By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
The Role Player Podcast presented by the Swish Cultures delivered Episode 5 with Malcolm Delaney being the star guest. Olimpia Milano guard had a lengthy talk with hosts Jordan Taylor and Anthony Goods that started off with Delaney’s thoughts on coach Ettore Messina.
Delaney’s known for speaking his mind and this time he had only positive things to say about the coach. Messina was always big on communication, especially so after experiencing the NBA on the Spurs and that was what convinced the player to join Milano.
“For me, it was a dream come true. You wait for the day you’ll play for a good coach that you can kind of relate to in Europe. There’s a lot of historically good coaches but you can’t communicate with them. Just dealing with different things on and off the court. But coach Messina, the first time I talked to him, it was just a comfort level with him. To be able to talk to him, to relate to what he had in mind for basketball on and off the court,” he said and added.
“The first conversation I had with him, I wanted to play for him. And that’s rare to have with European coaches. Not just basketball, off the court, dealing with your private time. A lot of coaches don’t respect players’ private time and that’s one of the biggest things that attracted me to the coach.”
Delaney also explained what makes Olimpia Milano’s system unique among other European teams and why they are a dangerous opponent. It reminded him of his time in the NBA with Atlanta.
“This feels like when I played with the Hawks. If you look at most European systems, of course, there is a team game but most systems are based around one player or two players. We played Monaco last night, their system is based around Mike (James). They have guys who can do different things but everything comes back to Mike. You go to Efes and they have (Vasilije) Micic and (Shane) Larkin, everything goes through them. When you go to Barcelona, you know you gotta go through (Nikola) Mirotic. With our team, Shavon (Shields) is the leading scorer but teams can’t scout us and say ‘OK, we take one player away and it distorts everything’. Because we don’t have a system based around one player.”
Moving to the NBA, Delaney gave his opinion on who of the European stars in the league would be best-suited for both the NBA and the FIBA style of basketball. His answer – Luka Doncic.
“It would have to be Luka. Luka was dominant, just the swagger about him was different than most Europeans and we kind of saw his game translate to the NBA before he even got there, when he was young, at 17,18. People always talk about European guards playing in the league and how good they are but Luka was a different type of talk. I think everybody new Luka would be good in the league. And he plays the exact same way. It’s crazy, he didn’t have to adapt his game at all. He didn’t have to speed up, he didn’t have to be athletic, he’s just so skilled. He’s got the best game for both worlds.”
Delaney also talked about his ability to adjust, European teams going smaller, the impact of social media on players, making European basketball more available to American fans, starting up a sports bar and the business mindset, getting compensated on time, Euro stars in the NBA, and more.