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Interview with Orlando Johnson - newcomer in Al Riyadi! - Apr 8, 2017


POSTED BY:
GREG
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Photo: NBA


Orlando
Johnson
Eurobasket.com had a chance to chat with Orlando Johnson (196-G/F-89, college: UCSB), new player of Al Riyadi club. A versatile swingman, ex-NBA and Euroleague player talks about his career and new goals in the upcoming months.

Orlando, thanks for sitting with us. You have started this season with Unics Kazan, on of the best European clubs. You played solid in Euroleague, including 16 points against great Fenerbahce. Your numbers were even better in VTB League. What went wrong there?

Nothing went wrong in Kazan it was an opportunity for me to get my feet wet in Europe/Euroleague. Also get my name out there as a player who could play over here and be a big contributor. I wanted to use this experience as a stepping stool in my career I loved my time in Russia especially with my team the good and bad. Hopefully one day I can return.

Then you joined Austin Spurs in D-League. I guess you wanted to get back to the NBA. Was there any chance to get back to the NBA?

I did want to get back to the NBA that's always the goal it didn't happen this year but I always want to try and play against the best of the best. I was happy with the decision to test it out again.

And now you are in Lebanon? How it happened? There were still some top European leagues where you could find your spot.

I feel at this point in my career I want to go where I'm wanted and Al Riyadi showed significant interest and that's where I want to be, where the love is!

Al Riyadi, one of the most sucessful clubs in Middle-East. What are your expectations of your new club?

Coming to one of the top teams in the Middle East first off is an honor and blessing that they chose me and second I want to go all the way I want to come home a champion!

You are still not old player, what are your goals for the upcoming seasons? Going back to the NBA? Establish your position in top European clubs?

Not old at all definitely feel as YOUNG as ever! This upcoming season is all about going where I am wanted and needed whether that's the NBA or overseas. I'm trying to be a piece of a winning culture.

You have played few different leagues outside the USA. How do you see the differences? In and off the court?

I think more so the style of the games are different from the NBA to Europe to Asia. Each one of the continents have plenty of talent it's just a preferred style that each country uses. Almost everywhere I have played I have enjoyed very easy going and open to new things!

You grew up in CA, went to Loyola Marymount and UCSB. Was basketball your no1 sport since day one?

I grew up in Seaside, CA and growing up football was my main sport. Until I got to high school and I wanted to try the more challenging one which was basketball, because many people believed I wouldn't make it this far. So I chose the path less traveled and wanted to prove them wrong.

Now, few quick questions... your best game so far?

Best game so far when I had 50 over in the Philippines started off slow but then got hot and that's was a lot of fun!

Best player you played against?

Best player I played against would be Lebron James!

Best player you played with in one team?

Best player I played with would have to be Paul George!

Funniest fact from playing basketball overseas?

I think the funniest thing is from growing up over here in America not much is really that different over there, except the language barrier at times.

How would you describe yourself as a basketball player?

Myself as a player a good teammate first, combo guard who can make others better. Very strong and athletic and someone who does what it takes to win!

OK, that's it Orlando. Thanks again and good luck in new club!

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.   




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The New York Knicks have hired Kaleb Canales as assistant coach on the staff of David Fizdale. Canales has been with the Dallas Mavericks since 2013. Canales was briefly interim head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers after the dismissal of Nate McMillan in 2012. Courtesy of: realgm.com   [read more]

Kevin
Huerter
Kevin Huerter Out Two Months With Hand Surgery - 20 hours ago
Kevin Huerter (6'7''-G-98) has undergone surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right hand. Huerter could miss two months due to the injury. Huerter has been expected to be a first round pick. Huerter made a strong impression on teams at the NBA draft combine. Huerter averaged 14.8 points for the Terrapins, including 41.7 percent on 3-pointers and 50 percent shooting from the floor. Courtesy of: realgm.com   [read more]

Fotis
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Jazz hire Fotis Katsikaris as assistant coach - 2 days ago
The Utah Jazz hired Greek coach Fotis Katsikaris (agency: Stanislav Ryzhov ) as an assistant coach on a three-year deal according to Eurohoops sources. By becoming Quin Snyder's assistant, Katsikaris gets to be the first Greek coach to join the staff of an NBA team full time. He had previously been a member of the Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers in Summer League tournaments. Throughout his career, Katsikaris, 51, has coached with various teams in Russia, Spain, Greece, and Israel....   [read more]


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