Elias Desport is a 26 year old 203cm forward from Stockholm, Sweden that completed his first season in Germany with the EN Baskets Schwelm (Germany-ProB) averaging 6,3ppg and 4,6rpg. Last season he played with A. Desportiva Sanjoanense (Portugal-Proliga) playing 13 games averaging 13.2ppg, Reb-1 (10.9rpg), 1.3apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 56.8%, 3PT: 11.1%, FT: 43.8%. He began his career with KFUM Blackebergs IK (Basketettan) and also played with Taby Basket (Basketettan). He then lived 4 years in the states playing with St.Peter’s (NCAA) playing 119 NCAA games. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the 2018-2019 season.
Elias thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Despite getting swept by the Bayer Giants Leverkusen, how proud are you of the extreme hard effort the team gave in the series?
I think we played some of our best basketball all season in Game 1 against Leverkusen but it simply wasn’t enough. They’re a great team and they are well coached. I think they have a chance to win it all this year.
You guys came really close at the end and could of forced a third game had German Niklas Geske hit the last three. Do you feel like winning that second game could have made the big turnaround in the season?
I guess that’s just one of those ‘What If’ scenarios that will never truly know the answer to. But we all know the competition gets better and better the closer you get to the finals.
The EN Baskets Schwelm really played the Bayer Giants Leverkusen tight in the series. When looking back at the series what do you think was key for them being able to advance?
They had a deep team and they seem to play well together. They only lost one game all year so clearly they had the blueprint figured out. They also have a lot of size and it was hard for us at time since we were one of the smaller teams in the league. As I said before, they are well coached too and disciplined.
You played your first season with the EN Baskets Schwlem. How would you personally summarize the team season. Would it be fair to say that the team played it’s most successful and best basketball at the start of the season?
I think we were inconsistent. We never really figured it out and we never truly played together with the exception of a couple of games maybe. And I would say that we played our best basketball in Game 1 of the playoffs.
The team ended 2018 well with a three game winning streak, but then began 2019 slow with a four game losing streak. Why do you feel couldn’t the team keep it’s winning ways going into 2019?
This goes back to what I said before, we were inconsistent and therefore, we had some good stretches and some bad stretches. We were also hit with some tough injuries throughout the season, that didn’t help our situation.
What do you feel was the season highlight for you? Possibly winning the derby game against Iserlohn or against top farm team Bernau?
Season highlight for me was definitely playing against my old college teammate, Quadir Welton. That was a fun game for me because we were both going at it back and forth. It’s always fun to see how much both of us have improved our games and I’m truly happy for his success at Bernau. It seems as if he’s ended up in a great situation.
If you had to choose the toughest player that you battled in the Pro B this season who would you pick?
Pro B really has a lot of big guys that are tough to play against. Schmidt from Itzehoe was a lot to handle in the post, Mallory from Iserlohn always made me work hard on defense, Turudic from Sandersdorf was a very skilled and mobile big and Watkins from Dresden was athletic, it was unfortunate that he had to leave.
Let’s talk about your teammates. How much of a pleasure was it playing with German Niklas Geske? After five years in the BBL, he took a radical step backwards and destroyed in the Pro B. What did you enjoy most about his play?
‘Nick’ has super quick feet and he can get into the tightest spaces on the court. He probably has the quickest feet I’ve ever seen on a guard. He was tough to guard coming off the pick and roll, especially for bigs in our leagues.
How did you experience talented German Jean Louis Marley this season. How important was he for the success of the team and what will you never forget about his presence on and off the court?
Marley is a good shooter and plays very physical and we needed him to space the floor and knock down shots for us.
How did you see the game development of American Erik Durham? What did you learn to appreciate the most about his game?
Erik plays at his own pace and his game is very smooth. Some of the guys on the team used to call him the ‘Silent Assassin’ because he was one of the most quiet guys on the team. But he’s also very unselfish, I think that’s one of the things I appreciated the most.
How vital was it having Dario Fiorentino as a teammate. He was another guy with massive experience. How vital was he for you getting a grip on German basketball?
Dario was the oldest guy on the team so he was very vocal and always talking a lot.
Let’s talk about your game this season? You averaged 6,3ppg and 4,6rpg. How content were you with your first season in Germany?
I’m not content at all. I worked extremely hard this summer, basically working out 2-3 times a day, 5 days a week since May and I was hoping to have a breakout year to really improve my stock going in to the following season. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
You’re a player that can impact the game in many ways. You did that in many games, but then in other games you didn’t show it always on the stats sheet. Do you feel you impacted the game on a consistent basis this season?
No, not at all. It’s difficult to have an impact on the game when one is not playing consistent minutes.
You were the sixth most efficient player on the team and did a good job mostly in the minutes you got. How do you feel did your game progress this season in the minutes that you got?
Really? I didn’t even know that. I just tried to go out there and do the best I could in the minutes I got. But like most players, it’s hard to be productive when one can never get into a rhythm.
You’re a player that expects nothing for free and is always working hard in the gym. On what parts of your game did you work the hardest on in Germany and where did you see improvement the most?
I think I grew mentally this year. I did a lot of things off the court to improve the mental side of things. I read books, meditated, kept in touch with a mental coach that helped me out a lot, etc. I learned to accept things for what they are controlling the things that I could control.
You had many good games, but what was your own personal favorite game? Perhaps your 14 point game in the win in the derby against Iserlohn?
Statistically speaking, it would probably be the Iserlohn game or the first game against Wolfenbutell. But like I said before, my favorite game was playing against ‘Q’.
What is the next step for you? Could you imagine remaining in Germany playing Pro B or Pro A?
I have no idea what the next step is for me. Obviously, you want to continue to ‘climb the ladder’ every year and play at a higher level. Pro A would definitely be nice and I could even see myself playing in the Pro B again if I end up in a better situation.
If you had to name your five best teammates of all-time which guys would you pick?
Desi Washington, Marvin Dominique, Tony Hicks, Trevis Wyche and Quadir Welton.
It’s still so early, but when all is said and done could Luka Doncic be one of the greatest Europeans that ever played in the NBA?
It’s possible, but as of now, I’d say that Mr. Nowitzki has that award.
What was your reaction when you heard that Lebron James named himself the greatest of all-time?
I don’t like to engage in that GOAT debate because I think it’s stupid and that’s all people do nowadays. I think we get so caught up in debating greatness and who’s better rather than appreciating the greatness that we are seeing.
Charles Barkley recently proclaimed that Tom Brady Is more of a GOAT than Michael Jordan. Do you share his opinion?
I don’t really see how one can even begin to compare the two, basketball and football are two completely different sports. That makes no sense to me.
Do you think that the New England Patriots and Tom Brady Can Win A Seventh Super Bowl and where would Tom Brady then stand with the greatest athletes of all-time?
I hate to say this because I can’t stand the Patriots but as long as TB is in New England with Coach Belichick, they’re going to be contenders.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Green Book. Amazing movie! A must-see!
Thanks Elias for the chat.