After the hard fought and down and dirty Fraport Skyliners 59-56 victory against Russian team Enisey heaving them into the Fiba Europe Cup final where the only thing missing had been a Delroy James vs Danilo Barthel stare down in the paint area, Jordan Theodore was stretching after the duel when suddenly a media representative cleared up the Englewood, New Jersey native that he had seen him play when the good spirited point guard had played with Antalya Buyuksehir Belediye (Turkey-TBL). After some small chit chat, both had smiles on their faces for the short break down of memory lane. It had been another normal day at the office for Theodore even if it took him and the club some deep soul searching in the fourth quarter to grind their way into the final. In his first three seasons as a professional in Europe, Theodore had very solid stats, but in the end that didn´t mean anything as he always played on losing teams and went home early to Englewood, New Jersey to catch the NBA playoffs. However this season with the Fraport Skyliners everything has changed as his scoring, assist and steal rate is back up to his rookie season, but the massive difference this season is that he has become a real leader for a winning team and MVP candidate in the German Beko BBL. And a little side note, he has dominated not only the country league and been consistent, but also belonged to the top guards in the FIba Europe Cup competition, the first time in his career that he has played in an international club tournament. He also finally has broken out of his outside shooting slump as he is near 40% while he shot only 25% in his first three seasons. Plus all season long he has matched up against the top point guards in both competitions and looked real good. In the FIba Europe Cup, he battled against guys like Thaddus Mcfadden, Earl Calloway, Mark Lyons and Tony Taylor and stepped off the court as the winner. In his quest to win his first professional title in Chalon, France in the Fiba Europe Cup, the pride and joy of Englewood, New Jersey had to face one last dirty confrontation not with one, but against two strong ex NBA point guards Maalik Wayns and Chris Wright who he also knew well from the NCAA with Villanova and Georgetown as he had played against them with Seton Hall. Theodore put on that last mean Fiba Europe Cup face of the season and went to battle for the title with the Fraport Skyliners and really had to do some serious soul searching and just break out of his shell in crunch-time as he had been taken out of the game well for three quarters, but when it counted most, he stepped up once again winning the battle against the guards of the opponent and led his team to the title. “We didn´t play our brand of basketball in the first three quarters. They played harder and wanted it more. When we were down by nine points after three, my teammates told me not to worry that I would pick up my game. We have played team basketball all season long and showed it at the end. Morrison and Robertson picked it up and we got tougher as a team. We just didn´t want to lose and I knew that we would come back. This is my first title in Europe. It feels so amazing. It is great when hard work pays off. I am so excited. It´s great for the city of Frankfurt and I know Englewood is tearing it up now”, stressed Englewood, New Jersey native Jordan Theodore. Italian team Varese played spectacular for 30 minutes and pretty much gave the Fraport Skyliners a taste of their own medicine playing their brand of defense and beating them with their kind of ball movement, but just couldn´t hold down the fort for 40 minutes as Frankfurt made that last amazing run. “I am so disappointed. We were so close and too lose it like that at the end was very tough. They are a good team and played great. Congrats to Frankfurt”; added ex Philadelphia 76er Maalik Wayns.
This coming Sunday, Germany´s team FC Bayern Munich will try to get revenge in their comfy living room from their early season loss on the road against the Fraport Skyliners. For some before the basketball has even started there will be various delicious attractions in the Audi Dome like getting to the food line early and being able to feast on a traditional 5 Euro German Brat Wurst which is the American equivalent of the good old hot dog or seeing how many Bayern Munich celebrities one can witness from the football department like former president Uli Hoeness who is one of the main reasons why the basketball department got the needed funding to make it´s course to the Beko BBL or 1996 European champion and current head of the board Matthias Sammer or any of the various players like Jerome Boateng or Holger Badstuber who have visited games in the past. When one finally has got their share of enough food and celebrity watching, then comes time for the basketball encounter at 3.00pm. On the basketball side, there are enough fine attractions to wet one´s mouth again even after the fourth Brat Wurst as one can be astonished by the big man duel of power vs elegance between John Bryant and Johannes Voigtmann or witness the ultimate team player like Aaron Doornekamp doing the nitty gritty work inside or the ultimate duel of the high flyers Quantez Robertson who is his own special airline every time he is gliding through the air and Bryce Taylor who can electrify any crowd with his crushing dunks even awakening that poor tired soul that dared to fall asleep during the game. However put all these scrumptious treats aside as the biggest and most anticipated battle will be the revival with the ex Fraport Skyliner Justin Cobbs against the potential league MVP Jordan Theodore.
