It is more than 5 years ago when the Fraport Skyliners hoisted their third title and first international one with the Fiba Europe Cup in Chalon, France. Skyliner point guard Jordan Theodore had been contained very well for the first three quarters, but in crunch-time the ex Seton Hall(NCAA) guard finally broke out of his shell and took over the way great players do. He hit a clutch three from the top of the key and nailed three free throws to seal the win. It is always amazing how well players can still remember certain points of a game. You ask a Boris Becker about one of his Wimbledon wins 30 years ago and he can still remember crucial rallies at 4-3 in the fifth set. It wasn´t any different for Quantez Robertson. I have two vivid memories from that epic game as the siren sounded. First when Jordan Theodore threw the ball with so much power towards the Le Colisee ceiling and second when Quantez Robertson came over and slapped my hands in celebration of the win as I was sitting court side. But the Skyliner legend also had vivid memories of the last minutes of the thrilling 66-62 victory. As always Tez was very diplomatic about whether the team would have won without Jordan Theodore. “He definitely was a key player down the stretch as he made big shots. But it was also a collective team effort. John Little played some great defense on Chris Wright and the big guys with Joe Voigtmann, Danilo Barthel and Mike Morrison also did a good job. They also got good effort from Brandon Davies and Malik Wayans, but we all stepped up as a team and buckled down on defense”, remembered Quantez Robertson who last saw the movie Sonic the Hedgehog. With all the problems that the Fraport Skyliners are having now, it would great if Jordan Theodore could return to his old stomping ground, but it would unfortunately be more of a dream happening than it being realistic.
I reach Quantez Robertson on a Tuesday Night at 8:00pm as now with his injury he has even more family time between rehab sessions. A week ago he told me he would be back after the Munich game. This time he told me that he hopes to be back after the ratiopharm Ulm game. That just shows how badly the captain wants to be back and help his team be successful. His ex teammate Jason Clark who is playing in Belarus this season with Tmoki-Minsk predicted that Tez will be back a lot earlier than all would think. It´s no different with Tez. “I wish I could play in Ulm. But I can´t be back in Ulm this weekend. It´s doctors orders. I have to see the doctor on November 1st. I hope to be back for the Bamberg game”, warned Quantez Robertson. It didn´t take the ex Auburn(NCAA) player long to remember exactly when he had his longest injury with Frankfurt. It was the 2013-2014 season.” I missed the whole first three months. It´s tough because you go to rehab and then see all the guys practice and you can´t be with them. It´s just real tough watching them from the sidelines”, stated Quantez Robertson. Recently his ex teammate Jason Clark called him his GOAT and off course Tez had to return the love. “Jason was a hell of a mid range shooter. He and Jimmy Mckinney were the best mid range shooters that I ever played with. If Jason got anywhere near the free throw line, you could get back on defense, because 9 out of 10 times it was going in”, remembered Quantez Robertson.
Quantez Robertson who feels that ex teammate Isaac Bonga has to be as productive as possible with the Toronto Raptors in the minutes he gets during Pascal Siakam´s injury was in a good mood when I reached him, but it is obvious that the 0-5 start by the Fraport Skyliners is something that really is bothering him. Even if it may not show on the court, he believes that the team is better than what the record shows. “It is very frustrating. We know that we let a couple of games get away. We just take it day by day and game by game and fight as hard as we can. We never gave up. Even in the blow out loses to Berlin and Munich we fought to the end”, warned Quantez Robertson. The club made progress against the Telekom Baskets Bonn playing better and had some good phases against FC Bayern Munich, but how far are they from finally playing 40 minutes of solid basketball? “I don´t think that we are that far away from that. We have had games where we came out strong, or picked it up in the third quarter or in the fourth quarter. We need to put all quarters together. There are times when our offense isn´t working and we have too many turnovers. We have to take care of the ball and limit our turnovers. You can have bad offense, but as long as there are no turnovers, it isn´t that bad. It still isn´t good, but at least your getting off shots ”, said Quantez Robertson. A big handicap in the Fraport Skyliners game is their defense. At the moment they give up 85 points per game. In the past they belonged to the best defensive teams in the easyCredit BBL under ex head coach Gordon Herbert, but the team now is as far away from defending like that as it apparently is for Jordan Theodore to return back to Frankfurt. “We have a lot of new guys and it is taking a bit longer for them to get accustomed to our defensive philosophy. Our biggest problem is communication. In the past we communicated very well and bought into the system which led to our success”, added Quantez Robertson. Another problem is how Frankfurt defends on the switches. Head coach Diego O´Campo stated that the team isn´t ready to defend switches against a high level team like FC Bayern Munich. “We have some guys that can guard the perimeter. If we switch it is tough for the guards to defend bigger guys. I think that on the most part that we have done a pretty good job on switches. I mean we barely switch. What hurts us most is not being able to rebound the ball”, expressed Quantez Robertson. The club has some talent on offense, but as a team haven´t put it together and are the worst shooting three point team in the BBL. “We take good shots, but we have to learn to hit our open looks. We have to get up more reps in practice and just shoot with self-confidence. As we see more shots go in, we will gain more self-confidence”, warned Quantez Robertson.
