The Next Time Parker Jackson-Cartwright(Telekom Baskets Bonn) Meets TJ Shorts It Will Be Pay Back Time

Parker Jackson-Cartwright (176-PG-95, college: Arizona) is a 26 year old 176cm point guard from Los Angeles, California playing his fourth professional season and first in Germany with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. He played at the University of Arizona (NCAA) from 2014-2018 reaching the NCAA Elite 8 and two NCAA Sweet 16’sand winning three Pac 12 tournaments. He played his rookie season for the G-League team Westchester Knicks and then came overseas playing for the Cheshire Phoenix (United Kingdom-BBL) and last season for the Saint-Quentin Basket-Ball (France-ProB) playing 33 games averaging 15.6ppg, 3.2rpg, Assists-1 (7.1apg), Steals-1 (2.4spg), FGP: 52.9%, 3PT: 35.7%, FT: 77.1%. He spoke to after the tough 81-76 loss on the road against the Hakro Merlins

A tough 81-76 loss last night to top team Telekom Baskets Bonn. How tough was the bus ride home? What were your main thoughts concerning that loss?

It wasn’t that tough. I didn’t have a great taste in my mouth. Losing yesterday in Crailsheim was an unusual feeling, because we hadn’t lost in two months. Now we have to get back to work and focus on getting better. It is a long season and you can’t get down.

The magical Bonn 9 game losing streak was stopped. How much of a blessing in disguise is it sometimes for having wining streaks lost? You have always told me that the club prides itself on getting better each new day no matter what?

When your winning you don’t want to get complacent. I think that during a winning streak, you can lose sight of still being able to improve and get better. We know that we are a good team and know that we still have room for improvement. We can tell now that teams are focusing on us more now and wanting to take our strengths away. We need to be more diligent in our work.

After 10 minutes of play the Telekom Baskets Bonn had the commanding 26-9 lead. Did that quick lead and commanding 17-2 run at the end of the first quarter surprise you a bit?

A little bit. We started well, were physical, attacked and some balls did go our way. It was very loud in the arena and the good start helped, but we need to play well for 40 minutes and not just 18 minutes. Hat’s off to them. They never wavered. They took our punches and countered.

In the second quarter Crailsheim stepped up the offense as if it was nothing scoring 28 points, but were still down by 10 points at the break. Was it the sheer aggressiveness of TJ Shorts that picked up the Merlins offense in the second quarter?

I think that it was a multiple of things. We weren’t able to contain Shorts as they played off his energy and their ball movement was very good. They really move the ball well. Shorts does a good job of spraying the ball around and Stuckey hits the shots. We were too careless with the ball and didn’t value our possesses. We had 17 turnovers. It is hard to win against a team like that when you play like that.

The Hakro Merlins continued to get better allowing only 11 points in the third quarter to dead lock the contest. Was it more their defense or the Bonn offense not executing the way it should have?

I thought it was both. Credit to them for getting us out of our rhythm. They were very aggressive and played physical. Their coach did a good job of giving us different looks on defense. We couldn’t match their intensity in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter it was 0-0. The game was a back and forth battle. Does one notice how intensive the game is despite it not having that sold out arena atmosphere?

It was a good atmosphere. Their gym isn’t that big. It felt very loud and many people were there.

The Merlins stepped up the defense in crunch-time. What do you feel was key for the opponent being able to grind it out?

They took away our advantages, got in the paint and did bing bing finding their open shooters. Plus my turnovers helped it be a combination of the two. They were really physical and their big man was always jumping around and got the ball from me. Switching the defense on us was a turning point.

Do you feel like the Merlins had an edge knowing how Tuomas Iisalo works as a coach?
He built the house there and it is a compliment to the work he put in. Teams like to emulate good teams. I think he took a page from him. You see how good defense they play. I would have liked to have gotten a win for our coach.

What is it in general like playing against TJ Shorts? Are you and him the two fastest players in the easyCredit BBL?

I know that he is the fastest that I have ever played against. I can’t ever remembering playing against a player as fast as him. I think another guy that is up there with us is Justin Robinson. He has a nice burst. You can’t guard him 1-1. You need multiple guys on him. He puts so much pressure on you.

Right now you and him are 1-2 in MVP voting If I chose. Do you follow how he is doing on a week to week basis?

I follow the league and am aware what he does. I think that there is mutual respect among us. We both are in the same position in that we try to do our job and lead our team. I think that we will both be there at the end of the season. It was fun playing against him and next time it will be pay back time.

Who would win a one on one on a neutral court you or TJ Shorts?

I would say that it would be a close game depending who got the ball first. I will take myself and I’m sure he would do the same. It would be fun. If one gets a step on the other then it would be hard to stop

The Telekom Baskets Bonn have some huge games coming up. Do you feel like despite the loss that the team mentality is strong enough to wipe off your mouths and start a new winning streak?

Absolutely. Win or lose there is never a drop in our mentality. In our nine game winning streak, there wasn’t a day we took it easy. We are the same way each day. I’m kind of glad we lost, because we can get the rest of the BS out of the way and focus on the next game. It is exciting as we still have a full season and we still have a big gap of time where we can improve.

Will the team character show in the next games how strong it is against teams like Hamburg, Bamberg and Munich?

We have no choice but to show our character. We respect our opponents and understand that anyone can make noise in this league. I think that we have done a good job this season not taking anyone for granted. I think that we can achieve another 9 game winning streak. We have to go game by game and always stay focused.

How excited are you to play against BBL legend Rickey Paulding again? In the first game you won a close 78-76 affair where you had 21 points. He is retiring after this season?

We went neck to neck with them. One more bounce and they could have won. I pay respect to his career. He is like a true hero. I only played against him once but that one time was an incredible battle. It will be fun to play against him again.

You continue to put up consistent stats and have really upped your playmaking in the last 3 games averaging 11 per game. Do you feel like Bonn is at it’s best when your scoring or being able to focus more on facilitating?

My natural being and best aspect of my game is clearly playmaking for others. When I am able to do that then I thrive. If you look at my career so far then playmaking has by far been my best asset. I got better at scoring overtime and can utilize it when I need to. My biggest challenge now is to take better care of the ball and value it more. I want to continue to get better as a playmaker.

How did you enjoy your first Christmas in Germany? Was it any different than in the other countries you were in the last years?

It was different because my mom visited me. I was able to relax and took in the city. Last season I was alone. It was good to have that family loving here. This was one of my favorite Christmas’s ever.

How was the whole New Year experience in Bonn? Were their any fireworks that you could enjoy or did the whole COVID feeling get in the way?

There were a lot of fireworks at 12. People were blasting fireworks all over the city. I have never really been the type of person that gets out. It didn’t matter if COVID ruined plans, because I’m always at home.

I recently read that some basketball expert said Lebron James is the best player ever and Michael Jordan the greatest of all-time. Does that finally end that long debate?

It is hard to compare them. I didn’t grow up on Jordan. I watched his highlights and know that he is a great player. I grew up on Lebron and he is my GOAT. The debate will never end. It depends on your taste. Everybody has their own GOAT.

Thanks Parker for the chat.

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