The Fraport Skyliners went into the last weekend Beko BBL Top 4 in Munich with such high hopes of returning home with a third team title, but instead were home when it was still light out something that can be traced back to unneeded and unwanted water entering the Audi Dome court cancelling the game for third place. The Fraport Skyliners had a long bus ride to digest the bitter 79-76 loss against Alba Berlin in the semi-finals which puts their season record against head coach Sasa Obradovic and his boys at 0-2. The Fraport Skyliners were so close as the Jordan´s battled to the end, but Theodore made one shot too little as Taylor made the last one to make the victory stick. Maybe not being able to play the game for third place was a blessing in disguise as the club had many not so healthy players like Johannes Voigtmann, John Little, Aaron Dornekamp and Mike Morrison. One thing that has been beneficial to the Fraport Skyliners this season has been that whenever that they have suffered a loss in the beko BBL, they have been able to escape to the Europe Cup where they were always unbeaten and in the zone and something they could go into holding their chest high. The Fraport Skyliners dismantled of Cypriot team AEK Larnaca without difficulty at home 83-60 and now headed back to the warmth and palm trees of Cyprus to slam the door on AEK Larnaca and earn a ticket to the Europe Cup quarter finals. The Fraport Skyliners arrived Tuesday in sunny Larnaca with 21c and unending sunshine something that was more than appealing to Engelwood, New Jersey native Jordan Theodore who is used to the cold of home, but if any of his friends or family told him that on game day it wasn´t that much difference in temperature as it was unseasonally warm at 14c is unknown, but Theodore was in Cyprus not to go strolling down the beach, but to forcefully control the paint area with his quick steps and playmaking and win the game for the quarterfinals. The Fraport Skyliners had to go into a foreign arena again for the seventh time this season in Europe Cup play and once again left victorious as they gave a real battle in the trenches with AEK Larnaca winning 56-44 remaining undefeated at 14-0 and heading into the quarterfinals. “Tonight was a very ugly game for us. We came out not ready to play and it showed. We did miss a lot of open shots also. We were able to get stops when we needed them. We knew that this team was very good at home and they have two guys who can really shoot the three. They came out tough and matched our intensity in the beginning but our defense got us the win in the end. We were able to close out possessions with rebounds and get out and run”, stressed Fraport Skyliners guard Jordan Theodore. “Shots we usually make in our sleep didn’t fall tonight, I say for both teams, both teams played good defense but still I felt like we got the shots we wanted and they got the shots they wanted. They just made more plays at the end, the game could of went either way”, stressed AEK Larnaca guard Thaddeus Mcfadden.
After the big 83-60 win against AEK Larnaca in Europe Cup action that upped the Fraport Skyliners record in that competition to 13-0 which was another simple day at the office where the 2004 Beko BBL champion once again had transformed head coach Gordon Herbert´s scouting report from paper on to the court with a dynamic masterful performance, two of the club´s key performers Jordan Theodore and Philip Scrubb were stretching on the sidelines. Two guys side by side while Theodore was yapping around yet still being focused on his legs while Scrubb like usual was the silent, but observant rookie taking everything in and seemingly taking mental notes about this new experience for his vast memory bank. Both guys winning journeys in their short career´s have been about as different as you can ever find comparable to a Michael Jordan who won his share of titles and Karl the mail man Malone who played 20 seasons and never won a title and came to the Los Angeles Lakers a few years too late otherwise he would have got that ring. With Theodore and Scrubb as odd as the comparison sounds is a bit similar not in how many seasons they have played, but in title talk. Theodore who is the pride and joy of Engelwood, New Jersey, didn´t win anything at Seton Hall and played his first three professional season´s on losing teams in Turkey with Antalya and Mersin and last season in France with Bourg, while Scrubb at the age of 23 already has the distinction of being the greatest Canadian college player of all time as he won 5 CIS and 3 OUA tournaments while racking up 3 player of the year titles, One MVP and one rookie of the year. This is a huge contrast in the career´s of both players, but with the combination of the winning mentality and experience of knowing how to win by Scrubb and the undying will and need to win by Theodore, the Fraport Skyliners had two very special figures entering the game against 8 time Beko BBL champion Alba Berlin ready to do their magic and help carry their team into the 2016 Beko BBL cup final in Munich, but it was Alba Berlin guard Jordan Taylor that stole the show hitting a huge shot at the end with 1,1 seconds to play propelling Alba Berlin into the 2016 Beko BBL cup final 79-76. After the loss, Scrubb was his usual emotionless self, while one could see the sadness of Theodore painting a clown´s expression after nobody laughed at his latest stunt. Theodore wanted to win