Hi Teammates!

I have been watching the NBA releasing their 75 Best Players over the past few days and it got me thinking about who were the best players I had the honor of playing alongside as a professional. If I could assemble a team of former teammates, who would make the list? It was much more difficult than I first imagined. I was lucky to play with some really good players. Over 13 years I probably had between 150 and 200 different teammates. What criteria would I use? Would I just take a starting five or would I extend it to bench players? Taking into consideration that I have a horrible memory, I would probably forget someone. I had to turn to Wikipedia to list all the teams I played for to have an idea again haha. Finally, I decided just to list the players that I loved playing with. These 16 guys had a positive effect on my game and the teams we played on. If they made this list, I respect what they gave me and to the game! Thanks, fellas…

Mike Coffin-By far the best PG I EVER played with as a pro. He knew when I needed a shot and knew which play to call to get it done. His court vision and basketball IQ were off the charts…probably the reasons why he is a successful coach while winning multiple championships now. Johnny Griffin-Hardest working teammate. Sometimes he went overboard (think Jordan with his teammates) but especially early in my career, I needed a teammate like him. Never play the card game “Spades” with him and Mike on the same team though. They cheat! Ron Riley-NBA talent…no question. We knew each other from being rivals in Vegas during high school. He was the difference-maker on my Traiskirchen team that won the League Cup and Championship. Without him, we don’t win either trophy…simple as that. Hannes Lutz-He is for sure the least talented guy on this list but he was the ULTIMATE team guy on and off the court. He was a guy I hated playing against, but once he was my teammate, I would have never given up. He was the Bill Laimbeer of Austrian basketball and I am sure he loves that comparison! Lukas Hajda-He had the most unorthodox shot I have ever seen. If you know him, you understand what I mean. He made big shots though and was never afraid to mix it up and never backed down from Americans. Otto Mattisky-Classic old school, huge, eastern European center. Great passer and almost unstoppable if he got his space in the paint. He loved his Pivo (beer) and cigarettes (sometimes at halftime haha).

Kyle Milling-Incredible footwork and talent. If he wouldn’t have gotten hurt, I wouldn’t have lost my job in France. He is a successful coach and I could see that coming. Versile Shaw-Jack of all trades…he could have played every position on the court and just got things done. His arrival to the team in France probably made me expendable, but I loved watching him go to work haha. Drew Henderson-Think of the Charles Oakley/Michael Jordan relationship…he was my Harlem-born enforcer. He let me talk shit on the court and had my back if someone tried to step up. After the game, he would tell me to shut the fuck up, but he knew I would keep running my mouth the very next game and he always had my back. Jamal Basit-When he was in shape, he was a beast. I played with both the athletic version and the slightly out-of-shape version, but I would have taken both versions. To know him is to love him. Elvir Ovcina-By far the most skilled big man I played with as a pro. The Bosnian national-team player could hit the 3 and back you down. Also, an underrated passer that dropped more than one time to me cutting to the basket for a dunk. Tyron McCoy-His nickname The Cat fit him…First, we were young rivals in Austria, and then teammates years later in Germany. He was simply gifted and passionate. He could score in many ways, and it always looked easy. He yelled at me a lot but I never took exception because his competitive streak matched mine. Quinton Brooks-He could play 3 through 5 and our games just meshed well together although we were very similar. Julien Sauret-Tough dude…his game was bigger than his size and he didn’t care who he was matched up with, he was gonna get in their face. I loved that. Ali Seggelke-A gifted scorer. A bit wild at times (think Manu Ginobili) but that was what made him such a tough guard for opposing defenses. Al Elliott-He just got it done! Not the quickest or most athletic PG but he was a winner. He was born for crunch time and that was what I respected about him the most. He also knew instinctively when I needed to get a shot and if I was hot he kept the ball coming.

Thank you for taking the time to read my words!


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