Justin Cobbs Isn´t Forgotten Yet But The Early Season Basketball Honesty Of Jordan Theodore Is Refreshing

When things aren´t going well on the playing area then it is usually the head coach or if your on the football field the quarterback that gets tagged as the scape goat while on the basketball court it is more often than not the point guard who gets the blame when there is chaos on the court as well as in the standings. Last season in the Beko BBL there was a main reason why the Brose Baskets Bamberg won the title besides having a talented deep roster they had Philadelphia native Brad Wanamaker who led the team the whole season and rightfully earned Eurobasket player and guard of the year. “ He’s a smart and tough point guard that competes at the top level. I was impressed the most about how well he gets his whole team involved. He controls the game and they play at their speed. They will be successful with him at the point guard position”, stressed Giessen 46er Braydon Hobbs. Good guards are as common on earth as fleas putting up their tents up in your Dogs fur and having a little more luck than the rest and having a general manager that loves you, a player with the caliber of a Jordan Theodore could be in the NBA today. Usually when you have a bad point guard you are poor, when you have a solid point guard, a club is treading water somewhere at 500, when you have a good point guard you might make the playoffs, but if you have a great point guard, you have very good chances to collect hardware for your living room shelf. The Frankfurt Skyliners have only won two titles in 2000 and 2004 and for both ex German national player Pascal Roller had a big part in the wins. In the 2010-2011 season, Frankfurt was close to reaching the final, but lost to Alba Berlin in a tight five game series while having that seasons MVP Dashaun Wood who had a career year comparing his weekly stats with Monta Ellis as a 22 point 9 assists and 6 rebounds evening was nothing unusual for the Detroit native. Last season it was rookie Justin Cobbs from Los Angeles that led the Fraport Skyliners from near the end of the standings to the playoffs as well as to the Eurochallenge final 4 as his calmness, timely scoring and right decisions carried the team for 6 months. This season the Fraport Skyliners have Jordan Theodore as their point guard and after only three games and a 1-2 record comparisons are already surfacing and his credibility on the court is being questioned. Fans and critics can be so cruel, but come on its only been three games, the season is very long and it is just unfair to put the American responsible for the current state of the team. What kind of point guard will Theodore be for the Fraport Skyliners this season? Where will he be in the scale between bad and great? Let´s just say the word will begin with a G and the Fraport Skyliners will be fine this season.

Theodore is a 25 year old 189cm guard from New York City that is a quick athletic high energy scoring PG who is a great penetrator and finisher at the basket. Shoots a high percentage from FG and FT and quickly developing into a good 3 point shooter. Tremendous pressure defender who is a disruptive on and off the ball defensive force. He is playing his fourth professional season after two years in Turkey and last season in France while also playing in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico during his summer hiatus. He started his basketball career at Paterson Catholic and had scholarship offers from Pitt, Rutgers, Illinois and Seton Hall. He decided to choose Seton Hall and played there from 2008-2012 playing a total of 127 NCAA games. He helped the team to reaching the NIT Sweet 16 in 2012 while playing 32 games and averaging 16.0ppg, 3.1rpg, 6.6apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 41.2%, 3PT: 32.3%, FT: 82.7%. His stats are so extraordinary simply because there wasn´t as much talent on the team as other big basketball schools except for Fuquan Edwin who played for some NBA Summer league teams and this season is balling with Ironi Nes-Ziona (Israel-Winner League) and Herb Pope who was a beast his senior year and averaged double double stats in points and rebounds as well as last season with GreenTops Netanya (Israel-National League). Except against Auburn(Quantez Robertson school 2005-2009) and Marquette, the American was able to score in double figures in 30 of 32 games in his senior year. He dished out 10 assists or more eight times and had huge games against Georgetown with 29, points and 26 points against Depaul and Longwood. He led all scorers in the win against Georgetown which had 4 future NBA players on the floor with Hollis Thompson, Henry Sims Greg Whittington and Otto Porter. But despite a great season and great game against Georgetown, the NBA has remained a foreign word as he still has never made it to that level. Theodore showed that season of what he was capable of doing stat wise with the talent he had to work with and then took it even a step further when he performed brilliantly at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft) playing 3 games: 13.0ppg, 4.3rpg, Assists-1(8.0apg), 1.7spg. However when NBA draft day came, he didn´t hear his name as teams passed on him not giving him a shot. He did suffer some negative press at Seton Hall concerning an ex teammate using unlawful means of letting him know he wasn´t pleased that his mother was attacked in the stands of a game. Theodore was never punished, but it seems like this incident might of scared away potential NBA teams. With the NBA out of the picture and the D-league apparently not an interesting option, he decided to go overseas.