badly, but will have to wait for a new chance. “Phill, I and the whole team wanted to win this game very badly. I was a little up and down in the first half. I was nervous, because this was the first meaningful game that I had been in as a professional. I was forcing too much and not letting the game come to me. In the second half, I was calmer and hit some shots. I was so hyped for this game, because I love the big stage. I feel like I have to prove myself new every game, because I always want to be the best”, stressed Jordan Theodore. After the contest, it was the two Jordan´s who were in deep conversation on the sideline as Taylor was more smiles, while Theodore at times seemed to be somewhere else in thought. Possibly that last shot will be in his mind for a long time? “I grew up playing with Jordan Theodore and all the other gaucho´s in New York. It is always nice to see a familiar face and I was just fortunate to make some shots. I was happy to find a rhythm after my long injury and hope it will carry into the next games”, stressed Wisconsin Badger Jordan Taylor. Frankfurt made a courageous come back in the second half, but their unsatisfactory second quarter got them in an early rut putting Alba Berlin in the driver´s seat. “The second quarter was hard on us. We tend to have bad stretches in games, but you can´t do that against big teams. We have to play at a high effort for 40 minutes”, warned Jordan Theodore.
A professional basketball player with experience has played many games in his life, but the big win, loss or scoring games definitely stay in a mind and can stay as vivid and as long inside as does that first ever snow storm for a person. For second year man Brandyn Curry of the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven coming back to the Fraport arena was a delight as he most likely had his best personal game as a professional last season. Last season as a rookie with Dutch team Den Bosch, he almost single-handedly led his team to victory as he poured home 27 points on an amazingly hot night from down town nailing seven three pointers. Despite his potent single effort, he was unable to get the win. In the loss, he won the head to head duel with top rookie guard last season Justin Cobbs and also showed in the return game in Holland netting 26 points that his game had arrived in Europe. “Matching up with Cobbs was a great for me. I had to play at my best and those two performances in particular gave me a lot of confidence moving forward into the rest of my season. It definitely showed me that I can play with anyone and I am indeed on the right path to becoming a top point guard in Europe”, stressed Brandyn Curry. Curry was back in an old stomping ground, but with a new team the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven and with a new role coming from the bench and almost double as little minutes on average as he did last season. Curry played 11 minutes getting a few minutes in the first half and garbage time in the fourth after Frankfurt had already decided the game. After the game, the American was disappointed with the loss, but happy to have been able to play in that old one game stomping ground. “It was good to be back in Frankfurt, but honestly I didn´t like that they changed the nets. It felt good to be back, but bad to leave 0-2. I want to be out more on the court, but it’s the decision of the coach. I just always have to be ready, aggressive and help the team win in any way”, stressed Eisbaeren Bremerhaven guard Brandyn Curry. Bremerhaven entered the game riding a one game winning streak having disposed of the Telekom Baskets Bonn last weekend, but had to deal with the hottest team in the Beko BBL again as after having a 13 game winning streak earlier in the season, the Fraport Skyliners currently had a 11 game winning streak and kept displaying that they could win without four key players and head coach Gordon Herbert in Poland as they beat Polish team Rosa Radom four days ago moving to 12-0 in Europe Cup play. With the injury plague still alive and kicking with the Fraport Skyliners, they met an underachieving team, but hungry and talented Eisbaeren Bremerhaven and heightened their game each quarter going from a 10-20-30 point lead crushing their opponent 91-60 moving to second place in the Beko BBL standings with their 12th win in a row. It was one of those days where everything was working and for Bremerhaven a day at the office where you just wanted to crawl out unnoticed. “We were clicking on all cylinders on offense and defense and were able to mostly capitalize on their mistakes. A big key in the game was getting the loose balls on offense and defense. We moved the ball very well and played Skyliner basketball. When we play like that we are unbeatable”, warned ex Seton Hall point Guard Jordan Theodore. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven entered the game in 16th place with an unbelievable talented roster as always, but were unable to find a plan to score efficiently and stop the immaculate Frankfurt ball movement. “We didn´t have enough intensity the whole game. We shot ok, but they hardly missed. We didn´t execute well enough on offense and didn´t bring enough on defense. We gave up too many open shots”, expressed Eisbaeren Bremerhaven guard Lorenzo Williams. “Skyliner basketball is defined as playing hard, sharing the ball, making hustle plays and having high energy on defense”, warned John Little.
