Patrick Richard is a 30 year old 196cm swingman from Lafayette, Louisiana playing his eighth professional season and first with U-Banca Transilvania Cluj Napoca (Romania-Liga National). He has garnered a lot of experience playing in countries like Australia, Italy, Spain (ACB), Israel, France, Germany and Holland. He played one season in Germany in 2014-2015 with the Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels (Germany-BBL) playing 32 games averaging 13.2ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 44.7%, 3PT: 40.8%, FT: 76.1%. Prior to being a professional he played at Mc Neese St. (NCAA) form 2008-2012 and as a senior played 32 games averaging 18.1ppg, 6.3rpg, 3.2apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 27.9%, FT: 76.9%. He spoke to germanhoops.com before a Fiba Europe Cup game against medi Bayreuth in Bayreuth.
Pat welcome back to Germany. Our last interview was three years ago when you were balling with Maccabi Rishon. Since then you have played in Italy, New Zealand and Spain. Hs time flown by since then?
Wasup miles! Time had flown by. Very fast but I’m still maintaining and pushing right along in my career!
The last time you played against a German team was in the 2016-2017 season where you lost in the playoffs against Ludwigsburg. You played only one season in Germany with MBC. What do you remember most from competing in the German BBL and what did you learn to appreciate the most from your time there?
I remember well playing for MBC and competing in the BBL. It was and still is a great league! Very professional and competitive from top to bottom. I believe when I was there it was maybe a little more too heavy BUT it still seems to be easily a top 5 league in Europe at the moment.
Your playing a Basketball Champions League playoff series the best of three against medi Bayreuth. Do you remember that you had your highest scoring game in the BBL with MBC back in the 2014-2015 season. What do you remember from your 32 point game?
Yes I do recall that game. The most I remember is that we lost. So I actually tried to forget about that game more than remembering 32 points lol
Before we get to the medi Bayreuth match up, lets talk about your current team You played in top leagues in Germany, France, Spain and Italy and now in probably your prime your playing with U-Banca Transilvania Cluj Napoca (Romania-Liga Nationala). The normal observer would say a step back. How would you describe the decision of going to Romania?
From the outside looking in people can think what they would like. I base a lot of decisions on my family. My kids and my wife are who I think about first. This team WANTED me and to feel wanted with no other strings attached is the best feeling as a player. I am going to make the most out of it!
What kind of an experience has it been for you playing with U-Banca Transilvania Cluj Napoca (Romania-Liga Nationala)? They have won 12 club titles. You already won a title with them and can win two more. Winning must be the best experience you can have?
Being here the expectation is to WIN! Championships! We have a legendary coach who they brought here as well and a lot of players that have had experience on high levels before. Just taking things one day at a time, one practice, and one game at a time is what’s most important though!
A big strength of U-Banca Transilvania Cluj Napoca (Romania-Liga Nationala) in the Basketball Champions League is the defense. Do you feel like there is a special passion with everyone when defending
I believe since day one that’s been a main focus in the team. Defend and everything else can open up. Our coach gives us freedom on the offensive end to create and make plays. So it’s been a fun style of basketball so far.
A lot of the Basketball Champions League teams have 5-6 Americans just like medi Bayreuth. U-Banca Transilvania Cluj Napoca (Romania-Liga Nationala) only have 3 Americans. No disrespect to your other teammates, but will 3 Americans be enough to get over the hump and win a title?
As I said in a few questions back we have players that have played on good levels before. Our center Darko played euro league, our 4 man Donatis played champions league, our other 4 man Karlo has played euro league before as well even though he is still fairly young, and another guard Artis from Latvia has played VTB league. So we have a pretty good mixture with the Europeans and Americans we have!
How thrilling has it been playing with Kerron Johnson? He has BBL experience like you. What has been his biggest attribute that he has brought to the table that has helped the team the most?
With Kerron me and him sort of gained a friendship from afar since we played against each other in Germany and also France in the past. Our first point guard we had suffered a horrific (almost season ending) injury and K came straight in a has been running the show! Just being who he is has helped us tremendously!
The club recently brought in young American LJ Peak. What does he bring to the table that the team didn’t have before?
Bringing LJ in gives us another player who can create for himself, attack the rim and shoot, and almost is a versatile defender! He’s been successful individually in Italy and now he can come and help us reach out goals here
Your playing a very good season in the Romanian and BCL competitions. What kind of role do you have this season?
My role here has just been a leader. Vocal and by action. Just being myself if it’s making big shots, or big plays defensively!
You have always been a guy that has put up consistent stats where ever you played. How more important does consistency become for you as you continue to get older and how do you keep working at maintaining it best?
For me consistency is very key. Teams do look for this and I always try to be that way. I always want to do more so that motivates me!
You recently turned 30 years old. At this stage of your career what part of your game are you working the hardest at improving?
Turning 30 I just know health is the most important. It’s been that way but as you get older those aches last a bit longer lol
Medi Bayreuth is a very talented and deep team and are one of the favorites to win the 2020 Fiba Europe Cup. This will be a very interesting series. What kind of series can we await and what will be key for your team to get by the German side?
Bayreuth have always been a tough team since I’ve known. It will be tough and a battle. I am familiar with the coach and he will have them ready. We shall be ready as well.
Medi Bayreuth is one of those teams that has a deep 10 man rotation where any player can be a top scorer on any night. This could be the biggest defensive challenge for you in this season’s Basketball Champions League. Will the element of surprise on defense be an important element for success?
We do a pretty good job of the scouting and our coaches will do so again. It’s more principles for us and what we do according to the personnel of the other team.
You played only one season in the German BBL, but if you had to pick one player who was the toughest to guard at that time who would you pick?
When I played in Germany they had a bunch of really good players. I recall Reggie Redding being pretty tough because he used the ball screens pretty good. Always had to fight through those against Berlin
Two seasons ago you played with Divina Seguros Juventut Badalona (Spain-Liga ACB) playing 32 games averaging 11.3ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.7apg, Steals-4 (1.3spg), FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 36.3%, FT: 83.8%. You scored in double figures in 3 of the 4 games against top teams FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.Was the consistency and personal success a good token that you could play against the best in the world?
I always have believed in myself. But I’m all about winning to be honest. We finished the season great there and I have a bunch of great memories playing there.
You played twice against Luka Doncic and in one of the games was close to a triple double. When he came into the NBA did you ever imagine that he would be a top 3 player in the NBA in his second season?
I’m not sure he is a top 3 player lol BUT I knew he would be great from the first moment we played against him! He is dominating at the moment and I wish him the best!
Where were you when you hear about the death of Kobe Bryant? What kind of an impact did he have on your game growing up?
I was actually in my living room and my phone was going crazy! I was and am still heartbroken by the tragedy that took his life along with his daughter and the other people in the helicopter too! He was my IDOL since I was 5-6 years old. I wanted to do any and everything like him when it came to basketball. I just look at my daughters and could NOT imagine that feeling of not being able to protect them in any situation. It was devastating!
When all is said and done could Luka Doncic be one of the greatest players of all-time?
YES he can! He has to WIN though. Numbers are great but when the winning starts that’s when he will he really be recognized with the greats!
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie was Just Mercy.
Thanks Pat for the chat.