Jared Jordan is a 36 year old 187cm point guard that had a 13 year professional basketball career. He began his career at Kingswood school in West Hartford and then played at Marist (NCAA) from 2003-2007 being named MAAC player of the year in 2007 and led the NCAA in assists twice. He began his professional career in 2007 in Lithuania with top team Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (Lithuania-LKL) and played a season in the then D-League with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He returned to Europe in 2009 and would play the rest of his career overseas until 2020. He was most of his time in Germany where he played 8 seasons for teams like the Telekom Baskets Bonn, Brose Bamberg and the Tigers Tuebingen. He also played in Greece with VAP Kolossos Rodou, in Spain with Gipuzkoa BC San Sebastian and closed out his career in Romania with BC CSU Sibiu. It didn’t matter where he played but as some say that guy is a walking bucket, Jordan was a walking dime as he led the easyCredit BBL in assists 6 times and also led the top European league ACB in Spain in assists and in Greece and Romania. He was a three time BBL allstar and is the all-time easyCredit assist leader breaking ex Lebron James teammate Dru Joyce’s mark in 2017 with his 1458th assist. He recently obtained his real estate license, has some basketball projects in the works and continues to be a religious golfer with a 8 handicap. I was blessed to cover Jared Jordan‘s career in Germany and gave him a career tribute interview.
Jared thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is life treating you in these tough times?
I’m in the states living in West Hartford. We recently bought a house. Life has ben different and it’s all about getting through these tough times, but all is going ok.
I was hoping not to prepare this interview yet because I was always hoping that you would return. Then I saw some fake news on eurobasket.com saying you had returned back to Wurzburg. Were you surprised to hear about this?
Yes I was surprised. A friend from Germany sent me the article. I saw it and laughed a lot. But I can say that I’m officially done with playing.
You have retired after 13 years. How much of a role did COVID-19 have in you making this decision?
I think that it played an important part for making my decision. I was playing in Romania when COVID hit. We came home and then were ready to go back, but then the season was cancelled. With all going on and having 2 young kids, we decided to stay home. It wasn’t easy ending my career like this not knowing that I would play my last game in Romania. I always wanted to know when my last game would be. But all in all it’s ok.
Your last season stat wise in Romania was very good. I’m sure you could of still played a few more years. What were the main reasons for you retiring?
Obviously my game was on the back burner, but it was still Ok. As you know my game relies on movement, cutting and keeping up with quick guards. I was getting older and that played a factor in my decision. It was time to move on. I accepted it and it was the right thing to do.
With your last club Sibiu you literally closed out your career with many ex and current BBL players and with Barry Stewart and Isiaiah Phillmore who were your teammates in Tuebingen. You also had Larry Gordon as a teammate. How often did the BBL come up especially with guys like Larry Gordon and Barry Stewart?
We talked a lot about the BBL. I had played together with Barry in Tuebingen and our wives were good friends. Larry signed late in the season. Larry is a really good guy. I remember the club asking me my opinion about Larry. I could only say the best things. He always played the right way. I remember him as a funny guy.
Let’s go back to the start After Kingswood, you played at Marist from 2003-2007. What memories do you have from that time besides getting many assists?
College was awesome. It was a great experience. My minutes increased in my second year and my game took off in my last two years. We had great veteran guys and everything clicked. We won a lot of games. We had a lot of fun my senior year and we won the MAAC title. Unfortunately we didn’t reach the NCAA tournament but got to the NIT. We lost to North Carolina State which ended my career.
You averaged 8,0 assists in your last two seasons at Marist. If someone had told you then that you would make a living getting assists and leading so many different leagues in assists in the summer of 2007 what would you have thought?
I wasn’t highly recruited when I came out of high school. I was just happy to play in college. Then during the summer before my junior year my coach told me that I could make a living playing professional basketball. That really opened my eyes. Not many guys are able to make a living playing basketball and be able to travel the world. I was very blessed to have been able to do this
How did Marist head coach Matt Brady groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
He came during my second year. Many had told me that I had to bulk up more. I started to lift more, but then realized that I couldn’t move fast. Coach then put me on a weight loss program with a weight vest. He helped me improve my shot. He knew that I could pass, but he really stressed me to score. He always told me that I could score as much as I wanted to while keeping the defense honest and balanced.
