Kyle Hines is a 32 year old 198cm power forward from Sicklerville, New Jersey that completed his sixth season with CSKA Moscow and recently won the Euroleague And VTB titles. He played at NC-Greensboro (NCAA) from 2004-2008. In his senior year, he played 31 games averaging 19.2ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.4apg, 1.8spg, 3.1bpg, FGP: 55.6%, 3Pts: 12.5%, FT: 62.8%. He was invited to play at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 3 games: 17.3ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.3apg, 2.3spg, 3.3bpg, FGP: 78.6%, FT: 72.7%. He then had pre draft workouts with Sacramento Kings and the Charlotte Bobcats (NBA). In 2009, he took part in the Orlando Pro Summer League (Oklahoma City Thunder). In 2009-2010, he stayed in Italy with Prima Veroli (Italy-Lega2) playing 40 games averaging 18.5ppg, 8.1rpg, Steals-2 (3.5spg), Blocks-4 (1.6bpg), FGP-3 (64.0%), 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 57.8%. He played NBA Summer League in Las Vegas (New Orleans Hornets) in the summer of 2010.In 2010-2011 he played for the Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany-1.Bundesliga) playing 10 Euroleague games averaging 12.9ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 64.3%, FT: 46.7%; and in the German League played 46 games averaging 10.4ppg, 4.6rpg, Blocks-3 (1.2bpg), FGP-3 (61.1%), 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 52.4%. He won the double with Bamberg. He played for Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-A1) from 2011-2013 winning two Euroleague titles. germanhoops.com spoke to the American for the 17th time about basketball during his summer break.
Kyle thanks for talking to germanhoops.com When I give you the number 17 what comes to mind first for you?
I don’t know.
I will help you. This is our 17th interview dating back to your Bamberg days and you have won 17 professional career titles. When all is said and done do you think you will have more titles than interviews with me?
I hope so. That would definitely be a cool accomplishment.
You have a team with many ex NBA players competing in the 2 million dollar tournament. Talk a little how this came about and how is the team doing?
My brother and one of my good friends wanted to put a team together. We wanted to have some of the best Americans that have played in the Euroleague. The incentive to play in a tournament like this is big since the prize is big.
I recently chatted with Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert. He told me a fascinating story. He said that his teenage son Daniel who is a great scouter had you on his list in the 2010-2011 season, but passed on you saying you were too small. A few months later Chris Fleming took you and the rest is history. Where do you think you might be today had you landed in Frankfurt?
If I had played with the Skyliners I would have been hopeful that I would have been in the same position that I am today. Frankfurt is a good club. I am flattered to know that his son wanted me to be part of the team then. I’m happy that I was recognized then as a player that was poised to do well in Germany. At that time Frankfurt was a very good team.
It was July 4th recently. You had been in Europe. Did you make it home in time for the family celebrations?
Luckily I got back in time. I was stuck in London, but got back home on the night of July 3rd. July 4th is always a big holiday in my family. We always have a big barbeque. I am away from home for 10 months each year, so this is always the perfect time to see family and gather in one place.
A question that I love to ask players is always what was the first eatery that they sought out. What was the first restaurant that you visited coming back from a long season in Europe?
You were recently in Spain for business concerning the Euroleague. Talk a bit about what you encountered. Have you become a sort of special ambassador for the Euroleague since you have won four titles?
I have played in the Euroleague for a long time and one of the more experienced guys in Europe. I have seen it all and been through the ropes. In Barcelona are meetings concerning the league. For me to be able and go there and share my experiences is cool. I have really been looking forward to these meetings the last years being able to learn more about the league.
We did a lengthy interview after you captured your fourth Euroleague title recently. After that you still had some VTB business to take care of and did. You finished off Zenit 2-0 and Khimki 3-0. How satisfying was it closing out your 11th professional season with your 17th career professional title
It was very satisfying. Our goal every season is to always win all titles we can. We haven’t always won the Euroleague, but winning both titles was our goal. We felt a sense of fulfillment.
If somebody had told you after your rookie season in Italy that in the summer of 2019 you would own 17 career professional titles what would you have thought?
Back then I probably would have thought that they were lying. When I began my professional career in Italy, I was just excited about having the opportunity. It is very special to have had the type of career that I have had and get so many accomplishments. But I have to be honest. Like I told you in the last interview, I really haven’t thought to much about my career and looked back on it yet, because I’m still playing. I always look forward. Once I’m retired then I will sit back and relive my accomplishments.
Congrats on winning your sixth VTB title in your sixth season. This seems to be a normal procedure for you. How challenging is it winning this title, mainly because it is expected of the club?
We are expected to win the VTB title each season. Every team in the VTB is out to get us and beat us. Every team is looking for us to miss a step. Especially coming off the Euroleague win, teams may have thought we won’t be as hungry, but for us every title is the same. We want to win everything no matter what.
Let’s talk about the team situation. Nando De Colo has left for Spain. How much does his departure hurt and what will always be your fondest memory with him?
Nando is one of the best players in Europe. His departure gives us a huge void in the roster. His presence on and off the court is tremendous. I won so much with him and he was hands down one of the best Euroleague players in the last 5 years. We will really miss him. It will be a big challenge to move forward. My favorite memory was simply being able to get to know him as a person. Our families did a lot together. We had a special bond.
You have always lauded Will Clyburn and wanted him to remain badly in Moscow and he has. Do you feel he is a guy that could follow in your foot steps and become a CSKA Moscow lifer?
He is going to be a CSKA lifer simply from the life span deal that he got. Will will be there for a long time. He has the potential to be the face of the team in the future.
A interesting pick up for me was Darrion Hilliard. He played three seasons in the NBA and had a strong playoff series against CSKA Moscow. Do you feel that that was the last straw for the CSKA management for hauling him in?