Despite the horrible start by the Fraport Skyliners, there have been some guys that have done as well as they could in the minutes that they got especially some of the young German players. Lorenz Brenneke came to Frankfurt with nothing being guaranteed, but he has really stepped up. He is averaging 6,6ppg, 6,2rpg, 1,2apg and 1,0spg while shooting 55% from the field and 60% from outside. “He didn´t have a real role with Alba Berlin. But he has come here and worked very hard and got a lot bigger role. He has scored and rebound well. He has shown that he is pretty good with the minutes that he has gotten”, said Quantez Robertson. Another young German that has had an amazing development in the last year has been Alexander Richardson. He came to Frankfurt in 2020 with just a big body and being very raw. A year later he has gotten more than just minutes, but the confidence from head coach Diego O´Campo. He has become a solid performer in the Pro B averaging 8,8ppg and 3,8rpg and 3,5ppg and 3,5rpg in the BBL. A weakness last season was his footwork something that has been diligently been worked on this season. “His foot work has improved and so has his self-confidence when he is in the post. He has been working hard with Klaus Perwas and trying to get even stronger. It has really paid off”, stated Quantez Robertson. Another guy that began slowly, but has made a little bit of progression is rookie Dutch giant Matt Haarms who is averaging 7,6ppg, 4,4rpg 1,4bpg. He is shooting 72% from the field. Shouldn´t this guy be fed the ball inside time after time after time? “Yes but the way our offense is setup, we don´t have many post up plays. It is tougher to feed him with less post up plays. He has rose well and we need to find ways to get him the ball on the pick and roll more. He moves pretty well for his size and we have to get him the ball more in the open floor as well”, commented Quantez Robertson.
With the Fraport Skyliners having problems this season, captain Quantez Robertson has taken it upon himself to do even more than usual at both ends of the court. As a result he is putting up very impressive stats. He is averaging only 30 minutes which is the least he has produced since the 2015-2016 season, but he is averaging the most points in his career at 17,5ppg, 5,8rpg, 2,5apg and 1,8spg and is shooting a career best 41% from the parking lot. It is obvious he has to be even more motivated than usual in his own play. “I´m always motivated. I try to do as much as possible on the court with the time that I get making plays for myself and others. We need everyone to step up. I´m scoring and shooting pretty well at the moment. Guys are looking for me to make plays”, stressed Quantez Robertson. Despite Tez getting more of a work load on offense, he doesn´t feel like opponents are keying in on him more now than in the past. “Teams are still playing me the same. I think they are closing out on me harder now because I´m shooting better”, expressed Quantez Robertson. With the team losing as much as it is, it is only obvious that his hunger for success on defense is always growing. “I attack the defensive end like crazy. I do what I can to spark the team. If it means making stops, getting rebounds to lead the fast break, steals or blocks. I´m trying to rally the guys and get them pumped. I do what I can like I always have”, warned Quantez Robertson.
So let me return back to the dream of having Jordan Theodore return to the Fraport Skyliners. He was with a Japanese team, but that didn´t work out and now he is seeking a new challenge. It is no secret that the 2000 BBL cup winner has a point guard problem. In the last few games, Senegal guard Brancou Badio played point guard and didn´t do a bad job. “He came from a team full of history. He shows that he is very quick off the pick and roll and he can get to his spots”, stated Quantez Robertson. But Badio isn´t a long term solution, but a short term. Donovan Donaldson just hasn´t been able to get the job done. He played at a NCAA 2 school putting up good states and has played in lower leagues in Europe before coming to Frankfurt. There was a risk that he might not be able to fulfil expectations at the BBL level. Donaldson´s biggest strength is his drive, but he has been up and down with it with Frankfurt. His hesitation to use it has been a mystery. He was aggressive again in the loss in Bonn, but his aggressiveness was nonexistent in the blowout loss to FC Bayern Munich. “I tried to help him during the Munich game. I told him he has to be more aggressive off the pick and roll and attacking the rim. He does it in practice. I think if he attacks the rim more and gets to the free throw line getting freebies that that will help his confidence”, said Quantez Robertson. It is only a matter of time until the Fraport Skyliners bring in a new point guard. Could it really be Jordan Theodore. New German national team coach and ex Fraport Skyliner head coach Gordon Herbert is a massive Jordan Theodore fan. If Herbert was still in Frankfurt, it would be a no brainer. “Jordan is an elite player that can create for others and for himself. He is also capable of making defensive plays. He can help any team he plays for”, warned Gordon Herbert. But in the end, it´s all about who has enough money and everything else can only be a dream. “It would be nice to have Jordan back. He is experienced and can create for himself and others. I have talked to Jordan. He is staying in shape and looking for that next good situation. It would be nice to have him back, but it makes no sense, because we don´t have enough money. He is big time now”, warned Quantez Robertson. I guess seeing Jordan Theodore back in the Fraport Skyliners can only happen in a dream.