It was 20 minutes after the Telekom Baskets Bonn-SIG Strasburg Basketball Champions League game 48 hours ago and like so often this season, I was talking to TJ Shorts. Usually we have talked about positive things this season, because his team out of the eyes of the opponents lIke James Bond in the famous Octopussy movie who had a nasty habit of surviving have actually had a nasty habit of winning. It never fails looking at Maud Adams as she is easy on the eyes. But this time TJ Shorts had to talk about losing a real tough 77-76 nail bitter to SIG Strasburg that has put Bonn in the hole in the best of three quarter finals series. As always the 2023 easyCredit BBL MVP candidate was well spoken, to the point and had a lot of class despite losing and missing the last shot for the possible win. ‘You win some and you lose some’, stated TJ Shorts.
Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and TJ Shorts in the Telekom Dome in Bonn in 2022
This is a phrase that a Quantez Robertson and Jordan Theodore (182-PG-1989, college: Seton Hall) could just as well have told me on May 31st, 2016 as the Fraport Skyliners season ended after a brutal 3-1 semi-final loss to ratiopharm Ulm after they had disposed of the mighty Alba Berlin. That season a month earlier the 2000 BBL cup winner had masterfully won the Fiba Europe Cup, but couldn’t finish the job and win their second league title after 2004. ‘That was a tough fought series. We were put in the hole early and had to fight back. Usually when your down 2-0 you have slim chances to come back. They made many free throws and we weren’t able to supply punches earlier in games’, remembered Quantez Robertson. Jordan Theodore did all he could with 23 points, but who could forget the clutch three’s from German Per Guenther? 5 months ago when the Fraport Skyliners were experiencing their first crisis, I proclaimed to bring back Jordan Theoodore right away and then Quantez Roberston was still a bit more diplomatic answering how important Jordan Theodore was for the Fiba Europe Cup title. ‘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. But now on April 7th, 2023 he has changed his opinion a bit. I don’t think we would have won it without him. He played such a big role. But of course we had so many other important players as well that brought different things to the table. We had so many guys that could score, but Jordan kept us together with his strong personality’, stressed Quantez Robertson. The connection between then head coach Gordon Herbert and Jordan Theodore was also key. ‘Jordan was an extension of coach on the court. When he called a play, we had to execute. He was vocal and always held guys accountable’, remembered Quantez Robertson. The Fraport Skyliners pulled a coup bring Jordan Theodore back in hopes of saving the season. ‘It is great news that the Skyliners could bring Jordan Theodore back. Having the combination of him and Tez together is very special. The 2015-2016 season was one of the most successful season’s in their history. Getting Jordan back was a really good statement from the club’, expressed German national coach Gordon Herbert. Almost 7 years after Jordan Theodore played his last game in a Fraport Skyliners jersey, will we see the old Jordan Theodore?
Quantez Robertson reaches me on an early Thursday night. He calls me at dinner time. It is 5 minutes to feeding time for me and my family, but for Tez I find the time and let my food get a little cold. He is in good spirits and why shouldn’t he be. His old buddy from the good old days is back on his team ready to bark the plays of Klaus Perwas. It may have been more than 2,500 days since Tez and Theodore were teammates, but their days together doesn’t seem like a blur. ‘It was long ago, but then again not so long ago. We have never lost contact and he visited Frankfurt a few years ago. I think I saw him like 4-5 times in the last 7 years’, stated Quantez Robertson. So what has Jordan Theodore been doing since his Skyliner days? He definitely has seen the world. He has played 230 games for 7 organizations in countries like Turkey, Italy, Greece and Russia and lived in exotic locations like Istanbul and Venice. Along the way he kept up his winning ways winning 4 titles and racking up some MVP awards. He also settled down and married a Turkish woman who was also a basketball player. It really didn’t matter where he played, he was able to be consistent where ever he played and in most seasons averaged scoring in double figures and averaged 5 assists in a season in the VTB league and led the Turkish BSL league in assists with 7,2apg. He had a great season with Milan winning 2 titles and averaging 11.6ppg, 2.0rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 29.4%, FT: 86.5% in the Euroleague. After that season, I was hoping he could establish himself as a Euroleague player, but it didn’t happen. ‘I think that the opportunity to play longer in the Euroleague didn’t present it’s self for Jordan. I believe that he could of played longer in the Euroleague. But sometimes as a player you go for the sure thing instead of chasing things that won’t present it’s self’, warned Quantez Robertson.
Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Jordan Theodore in Bonn in 2019
Jordan Theodore was able to return to the Fraport Skyliners mainly because his season in Russia had ended. He laced up his sneakers for BC Samara (Russia-VTB United League) and averaged 11,3ppg, 3,0rpg, 5,2apg and 1,2spg. He continues to show consistency with age and will have to bring his A game again. He is in a tough situation with the Fraport Skyliners, a team that isn’t winning like the first time he was here, but losing. Now at 33 is Jordan Theodore in his prime or past it? How was that first impression live after 7 years for Tez? ‘He isn’t past his prime. I feel like he still has some good years ahead of him. He has always taken good care of his body and stayed healthy’, warned Quantez Robertson. His biggest strength with his abilities on the court was getting to the rim. Often as players get older they lose a step or two. ‘Jordan is still pretty fast. He can still get to the rim. He still has the first step off the dribble. He is still crafty and can pick his stops. He hasn’t lost a step’, stressed Quantez Robertson. But it isn’t just his play on the court that the Fraport Skyliners will need, but also other vital components that Theodore still has in his bag. ‘His veteran leadership has grown. He is still a good defender. If you remember he came to Frankfurt in 2015 not known as a defender. He didn’t understand certain defensive concepts, but Gordie and Klaus helped him become a good defender and I feel that really helped him over his career after. He is still pesky on ball and tough to post up’, warned Quantez Robertson. ‘When Jordan came to Frankfurt in 2015, he had a lot to prove and was very motivated. He had an outstanding season. He is a tremendous competitor and a closer. Whenever the game was on the line, he wanted the ball. He became more of a complete player’, stressed Gordon Herbert. It will be interesting to see how Theodore functions under Klaus Perwas. ‘He will be that scorer and playmaker under Klaus. I think it is great they can work together again. They may bump heads at times, but they both know the game’, commented Quantez Robertson.
Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Quantez Robertson at the Fiba Europe Cup parade in Frankfurt in 2016
As usual the Fraport Skyliners have a must win scenario on Easter Sunday in Rostock. One always stated that it was tough to play in Freak City, but over the years other places have popped up that are nasty with Chemnitz, but also Rostock is a annoying place for teams. For many Rostock have the best fans in the league and the Fraport Skyliners will definitely feel that energy and passion. ‘We as players live for the crowds. Having a noisy crowd is what some shine in. Fans like Rostock’s brings out the competitive edge in players. We want to silence the crowd on Sunday’, warned Quantez Robertson. The Fraport Skyliners have good memories of the first game against Rostock as they had one of their best scoring explosions of the season letting it rain 15 three’s. They know they will have to be more alert on the glass as they allowed 14 offensive rebounds in the crushing victory in Frankfurt. ‘We have to play our brand. We have to be physical, execute, knock down open shots, keep them off the offensive glass, not allow second chances and limit them to one shot’, warned Quantez Robertson. It continues to be a tough season for the 38 year old veteran in his 14th season with the Fraport Skyliner. Is his role a bit different with the arrival of Theodore? ‘No my role is the same. I continue to be vocal, get defensive rebounds, push the ball and be aggressive knocking down shots’, said Quantez Robertson. One thing is always certain, there is no game where he doesn’t give 180%. ‘I want to close out the season and try to do all I can to help win as many games as possible. I will play hard and be there for my team until the end and always lead by example’, warned Quantez Robertson. We have to enjoy every game until the end with Jordan Theodore and Quantez Robertson as it might be the last time we ever see them play together again. ‘I don’t know if I have only 3 more homes games. It might be. When the time comes to make that decision, I’ll let you know’, warned Quantez Robertson. The game against new BBL team Rostock with possibly the best fans in the league and the return of Jordan Theodore could be one of the most anticipated games in many years for the Fraport Skyliners considering they are playing for their lives. Getting a win would be so vital for the Fraport Skyliners. ‘I coached against Jordan twice in Russia. He is in good shape. He gives the Skyliners someone who make plays for himself and others. If you have to coach effort then your in trouble, because you don’t have to do that with Jordan He is a winner’, warned Gordon Herbert. There were many times in the 2015-2016 season where Jordan Theodore got Frankfurt out of holes. If there is one guy who can help the Fraport Skyliners most now it’s Jordan Theodore. The Fraport Skyliners will need his strong personality again now in keeping everyone together in the stretch run to remain in the easyCredit BBL.
Tags : JORDAN THEODORE, BC SAMARA, GERMAN BASKETBALL