Βy Niki Bakouli/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Few hours before Efes Anadolu-Olympiacos game, Jordan Farmar plays on… Eurohoops court! He speaks about his career, his new team, his experience in Maccabi Tel Aviv and his cooperation with Kobe Bryant. He’s not sure who will win NBA championship this season, but he always know where his two rings are.
-How is your Turkish experience so far? What you like most about this country and this team and what… you don’t like that much?
“So far my Turkish experience has been great. Istanbul is a beautiful city and my teammates are great. The expectations for us is high and I’m looking forward to the challenge is going to be in front of us. The one thing that I can’t seem to get used to is the traffic. It’s just crazy…”
-How easy is not to get nervous when you know that everybody expects from your team –at least- to reach the Euroleague’s Final Four and the TBL’s finals?
“It’s always good to have a high expectations, especially when you believe you can meet them. When everyone is coming for you, you must be ready to play every day. That is a good feeling”.
-Do you think that European style of basketball suits you more?
“I wouldn’t say European style basketball better suits my style of play, but that I am working on making the adjustment. It is much different from NBA basketball, but the level of play is very high”.
-If you had the chance, would you decide to stay in Maccabi last season after the lock out?
“I absolutely love my experience with Maccabi last year. It was right up there with the top of my basketball achievements. Everything from Coach Blatt to the fans to my teammates to Tel Aviv was absolutely incredible. My enjoyment there was a huge factor in me coming back to Europe. I would have loved to see what we could’ve accomplished if I was able to stay the whole time”.
-Was Maccabi your No1 destination last year, since you spent few years over there as a child? Did you have any other offers from Europe?
“Maccabi was definitely my number one choice. I actually reached out to them to see if we could make something work. I knew the NBA would be back at some point, so I wanted to have a life experience more than just a basketball experience. I didn’t really look to play anywhere else”.
-Can you take us to a small journey at your past and tell us what do you remember from when you were named a) High School Player of the year from “LA Times”, b) National Freshman of the Year, with UCLA, when you got picked at No26 of the 2006 NBA draft moreover from LA Lakers AND you being two-time champion?
“My life and career have been almost indescribable. Growing up in Los Angeles, getting the chance to play for UCLA, and becoming a Laker and winning two titles were just amazing expenses for anyone to have. I gained so much from all that it has made me a better person. It really has been a dream come true”.
-You played together with Kobe Bryant and Smush Parker and you got the titles together. What you remember from these days… and where are your rings right now?
“Yes, I played both with Kobe and Smush Parker. I had a good experience with both of them. Of course, Kobe and I played much longer together and won a few championships. My rings right now are currently in my closet at my house in their little trophy cases”.
-Can you comment Parker’s quote about Bryant being a huge player, but not as good person and Black Mamba’s answer that he rather be a great leader than a good teammate?
“Like I said before, I had a great time playing with Kobe. We became friends both on and off the court, and our relationship is still good today. Sometimes when you play for a long time, you don’t get along with everyone you play with, but that’s just the nature of the business. I understand Kobe wants to win and would do whatever it takes to make that happen”.
-Who was the best teammate you had, from high school till… last year?
“The best teammate I’ve had since high school would have to be Josh Shipp. We were college roommates together and have been best friends ever since, and we just have a way of playing well together”.
-Do you agree with Lakers being the favourites, after the got Howard and Nash? Do you have… any other idea about next year’s champion?
“I’m really not sure who will win the NBA championship next year. The Lakers will have a great shot, but it’s not just about the people you put on paper. You still have to go out and play the game and earn being a champion”.
-It’s way to early but can you name 4 favourites for Euroleague’s final four, if you think of the rosters?
“I don’t know enough about all of the euro league teams together to say it will be in the final four this year. I know they are a few teams that stay the same, but most the teams have gone through some changes. We’ll just have to wait and see… That’s the fun part”.
-You are about to play with Olympiacos, last year’s champion, who they only changed the coach and two players. Is it better that this game which by the way is at the arena the Reds got their crown, is now and not later, cause they are not ready yet?
“Olympiacos a great team, and they proved it last year by winning it all. We will definitely have our work cut out for us this weekend. I think it’s great when organizations keep players together. That’s the only true way for consistency. For us, we have a lot of new guys who are still getting to know each other. We’re getting better every day and look forward to the challenges ahead”.
-If you had to choose one thing, what can make a team happy? Much money? The “us” being way higher than the “I”? To have a great puzzle (with each player being an important piece) than 3-4 stars and 11 “workers”?
“To have a great team I definitely believe you have to have everybody always be very unselfish and put the team first. But, everyone must know the roles and play them well for any team to be great. Each player may not get all the credit, but they all are very important to a team’s success”.