Despite the Fraport Skyliners having had three new strenuous challenges in the last week, the club was able to master each one in a manner as if what they did was the most self evident. It started 10 days ago as they were finally back in the cup format with the chance of advancing to the top 4 for the first time since 2011 in Bamberg, but had a difficult task to get there as they were facing the defending cup champions EWE Baskets Oldenburg in a do or die game, but they were playing in their own living room as they dominated the 2009 Beko BBL champion as ex Seton hall guard Jordan Theodore led the team to victory despite having a thinner rotation without German national player Danilo Barthel and Konstantin Klein. Three days later they played against probably their strongest opponent in the Europe Cup play with Royal Hali Gaziantep, but destroyed them 91-79 as they were once again without the two Germans, but also without Aaron Doornekamp and were led by Canadian rookie Philip Scrubb who poured home 26 points and held the ex NBA trio of Rautins, Williams and Stone combined to 31 points as once again they showed total team basketball and unselfishness something which continues not to be self evident in today´s game. Then four days ago against medi Bayreuth and again without the two key Germans, they showed some serious moral sticking together and when being down 18 points never gave up and this time the hero was the team, but crunch time hero was freak athlete Quantez Robertson who nailed a three pointer, made a steal and two handed dunk within 30 seconds to seal the team´s 10th win in a row. With so much basketball heroics happening in a short span of time, the question was could they do it again short handed in a totally meaningless game on the road for both teams as Frankfurt had qualified for the next round and Rosa Radom was out? The Fraport Skyliners had trounced Rosa Radom in the first game 91-61 as they had had five guys in double figures and were led by Jordan Theodore and Danilo Barthel with 16 points a piece. The Fraport Skyliners arrived in Poland with a 10 game winning streak and amazing 11-0 record in Europe Cup play, but without head coach Gordon Herbert who stayed in Frankfurt citing back problems as well as Canadian national player Aaron Doornekamp who had back problems and Johannes Voigtmann who had the flu. The Fraport Skyliners had a very thin rotation, but very hungry players that were looking to make an impact and did as the Fraport Skyliners remained unbeaten in Europe Cup play and go into the round of 16 with a perfect 12-0 record after disposing of Rosa Radom in Poland 75-58 winning their 11th game in a row. Especially Canadian Philip Scrubb continues to shine as he had the hot hand registering 19 points as his input was vital for the team. “It was a tough game all around. We struggled in the first half to find what we were going to do to beat this team. We have a lot of guys out and we had to adjust to playing with a different lineup. I think the second half was a lot better. We decided to play Skyliner basketball and you saw the results”, stressed ex Seton Hall point guard Jordan Theodore. “They played a better second half than us and hit some big 3s the key was those big 3s and they drew a lot of fouls”, stated Rosa Radom guard Torey Thomas.
