Why are NBA fans so disrespectful sometimes
BIG Appetizer: Interview with Bryce Taylor
We present you on our websitea BIG appetizer every month from the previous edition. This month we're going to show you thatInterview with Bryce Taylor from BIG # 34.
BRYCE TAYLOR was Bayern's X-factor in the finals against Alba. In BIG, the forward speaks about his new goals - and the consequences of the antipathy that the Bavarians repeatedly face.
At a time when players like to keep their options open and gamble their agents for the best contracts, you've done something unusual: you extended your contract with FC Bayern with another plus option to a third year a year before it expires. Why, Mr. Taylor?
First of all, my impressions from the successful past season played a major role. I now know in which direction FC Bayern is headed - and I want to be part of it. And why should I get involved in games about my future when I have everything I want - on and off the floor? The economic situation in Germany compared to other countries and the ever increasing quality of the league were also a factor. All in all, the decision was easy for me.
And what role did money play? After all, Bavaria is starting the season with a new record budget of more than 13 million euros. And the association has a reputation for resolving matters through appropriate payment.
To be honest, it bothers me a lot that FC Bayern is often reduced to its financial strength. Anyone who claims that the club only ever puts money on the table has not seriously considered what has happened here in recent years. What FC Bayern Basketball, which came from a small second division gymnasium, has achieved, has worked hard, step by step. You cannot buy this process. To say so is disrespectful and unfair. I know how much passion every single employee here puts into the project. And that is the basis for last season's success. It's not just about the budget. The Brooklyn Nets arguably had the biggest budget of the past NBA season - they didn't become champions. Real Madrid had the top budget at ACB - they didn't win the title either. Sure: more money means having the chance to sign better players. But that doesn't necessarily mean having a better team. That takes more, especially team chemistry. Team player. Work ethic. Money is part of the equation for success. But only a part.
Especially since Bayern did not march through the league - Oldenburg and Berlin in particular demanded everything from you in the playoffs.
We had to beat really strong teams to be champions. The playoffs were an extremely big challenge for us, right from the first round with the replay in Ludwigsburg. And then came Oldenburg - definitely a team with a championship format. Game five could have gone either way, thanks to home law we made it. And then came Berlin. A real dogfight. Your style of play reflects the essence of coach Sasa Obradovic. They played extremely hard and physically, sometimes a little dirty. That was competition on a super high level.
A person in charge of FC Bayern recently said that the real playoff MVP was not Malcolm Delaney - but Bryce Taylor. How do you see your role, your development?
I had played well at other clubs before - but through FC Bayern I was able to present myself to a much wider audience. The number of TV games, for example, was much larger than in the previous season in Quakenbrück. We flew out of the Eurocup there early. Now, on the big stage with FC Bayern, with great team-mates and a great coach, I've really been able to show everyone what I'm capable of. And in the playoffs I managed to go one step further. But the MVP title for Malcolm is perfectly fine, of course - he had some extremely good games!
The attentive Munich fans have known what they can do for a long time: With your buzzerbeater in the first home game of the 2012/2013 season - the first nail in the coffin for coach Dirk Bauermann at the time.
To be honest: I had already imagined at Artland what it would be like to play for FC Bayern. The club somehow attracted me. And I wanted to remind Marko Pesic and the others at the club with my performance in every game.
You have now spent five seasons in Germany. Why not go south again - or earn big money in Russia? Have you never wanted to experience anything else?
After my first year in Bonn, I actually still thought that I would move on. It wasn't until my second season in Berlin that I felt that Germany could be the right country for me, a second home. I made friends with the language more, got to know the city. And later made the decision for me: If an absolutely great offer doesn't come from somewhere, then I'll stay in Germany and try to play for the best teams there. Today I know that it is a blessing that things have turned out this way. Some professionals jump from country to country - but I want to leave something positive here in Germany that people will remember later. Just like other great US professionals before me whose careers are role models for me.
Who would that be
Julius Jenkins, Immanuel McElroy, Derrick Allen, Chris Ensminger, Rickey Paulding and Casey Jacobsen. These are players who stayed with a club for a long time, who really got involved with Germany, the people and its culture. Who have been very successful and have given themselves and their families a wonderful life. Who have shown respect and dignity, have not just chased after money - and have therefore achieved a special status. That's how I want to be seen for once. I want to be a role model, in words and in deed.
You know what people say about the Germans: hard workers, reliable, serious - sometimes too serious. Does that suit you?
Sure, I really appreciate life as a professional basketball player in Germany! It is important to me to always be professional on the basis of a stable private life. I have a German friend and many good friends. And I've always got on well with my German team-mates. Lucca Staiger, for example, is like a brother to me, we shared a room in Berlin for two years, now in Munich again.
