Marcus Thornton (193-G-93, college: William & Mary) is a 29 year old 193cm guard from Forestville Maryland playing his sixth professional season and first with the NINERS Chemnitz (Germany-BBL) averaging 13,7ppg, 2,0rpg and 4,0apg while shooting 40% from outside. Last season he played with ES Chalon-Sur-Saone (France-Jeep ELITE ProA) playing 23 games averaging 10.4ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 68.2%. He began his professional career in 2015 and has played for organizations Sydney Kings (Australia-NBL), Consultinvest VL Pesaro (Italy-Serie A), Banvit Basketbol Kulubu (Turkey-BSL), Guangxi Rhinos (China-NBL) and for two G-League teams Maine Red Claws and Canton Charge. He played at the College of William & Mary (NCAA) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 125 es and as a senior averaged 20.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 51.8%, 3PT: 40.2%, FT: 82.5%. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the magnificent 98-97 win over the Hamburg Towers.
Marcus thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Mr Buzzer beater. Did you see the buzzer beater the other day from Miami Heat Bam Adebayo? Did you ask yourself when you might make one again?
Yes I did catch his buzzer beater. No I didn’t think after seeing that buzzer beater when I would make one again. It is crazy seeing so many buzzer beaters in the NBA, but also in the BBL this season.
What is your personal history of buzzer beaters? How many have you had since high school and which was your favorite?
I had one in college. I can’t remember having one in high school. Then I had the one against Bamberg this season and last night against Hamburg. I have had shots that have helped my team go ahead late. My favorite one was against Drexel. Their coach had recruited me, but wanted me to cut my hair. I didn’t want that and didn’t go there.
Your playing great basketball right now. You love facilitating, but really is there anything better than scoring the ball consistently?
A big part of my game is to score the ball. That is what I have been training for to be able to score the ball. I love to score the ball and love to see work come to fruition.
How good did it feel to sweep the Hamburg Towers this season? Did a Virgil Matthews tell you about how they stopped Chemnitz from reaching the BBL earlier by beating them in the playoffs some years ago?
Yes he was motivated. I definitely had heard stories of that playoff series between Hamburg and Chemnitz. The guys really wanted to win.
Is Chemnitz the best example of a team that is way better than their record shows? Hamburg has beat most of the top teams and could play an interesting role in the playoffs.
We have a great team this year and everyone has always given their best. We did have some set backs this season and had games we should of won. But we are confident now of who we are as a team and what we still have to do and can do.
Did you sense before the game that head coach Rodrigo Pastore was extra motivated to win because of his history with the Hamburg Towers?
Yes for sure. Coach is a huge competitor. This was a big time win for the club and for coach.
How crazy was this game? I mean there was a buzzer beater and each team won two quarters averaging 29 points?
Yes I know. We had a big lead in the fourth quarter, but they played well and were able to come back. They were able to capitalize on our mistakes. That is a testament of how good the BBL is.
Chemnitz had the 48-45 lead at the break. What did head coach Rodrigo Pastore tell the team to do better in the third quarter?
Coach told us to get more consecutive stops on defense, finish plays better and cut down on turnovers. Overal we stuck together and were able to get the win.
Chemnitz allowed an unacceptable 31 points in the third quarter. Why was it so difficult to keep Hamburg better in check on offense?
We allowed them to get to the free throw line too much. It is already hard enough to play good defense, but we gave them too many easy baskets from the free throw line.
The Hamburg Towers never gave up rallying in crunch time. Max DiLeo gave Hamburg the 97-95 lead with 10 seconds to play. What was going through your mind when he made that shot?
I looked at the bench and saw that coach didn’t want to call a timeout. This was a similar situation to what we had against Oldenburg recently. I drove to the basket to reach overtime, but we lost to Oldenburg. I didn’t want that to happen again. I knew that we had to get a good look
Take us through your game winner. Everything was hurried as there was no timeout. How confident were you that the team would get off the right and best shot despite the time given?
When I got the ball I knew that we still had a lot of time. I was patient and took my time to see what they would do. Would they trap or play straight up. I made a play and made the three.
How much of a pest was Kam Taylor who was Hamburg’s leadings sand filled the stat sheet like Russell Westbrook and also contributed 3 blocks.
He played a big time game. I know him from high school. We went to different high schools, but played in the same conference. He played at a high level in all four quarters. Big shout out to his game.
Where would Chemnitz be without Terrell Harris tonight? Did he show another side with his 11 assists?
Terrell played big time. I texted him after the game telling him not to let his double double get under the radar. Obviously my shot would get a lot of hype. We needed all he gave us with his scoring and assists to get into the position that we were to win the game. He played a great game.
How much fun is it playing right now? The team has a lot of freedom. Is seeing how many games it can win the primary goal?
Yes absolutely. We are a very competitive group of guys. We are taking this season very serious and don’t want to let it go to waste at the end. We want to keep putting our feet forward, get better and keep winning games.
Croatian basketball legend Dino Radja said recently that he couldn’t see Russell Westbrook being bale to lead a team in Europe to success. Do you agree?
It is tough to say since the game is a lot different here. He is so skilled and so athletic that I have no doubt that he could get adjusted here and be successful. He puts in the work and could be great here.
Draymond Greene recently said that he is the best defender of all-time. Do you agree?
No I can’t agree. That is a tough statement. There have been so many great defenders.
Did you see the Coming To America sequel? It got mixed reviews. Should they not just have let it be?
Yes I can see people thinking that. I think people expected too much. It wasn’t meant to be like the first one. It is hard to make a reboot from so long ago.
Thanks Marcus for the chat.