The MVP diary: "Euroleague? I want to make some noise!"
Hi Beko BBL fans, I’m back. It’s definitely good to be back in Germany, to have the same kind of language and everything being pretty familiar after being here for three years. Munich is a different city, definitely a lot bigger than Ulm. But it’s the same kind of feel, the same kind of people. It’s comforting to be back in the same country.
I’m sure many want to know about why I chose Bayern Munich. Number one personally, it was for my career, moving in an upward direction. After having a good season in the Eurocup where Ulm made the quarter-finals, I wanted to make that next step to the Euroleague and continue to grow my career. Bayern are definitely one of the better teams, organization and team-wise and Bayern was just the right situation. I talked to Coach Pesic and he had the same kind of views and perspectives that I had. We sat and talked for a while and I really agreed with what he was talking about and felt that we could really have a good team. If things would have gone differently in Ulm and we would have gone to the championship or the Euroleague, that would have definitely been another option. With Bayern it was a for-sure thing.
"It was definitely a mistake I made on my part."
Another thing a lot of people are talking about is my weight. For sure I didn’t come back in the best shape I could have. It was definitely a mistake I made on my part. I continue to work hard on that and I’m in a lot better shape now. I’m getting better on the court. I’m a hard worker and during the season, I’m going to give my 110 percent every day. I think that’s something that they’ve already seen and they know, but there’s still time and it’s still early in the season. I’m feeling good about my defense. It has been getting better and better each game. Last game against Bayreuth it was really good. All I want to do right now is make sure I’m playing defense, that my man doesn’t score. Offense will come when it comes. But it’s all about the defense. I’m feeling pretty good in the game right now. I’m playing decent minutes. It’s going to continue to get better and better. Once I’m back to top shape it will be that much better for me personally and the team.
Friday is the big day. Last season Ulm lost to Kazan in the Euroleague qualification and missed a chance to play in the Euroleague. But on Friday we play in Gora. There’s definitely a lot of excitement and definitely anticipation waiting for it. It’s a new experience, a new team, a new league. And I’m definitely looking forward to trying to make some noise like we did in Ulm last year in the Eurocup. These are the best players in world outside the NBA. It’s definitely a battle of wills. Everybody is skilled, everybody is talented, everybody has worked hard to get where they are. It’s definitely a true test to where you are and what kind of player you are. Once you get to this level, you have to keep proving yourself. And going against these great players and great teams is definitely a test of wills.
"Want to be competitive for the championship!"
As far as expectations in the Beko BBL and the Euroleague go, in the German league, we’re looking to be competitive for the championship. That’s one of the things that Bayern are wanting to do. They’ve had such success in soccer, they want to continue that success in basketball. They really went out and tried to get guys around the league who are very talented and hard workers and great people. The situation here is that everybody just wants to win. People come to work and just get better each day. That’s our main goal. With the Euroleague, for me personally and a lot of guys on the team, it’s the first taste of the Euroleague. And it’s the first time that Bayern Munich are in the Euroleague. So it’s going to be a learning experience. But we want to make some noise and make it to the next round. That’s our Euroleague goal. And then once we get there, you don’t know what’s going to happen. But we just want to win as many games as we can. With the guys that we have and the chemistry that we’re building we’re going to have a great opportunity to do that.
Some people may have seen the Youtube videos of Robin and me playing Horse. I can’t believe I lost after having a big lead. It was crazy. Once he hit that one shot all the momentum just went his way. What a comeback. It was crazy how it happened. I couldn’t hit anything he was making and then the half-court shot came again and he made it on the first try. It worked out perfectly for him. You couldn’t have planned it any better. It went like a movie for him – that good for him and that bad for me. He got that one but there will be more. They have a few more things planned. But at the end of the day, he won the battle but the war is still to be won.
It’s great to be back and talk again soon, John
Und hier der erwähnte H.O.R.S.E-Wettstreit in drei Teilen zwischen MVP John Bryant und Nationalspieler Robin Benzing: