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The MVP diary - John Bryant:

The MVP diary - John Bryant: "Playoffs, Baby ... and I see that big yellow thing in the sky again...

MVP John Bryant talks about seeing that big yellow thing in the sky again; winning back-to-back MVPs; the big goal of winning the Beko BBL title; and about being on Twitter.
Hey, I see that big yellow thing in the sky again - the sun! That’s probably one of the biggest things for me, the sun. It makes me want to get out of bed. Once you get sun on your skin, it makes you feel all warm and happy. The sun is definitely huge for me, coming from California where we see a lot of it. Going through the long winter in Germany is definitely a grind. I’m just happy it’s back. I’m already in my shorts and flip-flops.

Since my last entry of course the league awarded me the MVP award. It’s definitely a huge thing for me personally, having all the hard work I’ve put in recognized. But I couldn’t get it done without my teammates and us being a great team together. For the fans, I just want to say thank you for supporting me and our team. It’s just a huge honor to get this kind of award in this kind of league. It’s definitely a league on the rise, and I think it’s going to continue to rise. People in Europe are definitely starting to respect German basketball. And being named back-to-back MVP is a huge thing for me. It keeps my fire going and wanting more. This year’s award is probably tied with last year’s award. Last year’s was kind of a surprise one and just kind of came out of the blue. This year, it was maybe going to happen with the same kind of stat line, but it’s definitely a huge thing to go back-to-back. They both have their own kind of energy and are both pretty high up there.

The MVP is a huge honor, but at the end of the day I’m going for that one final goal. The championship. It’s something that’s always been there and always been on my mind. The personal awards are always great. But there’s only one trophy that matters. We went to the Finals last year. We didn’t do too well there last year. But I think we gained experience and just the feel for the playoffs. Besides Per Günther back a while back, nobody had been in the playoffs and it’s definitely a different kind of game. Last year we got a lesson in that. If we play our game and do the things the way we know we can do them, I think we definitely have a good shot to get back to the Finals. Then it’s anybody’s game. It would be optimal if we didn’t have to face Bamberg in the Finals. But on the other hand, them being the reigning champions you also want to prove yourself and beat them and not the team that beat them. But it will be a tough road for Bamberg too. They will have their hands full if they play Bayern in the semis. The top teams are all good and it all depends on home court advantage which is just huge as well as how people are playing that night. Anybody can beat anybody – as we’ve seen throughout the season. It’s going to a tough road to the Finals but I think it’s anybody’s game.

In the first round we will face Artland Dragons. We match up well with them. They have good bigs with Anthony King and Petar Popovic and good guard play. They play kind of fast like we do, and they also have a set offense which we can defend well. I think we’re a great match-up for them. Their style fits our style very well. King is kind of a finesse guy with turn-around jump shots while Popovic is kind of a power player who kind of backs his way in. With me and the addition of Omar Samhan, Popovic had zero points at our place. We were just physical with him. When King and Popovic have good games, they’re tough to beat. That’s one of the things that we match up well against. We can put stops together. And that’s huge. It’s going to be a tough battle and we have to be hyped up for every game. The only thing with Artland is that long ride up there. It’s a tough one and I’m not looking forward to that.

I also have entered the Twitter-sphere. I am on Twitter at @big54country. I’ve had Twitter before but never really was on it. I wasn’t that big of a social media guy I guess. But Omar came in and talked to me and talked about being connected to the fans and just sharing with the fans and letting them get a glimpse into your life. I definitely want that and to build my brand. He got me going and said you just have to Facebook it out and he re-tweeted it and others too. It’s definitely new for me. I don’t really know what’s going on with it. But it’s a learning process and I’ll get a hang of it. But it’s something for the fans to stay connected. And that’s very important in this day-in-age where technology has the power to keep people connected. That’s great for basketball and the sport and the fans and the players. Eventually it was going to happen, and now it has. Now I just need some tips from Omar, maybe he’ll give me a class on Twitter.

Thanks and talk later during the playoffs. Best, John Bryant
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