You spoke to the fans in very good German about the extension of your contract with FC Bayern. Read or actually spoken?
My German got a lot better last season and I was able to practice a lot this summer because my girlfriend accompanied me to the USA. I still thought I sounded like a robot, though. I still lack the confidence to speak German a little. Sometimes such an accent sounds a bit silly. I want to avoid that. But my goal is to speak German fluently within the next two years and to be able to give interviews in German as well.
FC Bayern will be happy to hear that - Vice President Rudolf Schels urged foreign players to do more and more actively to integrate.
Just wait and see! In the coming season I will start speaking German publicly!
As a fan of the national team, you already identified yourself during the World Cup - with a new jersey and ongoing tweets.
Yes, my girlfriend's parents gave me the jersey as a parting present after the season. And I have to say: after five years in the country, I was a bit proud of the world championship title. And of course it is also something special that so many world champions come from the same club as me. As a professional, I can understand what they sacrificed for the title. Basti (Schweinsteiger, editor) looked like he'd lost five kilos in the heat of Brazil! He looked pretty emaciated. Of course, I was also able to show off brilliantly in front of the television and say: Look here, these are my friends who have just won the title! To have such a special relationship with the best players in what is arguably the most important sport in the world is pretty awesome.
You now know your way around the country very well - what do you like about Munich?
I like the speed with which the city lives and flows. A little slower than Berlin, a little more spacious in terms of development. Lots of historical buildings, beautiful architecture, very aesthetic and appealing to the eye. Munich is a very clean, well-kept city. It's easy to get from one place to another. The quality of life is very high - the highest I've seen in Germany so far.
Do they recognize you on the street?
That happened more and more often in the course of the last season, especially in the playoffs we were very present in the media. Then there were always autograph requests. As far as I am concerned, this can continue to develop, we cannot be well known in the city. I try to do my part. I had neighbors last season, young people. At some point I found out that they had never been to basketball. Then I got them tickets straight away. Lo and behold: you were thrilled!
In the coming season, a few new faces will be seen at FC Bayern - at the time of going to press for this issue, Anton Gavel and Dusko Savanovic were certain, Vasilije Micic as good as. The goal can only be to defend the championship title - right?
Naturally. To become a master once is one thing - but to confirm that is quite another. A whole new challenge. We are now not only FC Bayern, but also the champion. Which only makes the drive of competition to fight us even greater.
There would also be the trophy - it has been modest for Bavaria so far.
That was a disaster this year. We had this exhausting trip home from Moscow and arrived flat in Ulm, met a very motivated home team and that was it. We want to win this title in the new season. Which will be hard enough. Oldenburg is a hot place. Great hall, great fans.
You have now experienced away games with four teams in the BBL. What is different with FC Bayern? Do you really feel this strong dislike, the hatred that is sometimes quoted?
For comparison: Alba is an extremely successful and well-known club with a big name. When I played there, it was always sold out. But: The opposing fans came to see their home team win. I've already seen it with FC Bayern: that the opposing fans reject you so much that it's no longer about the victory of your own team, but only about the defeat of Bayern. It's a very strange mood. You can hear that, you can feel it. That became particularly clear to me with the Top4 in the Cup: When the fans of Ulm and Berlin joined forces against us in the game for third place against Bamberg. I ask myself: where does this aversion come from? Exclusively from football, where the image has consolidated over decades? I don't know how to justify that. Especially since there are so many untruths floating around. That we are co-financed by the footballers, for example. Which is just not true. But I can tell you: it only bonds us together more if everyone is against us. Us against the rest.
In the Euroleague, your team is not the big enemy in the halls, but just one good team out of many. But you caught a real hammer group - Barcelona, Panathinaikos, Fenerbahce, Milan and Zgorzelec.
It's going to be really difficult. Our big goal is to get back into the top 16. But even if, apart from the Polish team, these are only really big teams from European basketball: We will have a team that can beat these teams.
What do you already know about your new teammates?
I don't know Savanovic personally yet, but of course I've already watched a few videos about him. This looks very good! Anton Gavel has always been one of my favorite players in the league. He's an absolute professional, tough on others, but also tough on himself. Exactly the guy you want on your team. I'm really looking forward to finally getting to know him better.
What have you been missing in Munich so far - what needs to be improved?
Our biggest task should be to get even more fans of basketball. So that the hall is always sold out - no matter when and no matter against whom. Of course, such a fan base also has to grow and does not emerge overnight. But it is also largely our responsibility, as players, to inspire people. What I wish for: That the opposing teams are afraid of coming into the Audi Dome. Because they play against the best team in the league - and the best fans.
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