He started his professional basketball career in 2012 in Turkey which is a popular place for Americans to start as there is good money and a league where you can showcase your talent as a rookie. He played for Antalya Buyuksehir Belediye (Turkey-TBL) playing 29 games: 15.8ppg, 3.6rpg, Assists-5(4.7apg), Steals-3(1.7spg), FGP: 47.2%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 81.8%. He was one of the bright spots on the team that had no name players and finished in 16th place and about the only thing that he could possibly marvel about when he returned home during the summer was the beautiful beaches and cuisine of Piyaz and şiş köfte in Turkey. He stayed in Turkey for his second season where he wouldn´t have to be reminded of the cold snowy winters of New York as the climate doesn´t get colder than 10c in the winter and played for Mersin Buyuksehir Belediyesi (Turkey-TBL) playing 27 games and averaging 12.3ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.1apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 45.1%, 3PT: 29.7%, FT: 73.5%. His second season remained without a playoff appearance as the team finished in 14th place. That season he actually had a few talented guys to whip the ball to with ex BBL player Kenny Hasbrouck and an aging Gerald Fitch who played at Kentucky and the Miami Heat early in his career and that season was his last as a professional. Surprisingly his stats were down from his rookie season despite having more talented teammates in his second season. In the summer of 2013 and 2014, he made some extra pocket money playing with Mets de Guaynabo (Puerto Rico-BSN): 16 games: 9.7ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 38.9%, 3PT: 24.1%, FT: 68.7% and Huracanes del Atlantico (Dominican Republic-LNB) 5 games: 12.0ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.6apg, 1.6spg. Last season he played for JL Bourg Basket (France-ProA) playing 17 games: 12.7ppg, 3.6rpg, Assists-2(6.1apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 21.6%, FT: 87.2%. Last season the team performance was worse than the previous two seasons as the club finished dead last in 18th place and moved down to the Pro B. Last season Theodore had six other Americans to work with including scoring inferno Rodney Green, ex NBA player Steven Smith who played for the Philadelphia 76ers and talented kid Chris Roberts who has lite up the D-league in the past. When you have so much talent on a team one has to ask how can a team like that be the worst team in the league. Usually its team chemistry that never materialized. Theodore had a good season stat wise. His scoring was down a bit, but his 6,1apg speaks for itself as he was the second best assist man in the France Pro A. But then again you can have the most talent on earth, but if you don’t come to play defense night in and night out, it doesn´t matter if a Rodney Green can score with a blindfold as you will have problems winning on a consistent rate. The team gave up 80 points or more 22 times and didn´t have enough fire power to win shoot outs. Then again if one believes in curses indirectly, one can add that Steven Smith played for the EWE Baskets Oldenburg team a year before ex NBA player Bobby Brown did and was unable to lead the team to the playoffs in 2012. One can´t say that some of that Brown misfortune rubbed off on Smith to Theodore since they played on different teams.

After three seasons of losing, it is time to start winning. Theodore was signed late to the Fraport Skyliners, but it was a wise choice, because players usually have a good chance of winning when the head coach is Gordon Herbert. Theodore was recommended by childhood friend Sean Armand that played his rookie season in Frankfurt last season and chased the big bucks in Turkey this season. Theodore also only heard good things about Herbert and decided to give the Beko BBL a try. Despite arriving in September, he made an impact right away pouring in 28 points leading the Fraport Skyliners to a pre-season tournament win in Holland over current BBL champion Brose Baskets Bamberg where top point guard Brad Wanamaker surely took notice. He continued to play well with wins against a Cyprian and a Greek team. All this early pre-season success despite team injuries was a surprise and even more surprising was as the team registered a big 67-59 win in Bremerhaven against a talented scoring team without the twin towers Johannes Voigtmann and Danilo Barthel. Theodore started his Beko BBL career with an average night of 12 points and two assists in 35 minutes on 4/15 shooting went rather unnoticed as the win was chalked up to a total team effort. However even after his debut, the first critics were already discussing his play. In the second game, the Fraport Skyliners played another exceptional game in a tough environment in Oldenburg and should have forced an overtime, but a Johannes Richter basket wasn´t given as the team lost 82-80 and had a 6 hour bus ride to replay that last play over and over. Theodore finished with 17 points, five rebounds, one assist and four turnovers. Some of the Oldenburg fans might have had some Bobby Brown déjà vu as the American finished shooting 8/19 which was typical for the ex NBA player who just shot and shot and shot until time ran out or until EWE Baskets mascot Hubird had returned from catching his nightly fish dinner. It was another average game for him and his team was in it for 40 minutes. In his home debut against the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg, the club lost for the second consecutive game on the last possession 77-75. Theodore finished with 13 points and five assists, but had four turnovers. He cut his shot taking in half as he was 5/11. It was the battle of New York with Theodore against Akron with Dru Joyce who finished with 17 points and nine assists leading his team to the win hitting big shots in crunch time. Theodore hardly got a shot off in the first half and finally got going in the second half making important shots and keeping Frankfurt in the game in a Cobbs manner like the way Frankfurt fans saw last season. He did little wrong at the end except for missing two free throws and then on the last play electing to pass the ball to a wide open John Little who missed which would have been the game winning shot. Theodore can penetrate and finish with the best, but on the last play the Wurzburg big man was like a wall and the American made the right decision opting to find Little. One thing that is very commendable so early in the season is his attitude and being able to step up and accept the blame even if one could debate it as the point guard and team leader has a basketball honesty that is very refreshing. “We have injuries and also lost two close games, but we can´t make excuses. I have to play better at the end. I am a player that can score, but I didn´t get it done tonight. I will get better. It all comes down to execution. It is still early in the season. We still have many games. We will be fine and believe me I will be in the gym tomorrow morning”, warned Jordan Theodore. The decision making hasn´t been consistent yet from the American, but will get better with more experience with the more fast paced style of the Beko BBL and the pinpoint precision advice from coaches Gordon Herbert and Klaus Perwas. One has to remember that the club isn´t at full strength without their three starting Germans and the team could easily be 3-0, but reality says 1-2. Cobbs won´t be forgotten so quickly, but it can go very fast should the team go on a winning streak. Frankfurt next play three weaker teams with Tuebingen, BG Goettingen and Phoenix Hagen that combined started 3-6 and beatable if Frankfurt can play the way they have and even heighten their play if possible which is a good time to start a winning streak and then have two back to back home games against power houses FC Bayern Munich and the Brose Baskets Bamberg. After these five games, one can see exactly where the team and Theodore are and if somewhat successful, the only Cobbs questions that arise will be how he is doing in Turkey and in Frankfurt people will be chanting Jordan, Jordan, Jordan with a Theodore following and not a single Michael in the chants.

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