Bryan Bailey (I Am Thankful For The Opportunity To Play For Roma)

Bryan Bailey is a 32 year old 185cm combo guard that is playing his 11th professional basketball season and recently finished the season in Germany with BBC Bayreuth and now is playing for Acea Virtus Roma (Italy-SerieA) in the playoffs against Trenkwalder. He is a true team leader both on and off the court. He possesses a diverse game, with an ability to stroke the long-range jumper, penetrate to the rim or distribute the ball. He is solid on the defensive end of the floor as well. His fierce competitive drive rubs off on his teammates. He started his professional basketball career at Bucknell and player there from 1998-2002 and in his senior year played 17 games averaging 18.1ppg, 5.3rpg, 2.4apg. He made All-Patriot League 1st Team in 2001 and 2002. In 2002-2003, he started his professional basketball season in Germany with DJK S. Oliver Wurzburg (Germany-1Bundesliga, starting five): 26 games, 15.4ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.4spg. In 2003-2004, he played in Holland for Landstede Zwolle (Holland-Eredivisie, starting five): 35 games: 17.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.1apg, 2.4spg, 0.2bpg. He then played with The Artland Dragons from 2004-2007 reaching the league and cup final in 2007. His best statistical season was 2005-2006 playing 33 games and averaging 11.4ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.7apg, 1.7spg, 2FGP: 46.9%, 3PT: 25.3%. In 2007-2008, he played with Bosna ASA BH Telecom Sarajevo (Bosnia-D1, starting five): ULEB Cup: 12 games: 10.3ppg, 2.3rpg, 4.5apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 54.1%, 3PT: 20.8%, FT: 84.3%. In 2008-2009, he played in Poland for PGE Turow Zgorzelec (Poland-DBE): Eurocup: 6 games: 7.3ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.7apg, 1.7spg; Polish League: 32 games: 8.0ppg, 1.8rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 51.9%, 3PT: 32.4%, FT: 77.0%. In 2009-2010, he played with the EWE Baskets Oldenburg playing Euroleague: 4 games: 8.3ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.8apg; German League: 6 games: 9.3ppg, 1.3apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 89.7%. n the 2011-2012 with the rtland Dragons, he played EuroChallenge Qualifying Round: 1 game: 7pts, 5reb, 3ast, 3steals; German League: 41 games: 11.5ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 77.2%. He spoke to German Hoops before game seven against Trenkwalder.

Most of your teammates are home in the States enjoying their vacation and free time while you are battling in the Italian league playoffs. How amazing was it getting this job opportunity so late in your basketball career?

It’s great to be a part of a club with great tradition and history and I’m thankful for the opportunity to play for Roma.

Did even a second have to go by for you to take the offer?
No. Not at all.

I can imagine the main reason for Acea Virtus Rome hauling you in was for your experience and leadership. What other reasons did the club mention was there for getting you?

It was definitely for my experience and my overall basketball knowledge and also my ability to play both guard positions.

You seem to have had little time to get used to the Italian league. What is the biggest difference in style and talent level to the Beko BBL?

I think both leagues are very competitive and have good talent level. It’s hard for me to say the biggest difference, because I’ve only played against two teams since I’ve been here in Italy. One thing I did notice here, is that teams run a lot of isolation plays for certain players.

How challenging has it been playing against ex NBA player Troy Bell in the seven game series against Trenkwalder? Did he get a sense of the aggressive Bailey defense?
It was definitely a challenge. Bell is a great scorer, who can score in different ways. I just try to make him take difficult shots.

How is your relationship to head coach Marco Calvani? How tough is it in general to come into a very short term situation and then have to learn a new style from a coach?
Coach Calvani is a great coach who has a good relationship with the players on the team. We’re able to discuss different things about the game and he is very open to input from his players. The tough part is getting to know all the players and building a chemistry with them. But the players are all great guys and helped me to get adjusted very quickly. I just try to do the little things to help the team to win games.

How much potential does a Jordan Taylor have and how have you helped him with his game since you have been there?

Jordan is great player and plays with a lot of poise for a rookie player. He’s actually helped me out a lot, in terms of running the different sets and what we’re looking for. He has a bright future ahead of him.

Will we see Bryan Bailey back in the Beko BBL next season or could the pasta and basketball in Italy keep you there?
The food is definitely good here, but the German food isn’t bad either. Both leagues are great. We’ll have to see what the future holds.

What is your prediction of FC Bayern Munich-Brose Baskets Bamberg in the semi finals? What will be key for either team winning?
I think thats going to be a good series and both teams match up well. I think defense is going to be key in this series, but I have no prediction on the winner.

What is your favorite place to relax in Rome?
Right now I haven’t had a chance to relax that much, because we play every two days. After the season I can find some places to relax a bit.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Hangover 2

Thanks Bryan for the chat.

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