Kyle Hines is a 29 year old 198cm power forward from Sicklerville, New Jersey that is playing his third season with CSKA Moscow. He is a powerful player who loves to attack the basket. Has a good 1-vs-1 game and likes to go inside. He is undersized to play the power forward, but his great wingspan (7-1) allows him to guard taller players and to intimidate. He’s also a great leaper and reads the opponent’s game well He played at NC-Greensboro (NCAA) from 2004-2008. In his senior year, he played 31 games: 19.2ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.4apg, 1.8spg, 3.1bpg, FGP: 55.6%, 3Pts: 12.5%, FT: 62.8%. He was invited to play at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Pre-NBA Draft): 3 games: 17.3ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.3apg, 2.3spg, 3.3bpg, FGP: 78.6%, FT: 72.7%. He then had predraft workouts with Sacramento Kings and the Charlotte Bobcats (NBA). He then went to Europe to Italy and played with Prima Veroli (Italy-Lega2, starting five): 34 games: 16.9ppg, Reb-4(8.6rpg), 3.0spg, Blocks-2(1.8bpg), FGP-2(66.0%), FT: 58.5%. In 2009, he took part in the Orlando Pro Summer League (Oklahoma City Thunder). In 2009-2010, he stayed in Italy with Prima Veroli (Italy-Lega2, starting five): 40 games: 18.5ppg, 8.1rpg, Steals-2(3.5spg), Blocks-4(1.6bpg), FGP-3(64.0%), 3PT: 18.8%, FT: 57.8%. He played NBA Summer League in Las Vegas (New Orleans Hornets) in the summer of 2010.In 2010-2011 he played for the Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany-1.Bundesliga): Euroleague: 10 games: 12.9ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 64.3%, FT: 46.7%; German League: 46 games: 10.4ppg, 4.6rpg, Blocks-3(1.2bpg), FGP-3(61.1%), 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 52.4%. He won the double with Bamberg. He played for Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-A1) from 2011-2013 winning two Euroleague titles. Last season for CSKA Moscow he played 39 games: 6.7ppg, 3.9rpg, FGP: 64.8%, FT: 60.6%; Euroleague: 30 games: 6.8ppg, 4.3rpg, FGP: 62.2%, FT: 68.2%. He spoke to German Hoops for the third time this season in Bamberg before the Euroleague game against his ex team Brose Baskets Bamberg.
Kyle welcome back to Germany and Bamberg. With all the horrible terrorist attacks in the past and recently in Brussels, how do you cope with all the travel you do with CSKA Moscow and having that in your mind every time you step on to a plane and walk through airports?
It has been a very tough situation in the last week with the terror attacks in Istanbul and Brussels. I send out my prayers and blessings to all the victims and families involved. We live in a time now where we all have to be more on the look out and have to worry a little more about these things. But you can´t do more than just put life in God´s hands and hope for the best.
This is your second time back this season. That is more than most Beko BBL players this season. What do you look forward the most to when you return back to Bamberg?
Just having the chance to see friends and past relationships is the best. I also enjoy being In Bamberg and seeing this historic city and the atmosphere. Bamberg is a unique city for me
When you are participating in warm ups tonight and you have a minute to reflect on what you experienced in the Stechert arena in the 2010-2011 season what play or occurrence do you think will come up?
When I am on the court I will think of all the past nice memories I had on the court. I never forgot all the great teammates, fans and coaching staff. I am really thankful of having been part of Bamberg basketball history winning titles in their title runs those years.
Since you left the Brose Baskets Bamberg in 2011, you are 7-0 in Euroleague games against German teams FC Bayern Munich and the Brose Baskets Bamberg. German basketball and teams have developed over the years, but why do you think that you have their number?
I guess I was lucky. In the last five years, the German basketball really has developed further. Five years ago, it was unheard of a team like Bamberg to reach the top 16 or get a few big wins against top teams and now they are expected to do it or even get further as Bamberg is trying to do this season.
This season CSKA Moscow played against the Brose Baskets Bamberg three times and won each contest. Except for the first game that you won by five, you won the second and third game more easily by 12 and 21 points. What has been the key to the success of having Bamberg´s number this season?
Every game this season has been different with other strategies. I think what has been most key has been being able to match the intensity and physicality of Bamberg in all three games. Bamberg is more of a defensive orientated team and we have fought well against them and in Bamberg didn´t let the atmosphere take us out of what we do best on the court.
Bamberg is very hot at the moment. They won the last two games in spectacular fashion against Khimky Moscow and Olympiacos and recently beat FC Barcelona and lost close games to Zalgiris and Real Madrid. How dangerous are the Brose Baskets Bamberg now?
Bamberg is very dangerous at the moment. They play extremely hard on defense and have very versatile players that match up very well to different styles of basketball. They have aggressive players that all know how to make plays. One of their biggest strength now is that with their growing self confidence in Euroleague, they have no fear and won´t back down against any teams.
Bamberg is a totally different team now since the last loss to CSKA Moscow. How do you feel that their game has progressed since then from what you have seen on film?
Bamberg is playing with a lot more confidence than the last time we played them. They have become even more comfortable in the game philosophy of coach Andrea Trinchieri. With some of their big wins, it has fueled their game more letting them know that they can play with the bigger teams. I also feel the experience of Zisis and Melli has helped the team as well as their Euroleague experience has been big. That has rubbed off on the rest of the team.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg may only be 5-6 in Euroleague play, but playing their best basketball and hungry to move on. In the 91-70 win CSKA Moscow dominated the boards. What will be key in having a 4-0 season record against your ex team?
