James Anderson: ‘The EuroLeague is not a big step-down compared to the NBA’ 0
Zalgiris TV spoke to a member of Anadolu Efes Istanbul, James Anderson, and discussed the team’s recent success, finally climbing to the top of the EuroLeague, and more American players getting attracted to playing overseas.
“Definitely, I think the EuroLeague is still growing and a lot of guys are more open to coming over here. I think the only thing that shies them away from playing here is being on this side of the world for 10 months. But I think a lot of guys are opening up to see how good the EuroLeague basketball is compared to the NBA. So coming here is not much of a step-down.”
Anderson also compared the European game to the NBA game and emphasized the physicality of the EuroLeague.
“I think the game here is a little more physical. The referees let you get away with more little hits and bumps and stuff. So I think it kind of wears a lot of guys down. You have to figure out a way to get through without being ejected from the game.”
The 32-year-old spoke about the thrill of winning the EuroLeague after three hard-fought years of trying to achieve this goal.
“It was just an amazing feeling. Working those three years, fighting so hard and come up short. We had a chance the first year and then to have the second year taken away from us because of Covid. And then just going into last year with that same goal. It’s a lot of focus to do that three years in a row to try and make it back to the finals. So it was just an amazing feeling and a big relief on everybody’s shoulders because we all wanted it so bad.”
Anderson touched on Efes staying together and having the goal of repeating as EuroLeague champions.
“Hopefully, we can keep it going. We have the same guys, the same group. Nothing really has changed so we want to come out have the same goal. If it’s not broken, there’s no reason to change it. We have the same core and the main focus is to stay healthy and just go from there.
We have a tight team so once we get back together it doesn’t really take much to get going. Filip Petrusev came in so just trying to get him adjusted and he’s coming along well. We will use the training camp to get in shape and get back to the basketball mindset. But from the mental mindset, we’re just a good group of guys and the chemistry is amazing.”