Tony Gaffney is a 28 year old 204cm forward from Berkely, Massachusetts that is playing for FIATC Joventut Badalona this season. He is a forward who brings a high level of energy and athleticism to any teams he joins. He is a tenacious rebounder and great defender. He was the Atlantic 10 Conference defensive player of the year in 2008-09, and one of the nation’s leading shot-blockers. He played at Boston University from 2004-2006 and then went to Massachusetts (NCAA) where he played from 2006-2009. In his senior year, he played 30 games: 11.5ppg, RebA10-2(10.2rpg), 1.7apg, StealsA10-2(2.0spg), BlocksNCAA-3(3.8bpg), FGP: 54.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 64.6%: Finished career at UMass ranked seventh all-time in blocks (174). In 2009-2010, he played for Altshuler Saham Galil Gilboa (Israel-Premier League): 1 game: 2pts, 2reb, 1steal, 1block, but left next month, in Apr.’10 moved to Boston Celtics (NBA). In 2010-2011, he played for the Boston Celtics (NBA), in Oct.’10 moved to Turk Telekom Ankara (Turkey-TBL): Turkish League: 8 games: 6.0ppg, 2.4rpg, FGP: 63.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 80.0%; EuroChallenge: 3 games: 8.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.0spg; left in Jan.’11, same month acquired by Utah Flash (D-League): 38 games: 10.3ppg, 6.8rpg, 2.3apg, 1.4spg, Blocks-4(2.3bpg), FGP: 55.9%, 3PT: 27.8%, FT: 66.7%. Last season he played for the Telekom Baskets Bonn (Germany-1.Bundesliga, starting five): German League: 37 games: 12.9ppg, 6.1rpg, 1.5apg, 1.3spg, Blocks-1(1.8bpg), FGP: 63.1%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 68.8%; EuroChallenge: 12 games: 11.6ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.1apg, 1.3spg, Blocks-1(2.1bpg), FGP: 63.0%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 58.8%He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
How well have you digested the New England Patriots loss against the Baltimore Ravens?
I have not digested it well. I am a diehard Patriots fan, but I have to admit that the Ravens were simply better than the Patriots were on this night. I am happy though that Ray Lewis has another chance to win a Superbowl.
Was this the last chance for the New England Patriots and Tom Brady or will they come back? Tom Brady is turning 36 this year.
I think that Tom Brady has 2-3 more good years left of playoff football. I think that the Patriots will do what they do each year and come back strong and be in the hunt again. I think that Brady is still the smartest quarterback and best arm in the NFL.
If you had to rank the top four Boston sports teams how would you rank them?
Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins. I was under contract with the Boston Celtics for 6-7 months and I still have a warm spot for them.
Who will win the 2013 Superbowl 49ers or Ravens?
Well the 49ers have been the early favorite, but I have this funny feeling that the Ravens are going to do it. My buddy Kenny Hasbrouck isn´t going to be happy with my prediction, but I know that my man Rickey Harris will be happy with it.
You are playing your first season in the ACB and are averaging 10,9ppg, 5,6rpg, 1,8apg, 1,5spg and 1,2bpg. The transition seems to have run smoothly for you.
I had a good season last year with Bonn and I worked very hard last summer getting ready for this season. The ACB is a great league where you always have to be ready and there is 0 cake walk in the ACB.
You still have close ties to Bonn. How tough was it leaving Bonn.
It was tough leaving. I was in Bonn for new years and new year day. It feels like a second home. It was a business decision leaving and coming to the ACB was best for my career. Maybe the Bonn fans will see me in magenta colors again in the future.
What do you miss more hanging out with Andrej Mangold or catching ally-op passes von Jared Jordan?
I miss hanging out with Andrej Mangold while catching ally-op passes from Jared Jordan.
What is your role with FIATC Joventut?
My role is to do all similar to what it was with Bonn. I am one of the older players on the team and should be a leader. I have embraced my role well. I am here to score, play defense and push the ball forward on transition.
Do you have to change your style a bit to what you saw in the lower league Beko BBL?
I have to use more of my athletic ability and speed.
Is Corey Fischer a good replacement for Jared Jordan with ally-op passes?
It is impossible to replace Jared Jordan, but Corey Fischer is a fun kind of point guard. He can do so much with scoring, pass and get the team out on the break.
Even if you are currently not in the NBA, isn´t the ACB like the European NBA for you?
Yes it is. There are always NBA general managers courtside. There are thousands of fans at every game and wherever you go in the city, people know you. The NBA is a league of their own, but the ACB is a very special league and I will enjoy it even more if we continue to win.
What is the toughest for you game in and game out in the ACB?
The toughest thing is the challenge in every game. The skill level of the position four in the ACB is up with the NBA. Every night I play against ex NBA players or guys that play in national teams. All can shoot, post up and put the ball on the floor. I am thankful for having this chance to showcase my skills against the best players.
You lost too Real Madrid recently. How was it playing against Marcus Slaughter who you know well?
He is a good friend of mine. We talked before and after the game. WE have smilar games, but I am more outside and he is inside, but our game is defined from the defensive end, blocking shots, dunking and getting the crowd into the game. I strive to be like him an dplay for a Euroleague team someday. We will have dinner soon. It is always nice seeing him.
What is wrong with FC Barcelona? They have a record of 11-8.
They are playing very well in Euroleague, but the ACB is a tough league. There are more than four teams that could play well in Euroleague. Barcelona has a tough schedule, play 3-4 games a week plus all the travel.
You recently played against big man Nathan Jawai. Was he the biggest guy that you ever played against?
Well I played against Shaq with the Boston Celtics, but with Jawai it is as close as it gets. He is a good guy and a big boy. He really knows how to use his body and how to rebound. I didn´t have to cover him except for a few switches.
Who was the best player that you have played against in the ACB this season?
It has to be Erazem Lorbek who has played everywhere with top teams in Europe. He might be the bets post player in Europe. He moves so well with his 6.10 body. Spencer Nelson also is a tough player who has been around for years.
What is your favorite place in Barcelona?
I like Port Olympic at the water. There are nice lounges there and places to eat where you can go with your family.
Have you been to a FC Barcelona soccer game?
I have been to one game where they won 5-1 in the Spanisch league. The atmosphere is incredible and the fans are crazy. They are the best team in the world.
Do you have a favorite Spanisch food?
I like the Spanisch rice.
Rajon Rondo is out for the season. How will they react to this?
Rondo tearing his ACL is heartbreaking. He is a good friend of mine. The Boston Celtics are a good organization and they will find a way to win games. Paul Pierce can help out at the point. There have been rumors about Kyle Lowry being brought in. I think that they will be fine and will be right there in the playoffs.
I witnessed young NBA players like Kemba Walker and Austin Rivers refusing to sign autographes a few weeks ago in Boston. What is your take on autographes?
I disagree with players that don´t sign. I sign for anyone anywhere. Even I f I was Michael Jordan I would sign. The reasons for the high pay role are the fans. If it takes putting a smile on a kids face is what matters. I would always sign.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
I have been watching the DVD series Sons of Anarchy
Thanks Tony for the chat.