I think key for us will be controlling the rebounds and limiting our turnovers. We want to limit their possessions and generate more possessions for ourselves. We also want to limit their easy points and give us more chances to score.
FC Bayern Munich and Alba Berlin are out of international club play, but Bamberg and Frankfurt are still around. Especially Frankfurt is 15-1 and Bamberg could move on if they continue to play well and win games. Why is Bamberg now more successful in the Euroleague than past teams under Chris Fleming? How has your ex team evolved?
I believe that Chris Fleming laid the foundation. Eight or nine years ago, nobody would have ever imagined that Bamberg could be a Euroleague team. Over the years the club got better and more experienced players that helped the development grow. The coaching staff of Trinchieri brought added experience and he brought more experienced players that had Euroleague experience. Trinchieri has helped change the mentality of the players and let them embrace his mentality in order to be successful in Euroleague play.
Some of the guys you played with from the 2001-2011Bamberg team have retired like Casey Jacobsen or John Goldsberry while guys like Tibor Pleiss and Brian Roberts have moved to the NBA and the others are all playing somewhere else. Another guy that also hung up his sneakers was Predrag Suput the player that gave every BBL team headaches. How did he give you headaches in practice?
I actually saw him last summer. He was difficult to guard and at times impossible to guard in the post. Suput was so crafty, had experience and was just so intelligent. He taught me so much in my season in Bamberg. I was 24 and he taught me to be a better defender and it was a great experience being able to learn from him each day in practice. We played one on one every day. I would like to say the battles were a tie.
Currently CSKA Moscow is #1 in their Euroleague group and #1 in the VTB. Has the team peaked yet or is it still a delicate work in progress?
I want to say it is still a work in progress. We still make mistakes in every game and don´t play our best. We only had a few games where everyone was healthy and yet to see how we stand now when all are fit. We are looking forward to what we can do when all are 100%. I hope that we can peak at the crucial time of the season.
This is your third season with CSKA Moscow and third season since you last won the Euroleague. Your not getting any younger. Your hunger to win this again grows each season. What do you feel does this years team have that will get them over the hump?
I think that we have more versatility than in the past. Our roles are more defined than in the past. Our critics said in the past there were too many guys fighting for the ball, but this season the players are all happy with their roles and situation. Every player knows what he has to do to make the team successful.
CSKA Moscow has such a deep and talented team, but the offense revolves around Milos Teodosic and Nando De Colo. These guys are dominating the VTB and Euroleagues. What do you appreciate most about their games when they are on the court at the same time?
Both Milos and Nando compliment each other well. Rarely do you see two ball handlers being able to do this while enjoying playing together. They are great guys and teammates and their first priority is helping the team and making sure all the players are playing their best.
You practice with young Russian Anton Astapkovic on a regular basis. Is he the next big talent from CSKA Moscow that could make the breakthrough?
Anton is very talented. He works very hard and is always in the gym. I have watched him grow in my three years here and he has a lot of potential. Once in a while he makes a move on the court that makes the people ooh and ah. I feel that he has a big future ahead of him.
Your turning 30 this year. How do you feel your game is developing further with age?
I think that my game is developing pretty well. I am gaining more experience each year. I like my progression and hope it will continue in the next 4-5 years and I can stay healthy and play well.
You have played 144 Euroleague games in your career. In your second game you helped Bamberg beat your future Greek team Olympiakos 73-61 as you had 14 points. What do you remember from this game in general and having current teammate Milos Teodosic as your opponent?
I remember being very excited to play Olympiakos. I had heard so much about them and was able to play against so many big name guys. It had been a big dream of mine since coming to Europe to play at the Euroleague level. I was very happy that we beat them. I also was happy that I played well. At that moment, it had been the biggest international win in the Bamberg basketball history.
There have been rumors that FC Bayern Munich want to get Chris Fleming as head coach next season. Do you think working in a high market and place where you feel pressure at every second that he will succeed?
Chris Fleming is an amazing coach. I know that he will have tremendous success in any situation that he is in.
CSKA Moscow beat Maccabi Tel Aviv twice this season in the Euroleague. Israeli basketball fans and it´s country has been shocked by their poor season. What do you think went wrong with that powerhouse program?
I am not really sure and can only comment as an outsider. Every season teams take that risk of building a new team. Basketball success is big on chemistry and guys coming together on the court is very important. I believe some of their signings this season didn´t mesh the way that they had liked. All teams go through it. That is how it is in professional sports. Maccabi Tel Aviv have great history and are a great program. They will be back in Euroleague and have success.
What sleeper team do you see making the farthest run in the March Madness?
I really like Gonzaga even if you can´t really consider them a sleeper. They have been in the NCAA tournament the last 10 years. They were just lower seeded this season. They are considered an underdog this season and slipped a bit under the radar and have less pressure. I see them making run.
Some of the older NBA players that played at different times are having a hard time giving Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors credit for their success saying they might not have had that success 20-30 years ago. Are these former players just jealous or why can´t they just give credit where it´s due?
Every player thinks that their generation is the best. All athletes have that certain competitive nature within them. That doesn´t go away when their career is over. Players were great because of their competitive nature. I don´t think that they are jealous, but just their competitive nature talking.
Recently ESPN made a top 100 greatest NBA players of alltime poll putting Lebron at #3 before legends Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and BIll Russell. Do you see that as being justified?
It depends on opinion. You can shuffle all these names around. I think that ESPN did this so people will debate it. I think if you look at what Lebron has done in his career it can be seen as justified. He is one of best small forwards that we have ever seen. I don´t think that we have ever seen a player like him do what he has. He has to be considered as one of the all time greats.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I saw Concussion with Will Smith.
Thanks Kyle for the chat.