James Robinson is a 27 year old 190cm guard from Mitchellville, Maryland that is playing his fifth professional season and first with the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig. Last season he played with medi Bayreuth (Germany-BBL) playing 21 games averaging 10.3ppg, 2.0rpg, 4.6apg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 37.7%, FT: 92.6%; and played 14 FIBA Europe Cup games averaging 6.2ppg, 2.0rpg, 5.5apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 37.1%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 85.3%. In the 2018-2019 season he played with Bnei Hertzeliya (Israel-Winner League): playing 24 games averaging 9.2ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.2apg, FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 25.3%, FT: 76.9%. In the 2017-2018 season he had his first tour of duty with medi Bayreuth (Germany-BBL) playing 38 games averaging 9.4ppg, 2.2rpg, 3.5apg, FGP: 47.3%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 84.9%; and played 17 BCL games averaging 10.2ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.1apg, FGP: 47.6%, 3PT: 42.2%, FT: 74.4%. He played his rookie season with BC Igokea Aleksandrovac (Bosnia-Division I) helping them win the cup playing 16 games averaging 15.1ppg, 4.3rpg, 3.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 61.1%, 3PT-2 (48.8%), FT: 75.8%; He also played in the Adriatic League playing 24 games averaging 12.8ppg, 3.5rpg, 3.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 48.6%, 3PT: 32.9%, FT: 86.3%. Before turning professional he played at Pittsburgh (NCAA) from 2012-2016 playing a total of 137 games and as a senior played 33 games averaging 10.2ppg, 3.2rpg, 5.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 40.4%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 75.8%. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the 80-68 win over the Fraport Skyliners.
James thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Congrats on the big 80-68 victory over the Fraport Skyliners. How important was this win after having lost four of the last five games?
This was a very important win for us. We had been playing well the last couple of games, but we gave up the lead. The second half and especially third quarter have given us problems. Today we were able to hold the lead and pull out the win.
Did you feel that the team collectively was more together than usual and had revenge on their minds after losing a shoot out in Frankfurt 103-98?
I wouldn’t say revenge. We were more worried about if we could keep the lead after half-time. We wanted to do the little things and be able to keep the lead in the second half.
How content were you with the Braunschweig offense in the first half scoring 48 points. The team had many scoring options. Was this the way Braunschweig should execute always?
It would be also nice to be able to defend like that as well. I think our offense has shown that we have a good system and very unselfish players that make our offense go. I thought that we moved the ball well, made shots and got the free throw line. But defense was the key for the win.
How key was Schilling and Velika’s play in the last minutes of the second quarter to help you keep the momentum?
Their production was big time. They are big time players. Velika knows the game so well and continues to get better with more experience while Schilling has been stepping up all season long. It is good to see that he continues to progress.
The Basketball Lowen Braunschweig did a super job managing a run by Frankfurt and still leading by double figures after 30 minutes. What did head coach Pete Strobl tell you guys to do for the last 10 minutes?
Our number one goal was to win the second half and we did by one point. He told us to stay focused on defense. We knew that Frankfurt would make a run. We didn’t want to panic or freak out and think that we could lose the lead again. We did a good job locking in and getting the job done.
Braunschweig did a great job keeping the lead in the fourth quarter and not allowing Frankfurt to get over the hump. What was key on the defensive end in the fourth quarter for grinding out the win?
I think that we were familiar with their offense. We knew that Mobley would get a lot of shots. Key was playing very good team defense
Matt Mobley scored 24 points. How key was it not allowing that second and third player to get really hot?
We knew that he would get his share of shots. So we stayed true to our principles. Important was it limiting Frankfurt to one shot per possession. Everybody was on the same page.
A big strength today was Braunschweig’s ability to control the boards 41-24. What do you feel was the team’s biggest strength today?
I think huge today was that we had multiple efforts. Every player added something to the game. Everybody sacrificed in some way. Luc Van Slooten did a great job making charges. Garai Zeeb gave a lot of energy form the bench. We got behind them and added energy.
Braunschweig is in no man’s land. They are far from the playoffs and won’t move down. Is the team’s biggest goal now to finish the season strong?
We will take it one day at a time. We want to continue to get better in practice and continue to give our best effort in each game. I think that if we continue to do the right things in practice that it will translate into the games. If we can do that who knows where we will be at the end of the season.
Czech Republic player Martin Peterka had a solid game and has been playing very well in the last weeks. How important has his game been this season for the success of the team?
He has been a big time contributor to our success. He is a very good catch and shoot shooter. He also reads the mis matches well and is a good passer. It is good to see how well he has developed.
You are the only real American player on the team which is very rare in any league in Europe. Do you feel that this gives you a special kind of freedom that you wouldn’t have if you had three or four other American teammates?
I don’t think so. I also wouldn’t want to abuse that. We have a great group of young and smart players. They aren’t any lesser than I am. It is a lot of fun to play with them. I learn from them each day and I would hope that they do the same from me.
In our last interview you stated that ‘I want to be that complete point guard and do what my team needs to win. I also want to continue to be a good leader’. Do you feel like you have shown this in the last months?
I believe that I’m progressing toward that. One can always improve and develop more. I believe I will continue to grow.
Your averaging 11/2/5 stats in 30 minutes per game. Do you at times feel like you could be more efficient in the minutes you get?
Yes I could be more efficient. But then again no player is perfect. I think that my production has been pretty good. One can always be more efficient. That is what I’m striving for.
What kind of an experience was it battling Kam Taylor twice in three days. How tough was it losing that first game 84-81?
Anytime you lose, it’s tough. It also is tough losing to one of your best friends. Hamburg is a great team and Kam is a great player. We weren’t locked in down the stretch. We learned from it and moved on.
How proud are you of Kam Taylor. He helped beat Berlin and Munich in the same week. Is he ready to make the next jump to lead a Eurocup teams?
Kam is a special talent and person. He can make any team better no matter where and make an impact on and off the court. I think that he is ready for the next step.
George King of Chemnitz told me a few days ago that this years Gonzaga team could be one of the greatest college teams of all-time. Will they win it all or do you see another school winning it all?
Gonzaga will be tough to beat. I have to go with Michigan and Hunter Dickinson. He went to my high school Dematha so I have to root for them. Plus Michigan has that German connection with Franz Wagner.
European basketball legend Dino Radja said that he couldn’t imagine seeing Russell Westbrook have the ability to lead a team in Europe to success. Do you agree?
I think with his NBA back round, he can lead a team anywhere. If he will make triple doubles or score 40 points in Europe, I don’t know. He has been a leader where ever he played. If you’re a leader then you’re a leader. He knows how to lead teams.
Draymond Green has said that he believes that he is the greatest defender of all-time in the NBA. Do you agree?
He is supposed to think that with that defense tag. He is definitely an excellent team defender. I personally like Tony Allen and Scottie Pippen as defenders.
The reviews of the Coming To America sequel have been mixed. Shouldn’t they just have kept it with the original and not made a sequel?
I haven’t seen it. As a fan of the original yes. But the actors have talent and aspirations to make a new one. People still would go see it so why not.
Thanks James for the chat.