VTB United League
Khimki newcomer Jeremy Evans promises to be one of the League’s most exciting talents this season. The NBA Slam Dunk champion is the runaway favorite for the League’s All-Star Game dunk contest in Sochi. For now, though, Evans is adjusting to European basketball and his role in Moscow Region.
– Jeremy, welcome to Russia! What are your first impressions?
– It’s cold here. I’m adjusting okay, getting used to the city. I haven’t seen much yet, though. A lot of times it’s already dark when we finish practice. We might have a day off soon and I’ll be able to get out a little bit.
– What did you know about Russia and the VTB United League before this?
– I knew there were a lot of good players here. Your League has great competition and a lot of unpredictable games. It’s interesting here, which is the most important thing.
– You joined Khimki after the season had already started. What other options were there for continuing your career?
– My agent told me about Khimki’s offer. Technically, it was the first offer I got. I decided I should try it, since I want to play, after all.
– You’ve played 4 games for Moscow Region. What are the biggest differences between NBA and European basketball?
– The biggest thing for me now is learning new plays. But the defense is totally different here. There are different lineups for different styles. I’m trying to get used to it and break old habits. Oh, yeah, the travel calls, too (laughs). I’ve also been called for a couple fouls, which I didn’t really understand, to be honest. I don’t say anything, but…
– You played 249 games over six seasons in the NBA. Which game do you remember best?
– Probably two games against Minnesota. They were good games. I scored more than 10 points and had good looks.
– During the 2010-11 season, you played with Andrei Kirilenko at Utah. What do you remember about AK-47, on and off the court?
– AK is a great guy and awesome teammate. I remember one time he gave me my first suit, so I could wear it to the game. The NBA has a mandatory dress code, you know. That was cool.
– You participated twice in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest and won it once. The VTB League is going to hold it’s first-ever All-Star Game in Sochi this year, including a Slam Dunk Contest. Do you think anybody can challenge you?
– You know, a few years ago I came to Latvia for something similar and some guy I’d never heard of could jump like crazy. I was amazed there were so many good jumpers in Europe. It’s the same in the VTB United League. I didn’t expect this much athleticism. The players use it during games, too. Imagine during a contest!
– Did you have any favorite players growing up?
– Yeah, like anybody else. I watched the Bulls and followed Michael Jordan. I’m no exception, I was a huge fan. As far as someone at my position, I would say Kevin Garnett. I really liked how he played.
– A lot of people consider Dusko Ivanovic to be a pretty strict, demanding coach, but you played for Jerry Sloan at Utah. How would you compare the two?
– The coach does what he thinks is best. If you listen to what he’s saying and try your hardest, everything will be fine. If you don’t want to work, nothing’s going to work out.
– You’ve got a pretty unusual hobby for a basketball player: drawing. When did you discover your talent?
– When I was a kid, about 5 years old. My mom showed me a picture and told me to watch her draw. I decided to try and draw something too. It’s been my hobby ever since.
– Who’s the first teammate at Khimki you’d like to draw a portrait of?
– Ha, that’s a good question! I’d draw anyone that wants me to.