In the past 25-40 years there have been very little birds chirping anything positive about the New York Knicks who had success in the 70´s with the leadership of Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe winning titles in 1970 and 1973 or the Detroit Pistons with their success with Isiah Thomas and Dennis Rodman winning back to back titles in 1989 and 1990 and not to forget their win in 2004 and one could hardly call these two basketball cities a rivalry, but both cities have two exceptional players balling in Europe with Ricky Paulding and Jordan Theodore. Paulding who was drafted by his home town team Pistons in 2004 coming out of Missouri(NCAA) has had a brilliant career overseas and has been with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg since 2007 and most likely will be built a special statue the day he hangs up his sneakers, while Theodore is a guy who hails from Engelwood, New Jersey, but was quicker in New York city on the I-95 than Spike Lee could depart Madison Square Garden after a Knicks win. While Paulding has won the 2009 Beko BBL title and 2015 Beko BBL cup, the ex Seton Hall star Theodore hasn´t won anything meaningful in hardware playing for losing teams in Turkey and France, but this season with the Fraport Skyliners, he could pull even with Mr Oldenburg, because the New Jersey native who hung around in New York growing up has good chances to win the Europe Cup where Frankfurt is 10-0 so far and the cup, but to do this he needs to win three games. However Paulding was standing in the way in that first win for the ticket to reach Munich in the cup top 4 at the end of February. Theodore was seeking revenge after the first loss in Oldenburg where Frankfurt lost on the last possession 82-80. In that contest, Paulding had 10 points, four boards and five assists while Theodore led his club with 17 points and was so close to escaping with a victory. With the Pistons and Knicks far away from their minds, it was the Beko BBL showdown between Detroit and New York and it was the big apple that prevailed, but Jordan Theodore didn´t have the motor city and Rickey Paulding on his mind, but actually Dyckman playground in the Bronx as he had some added fuel in his tank playing against his childhood friend Scott Machado who was injured in that first meeting of the season. Machado has made the NBA playing 6 NBA games for the Houston Rockets and led the NCAA in 2012 in assists with 9,9 with Iona feeding the ball to ex Fraport Skyliner Sean Armand all night long and had had enough friendly games against Theodore on the court, but never in a professional game. Theodore and Machado had played a lot at the Dyckman playground in the Bronx so playing this so important game for the ticket to the cup top 4 meant a lot to both players. Theodore got the best of his close friend Machado leading the Fraport Sklyiners to a 80-68 win against the 2015 Beko BBL cup winner EWE Baskets Oldenburg. “This wasn´t something personal, but something I looked forward to. He is from Queens and I am from Engelwood, Nerw Jersey which is 5 minutes from New York. When he was a senior he was #1 in the nation in assists and I was something like fifth or sixth. Our match ups were pretty even growing up. But we played street ball so there was a lot of talent around with NBA players around”, stressed Jordan Theodore who scored 12 points and dished out eight assists in the win against Oldenburg. After the win a disappointed Scott Machado who has played in France and Estonia departed from the locker room and quickly was put into a land of reminiscing as he was reminded of his childhood basketball days with Theodore. “As kids we played streetball against each other. We work out with the same trainer and Jordan is like a brother to me. He works so hard and would run through a brick wall. He just loves the game so much. He got the better of me tonight”, warned Scott Machado.
Even if the basketball life of professional players can be a “I am here today, but 1000 miles away tomorrow living and experiencing a new style of play and culture, basketball friendships tend to be built very easily and continue as time goes by as distance can a big factor in keeping them alive. With today´s technology group chat is something that many players live by as Shawn James who had his best years with Macabbi Tel Aviv, but even now after a stay in Spain with Bilbao and now with Euroleague power house Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-A1) still maintains contact with his ex Macabbi players Devin Smith, Tyrese Rice and Ricky Hickman via that route. The most common way to develop a basketball friendship is by having a guy around daily not for just one season, but for many as current Fraport Skyliners Junior Marius Nolte and current Gotha(Pro A) assistant coach Steven Esterkamp had seeing the highs and lows of professional basketball from 2004-2009 with Paderborn as they moved up to the Beko BBL together in 2006 winning 50 games in a row and forcing Alba Berlin to a 5 game playoff series in 2009. Since then if you ask Nolte about Esterkamp, he would say that the Ohio native is one of his best friends as going on vacation with their respective families each summer is nothing uncommon. However the most unique friendship are those that continue to live on year by year as players continue to grow and move on from team to team with that same person. Fraport Skyliner guard John Little and Jason Boone share a very special friendship in that one could easily call them brothers. Boone and Little played together at BG Goettingen from 2008-2011 experiencing their best time there reaching the playoffs each season finishing 2009 and 2010 in second and third place as the club´s 40 minutes of hell on the court gave the BBL a new dimension, winning the Eurochallenge in 2010 