By Lefteris Moutis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Quincy Miller has made a more than great start in his rookie Euroleague season and – as he says in his interview with Eurohoops – his decision to sign a contract with Crvena Zvezda turned out to be ideal.
He’s just 23 years old, but he already played in the NBA for three seasons and now he is creating quite a buzz in his first season on this side of the Atlantic. This was not the case when he first signed his contract with Crvena Zvezda, after the start of the season without drawing a lot of publicity.
It took him a few weeks to adapt and then, he took the league by storm! A player who stands 2.08 meters tall, an excellent ball handler, an explosive athlete with a reliable long-range shot, huge reserves of energy in defense and in offense, and finally with the ability to play in four positions (1-4) in his team. That’s an uncommon skill set.
“I believe that a player who has a lot facets to his game is valuable for every team,” he explains to Eurohoops as he continued to be one of the cornerstones in Zvezda’s effort this year. Can he lead his team to the playoffs for the first time in the modern history of the Euroleague. After the first round of the Top 16 they have a 4-3 record and they seem like they can make the big leap.
-Your Top 16 group is balanced with many teams fighting for a place in the playoffs. Which is the best night to remember for Crvena Zvezda so far in the Euroleague?
“I can’t even specifically choose which night was the most memorable for us as a team. Honestly, I think every game that’s played at Pioneer is memorable because of the fans, and because of how we fight for each other. With that being said, I can’t choose just one night”.
-Do you think that your choice last October was perfect and a big leap in your career?
“I think this turned out to be the perfect decision for me. I was skeptical and nervous about coming to Europe to begin with but this has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I love my team, the fans and my coaches. This was the perfect situation for me. I’m thankful”.
-Are the fans of Crvena Zvezda the craziest you have met so far? Did you expect something like that before your arrival in Belgrade?
“The fans here are by far the best fans in the world. Nothing compares to Pioneer and the environment here, and I mean nothing. The passion and the love for the game involved here is on another level. I love the people here. ❤”
“I don’t care about the money”
-After this great rookie Euroleague season, many European powerhouses are expected to offer you big contracts. Would you like to return to the NBA or stay here and earn more money, since you’re already one of the top Euroleague players?
“To be honest my goal and my dream is to of course return to the NBA, but I like Europe as well. To me it’s not about the money, so I could care less about the offers. I just want to play basketball at the highest level and continue to develop myself as a person first and player second. I want to be one of the best. With that comes everything else”.
-When you signed with Crvena Zvezda, did you have Boban Marjanovic in mind, a Serbian player who became well-known in the NBA and signed a contract with the Spurs after a break out Euroleague season?
“I didn’t really know about Boban until I got here but he’s a monster and received what he deserved. My team and coaches speak highly of him as an individual”.
A child of a 15-member family
Quincy Miller is the middle child of a family of 15 children! He’s the eighth and as he has explained several times, his family has played an important role in his development as a player and a personality
– Do you miss your large family in your first years overseas? Is that maybe a reason for thinking to return?
“Of course I miss my family. I do this for me first, though, and everyone knows sacrifices are to be made when it comes to this basketball thing. They understand. When I go home we spend enough time together and catch up on what I’ve been missing. Besides, my FaceTime works pretty well”.
– Do you regret declaring for the 2012 NBA draft? Would you have liked to stay one more year in Baylor University, achieve more in your college years and perhaps be drafted higher?
“No, I don’t regret it. I don’t regret anything I’ve done because it has molded me into the person I am today. I needed to make certain mistakes and learn things through my bumpy path. I have full faith that things will work out in my favor if I continue to push through the adversity”.
The injury and the comparisons
In his last season before graduating from school, he suffered an ACL and stayed out of action for many months. Before he got injured, during his high-school years, many experts compared him to Kevin Durant.
– Is he the player you admire most? Do you follow him and try to “copy” his game style?
“Kevin Durant is going to go down as one of the greatest players of my era. To be compared to him goes a little too far. I can only wish to be at his level one day. I don’t want to be like him either. I want to be my own man and have my own style. Even though I appreciate the compliments, because that’s exactly what it is when I hear it!!!!”
-Was your serious injury the worst moment in your career? Do you still remember this moment?
“The knee injury was devastating. It took away from me what I craved for everyday”.
-Do you think that everything would be different if that hadn’t happened? What were your dreams before that and what made you strong again? Maybe your big family?
“Regardless of whether it was for a certain time period or not, I dreaded the time away from the game but I learned and grew while away. My mom and family stayed by my side and helped me push through. My dreams were the same and that was to be an NBA player”.