By John Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
CSKA Moscow penned Mike James to a one-year contract, the Russian club announced on Monday. Eurohoops previously reported on the deal between the EuroLeague champions and the 28-year-old American guard.
“I am excited to join a team with winning expectations and winning mentality” James said upon signing and added: “I am honored that coach Dimitris Itoudis chose me and let come and join a team that won the EuroLeague last year, and I am ready to help the team win in any way possible.”
The veteran of 112 EuroLeague games between Laboral Kutxa, Panathinaikos and AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan is coming off his Alphonso Ford EuroLeague Top Scorer season. He sank 19.8 points per game for Milan to secure the trophy.
In his seven years as a pro, he has played for nine different teams. His stops include Croatia, Greece, Israel, Spain and Italy. The Eastern Arizona and Lamar alumni also took part in 36 NBA games during the 2017-18 season with the Phoenix Suns and the New Orleans Pelicans.
“Mike is a very talented player, who can create his own shots and open up situations for his teammates. During all these years in the EuroLeague and on different levels, he proved that he can score, but he also needs to adjust our system. He already committed in our talks that he is ready to do so. We wish him to stay healthy and help our team achieve new goals.” Itoudis mentioned commenting on his new player.
CSKA’s boss added: “Now, with all the signings done, the first important thing we have to do is to realize that this team has nothing to do with the championship roster of last season. We have to forget about our success as soon as possible, especially as it refers to the ones who have been around the team last year. Our preparation will be very difficult because 6-7 players from different countries will represent CSKA at the World Cup. We need to become a team, to be decisive, to work all together and to play good team basketball.”
Aside James, the Russian club’s 2019-20 squad contains Semen Antonov, Ron Baker, Joel Bolomboy, Will Clyburn, Daniel Hackett, Darrun Hilliard, Kyle Hines, Kostas Koufos, Mikhail Kulagin, Nikita Kurbanov, Andrei Lopatin, Janis Strelnieks, Ivan Ukhov, Johannes Voigtmann and Andrey Vorontsevich.