and were on the same court playing against Allen Iverson in a Eurocup game in 2011 as he played for Besiktas ColaTurka Istanbul (Turkey-TBL). They then moved to the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg where they played together from 2011-2014 where they reached one playoff in 2012 kicking out Alba Berlin, but also having woes in their last season as the club finished in 17th place and moved to the Pro A. Of course along the way their head coach and mentor John Patrick played a role in their staying together. Last season Little played in Ludwigsburg and Boone had his first experience outside Germany with Torku Konyaspor (Turkey-TBL). This season Boone moved to Ludwigsburg to be reunited with Patrick, but at times it seems like Boone is a part of the Fraport Skyliners as he is seen as often as possible at games supporting his good friend Little making the 2 hour car drive as a sort of sixth man and good luck charm when he is free. Even last season he came from Turkey and supported Little at games as they beat Alba Berlin. Now for the first time in their career, they faced off as opponents as Boone who forms the Bully brothers in Ludwigsburg with Jon Brockman met the pit bull Little which charachterizes his aggressive defense as both teams fought until the end, but the Fraport Skyliners were able to grind out the win 83-78 as they executed in the last minute on offense and Ludwigsburg didn´t. One could of found countless adjectives to describe the game and ex Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore had no problem either finding the right words. “This was a tough, gritty, hard fought, down and out dirty game, with both wanting to win where both teams fought to the buzzer. A few days ago in Bayreuth we played cocky as if we had won a title or something where we let them dictate the game. Today we dictated the game and were able to pull it out at the end”, stressed Engelwood, New Jersey native Jordan Theodore. 2010 Eurochallenge winner Jason Boone was happy to play against his friend, but disappointed with the result. “This wasn´t the most entertaining game to watch. A game can become ugly when two teams like to grind out the way we do. They grinded a bit harder than we did. I always try to go into the game with the same mentality. If you get too motivated it can be a disadvantage. Little is a real fighter and gets his team to fight harder. He never backs down against anyone”, stressed ex BG Goettingen center Jason Boone. Little lost two teeth, but it was worth it getting the win against his friend. “It was crazy playing the first time against him. He is one of my best friends and we are always rooting for each other. It wasn´t the best day for either as we were both in foul trouble. There will be a next battle in Ludwigsburg”, smiled Illinois native John Little. “We rebounded very well and got every loose ball which was the difference. We outworked Ludwigsburg which we didn´t do in Bayreuth”, said Aaron Doornekamp.
One of the good things about an ugly win is and when its in Europe Cup play is that a club has a lot of time to watch film, correct errors and then also get prepared for the next opponent and with FC Bayern Munich in town Gordon Herbert needed as much time as possible to digest the disgusting game against Slovenian team Novo Mesto that Frankfurt won 67-65, but with their exhibition of lack luster offense,they would have been creamed by the Bavarian team by at least 25 points. Even after the ugly win Cincinnati native Quantez Robertson found a short instance to joke that the club could of scared away the team if Frankfurt had had 5 leatherface masks on, but really Novo Mesto wasn´t scared of Frankfurt the whole night. Frankfurt had no consistent rhythm on offense and except for a nice 14-0 run in the third quarter had no instant offense the whole game. Costly and untimely turnovers scared all observers as the Fraport Skyliners really showcased untypical Frankfurt basketball. Their defense is the only part of their game that continues to be in harmony as their chemistry is there as they have allowed 65 points on average in the last 5 games. But where is that good offense that comes from their strong defense which is usually the result? The Fraport Skyliners had 5 days to digest the weird win and prepare for FC Bayern Munich while Germany´s most famous sports brand had only 72 hours after playing Euroleague Friday night in Spain against Real Madrid. Two weeks ago fans may have experienced a horror show, but the club got some fortune as the German big three of Johannes Voigtmann, Danilo Barthel and Konstantin Klein are healthy again which makes their roster deeper again. However one needs a lot more than a deep roster when you have the eccentric character of Svetislav Pesic roaming the sidelines and a star ensemble of players like Bryce Taylor, Deon Thompson, Nihad Djedovic, KC Rivers and Alex Renfroethat could fill the Frankfurt Alte Oper and probably the one or the other dazzle with their footwork with a ballet cast with the biggest cheerleader being big country John Bryant applauding from the first row. However the Alte Oper or ballet wasn´t on the menu, but top notch basketball as The Fraport Skyliners entered the game with a five game winning streak and wanted to show the home crowd that their inconsistency of Eurocup offense was over as they met the 2014 Beko BBL champion FC Bayern Munich and were like reborn not being kicked out of the arena by 30, but by playing hard -nosed defense and being inspired in the second half by Jordan Theodore´s 21 points and Vinnie Johnson microwave steam as they won their sixth game in a row stifling FC Bayern Munich 74-69. After the win Theodore was humbled by the comparison to microwave great Vinnie Johnson of the Detroit Pistons, but after scoring only one point in