The Miles 2020 BBL Munich Tournament Diary With Lamont Jones Vol 4

Lamont Jones is a 29 year old 183cm guard from Harlem, New York that is playing his 7th professional season and third in Germany and first with the Fraport after having played with MBC and the MHP Riesen. He also gathered professional experience in countries like Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, France and Montenegro. He began his basketball career at Rice high school and then played 2 seasons at the University of Arizona (NCAA) and 2 seasons with Iona (NCAA). He is conducting a special diary with at the BBL Munich tournament

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Lamont Jones in 2018 in the Fraport arena

What a wild game with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg nipping Crailsheim 85-83. How much do you have respect for Crailsheim who are playing with a very limited team?

That was a hell of a game. Crailsheim fought tooth and nail. You have to respect them for being able to take Oldenburg to the wire. I was watching the game using my leg machine. I love how Sebastian Herrera get’s it done.

How are you feeling today? How have the last few days been for you concerning your injury? Has the pain eased up a bit or is it still bad?

The pain has eased up a bit. In some parts, I have a little more movement, but it is still tight. It is all a work in progress. Today I lifted a bit and rode the bike. You can’t really do too much treatment with this injury. I probably won’t play against Bamberg.

Congrats on the 64-59 victory over Rasta Vechta. How good does it feel to get the monkey off your back?

It felt amazing finally being able to close out a game. I was out there screaming, clapping and yelling at the refs.

I guess this win showed that there is no curse on the Fraport Skyliners and you are able to close out games. What was key in crunch-time for getting the win?

I believe key for us in crunch-time was being able to keep our composure. They hit some big shots and Trevis Simpson also hit shots, but we didn’t get upset, but kept our cool. We made big plays and got a big and 1 by Gytis. We really wanted to win this game and were also due for a win. This win was just so huge, because we had been very close against Alba and Ludwigsburg. 

Rasta Vechta were without some players, but how can you rate this defensive effort giving up 59 points?

It was a pretty ugly game. I didn’t particulary love the officiating. It wasn’t the prettiest game to watch. It was a real grind out game. Vechta had a short rotation. A tooth of Max DiLeo was missing. I also heard a rumor that he had a broken rib and still played. If he really played with a broken rib, then he is a hell of a competitor. The guys never gave up. Akeem played great defense on Simpson. I think that Akeem was able to get in his head. The 2 offensive fouls against Vechta wERE heartbreaking for them. 

How much more of a rise did the team self-confidence take? Is the team aware that the playoffs are possible?

We are very aware of it. We want to get into the playoffs and beat Bamberg. A win would be huge. We want to keep building on what we have been doing well coming off the Vechta win. 

How key has new player Gytis Masiulis been for the success? What has impressed you most about his game?

Everybody knows that the BBL is a very physical league. At first glance, I didn’t know if Gytis could handle the physicality. The games are slower now and more grind out games. I feel that he has handled it well. He has been able to put his stamp on the game. He has shot well and in the short time been able to pick up our offense. He has adjusted as well as anybody could. 

What can we await in the game against Brose Bamberg. Another victory would be an extra massive confidence booster.

If we beat Bamberg, then we will be automatically in the playoffs. They haven’t won yet and are on the ropes. I hope that we can play well and take advantage of their losing. Me and Leon Kratzer will continue to be rooting on the guys on the sidelines. 

Bamberg is a tough team that is deep and played Alba Berlin tough. What will be the keys in this game to get the win?

We have to remain poised against Bamberg the way we were against Vechta. We have to keep our emotions in check. We have to find a way to slow down Jordan Crawford. That guy can shoot from anywhere. We have to continue to rebound and play defense well. We also have to knock down our open shots. We also have to take advantage of what we can take advantage of. We are feeling good about ourselves and we feel we can win this game. We have to jump on them from the get go. 

How disappointed are you not to have been able to play against Jordan Crawford. Was he already on your radar back in the day when you were at Iona?

I saw what he did at Xavier. He is a hell of a talent and scorer. I’m mad that I won’t get the chance to go head to head. I hope that our paths will cross again sometime. I mean not being able to play against him hasn’t been heavenly on my mind the last days, but still it’s a shame. He can score and I can score. He talks trash and so do I. It would have been great to play against him. 

Has the mood changed in the hotel lobby with the various players now that the tournament is in full swing or is there still that friendly atmosphere?

The atmosphere isn’t quite serious yet, but also isn’t the way it was a week ago when everyone arrived. Guys are still hanging out. I think it will get more serious when the first round is over. When some teams leave, it will get more playoff like. I pretty much have stayed in my room for the most part. I hang out with my guys from home Ludwigsburg players Zamal Nixon and Teyvon Myers. Tez’s room is next to mine so every now and then, he will come over and we will talk.

Who wins a one on one you or Yorman Polas Bartolo?

I’m going to go with me. It would be A tough battle. I like to make tough shots. It will be A dog fight. Yorman is as strong as an ox. I would have to be able to find different ways to score. This definitely a one on one match I would love to have.

Thanks Mo Mo for the chat.

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