Who won a one on one back in the day you or Will Whittington?
We used to play a lot of one on one. It always went back and forth. He was one of the top shooters that I had ever seen. He let it fly from anywhere. The best part of it was that when he shot 1/10, he didn’t care and continued to talk trash. He loved it. He was a great team guy. I benefited a lot from his shooting getting many assists.
What memories do you have of your first NBA training camp with the New York Knicks. Do you remember NBA legend and then head coach Isiah Thomas giving you some lasting point guard advice?
I was drafted by the Clippers and then was traded to the Knicks. The Knicks were loaded with great players. I remember meeting Isaiah Thomas. He had liked my game and it hadn’t shocked me that I had been traded. Isaiah was super nice, but at the same time really intense. I’ll never forget the look in his eyes. He had that feistiness. I wasn’t there too long, but he was very helpful in many things.
What memories do you have of battling Stephon Marbury in practice? How did you hold up against him as a rookie?
Marbury was a tough player and just an unbelievable player. The team also had Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford. I remember Marbury as being super nice. He was a good guy and talked to me a lot. He was such a strong player that had bounce, great handles and a great step back. He was a really good player.
You played your rookie season with Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (Lithuania-LKL). What do you remember being your wake up call to being overseas where you were very far away from home?
That first time overseas was tough. I was lucky that the team had a great group of guys that took care of me. Chuck Eidson took me in. His wife took care of me. I always ate dinner at their house. He helped me open up my eyes to the European game. I had a tough Serbian coach. He made us practice a lot, but all in all he was a good guy. He knew that I was at the start of my career and he was very helpful in telling me exactly what I needed to work on.
You also played 11 Euroleague games. What memories do you have of the guys you battled then that were top players in Europe?
I remember playing against a young Danilo Gallinari who was playing with Milian. I also remember playing against Will Solomon who was a tough player and beating Maccabi Tel Aviv. At that time, I was so young that I had no idea about the teams or players. I was a clueless American who knew nothing about the European game.
In your second season you were with the New Orleans Hornets training camp. There you could battle Chris Paul. Were you able to add anything from his playmaking that would help you?
People always ask my about my experience with him. I remember the other guard being injured, so I was in charge of the second team. I was matched up against him very day. I remember having to go against guys like David West and Tyson Chandler. Chris was a high level super competitive guy and a team leader. He could turn up a gear at anytime and then it was just OMG. He always had to be first in each drill. But I remember that he really looked out for me. He had me over for dinner. When he turned it on to the next level, there wasn’t much you could do to stop him.
You then played a solid season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League): 36 games: 10.9ppg, 3.8rpg, Assists-2 (9.0apg), 2.0spg, FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 28.0%, FT: 70.3%. If you look back at those days and how the NBA worked, why do you think didn’t you reach the NBA?
I was trying to make the NBA like everyone else, but I also understood my limitations. I wasn’t quick, long or athletic. I was on a good team. At that point I was thinking of maybe sticking one more year in the D-League and then go to Europe. The D-League was an up and down stat league. It was good to play a season there. I didn’t get a call up even though I thought that I had played well. My limitations held me back from making the NBA.
What kind of NBA feedback do you remember getting from coaches and GM’s about your game and what was needed for the NBA?
The best quote I remember hearing was from Isaiah Thomas. My agent told me this story. Isaiah Thomas loved my game, but didn’t like my dad’s name. My father’s name is Michael Jordan.
The two biggest changes that I see with the NBA to back in 2008 is that there is less defense now and the league has gotten so young. What changes have you observed
The NBA has changed a lot. It is a lot more free flowing. It favors smaller guys and a ton of three’s are shot. There also have been rule changes. You can’t pack the paint. They want more attacking the rim which is good for TV. Teams now draft off potential. You don’t see many seniors anymore being drafted, but teams want to develop freshmen. There is so much crazy talent around today.
