If you ever get invited to a Thanksgiving feast at Karl “The Mail man” Malone´s house you probably wouldn´t want to bring up any of his NBA finals appearances, because he went home ringless, but perhaps rather talk about the good qualities of the holiday that is giving them an amazing feast. Another guy who had his misfortune in finals was a Jerry West who reached 9 finals, but couldn´t get by Bil Russell and the amazing Boston Celtic teams, but at least he won one. Then there are those guys who no matter what they tried on the court, they just couldn´t stand on the court for a consistent number of games, because the injury bug always crept in the way. The best example of a player who had injury woe plastered on his head was ex NBA player Greg Oden. Two of the worst things that can happen to a professional basketball is not winning titles and getting hit with the nasty injury bug. Oden came into the NBA in 2007 as one of the biggest talents at that time, but could never show it as in six professional seasons with Portland (5 seasons) an one with Miami, he played only 112 NBA games. He really only played three seasons as he missed three seasons to injury as his long history of injuries and not playing must have felt as painful in a way as it is for guys not winning a title. At least GregOden will always be known of being the overall #1 NBA Draft Pick which is a badconsolation, but something nobody can ever take away from him. One guy whodoesn´t fit into one of these categories, but both is Alba Berlin guard PeytonSiva. Ok so he hasn´t had that Greg Oden label of missing seasons, but what has been extremely annoying and painful in his case, is that twice nagging injuries have curbed the next step in his development as a rising player inEurope. On top of that he also has never won a professional title and came very close twice with his team Alba Berlin losing the 2018 Cup final and league final to FC Bayern Munich. If all else fails, he can always flaunt having won the NCAA title with Louisville. But Peyton Siva doesn´t want to sit on the past, but is a massive competitor and a guy who is hungry to win professional titles. He has come so very close with Alba Berlin last season and the club is on an excellent path this season and continuing to develop further as a club, but for the most part without the American this season. It is a sad fact at the moment that injuries continue to curb the rise of Peyton Siva despite conquering adversity early and carving a stellar career.
Peyton Siva is a 27 year old 183cm point guard from Seattle, Washington playing his fifth professional season and second with Alba Berlin. Currently he is averaging 13,4ppg, 2,2rpg and 5,3apg. Last season with Alba Berlin he averaged 9.4ppg, 1.9rpg, 4.8apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 83.8%; and in the Eurocup averaged 11.3ppg, 2.8rpg, Assists-3(6.3apg), Steals-2(2.0spg), FGP: 53.5%, 3PT: 44.7%, FT: 86.7%. In his first season in Europe in 2015-2016 he played with Pasta Reggia JuveCaserta (Italy-Serie A) playing 21 games averaging 13.3ppg, 2.7rpg, Assists-1(6.5apg), Steals-1(2.0spg), FGP: 43.2%, 3PT: 30.3%, FT-1(91.9%). He played his first two professional seasons in the G-League with Fort Wayne and Erie and played 22 NBA games with the Detroit Pistons. He played at Louisville from 2009-2013 playing a total of 144 games and as a senior helped them win the NCAA title and played 40 games averaging 10.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 5.7apg, 2.3spg, FGP: 47.6%, 3PT: 28.8%, FT: 86.7%. He spoke to German Hoops before the BBL game against Science City Jena in Jena.
Peyton thanks for talking to German Hoops. A sweep of Bamberg, the cup top 4 around the corner and a second place in the BBL standings, how good is basketball life now?
It´s really good. I am enjoying being around my teammates and playing in a good environment. Coach Aito makes it a good environment to play basketball.
There aren´t many players that can say that they swept Bamberg in a season. How good does it feel having had their number this season?
It feels good. Those were two very big wins. You always want to get those tough wins out of the way when going into the playoffs. It was great getting these wins, but we are focusing on the next game against Jena.
You were the best player on the floor scoring 25 points. Do you feel like you took your game to another level?
It was just me playing with confidence. Coach Aito put me in a position where I could play with confidence. But my teammates like Spencer Butterfield also were a big factor making big shots in helping getting this win.
For four years for some Alba Berlin fans, there was enough entertainment in the Mercedes Benz arena even during down times during a game when the 8 time champion was in a slump just watching head coach Sasa Obradovic doing his special work out on the sidelines with his hand and body gestures. The three time European champion with Yugoslavia had his own eccentric coaching style and his style definitely got on the nerves of many and didn´t always have an advantageous effect on his players, but in the end when all was said and done, the soft spoken Korac Cup winner of 1995 with Alba Berlin did good deeds in Berlin winning three cups, a Super cup and reached the final in 2014. The Alba Berlin season more or less ended after the 2016 cup win in Munich as the club had reached their peak for the season and after that played uninspired basketball and were swept by the Fraport Skyliners and it was no secret that the days of Obradovic were numbered. Obradovic had to go and his torch was passed on to Turk Ahmet Caki. For many not the big name coach that was expected to come in, but a guy that CEO Marco Baldi had in his notes since 2009. Caki eats, sleeps and breathes basketball since he was 18 and now 23 years later, he can look back at a growing basketball resume that was started in Turkey and now takes him to his first stop outside his home country. He got his first experience with Darussafaka Istanbul as a head coach in 2004 and then coached Erdemirspor Belediyesi and Tofas Bursa. He got his big break midway through the 2014-2015 season as Euroleague club Anadolu Efes Istanbul signed him as an assistant under legendary coach Dusan Ivkovic. As an assistant he won 2 cups and was promoted in April 2016 to head coach as Ivkovic was dismissed and led the team to the Turkish final. As a coach he is the total opposite of Obradovic as he tries to inspire his players instead of intimidating them and giving them restless nights not knowing if a missed screen or switch will cost them minutes like an Obradovic did. Caki is more calm than Obradovic, but knows when to step it up in the motivation department. He is a guy that can develop players and has inherited a team that doesn´t have the standard type Euroleague players so from his perspective something to look forward to being able to develop talented guys further. Where Obradovic had his focus on the defense, Caki wants to find a healthy balance on offense and defense. It will be another interesting season for Alba Berlin as a new era begins as there will be no more hectic movements on the sidelines from a bald man but is somehow in his own way transporting his desires to his players, but more zeal being transported from a Turk who wants to establish himself with one of Europe´s most historic organizations.