I feel that management got him not only because of his strong playoff series against him last year. He had a lot of experience in the NBA, was successful in college and did well in Spain last year. The club recognized all his abilities. I have observed him as being a very versatile player that can do so much at both ends of the court. He has the full package.
The team made a huge pick up with Johannes Voigtmann, a guy I covered in Frankfurt for four years. I always believed that he had the game for the NBA. The Washington Wizards were interested in his services. Could you have imagined a Voigtman being a successful NBA player had he got the chance?
I think he could play in then NBA. The NBA is big on high level skill guys. There aren’t many guys at his height that can do what he can do. He has improved a lot the last years and has been able to put the ball on the floor more. He has been known as not being the best defender, but I think that he took big strides last season having big moments. I hope that he will be a great Euroleague player with us.
I believe he chose CSKA Moscow, because he wants to win titles. How important is his signing for the team. What are you expecting from him on the court?
I expect him to keep doing what he has done for the other teams that he played for. I think that his game compliments our system. He can play the 4-5. He opens up our offensive playbook more with his shooting. He adds another weapon to coach’s arsenal.
You had a 4-0 record against him in the time from 2016-2018. What are your first memories of him when you began to play him in the Euroleague?
I always knew who he was. I have always followed the German BBL and he was always seen as talented and had a big reputation as one of the biggest talents from Germany and came from Frankfurt. I know his game well and am looking forward to being his teammate.
This season Baskonia played better as he won a regular season game, but lost 4-1 in the playoffs. The German big man really picked up his game in the playoffs. How do you feel has he developed in the last three years?
I think that he developed well in Spain and has kept improving. He adds a different aspect to our team and is still fairly young. He still has time to grow and has potential to be a great player.
Your both centers, but how exciting is it being possibly on the court at the same time. How do you feel do you guys compliment each other best?
His presence on the court can give us a different look and we will cause match up problems. He is the pick and pop type of player while I do damage on the pick and roll and in the paint. I feel that we will be able to develop good chemistry.
Let’s talk about your game. Last season you played 22 VTB games averaging 7.5ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.5apg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 60.9%, 3PT: 50.0%, FT: 69.0%; and 36 Euroleague games averaging 7.3ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 58.0%, FT: 63.1%. You always state when the time that I’m content with my game will be the time to retire. What is your summary of your overall game from last season?
The most important thing for me is always to win. I don’t care how we get there and I never look at individual stats. For me it is always about the team. This was one of the best season’s I had. Having the experience to win the Euroleague again was great.
In our second to last interview you stated ‘I always feel like I need to improve. I am never content with my game. As long as the team is winning is what counts most. My number one goal remains to continue to help my team win’. Now after the completion of your 11th professional season, on what things do you still need to improve on?
I feel that as a player you can always get better. In the off season, I look at every aspect of my game and try to figure out how to make my weakness a strength. As a player you can always improve whether your 21 or 31.
Your only 32 and will be turning 33 in September. In our second to last interview you stated that ‘I still feel the same. It is a combination of the mental and physical side. I feel like I’m at a great level now and playing great. I am healthy and am looking forward to what the future holds’. What kind of Kyle Hines will we see in his prime at age 35?
I knock on wood. I am blessed to have been fairly healthy I my career. I have had no big injury or regression in my game. I think that you will see the Kyle Hines then like you did in the past 11-12 years. Hopefully I will be more wise and experienced. But generally I will be the same.
Another big strength in your game is your versatility and consistency. Is the will for you to always be consistent on the court for you as regular as waking up and eating breakfast and taking your kids to kindergarden?
Yes it is. That is what my whole mentality is geared up to be. That is part of my daily habit. When I don’t feel the urge anymore then I know that it will be time to hang it up.
On what parts of your game will you be working on this summer so you will best prepared for another strong season with CSKA Moscow?
I will be focusing on touch and drives to the basket. Also as always just focusing on overall conditioning. As you get older, it is important to make sure that your body is right and that it can still respond to a high level of play.
You have been very involved in the last years with your interesting document series ‘Just a kid from Sicklerville. This last season you present the Kyle zone. Talk a little about how that came about and what else you are planning with this and other things in the future?
The Kyle Zone was in cooperation with the Euroleague. It was a great opportunity to start my own podcast. It was fun being able to talk with my favorite players and get to know them better. We will continue to work on new things where we shed light on experiences in European basketball.
In the summer time you always have a special basketball camp with your brother Tyler. How much fun is it doing this project with your brother and what kind of relationship do you guys share?
Doing this camp with my brother is super fun and rewarding. It is gratifying to see young kids go through the program. It has grown well over the years. We have almost 100 kids. My brother is my best friend. We are super tight. It is great that I’m able to hang out with my brother, but at the same time also help kids in the community.
Your ex coach Chris Fleming has made a new career leap going to the Chicago Bulls. When will he finally get a chance to coach a NBA team?
I think that in due time, he will get an opportunity. He continues to climb the ladder. He has been successful everywhere he has been in his career. I don’t foresee him go to long without getting a chance.
What is your opinion of how out of nowhere the Brooklyn Nets have brought in stars. Are you a Nets fan. Can they be good in the next years?
I think so. It depends how well Durant returns from his injury. The club has two franchise players and they will build around it. They will be contenders in the future. I live closer to Philadelphia and like the 76ers.
Why didn’t Kyrie work in Boston and will Kemba Walker be the answer?
I believe that Kyrie generally wasn’t happy in Boston. If you aren’t happy, you can’t have great results. I think that Kemba Walker will fit in well. He is a rough and hard nosed guard from the north east. He will do well.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Kyle for the chat.