In 2009 you returned to Europe and would never go back to the States. You played most of your career in the easyCredit BBL playing 8 years. Do you feel like your game fit the BBL the best despite having great seasons in Greece and Spain as well?
I always felt comfortable in the BBL. There were good living conditions in Germany and I was lucky to play for Bonn and Mike Koch. He gave me the freedom to play my game and play a ton of pick and roll. My career took off from there.
You played the longest with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. What did you cherish most in your time with this organization?
Bonn was a great place to play for. The Telekom Baskets Bonn are a very professional organization and they really took care or me. I had great teammates and they had a very passionate fan base. The Telekom Baskets Bonn were one of the top places I played for in my career. I always tell players that if they get a chance to play in Boon then they should do it.
In your first season in Germany you were teammates with Chris Ensminger. Do you feel old when you remember his sons Zach and Jacob running around the arena 10 years ago and now both are pro’s in Germany with big futures?
Yes I feel old knowing what his sons are doing today. My first year in Bonn, we lived above them. I remember his kids always coming to practice. I saw them grow up. They already loved to play basketball at a young age. I remember them always checking the box scores and they knew the shoe size of every BBL player. I remember joking with Chris telling him that whenever Zack starts to play professionally, then I will have to retire. It is nice seeing them do so well.
I’m sure one of your favorite teammates off all-time is Tony Gaffney. He said this about you in two of my interviews. ‘It is impossible to replace Jared Jordan and ‘I don’t know if there is another player that I have played with that I have connected with on the court like Jared Jordan‘. What did you appreciate most about his game?
We clicked right away and we fit each others styles. He could do it all. He ran the floor, rolled to the basket, jumped to the rim, did alley-oops and got behind the defense. It was crazy all the things that he could do. It was super fun to play with him. He was a complete freak athlete. I remember some days he wouldn’t even stretch. We had great times.
Tony Gaffney also is known for having a very nice character. How did you experience his character?
He is a great guy that is nice to all. He was always so welcoming. We just connected
Do you give him a hard time sometimes for being known as being on the Celtics and Lakers rosters, but never playing a NBA game?
No I never gave him any ribbing about that.
You guys hooked up for many alley-oops. You must have a favorite one.
I remember us having a nice one in Frankfurt. I also remember a nice on in Bonn. It was late in the game and it was a risky play. I think it was against Munich to start the season. It was a full court alley-oop which got the crowd excited.
What kind of relationship did you have under Michael Koch? How appreciative were you of him giving you absolute freedom on the court?
He gave me what any point guard would want. He gave me the freedom to create and get up and down the court and make plays. I still talk to him to this day. I remember the first day when I was there. He sat me down in the kid’s area of the other gym. He said this is your team. You run the team and do what you have to do. I learned so much from him. He had been a great player in his own right.
Andrej Mangold was always a pretty boy. Did it surprise you he became the German Batchelor on TV?
Not at all. He was always hustling and was out and about. Being the Batchelor fit him perfectly. I watched some of that on TV. I love Dre. He was a great teammate and knew how to take control on the defensive end.
In the 2013-2014 season you left Bonn for Bamberg and it created an uproar with the Bonn fans. How tough was that experience for you?
In the summer of 2013 Bamberg had had interest in me. It was between me and Zach Wright. Bamberg ended up taking Zach Wright. But I was super comfortable in Bonn. Bamberg had won 3 titles in a row and had a big budget. You just have to be interested when a club like that shows interest. During the season I got the offer from Bamberg. It was a hard decision to make. If I had had that opportunity today, I would have done it again. My teammates told me I should go for it. I remember Tony Gaffney saying that if I didn’t take it then he wouldn’t talk to me again. I understood that the Bonn fans would be mad. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. It was very difficult and stressful for me. I did a lot of thinking while making the decision. Some fans forgave me and some hated me. I hope I can come back one day to Bonn with family and everything will be Ok.
