Abdul Gaddy is a 27 year old 193cm guard from Tacoma, Washington that completed his 6th professional season with the Oklahoma City Blue (NBA G League) playing 51 games averaging 9.7ppg, 3.2rpg, 6.6apg, FGP: 60.2%, 3PT: 46.3%, FT: 55.0%. Two seasons ago he played with s.Oliver Wuerzburg (Germany-BBL) playing 34 games averaging 8.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 4.6apg, FGP: 58.5%, 3PT: 26.8%, FT: 65.7%. In 2016-2017 he played with VEF Riga (Latvia-LBL) playing 26 VTB United League games averaging 5.5ppg, 2.8rpg, 4.5apg, FGP: 42.9%, 3PT: 27.5%, FT: 52.4%; In the Latvian LBL, he played 25 game averaging 9.7ppg, 3.5rpg, 5.4apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 51.2%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 50.0%. He played two seasons in Italy with Granarolo Bologna (Italy-Serie A) and as a rookie played with the Charlotte Bobcats (NBA), then moved to Maine Red Claws (D-League) playing 46 games averaging 9.0ppg, 3.2rpg, 5.0apg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 42.0%, FT: 57.6%. He played at Washington (NCAA) from 2009-2013 and as a senior played 34 games averaging 10.9ppg, 3.2rpg, 4.6apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 47.4%, 3PT: 30.9%, FT: 65.9%. He is playing at the 2019 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas with The Orlando Magic. He spoke to germanhoops.com about the NBA Summer League before playing his first game tonight.
Abdul thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. It has already been more than a year since you last played in Germany for s.Oliver Wurzburg. What memories do you have of that time and how do you feel did your game progress in that league?
I remember having great teammates and an amazing coaching staff. Playing for s.Oliver Wurzburg was one of the best times in my life. I feel that my game progressed greatly under coach Bauermann and from learning from the vets. I think that you always learn something new each season and with every new team you play with. Learning how to build a winning team was important as we got better as the season went on. Coach Bauermann was an energetic coach who was always on us on playing good defense. We had the best defender in the league with Cliff Hammonds and it was beneficial playing with him for everyone.
After a few years in Europe in Italy, Latvia and Germany, you returned last season to the States and played in the G-league for the Oklahoma City Blue (NBA G League) It is isn’t to strange for guys to go to the NBA after many years in Europe. Guys Like Brad Wanamaker did it. Was one of your feelings of having returned last season with the hopes that your game had progressed well in Europe and was ready for a better shot for the NBA?
No I didn’t come home because of that, but moreover wanting to be around my family. I had some family issues and just wanted to be around them and let them have the chance to see me play more. The NBA is the NBA, but I respect all of basketball. There are so many great leagues and players all over the world. I just want to be part of a great team and be able to play the game that I love.
Last season with the Oklahoma City Blue (NBA G League) you played 51 games averaging 9.7ppg, 3.2rpg, 6.6apg, FGP: 60.2%, 3PT: 46.3%, FT: 55.0%. How content were you with your season?
I thought that I had a solid season, but as a team we could of done better. I really wanted to win a title. I was lucky playing with and against many high level athletes where I was able to learn a lot from. We had a great coaching staff that helped me get better.
You averaged 6,6apg in the G-league the highest assist mark in your career? What do you feel were the main reasons for having your best assist average in your career?
I was lucky to be able to find guys in great position to score. The way the team was run, there was a lot of trust in guys making shots. For me it has never been about playing for stats, but generating good shots for my teammates. My main job is generating the best shot for my teammates.
You were teammates last season with Bryce Alford who recently signed with medi Bayreuth. What was your impression of him and will he be an impact player this season in the easyCredit BBL?
Bryce is a monster and as tough as nails. He can really shoot the ball and isn’t afraid of the moment. He will be a great player and have a long career. I loved playing with him and I can’t wait to see how he will continue to grow as a player.
You will be playing NBA Summer League with the Orlando Magic. The last time that you played was in 2013 and 2014. What memories do you have of those two times? What players do you remember playing against then that might have made it big in the league?
The memories I had was that we had ok teams, but it was tough not winning. I was fortunate to be ABle to play against great players. Two guys that come to mind were Russ Smith and Patrick Young
With what kind of expectations are you going into your third NBA Summer League? Your 27 years old. Would you say that your in your prime now after a very good G-league season with Oklahoma?
In the NBA Summer League you see so many great players that will play in the NBA or Euroleague that it is tough to name just one. I’m not really going into it with any expectations except knowing it is a great opportunity where I can compete against great players and try to win a title. I think that I have been improving and keep learning being able to make adjustments in certain situations.
You have been practicing all week with the NBA Summer League team of the Orlando Magic. Has there been any guys that have impressed you most?
Mo Bamba is huge and very athletic and a great shot blocker. The guys are all so young. They are all good people and come from good families and school programs. All are super humble and working very hard. I feel we have all been learning from each other.
The majority of the players are rookies and guys with 1-2 years of experience. Rarely do you see older guys like yourself. How thankful are you to Worldwide SM agency for getting you this gig?
I am very thankful to them. They are a great group and I consider them like family. I am really grateful that they have helped me come this far and let me play at this stage. Not every player gets a chance like this. I will just continue to enjoy the moment as best I can.
As one of the older fellows on the squad, do you feel like it’s a given for you to be like a mentor to younger players or are you going in 100% aggressive just concentrating on your game?
I’m going into the NBA Summer League games to lead and help win a title. I’m not focusing on me. Basketball was invented for 5 players and not for 1-1 play. Regardless of what my stats are, my focus is on winning. I am helping the young guys, but they also have the chance to help me. If they have any insight about how we could have a better chance of winning, I’m all for it.
The NBA Summer League is seen as a playground for players playing for stats. How difficult is this type of scenario for a guy like yourself that likes to find his teammates and is used to being a playmaker?
Yes it can be tough at times, but that is part of the gig. Having guys play for their stats is all over the place. The trick is of figuring out a way to win games regardless of how players are thinking. That happens in any job. There will always be guys with different ego’s. I personally want every guy to be successful and help them accomplish their dream. I just want to win. That should be the goal in any organization.
Your season ended on March 29TH. You have had some months to get ready for another chance of wooing NBA coaches and bosses. On what areas of your game have you been working on most to be best prepared for this years NBA Summer League?
I have been working on my body and to be in the best shape possible. I have been working on parts of my game as well at both ends of the court. I also have been working on my footwork and knowing how to perform at my best from game to game at the highest level.
On what are you looking forward to most in this years NBA Summer League? Any battles your excited about or any coaches you want to talk basketball with or is there that specific teammate that your looking forward to be playing with?
I am really looking forward to playing with every teammate. All are great guys and I have been picking everyone’s brains so far. I also can learn from my coaches who have experienced a lot and have shown how they have contributed to winning organizations.
Last season you had dealings with Russell Westbrook on the court. He is often seen as a tough person, but on the court a very aggressive player who hates to lose. How did you experience him last season and what did you find out about him that little people know?
Russ is an amazing teammate and one of the best you can be around. He is team first. Many criticize him for wanting to always get triple doubles, but he really is team first. His teammates absolutely love him. He is a freak athlete and one of the best athletes at the point guard position. He is something special. You see him on TV and I see him on the court. I picked his brain a lot. He is always super focused and avoids the noise. He is the ultimate competitor. The way he acts isn’t in disrespect, but it’s his focus of getting the task done.
Thanks Abdul for the chat.