There was an instance in Danilo Barthel´s third season with the Fraport Skyliners where a rumor was leaked that the big man who had found a liking to facial hair in his tenure with Frankfurt was not remotely amused by having any kind of confrontation with the insect that has eight legs and at times franticly moves about as nervously as a Paris Hilton does at home in her walk through closet when she doesn´t find the matching outfit for her nightly engagement at some kind of fundraiser. Even if one would have to be very unlucky to meet a tarantula in the Nord west centrum mall where Barthel lived during his 5 year tenure, the little creature surely could of found bondage to the German´s hairy beard. Sometime in the 2013-2014 season, the 207cm forward who has made dunking a normal daily occurrence as much as it is for an Anthony Davis to get a double double found a spider in his mail box, but it soon was revealed that it was a fake rubber spider and the secret of his dislike for the quick runners was slowly lifted. Who the prankster was that placed the spider in the mail box of Barthel was never revealed, but I would have bet my special George Gervin autograph on prankster Jacob Burtschi or the silent and innocent looking Johannes Voigtmann. One thing that Barthel was not scared to present was his sharp and improving basketball skills on the court as he continued to develop since coming to Frankfurt in 2011. Barthel may be the first guy that will be half way to Siberia by the sight of a spider before a Quantez Roberton can be on the break from Frankfurt to Auburn, but if Beko BBL teams came upon the idea to place a spider on a rim to keep Barthel away, they better think twice, because despite his fear of the little creature, the rim is the best friend of the German on the court. That is probably the only place where Barthel will forget how disgusting a spider really is because nothing in safe around the rim when the 25 year old German is on flight. Barthel has made some crashing dunks over his years as he continues his career with FC Bayern Munich this season, but before he could sign on the dotted line and be able to meet Uli Hoeness on a more regular basis and pick his brain about FC Bayern Munich basketball, one has to remember that there was a reason why he was able to move to the charming city of Munich and woo fans there with his skills and that was his development with the Fraport Skyliners from 2011-2016.
Over the years, the stroll from the Fraport Skyliners dressing room to the VIP dining room began with the big German three of Johannes Voigtmann, Danilo Barthel and Konstantin Klein taking the march together to just the two big men and especially in this season, the three have totally broken apart and often departed the door individually as their status has become one where they don´t need to walk together. However a little less than 72 hours ago after the seemingly solid 86-70 victory over Phoenix Hagen, the three German national players didn´t come out of the dressing room trying to hide or sneak unnoticed down the 80 meter runway to the mesh hall, but walked with a mean authority with that facial expression of don´t mess with me just get out of my way. They could have doubled for movie characters the Incredible Hulk, Barry Egan aka Adam Sandler from Punch Drunk Love or Walter Sobchak from the Big Lebowski. Of course the three big Germans aren´t truly like these characters in real life, but had a reason for giving that angry appeal as they were simply overly disgusted with themselves and their play after the 86-70 win over Phoenix Hagen. At the end of 40 minutes the three Germans had only played a combined 20 minutes and 23 seconds and scrapped up a measly 3 points. Fraport Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert isn´t one to get mad either, but apparently the start of Voigtmann and Barthel that led to a 12-5 Phoenix Hagen lead was under his standard. The two would come back later for a short instance and then sat out the whole second half. Klein was unable to bring that needed energy and his shot continued not to fall also. For a guy like German Max Merz who is playing his fourth professional season, he finally got some minutes with 10.56 and scored seven points and that will probably be the only game in his professional career where he will be able to boast that he scored more than the German big three and Quantez Robertson as they all combined for five points. Sometimes having a rude experience like this can be the best medicine for a player to question his own game and the four players had a few days to digest this bitter game and look forward to the next battle against 2004 Fiba Cup winner Mitteldeutscher BC who are in a fight to stay in the league. The German big three and Robertson got a new chance against the Mitteldeutscher BC and proved that their play against Phoenix Hagen couldn´t be duplicated as the four starters combined for 47 points outshining their weak five points as the Fraport Skyliners wiped out 2004 Fiba Europe Cup winner Mitteldeutscher BC 89-51. Especially German national player Danilo Barthel was on a mission as he more than made up for his less than satisfactory performance against Phoenix Hagen steering 21 points, nine rebounds and two assists. He was lethal especially in the first quarter getting Frankfurt going getting a big lead and never looking back. “I didn´t have my best game against Phoenix Hagen and today I just wanted to show everyone that I was present”, stressed Heidelberg native Danilo Barthel. Teammate Quantez Robertson was thrilled that Barthel and him were able to perform back to standard. “Barthel was on a mission. He came out aggressive from the start on offense and defense. He got to the rim early and free throw line which opened it up for his outside shooting in the second half. I came out getting guy s involved, played defense and hit a few shots”, explained Quantez Robertson who finished with seven points, three rebounds and five assists and had to take some of the load for Jordan Theodore who was out nursing a hurt shoulder.
