Going To Europe Was The Best Route For James Michael McAdoo´s Goal To Return Back To The NBA

James Michael McAdoo is a 25 year old 206cm forward from Norfolk, Virginia that is playinghis fifth professional season and first season with Fiat Torino (Italy-Serie A). He began hisbasketball career at  Norfolk Christian H.S and then played at NorthCarolina(NCAA) from 2011-2014. In his senior year he played 34 gamesaveraging 14.2ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.7apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 45.8%, FT: 53.7%. He turned professional in 2014 and played partsof three seasons with the Golden State Warriors playing a total of 126 gamesand won two NBA titles there. Last season he played three games with thePhiladelphia 76ers  and also split timewith the Delaware 87ers (NBA G-League) and Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario(NBA G League). He spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball career.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing James Michael McAdoo after a Eurocup game in Frankfurt, Germany in October 2018

James thanks for talking to germanhoops.com You were recently in Germany for a Eurocup game against theFraport Skyliners. Was that your first time back to Germany sincewinning the 2010 U-17 world championships title? What do you know in generalabout Germany and it´s basketball?

Yes  this was my first time back in Germany since the world championships. I obviously know Germany because of Dirk and his impact on the NBA and how hereally revolutionized the way big men play the game of basketball. I also know that they have one of the best leagues in Europe with very talented teams and very great organizations. 

Your dad Ronnie is a second cousin to former NBA legend Bob Mcadoo. What stories do you remember hearing about  him growing up and haveyou ever met him before?

I just remember my mom and dad telling me about when he played for the Lakers. They lived in California and he would give them tickets to go and see the Lakers play. They were so good and fun to watch with so many Hall Of Famers on one team. They really were one of the best teams the NBA has ever seen. 

You played four seasons in the NBA and won two NBA titles. What was your main motivation for coming overseas and turning your back on the NBA?

I just wanted to go play and work on my game. I want to become a better basketballplayer and I felt playing overseas was best for me at this time of my career. The NBA is great and I wouldn’t say I turned my back on the NBA. I want to get back to the NBA and I saw this as the best route to do so. 

You won two NBA titles with the Golden State Warriors. Is it difficult having new challenges when one has played with guys like Steph Curry and Draymond Green?What is it like mentally being a two time NBA champion and stayinghungry?

Being able to play in the NBA was such a blessing. But then to win two championshipsis really just a gift from God. I was able to learn from many great players andcoaches in my 4 seasons in the NBA so I hope to bring what I learned to Europe and it will help me be successful. 

How high on your list on joining Fiat Torino(Italy-Serie A) w as it having legendary coach Larry Brown? Were there anyother reasons why this club was so appealing to you?

Playing for Larry was the reason I chose Torino. He is a legendary coach and to havethe opportunity to learn from him at this point in my career it was a nobrainer to come and play for him. 

In  Europe Euroleague and Eurocup teams are often filled with5-8 different nationalities of players. Fiat Torino (Italy-Serie A) has9 Americans. Do you feel at home with so many Americans and does theteam have  European elements in it´s style?

I definitely feel at home. It wasn’t always this way. When I first got here the Americans were outnumbered but now we have quite a few. We don’t play yourtypical European style of basketball but certain aspects of our style of playare European. 

You have played for many very good coaches, but how enjoyable has it been playing for Larry Brown. How has he impacted your game in the short time so far?

 Playing for Larry is great. He gives me invaluable advice and shows me things that willand are really helping me be the best player possible. Although due to injuryboth to myself and for him having to leave for a little while I’ve only beenable to play for him for a few games. So just trying to learn as much as I canand when I am fully healthy go on the court and do my job. 

Besides winning is one of your goals to have a great season and make yourself interesting again for the NBA or do you feel your time will be in Europe in the next years?

I really don’t know. I will say that I have reallyenjoyed being in Italy and playing in Europe. It has been difficult but I findmyself getting more and more used to the style of play here and with more timewill be more comfortable to be here. But I am just focusing on this year andtrying to help this team win now. 

You’re a guy that fills the stat sheet like no other at both ends of the court. Who was your role model growing up and after what player have you always modeled your game after?

My dad was always my role model. He played basketballat Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia where I grew up. He was anundersized 4 man but nobody played harder than him. A lot of times I´m playingas the center here and an undersized sometimes so I try to play as hard as possible and use my skill to really impact both ends of the floor. 

The European game is a lot different than what you see in the NBA. What are your goals as a player to improve in your game here in Europe?

I need to understand the referees better. They call fouls here very very differentlythen in the NBA. I don’t understand but I am trying to get better at playingand not getting in foul trouble. I want to continue to work on my offense hereand become a better low post scorer and also help my team mates score more easily. 

After three years with the Golden State Warriors you played mainly in the G-league last season and played 9 games for the 76ers. Did you loose some faith in the whole NBA process last season?

I neverhave had faith in the NBA process or any process. I am a Christian so my faithis in God and he has blessed me and always looked out for me. I was able to goto the best college ever and then when I didn’t get drafted I still went to agreat team and was able to reach the finals 3 years in a row. Then was a freeagent and ended up with the 76ers which was rough but in the end I am here andI know God will always have my back no matter who I play for or where I’mplaying. So I look forward to see what he has in store for me this season!

You were able to play more NBA games each season. How did you see your game develop with the Golden State Warriors despite not playing a huge role?

Just being around such great talent and having suchgreat coaches that even when I wasn’t playing always helped me work out andimprove my game. Fans and media don’t see that side of the game. But as aprofessional that’s my job. Even now I am out with an ankle injury I still amworking hard doing everything I can to get better. 

Not many other forwards can boast that they playedwith two of the best forwards on the planet with Draymond Green and KevinDurant. How did these two guys have the biggest impact on your game?

Just the confidence and work ethic they have. The waythey impact the game every time they step on the court you feel their presence.And they always make sure you know it!

You played at the famous North Carolina reaching the NCAA Elite 8 and reached twoACC finals. Despite not winning a title what was your sweetest memory there onand off the court?

Meeting the love of my life Lauren McAdoo. We met my first week of college and gotmarried after my junior year. She’s been by my side and is my rock and I oweall my success to her sacrifice and love for me. 

Who won a one on one in practice you or Brice Johnson?

 We never played one on one. 

Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?

 Anthony Davis 

What is your personal NBA Rushmore

 MJ, Lebron, Kobe, 

What is your personal opinion about the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all time Michael or Lebron?


What was the last movie that you saw?

Incredible 2 

Thanks James for the chat.

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