Josh King is head coach of the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. He played college ball at Eckerd (NCAA2) and began his coaching career in 2008 with Vassar College (NCAA3). He got vast experience in the NCAA coaching at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell (NCAA2), 4 years at Marshall and 2 years at the University of New Hampshire (NCAA). He then was 3 years with the MHP Riesen as an assistant and last season got the head coaching gig with USK Praha (Czech Republic-NBL). He spoke to germanhoops.com about his first season in the easyCredit BBL.
Thanks Josh for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?
Hi Miles, right now I am in My office in Ludwigsburg watching gottingen and Heidelberg play. Right now basketball is life is good and we are just trying to get our team better everyday.
Your coaching your first season in a top 5 league in Europe in the BBL. What kind of an experience has it been for you and what have you enjoyed most from the opportunity?
This has been a great experience and opportunity this season. I have really enjoyed being around the team and watching the development from the preseason to the present moment.
What has been the biggest adjustment coming back to an old club where you were a former assistant coach and now a head coach? What has been the biggest challenge for you?
Obviously just being the head coach now has been the biggest adjustment but I have a great staff and support that have helped me in this process. I can’t pinpoint the biggest challenge but meeting expectations that club like Ludwigsburg has is a challenge in itself.
The best phrase to describe the MHP Riesen is ‘you never know what you will get’. One week you beat top team Bonn and the next lose to the hapless Fraport Skyliners. Why is this team a mystery this season?
Well I think that’s the Beauty of this league there are no easy games and anybody can beat anybody on any given night and we are not immune from this. I think our team has handled the adversity of injuries and sickness very well and we are just going to keep on going.
You kept some of the principles of John Patrick, but also made changes playing more in the post. But the club isn’t defending as well as last season?. What have been the biggest deficiencies on defense and how can the team do a better job allowing less points?
Well we are really trying to focus on being a good defensive team. I would say the biggest difference between this team and teams of the past is that this is a brand new team with a bunch of new faces (A lot of young players) we just have to keep working hard on helping each other staying focused on that side of the ball that’s the key!
What has it been like having ex NBA player Will Cherry? He stated to me that Jhonathan Dunn will reach higher levels in Europe. What have you appreciated most about his leadership and advice?
Will has been a great addition to our team. He has a lot of experience playing on high level teams. He brings it everyday and he is a real competitor.
What has it been like coaching rookie Prentiss Hubb? How raw is he and what have you appreciated most about his game?
Prentiss came here on a tryout and quickly established himself as one of our go to players. He doesn’t back down from competition, He still has a lot to learn but if he stays humble and keeps working hard he can have a high level European career.
The MHP Riesen lost a tough game to Limoges to end their BCL season. Was this one of the tougher loses in your young career?
I take losses really hard as do most coaches, that one really stung but we had our chances and hopefully we learn from that experience.
Was this loss possibly a blessing in disguise for the team quest to win the BBL cup in Oldenburg? The club has more time to concentrate on the BBL and cup.
I’m not sure about blessing but it does gives us more time to prepare for the league and for the cup.
How excited are you to be coaching in the 2023 Cup top 4? What does the format of back to back games on consecutive days mean for you personally?
We are very excited to be competing in the top 4 this season. It’s an opportunity for Ludwigsburg to win the first title in club history. The back to back will be tough but if we are fortunate to advance I’m sure we will find the energy to play for 40 more minutes.
Are the MHP Riesen really the underdog? Alba and Munich have better records and Oldenburg home court. Isn’t an advantage to be able to go in and have that nothing to lose mentality?
I would say we are probably not the favorites to win the cup. In terms of it being advantage I’m sure it could be, I guess we will see very soon.
You play the EWE Baskets Oldenburg in the semi-final. Is the will to win greater because of the 75-71 loss recently?
I mean that was a very tough loss in which we’re up by 17 in the second half. We should use the loss as motivation in the cup.
What memories do you have of that game? Oldenburg had 6 turnovers more and Oldenburg had 11 more free throws. Where was this game lost?
I would say the game was lost in the fourth quarter where we gave them open looks and didn’t get to their shooters.
Will it be paying half the rent if you can somehow slow down Dwayne Russell?
Russell is a great player but they have several guys that can make you pay if we aren’t ready to defend.
The EWE Baskets Oldenburg have a very strong roster but aren’t that deep. Could that be an advantage in crunch-time despite them being a team that has won many close games this season?
Like I said they have several players that can make you pay. They just signed a new player so we are going to have to put together a full 40 mins if we want to win this game.
There have been rumors that John Patrick might take over the Hamburg Towers. Could he turn around that sinking ship?
John is one of the best teachers and coaches this game has to offer. I’m sure he could help any team become better.
Is Lebron James now the GOAT over Jordan since he owns the NBA scoring record?
Lebron is a great player but to me the GOAT is and will always be FROM NORTH CAROLINA.. MJ!!!
Thanks Josh For The Chat