You played one season in Greece leading the league in assists with VAP Kolossos Rodou (Greece-A1) averaging 6.3ppg, 2.6rpg, Assists-1 (5.5apg), FGP: 52.3%, 3PT: 23.2%, FT: 56.0%. In one game against Olympiakos you battled Milos Teodosic who went 1/9 from outside. Did some of your defense rub off on his poor shooting?
I remember that game. We lost by three points. I remember them having great names like Teodosic, Spanoulis and Papaloukas. It was awesome playing against guys like that. My defense definitely had nothing to do with him shooting like that. Teodosic and Diamantidis are two of my favorite players that I played against in Europe.
In the 2014-2015 season you moved to Gipuzkoa BC San Sebastian (Spain-Liga ACB) averaging : 6.9ppg, 2.7rpg, Assists-1 (7.0apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 36.9%, FT: 65.5%. You have won many awards but how much did it mean for you to lead the best national league in Europe in assists?
Yes that was pretty cool to be able to lead the ACB in assists. The ACB is the league to play in. The players are incredible and the IQ is so high. The league has many veterans and top European players. It was an honor to play there. I loved the life style and the style of play.
It was the season before Luka Doncic would make his ACB debut as he was playing with Real Madrid 2 when you were there. Did you already hear stories about him then?
I remember hearing stories of him. I think that I even might of played against him. I remember having a player on loan from Real Madrid and he was saying how this kid Doncic was always getting triple doubles in the youth league. Then I saw him play in Europe and NBA. At first I didn’t know that he could be so good. He does a great job getting separation from guys. He is destroying the NBA now.
What memories do you have playing Real Madrid and FC Barcelona? Were those 2 teams the ones you will remember most battling against?
Of course I will always remember those games and playing against Juan Carlos Navarro. I also will never forget playing against Panathinaikos and Olympiakos and playing against so many legends of European basketball.
You then returned back to Germany and played 3 more years with Tuebingen. What kind of experience was it playing for a team that wasn’t winning?
It was tough. We had one bad year. Even if we didn’t win many games, it was still a nice experience. I met many nice people and I liked the city. Not wining is never easy
I was perplexed when you signed with Tuebingen after having played in the ACB. I can’t imagine that you didn’t get better offers?
That’s a good question. I don’t really remember. I think I was waiting to make the right decision. I remember having some other offers. I think that I was just looking to get back to Germany. But in the end, I was super happy with making the decision to join Tuebingen.
What did mean playing with BBL legend Alexsandar Nadjfeji and also having him as a coach? What will you never forget about this jovial man?
He is great. I actually just talked to him last week. He was a funny dude, hard working and had amazing foot work. I remember in a BBL allstar game that I never had to call for a screen and roll. He was always there. I played with him at the back end of his career, but he was still a great player with such a high basketball IQ. He was such a team orientated player that always did his job. I couldn’t even imagine how good he must have been in his prime.
You were also teammates with Garlon Green. Did he ever tell Gerald Green dunk stories?
Not really. He was super talented in his own right. He was really athletic. I remember him dunking on the wrong basket in Braunschweig. I remember throwing up my arms and saying what are you doing.
You played your last season in Germany with Giessen. I witnessed your last game in Frankfurt where you lost a tough 82-81 game where you had 8 points and 11 assists. Is there a game that you will never forget against Frankfurt?
I remember one year we had to play Frankfurt in Bonn and it was the last game of the season. We had to win it to reach the playoffs. I remember Mike Koch calling me, Chris Ensminger and Benas Veikalas to a meeting and saying how important this game was. We took his words and won easily. But playing against Frankfurt was never easy with how head coach Herbert played with discipline and good defense and Tez Robertson leading the team.
You also played against Pascal Roller early in your career. What memories do you have of him on the court?
I didn’t know him at the beginning of my career, but I soon would after playing against him. He shot so well and played the pick and roll so well. He really knew how to play. I remember saying damn he is really good.
