after spending so much energy and effort to tie the series at 2 games.
After having two strong seasons in the Spanish silver league after being a rookie in the Gold league, do you feel like your game made strides the last two seasons that would have helped you become a good Gold player if you were to play there again?
Absolutely. Playing in LEB silver allowed me to really adapt and learn how the Spanish game of basketball is played. I have no doubt that if I were to play in LEB gold again, I would be successful.
Two seasons ago you played for Arcos Albacete Basket (Spain-LEB Silver) playing 30 games averaging 15.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.7apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 39.7%, FT: 72.5%. What was it like sharing the back court with talented scorer Jeffery Short. Are you a bit surprised that he is out of basketball now?
Jeff is one of the most versatile scorers that I have played with. I am definitely a little bit shocked that he’s no longer playing basketball anymore but I’m sure he had a good reason for deciding to stop. Jeff was really fun to play with in Albacete.
As a rookie you played for Penas Huesca (Spain-LEB Gold) playing 40 games averaging 7.1ppg, 1.4rpg, FGP: 49.7%, 3PT: 30.9%, FT: 65.3%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Europe where you knew that you were far away from home?
My first season in Huesca was a big learning experience for me. I didn’t know anything about the European style of play and had to adjust very quickly to how the game is played in Europe. The pace of the game was the wake up call for me but luckily I had a good coach (Q. Costa) who was patient enough with me to teach me how the game is played in Europe.
How tough was it being the lone American on the team your rookie year? The team also had guys from Iceland, Brazil, Serbia and Lithuania. How did the many cultures help you get introduced to European ball?
It was definitely tough being the only American but my flat mate (Gabas Maldunas) went to college in the States so I could relate to him a little bit more. Even though I was the only American, I felt close with all of my teammates because we were a close group. I think that’s the reason we were so successful.
You played twice against the farm team of FC Barcelona losing both times. You saw young talents like Stefan Peno and Nedim Djedovic, but also two older but well known players like Lubos Barton and Jaka Lakovic. Even if it wasn´t the real first team how exciting was it playing them?
At the time I didn’t realize the type of talent and future players of the euroleague that we were playing. But looking back, it was a great experience playing against Barca’s b-squad.
You played at SIU Edwardsville (NCAA) from 2011-2015.What kind of experience did you get here overall despite never winning any titles here or going to the tournament?
I learned a lot during my 4 years at SIUE. Even though we never won any hardware, the coaching staff at SIUE taught me a lot about basketball and life. I’m still in contact with most of the coaches from my years at SIUE.
How did head coach Lennox Forrester groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Forrester along with Coach Laur, Coach Gray, Coach Crosby, and Coach Cunningham all showed me what it means to be a professional in life. Showing up early to events, giving maximum effort, having a winning attitude, avoiding negativity, etc. these were all things that these coaches instilled in me as a player and as a person.
You shot an astounding 59,8% as a freshman from outside. How difficult was it mentally for you after that having to deal with that stat knowing you probably will never shoot that again anywhere?
It was not difficult at all. I just enjoyed the fact that I was shooting at such a high rate and I knew eventually in my career I would regress to the mean a little bit. One of the best bright spots of my college career.
You had many great and unforgettable games at SIU Edwardsville (NCAA), but which game will for always be your most memorable in the NCAA? You usually played very good against the various Tennessee schools.
My favorite game was playing against southwest Missouri at their place my senior year. We needed this game to help clinch our spot to the Ohio valley conference tournament and doing it against SEMO was special because we had a bit of a rivalry with them.
Who was the toughest player that you ever played against that might be in the NBA now? I remember you dueling Patrick Miller who had 22 points to your 25 points, but he won the game.
Patrick Miller was one of the most electrifying players I had played against. However, I think the best player I’ve played against is a tie between Isiah Canaan from Murray state and Ian Clark from Belmont.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Donivine Stewart?
Donovine and I had never played one on one but our teams always were competitive against each other in open gym. I think I got the best of Donovine most of the time.
If you had to construct your very own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you pick old or new?
My NBA Mt. Rushmore would include Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlin, Larry Bird, and Lebron James.
What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate about who is better Lebron or Jordan? As a player and stats Lebron owned him, but Jordan has 6 rings?
This question is tough for me because I didn’t grow up watching Jordan play. I’ve only seen Lebron’s career from start to finish. Lebron is a different player than Jordan. No better no worse. Just different
Tracy Mcgrady said that the Boston Celtics will be the Golden State Warriors of the future. Do you see that happening?
In terms of style of play? Maybe not. But if he means they will dominate as golden state has? I agree with him
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?
If Lebron focused purely on assisting, I think he could average almost 13-15 assists per game.
What was the last movie that you saw? Let me guess Black Panther?
Haha the last movie I saw was the Avengers: Infinity War
Thanks Kris for the chat.