James Palmer Jr. (196-G/F-1996, college: Nebraska) is a 26 year old 196cm forward from Washington DC playing his fourth professional season and first with JL Bourg Basket (France-Betclic ELITE ProA). Last season he played with Arged BM Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski (Poland-EBL) averaging 15.3ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 62.2%, 3PT: 41.7%, FT: 77.5%; and played 6 BCL games averaging 15.2ppg, 6.3rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 41.5%, 3PT: 47.8%. He played his first 2 pro seasons with Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (NBA G League) averaging 19.1ppg, 4.1rpg, 2.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 51.3%, 3PT: 29.8%, FT: 77.5% and in his second season averaged 16.1ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 45.3%, 3PT: 25.4%, FT: 78.3%. He began his basketball career with St. John’s College High School and then played 2 seasons and 71 NCAA games with the University of Miami (NCAA) averaging 3.7ppg, 1.4rpg and 3.5ppg, 1.2rpg. He then finished at the University of Nebraska (NCAA) averaging 17.2ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 51.3%, 3PT: 30.9%, FT: 73.8% as a junior and 19.7ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.0apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 40.1%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 76.2% as a senior. Before turning pro he played at the well known Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft) averaging 18.3ppg, 3.3rpg, 3.3apg, Steals-3 (2.0spg). He spoke recently to germanhoops.com before a Eurocup game against ratiopharm Ulm
Thanks James for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?
my experience in Bourg is great. I’m thankful for this opportunity.
Your playing your second pro season overseas and first with JL Bourg Basket (France-Betclic ELITE ProA). You already played in Poland last year, but as a kid form Washington DC, what kind of an experience has it been experiencing the culture of old town Bourg? It has less than 3,000 people. Is it like a culture shock?
No it’s not a culture shock at all. I’m able to adjust to just about anywhere so it’s pretty cool being in a small town.
You played in the NCAA and then the G-League that is totally different basketball compared to Europe. You had a solid season in Poland and have heightened your game in France. How do you explain being able to be consistent since coming from the States?
Just trusting all the hard work I put into this game I think is the reason I’m able to stay consistent at a high level. Focus and being coachable is key.
Since your days in Nebraska you have not only been a scorer but a stat filler. How do you feel has your game grown the last 2 years since coming from the G-League?
In the last two years I think my game has grown tremendously. In the summer I work on weaknesses so that I don’t have any weaknesses. Also keep my strengths sharp at the same time. Breaking down what I didn’t and do during the past season has helped me grow a lot. Each year I aim to be great in all aspects.
On what area’s of your game do you feel do you still need to work on to make the next step to the Euroleague? Possibly upping your assists more and three point percentage?
The areas of my game to make it to euroleague would be just reading the game and learning when to attack and when to play time clock management
Last season you played with BM Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski (Poland-EBL) averaging 15.3ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 62.2%, 3PT: 41.7%, FT: 77.5%; and in the BCL averaged 15.2ppg, 6.3rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 41.5%, 3PT: 47.8%. What do you remember being your wake up call to being overseas where you knew that you were far away from home?
I can’t really say I had a wake up call honestly at the end of the day I’m doing what I love.
What memories do you have from your first playoff series as a professional getting swept by Legia? You lost all 3 games by not more than 11 points combined?
My first playoff series didn’t go as planned but it was learning experience.
In Poland you were teammates with ex NBA player Kobi Simmons. What kind of a relationship did you have with him? You must have had NBA stories to tell each other?
Yea Kobi is a great guy and teammate. Very fun to be around
After your NCAA career, you had a good NBA Summer League with Phoenix and then was in training camp with the Los Angeles Clippers. What memories do you have from that first breath of the NBA? What kind of feedback do you remember getting from the coaching staff about reaching the NBA?
My first years coming out of college were great I learned a lot from NBA veterans. Just how they go about everyday life on and off the court. Their work ethic and just realizing and taking it in all in
You played your first 2 pro seasons with the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (NBA G League) averaging 19.1ppg, 4.1rpg, 2.8apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 51.3%, 3PT: 29.8%, FT: 77.5% and in your second season averaged 16.1ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 45.3%, 3PT: 25.4%, FT: 78.3%. There are guys with lesser stats in the G-League that reached the NBA. How disappointing was not reaching the big show?
It wasn’t really disappointing because you can’t worry about anything else when it comes to things like that. Can’t compare to the next man. Also I was hurt when I was in consideration to be called up so I just go with Gods plan and execute.
What memories do you have from your first G-League game where you exploded for 40 points in a 121-120 win over the Suns. There were countless NBA guys on the floor and you were the best on the court.
My first game ever game as a pro was definitely nerve wrecking but fun at the same time. It was a great game that went all the way down to the last few seconds. Definitely something I will not forget.
After 2 years in the G-League what was the best example for you that the NBA will always be a business first before anything else?
Yea the NBA is definitely a business just based off how they operate things there and what goes on behind closed doors.
Is the NBA still an option for you or are you concentrating 100% on a career overseas now?
The NBA will always be my dream but my head is where my feet are currently.
You began your NCAA career at Miami. In your first 2 seasons you never averaged more than 13 minutes and 3,0ppg. How disappointing was this time? What do you remember being the most challenging thing?
It was a little disappointing but I always stayed in the gym and always stayed positive through the ups and downs. I knew my time would come sooner or later.
You beat Duke twice in 2 different seasons. There aren’t many guys that can say they did that. That Duke team your freshman season was crazy stocked with future NBA talent. Was that one of the best if not best team you played against in the NCAA?
Yea that Duke team was definitely one of the top teams I played in my college career.
You then finished at the University of Nebraska (NCAA) where you totally took off averaging 17.2ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 51.3%, 3PT: 30.9%, FT: 73.8% as a senior averaging 19.7ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.0apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 40.1%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 76.2%. How do you feel did your game grow in those 2 years?
My game grew tremendously and my confidence is what ultimately took over in order for me to be successful. Great 2 years at Nebraska
How did head coach Tim Miles groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
He prepared me well because he wasn’t afraid to coach me or light a fire under me. He knew that I was always able of giving just a little more. Also gave me the confidence so I love him for that.
Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Anton Gill?
I’m not sure if we actually played 1v1 against each other
Who was the toughest player that you faced in the NCAA that reached the NBA?
I faced a lot of guys that made the NBA. Miles Bridges, Jahlil Okafor, Grayson Allen, Carsen Edwards, just to name a few
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
I had a lot of great teammates so it’s hard to just point out a specific group of teammate that were my best
Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore?
Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, lebron James
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?
I think Jordan is the greatest to ever touch a basketball honestly
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
Yes I seen it and I think it was a good movie just like the first one.
Thanks James for the chat.