The two current easyCredit BBL identity figures are Quantez Robertson and Ricky Paulding. What memories will you always have of them?
I came into the league in 2009. Oldenburg had won the BBL title the year before. He could drive and dunk then. You would think that he wouldn’t be bale to do that now at his age. But he can still do it. You don’t even need to look at the box score. You know that today he will get something like between 14-18 points, 4-6 rebounds and 3-5 assists. His amazing consistency speaks for him. He has been doing it for so long and is still doing it at his age. He deserves so much respect. He makes it still look so easy. Robertson is in the same boat. He also deserves a lot of respect. He still is covering the whole court, playing good defense and getting in passing lanes. He also has been so consistent.
You are the all-time easyCredit BBL assist leader, led the league in assists 6 times with Bonn and Tuebingen and led the Spanish, Greek and Romanian league in assists. Do you remember the game in your professional career where you had the most assists in a game?
Yes I do. I remember getting 18 assists in the old gym in Oldenburg. I remember that we won the game easily.
You actually had more than 18 assists in a game. I will help you the date was Feb 26, 2009 as you had 16 points and 22 assists in the D-League with Rio Grande against FT Wayne
I didn’t realize that I had 16 points. But let’s be honest. It’s pretty easy getting assists in the D-League. There is no defense, so much space and they are very lenient giving out assists.
You dropped dimes as easily as Steph Curry drops three’s. You will always be known as Mr assist. Is there an assist that you will always remember out of all the ones you had?
I remember getting this assist in Oldenburg. Once your in the zone you can do anything. You throw anything up and it goes in. I remember making a behind the back pass on the pick and roll to Chris Ensminger. Also all the alley oops to Tony Gaffney stick out. I always enjoyed passing the ball and it just came easy to me. I just reacted to the defense.
How would you like basketball fans to remember the player Jared Jordan?
That I played unselfish and for the best of the team. I always wanted to win. I also would like to be known as having been professional and a good teammate. I always had good interactions with teammates and fans.
There were only 10 Jared Jordan Eurobasket titles. There would have been more if I had been a Bonn beat writer and not a Frankfurt beat writer. We only did two published interviews and of course many post game talks over the years. Our first interview was in September 2009 before you had even arrived in Bonn. What memories will you always have of me in German basketball?
I remember that first interview that we did. You contacted me and right away told me about our Avon-Kingswood connection. I knew that every time we played in Frankfurt that you would be waiting outside the locker room. We built up a good connection. I always read your aricles. It’s good stuff. You were always kind to me and always talked positive about me. I rally appreciate it.
I’m coming out with a book called ‘The Real Deal’ in 2021 or 2022 as COVID-19 has pushed everything back with 100 stories about my experience in European basketball. I couldn’t write it without having you in one of my 100 stories. My last sentence is that you belong to my 5 favorite players that I have covered. The title is my prep school connection with Jared Jordan. Is that a good title?
Yes that’s a good title. That is how it all started. It is awesome to hear that I’m in your top 5.
We have had this on going conversation since we know each other of our prep schools Avon where I went and Kingswood Oxford where you went. Let’s settle for once and for all which school rules. If we were to meet on an outdoor court in the summer in Harford and played horse, and you had HOR to give me a chance who would win? Let me warn you I beat ex Miami heat Ken Johnson who played in Bonn a few more years before you in 2008.
I have to take myself.
Who was the toughest player that you ever faced on the court in Europe?
In Europe the toughest guys I played against were Teodosic, Spanoulis and Campazzo. In the BBL the toughest players were Tyrese Rice and Malcolm Delaney.
Please list your 5 best teammates of all-time?
There are too many guys. I would feel bad just naming 5 guys.
Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?
Jordan and Lebron
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
I grew up being a Jordan fan. But I think that now Lebron takes is at the top. His skill level does it all.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I just watched the Bourne Identity. I love watching that movie.
Thanks Jared for the chat.