Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Gordon Herbert in the Fraport arena
Gordon Herbert (agency: BeoBasket ) is a Canadian/Finish coach who is currently in his 27th year coaching and is head of the German national team. He has a long coaching resume that includes having coached in Finland Austria, Russia and in Germany he coached Wurzburg, Alba Berlin and was with the Fraport Skyliners for more than a decade. He also coached the Canadian national team and was active with the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets. He spoke to germanhoops.com about the German national team in 2023
Thanks Gordie for talking to germanhoops.com. Congrats again on winning the bronze medal at the 2022 Euro. Has your life just changed a tad since that overwhelming success?
No not really. It was a great experience. I loved the commitment that we got from the coaching staff, players and organization as a whole. We would never have had that success without that commitment. I already had a really good feeling last June about the Euro. It was amazing getting that commitment from Dennis Schroeder, Isaac Bonga and Joe Voigtmann despite not having contracts to play in the June window. They wanted to play. That showed commitment.
What do you remember going through your head right when the buzzer sounded and you had helped guide Germany to the Bronze medal?
I was relieved that we could win the Bronze. After losing to Spain, the farthest we could go was to win the Bronze and we did that. It was really disappointing to lose to Spain.
Your phone must have been flooded with congratulatory messages after winning the Bronze medal. Do you remember getting a message from someone where you wouldn’t have expected it?
I really can’t remember. I got so many messages.
Germany won it’s first medal in 17 years. How high does one have to rate this success?
That is hard to answer. 17 years ago, German had won a silver with Dirk Bauermann and Dirk Nowitzki. I think it was great to win a medal on home soil. Dennis Schroeder and Johannes Voigtmann have given tremendous leadership on and off the floor. I have seen a boom in Germany now. We have a great group of guys and want to make another step. I really enjoy working for the federation and with the people from the federation. The players, staff and support staff have been outstanding. I feel 10 years younger
Do you feel pressure going to the 2023 World Championships? Is there a different pressure for you as coach than for the team?
I really haven’t thought about it. I have been totally been focused on this window. I haven’t talked to the NBA or Euroleague guys about the summer. Most important now is the guys playing this window get 100% attention.
How much of a joy is it for you to face Finland? How is the state of Finish basketball at the moment?
It is great that Finland is also qualified for the 2023 World Cup. The federation has done a great job with the program. Guys like Shawn Huff and Petteri Koponen have done a lot over the years for the success. Even if I have lived in Finland most of the time, I really have no connection to Finnish basketball. I don’t even really go watch games in Finland. I go to ice hockey games.
We have to talk about some of the nominated players. Have you been surprised how much of a minor role Johannes Voigtmann has played in Milan?
I didn’t count on Joe coming for this window. He would have been available had we had to qualify, but we were qualified. I thought it was great that he called me and asked if he could play even after he started playing more with Milan. He really showed commitment that he wants to play. It is great for the young guys to have a true professional like Joe around. He has great values in life. It is great that the young guys can see how he conducts himself on a daily basis.
You have selected Dylan Osetkowski as a first timer. How did his nomination come about. Had he been on the radar for a longer time?
Dylan isn’t coming. He played 3 games in a row in Spain and hurt his back. He asked me last summer if he could play in the Nov window, but we were already committed to Nick Weiler-Babb. So he was set to be on board now until his injury happened.
How have you seen the development of Joshua Obiesie? He has been playing for a losing team. Is that more positive or negative for his development?
That is hard to say. He has a pretty good role with Frankfurt. He has had some big offensive games. He is a big talent with a big future ahead of him.
How have you seen the development of Jason George. How beneficial has the move been to Chemnitz and being able to play under Rodrigo Pastore?
They play really good Euro basketball in Chemnitz. Other young guys like Nelson Weidemann and Jonas Richter have developed well under Pastore. Jason is long and athletic. He didn’t play much with Munich but has the chance to grow in Chemnitz. Most important for him and any other young player is that he needs to make a big investment himself.
How big is the future of Justus Hollatz? He is getting good minutes in the ACB. How good are the chances for him to take over for guys like Schroeder and Lo as they leave the national team sometime in the future?
I see him becoming a future starter in the national team. I think he made a huge step last summer. It helped that he was around guys like Dennis Schroeder and Maodo Lo. I made him captain for this window. He is poised and confident and reads the game really well. He also has great size and is a great kid. He is even a better person than player. It is great being around him. He has a tremendous future ahead of him. I see him as a future Euroleague player.
How intense do you follow the German players playing overseas in college? How have you seen the development of Tristan Da Silva? He has been on fire recently?
To be honest I don’t follow that too much. Our other coaches follow that. I know that currently we have 3-4 kids that are doing really well. I hope that we can get some of them involved this summer with a sort of A-2 national team.
Was FC Bayern Munich’s winning the 2023 BBL cup the best example that you can never rule out this team despite not having a great season this season?
I wasn’t surprised that they won and came to play. Losing to Hamburg was the best thing that could happen to them. They have had a lot of injuries and not had many practices. You get better with adversary. They are good now, but they will be really good when they can all practice together and get healthy.
Now that Lebron is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Where is he in the debate for GOAT?
I’m the wrong person to ask. Your going to have to ask Tez.
Thanks Gordie for the chat.