Every weekend, Fraport Skyliner point guard and the pride and joy of Englewood, New Jersey, Jordan Theodore has too battle against top rated point guards in the Beko BBL and some nights, he comes out the winner both in the team and match up category, but as of late, he has only been coming up the master in the head to head battle while his team the Fraport Skyliners have been coming up short in the victory department. After having a 6 game winning streak in the Beko BBL, the 2004 German champion currently is riding a three game losing streak. Theodore held his own in Ludwigsburg against American Kerron Johnson producing 22 points, but losing 74-70, then held a basketball boxing match against Jordan Taylor as he hit the game winning shot propelling 9 time Beko BBL cup winner into the final in Munich and last weekend the ex Seton Hall guard supplied 21 points to Brad Wanamaker´s 12 points, but the Brose Baskets Bamberg crushed Frankfurt 71-58. Theodore returned back to his own living room after three games on the road and was ready for the next battle against German national player Per Guenther and ratiopharm Ulm, currently one of the hottest team´s in the league having won 13 of their last 14 games. In this long and illustrious winning streak also belonged the 68-61 win of ratiopharm Ulm over the Fraport Skyliners on December 12th at home as Theodore couldn´t play in that game due to injury as German national player Konstantin Klein moved into the starting rotation notching 14 points as Guenther achieved 10 points and six assists in the win. It was the little things that Ulm did and Frankfurt didn´t that paved the win for guys like Chris Babb and Taylor Braun. One thing that Theodore has had often this season after games in the Fraport arena is that winning smile and non stop talkative mode that let´s him go on and on about the beauty of Frankfurt basketball as he has a 16-2 record this season in Beko BBL and Europe Cup play at home. In his first meeting with Guether and with revenge on the minds of his teammates, he and the Fraport Skyliners came out with an exceptional effort over 40 minutes as it was another day at the office where the offense was rolling and the defense was standing tall beating ratiopharm Ulm 92-73. Theodore didn´t start the game as he hadn´t practiced all week, but still amassed 10 points and four assists in the rout. “I was sick this week and I was a last minute decision to play. Klein did a good job and we still took care of business. We knew that it would be a good game. I didn´t play in Ulm and all I wanted was a win tonight. I wanted show my presence and this was a great win after the loss in Bamberg. We did a good job on Guenther and credit Klein for locking him up. Klein showed a lot of pride after losing the first time. We did a good job attacking Guenther and taking him out of the game”, stressed ex Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore. A big key in the Frankfurt victory was the superb play by the German twin Towers Johannes Voigtmann and Danilo Barthel who combined for 35 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. Especially their amazing passing game once again dazzled everyone as they continue to demonstrate why they are the best passing 4-5 duo in the German Beko BBL. Even if Canadian national player Aaron Doornekamp led all players with 8 assists, the passing flavor of the game were called Voigtmann and Barthel as they just took apart the Ulm defense all night long. Some come to games to witness the cool decision making and amazing game control of Jordan Theodore, Aaron Doornekamp make splash sounds from the corner, Mike Morrison make crushing authority dunks or the beautiful precision passing from all over the floor from Johannes Voigtmann or Danilo Barthel. “We really rely a lot on Voigtmann and Barthel, but what else can you expect when you have two guys like that that can score, rebound, pass and work so hard. It is a big advantage when you can give the big man the ball and let him go to work. Their passing is huge. It is a big advantage when they have a good position with the ball. It opens up the floor for their 1-1 play or if the double team comes, they know where to find us”, expressed 5 time CIS champion Philip Scrubb. Ratiopharm Ulm really had no cure of how to stop 40 minutes of always attacking mode on offense and couldn´t crack the always aggressive Frankfurt defense. “When you play against a good team, you have to be ready for 40 minutes, but we weren´t. We were unable to execute on offense and looked confused on defense. Their two big men really hurt us with their scoring and when they can pass as well it gets tougher. We have a very athletic front court, but we were unable to use it to our advantage”, stressed ex Boston Celtic Chris Babb.
Fraport Skyliner Danilo Barthel took part in the 2014 NBA Summer League in Orlando and Las Vegas. I take a look back at his experiences in both places from game to game.