the first half and no offense generated, his 21 points in the second half felt refreshing. “I wasn´t aggressive in the first half and I am an attacking point guard. I was trying to get a feel in the first half and getting guys involved, but I knew that I would be able to pick my spots in the second half. Vinnie Johnson was a great player. I started to hit shots and felt comfortable and the hole started to look big. I just tried to help the team anyway that I could. I credit my teammates for letting me take the shots. The big thing though was our defense. We want to hold teams to 70 or under and did that tonight. We also fed off the crowd as there was a great atmosphere in the arena”, stressed New York native Jordan Theodore. Skyliner good luck charm Jason Boone was in the arena watching good friend John Little play and was impressed by Theodore, but not surprised by his heating up. “Theodore hit crazy shots. He was in the zone and like a microwave. Munich didn´t do a good job keeping him out of his comfort zone. When you compete at this level and against a team like Munich you have to know what to do to win and Theodore knew what he had to do and once he got going took that to his advantage getting in a groove and securing the win”, said 2010 Eurochallenge winner Jason Boone. After a big win against FC Bayern Munich one can always be in a joking mood. “Theodore wasn´t a microwave. The way he played is what we expect from him. He hit tough shots and made free throws. He showed great leadership and found guys and made the right plays”, stated Cincinnati native Quantez Robertson. Fc Bayern Munich was reeling off a bitter 101-99 loss at Real Madrid, but made no excuses for the loss, but were honest. “This wasn´t one of my best games. We didn´t have the Real Madrid game in our heads. We play basketball for a living and know how to move on from game to game. We didn´t execute the way we know how and didn´t do the things that we know how to win games. We actually did nothing right”, stressed ex Brose Baskets Bamberg guard Alex Renfroe who remained scoreless.
The best news that the Fraport Skyliners got in the week leading up to the game against the Walter Tigers Tuebingen was that German national player Johannes Voigtmann would not have to get operated on his knee, but the exact time period when the big man could be in uniform was not available or known. However that good news which really wasn´t any news since the Fraport Skyliners still had a walking wounded list as long as the sudden expectations put on the shoulders of Steffen Effenberg the once German national soccer player who has been brought in to Paderborn to save their sinking sink as the Frankfurt team had to go against a strong and healthy Tuebingen team with a slim rotation. Not only did head coach Gordon Herbert have to fight against his million of inner thoughts asking him “Why me” about the ongoing injury bug, but also the question why the basketball god had to scold and torture the team two times in a row losing on the last possession in Oldenburg and last weekend at home against the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. The game was robbed in Oldenburg through a bad call while the loss against Wurzburg came on a last second air ball from John Little who was as open on the wing as Steph Curry is when he is awaiting the ball and next splash to surface. The Fraport Skyliners could easily be 3-0 going into the game instead of 1-2, but basketball isn´t always fair as Gordon Herbert has experienced the last years. Bad luck can happen one time or maybe even two times in a row, but a third time? The Fraport Skyliners met the Walter Tigers Tuebingen in their second home game of the season carrying a 4-1 record against them in the last five games and didn´t let the Tigers cage them and have them for supper, but left the floor after 40 minutes with a top team effort letting Tuebingen crawl back on to the bus somewhat embarrassed with a 92-64 victory. The Fraport Skyliners got support from everyone from Quantez Robertson steering all his 14 points in the first half, stellar play from Aaron Doornekamp and John Little with 16 points a piece, the first BBL points of Niklas Kiel and a three from 17 year old Gari Zeeb in garbage time and leader Jordan Theodore unleashing some pretty Beko BBL showtime in the fourth quarter courtesy of the athletic presence of Lituanian Tomas Dimsa and balancing his scoring and playmaking perfectly. “This was a great team win. Each player contributed in some way. We played with high energy, shared the ball and played good defense. We took two tough loses in a row by a combined score of 4 points and we learned that to be successful we have to play good defense for 40 minutes. We all pulled together tonight and had no real lulls on offense”, stressed New York native Jordan Theodore. Shortly after the siren sounded the first word that Tuebingen head coach Igor Perovic uttered in the catacombs of the Fraport arena after looking at the stat sheet was 64, the amount of points his team scored, but he also knew that the Frankfurt win was well deserved. “Frankfurt played excellent and played with more power. They executed well on offense and hardly missed. We had problems to create and Frankfurt was more physical, better organized and supplied more pressure”, added Tuebingen head coach Igor Perovic. “We had a good week of practice and got better on defense giving up only 64 points. When we play good defense and hit shots then we always have good chances to win”, warned Florida native Mike Morrison. “This was not a good game for us. Credit Frankfurt because they are a great team. They took us out of our offense and forced us to too many turnovers which limited our shots and we didn´t get enough transition points”, said Sugar land Texas, native Jesse Sanders.