In the home land of Danilo Barthel in Germany, the last days have been buzzing with soccer talk and the world cup final between Germany and Argentina approaching while in Orlando, Florida where the Heidelberg native is taking part in the Summer League, he can easily focus on basketball, basketball and basketball. He will be able to concentrate on this big sports event on his free day on Sunday in Las Vegas when he can sit back at noon time with a Vegas Strip Dog or paella valenciana and wash it all down with some Powerade or Gatorade while enjoying some more records being done by Thomas Mueller or Miroslav Klose. However Before he could relax in Las Vegas before taking the court again, he had to take care of some last business in Orlando with his last NBA Summer League game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Barthel competed against some well known basketball names like Andre Roberson, Mitch Mcgary or Nolan Smith, but there was one player he knew all to well about as he had lost twice last season to Michael Stockton and Ludwigsburg by not more than a combined three points in both games. In the first meeting Ludwigsburg were behind by 15 points until Americans Keaton Grant and CJ Harris pulled out their reserves and took apart the Fraport Skyliners while in Ludwigsburg, it was Coby Karl who drew a technical foul on Quantez Robertson and Adam Waleskowski that hauled down an offensive rebound and made the put back for the bitter 77-76 loss for Barthel and Frankfurt. Stockton and Barthel didn´t overly shine on the court then in Germany, but now had another chance to battle on the court as the German didn´t want to leave the court a loser against the Washington native three times in a row.
Last season, Ted Scott who hails from Jeff Gibbs country Columbus, Ohio was unleashing his deadly three pointer in small arenas in Portugal against teams like Fiscia, Alges or Ovarense, but this season, the American who adores sweet candy like Justin Bieber does Captain Crunch and is known as the candy man has joined forces with the Fraport Skyliners and quickly showed his special Ohio basketball talent as he netted 20 points in his debut in Trier. He had to wait 13 days until he could finally make his home debut in the Fraport arena. One could see it with his eyes in warm ups that he was as focused to help his team win and fascinate the home crowd with his swish shot as Seatle Sea Hawks Richard Sherman was to twittering hostility against the New England Patriots after their win, wrestling legend Hulk Hogan suing for 100 million about a sex tape or Felix Baumgartner was to breaking the speed of sound. Scott helped propel the Fraport Skyliners past the Telekom Baskets Bonn 78-53 and was very excited talking about his first game in the Fraport arena. “It was crazy in the arena. The fans were very loud and I felt very comfortable playing my first game here. The arenas were a lot smaller in Portugal, but still a good atmosphere like here. I am a little sad that my shot, but I didn´t worry too much about that, because the most important thing was that we won”, stressed Ted Scott. Scott played 24 minutes netting seven points on 3/11 shooting and two rebounds, but his teammates are very happy to have him on the floor. “Scott is a scorer and forced the opponents defense to play a different way. When he is on the floor, everything opens up”, added Fraport Skyliner guard Johnathan Jones. In a blowout win like this, the Fraport Skyliners also learned it can win without getting a 20 point game from Scott. “Tonight it was about finding guys at the right moment and getting them into scoring situations. We showed a team effort. Scott is a fearless shooter and even on a night like this, if he misses eight shots, then he will shot the ninth shot with the same amount of confidence. He always shoots with confidence”, warned ex LTi Giessen 46er Zach Peacock.
Danilo Barthel is a 20 year old 206cm forward from Heidelberg Germany and is playing his first season for the Fraport Skyliners. He also has a license to play for the team PRO B team. He started his basketball career with USC Heidelberg in 2008 and played there until 2011. Last season, he played 14 games: 4.8ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.0apg. Awards/Achievements in his basketball career have been German U18 National Team -09, European Championships U18 in Metz (France) -09: 8 games: 10.4ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 41.5%, 3PT: 43.8%, FT: 71.8%, German NBBL All-Star Game -10, German U20 National Team -10-11, European Championships U20 in Croatia -10: 7 games: 0.3ppg, and European Championships U20 in Bilbao (Spain) -11: 9 games: 4.9ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.0spg. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
A tough 79-71 loss against BBC Bayreuth. The team has lost 12 of the last 13 games. How tough is it losing for you?
It has been a tough time. Every athlete hates losing. We can´t hang our heads and have to stay positive.
Muli Katzurin said the team is good enough to come back, but not win. Why can´t the team close the door on opponents?
Often we do a good job hitting our shots at the starts, but at the end are unable t o make our shots or draw fouls.