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 fourth time this season on the eve of the 2016 Euroleague Final 4 in Berlin
Kyle thanks for talking to German Hoops. You are back in Berlin again this time for the Euroleague final 4.The last time you were here in spring time was 5 years ago in June playing in the BBL finals against Alba Berlin. How big was the weather contrast coming from Moscow to Berlin?
There really wasn´t any transition in the weather coming from Moscow to Berlin. The last couple days were nice in Moscow around 20c.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg always took the lead in games, but Alba Berlin never gave up forcing a fifth game. What do you remember most from that hard fought 5 game series?
I remember game 5 well. We were down in the closing minutes, but got a big three from Reyshawn Terry and then John Goldsberry hit a huge three pointer that sealed the win for us. It was a special win considering the big rivalry between both teams.
This is your fifth Euroleague Final 4 appearance. Do you learn to appreciate each new opportunity as you get older?
Yes I definitely do. It isn´t easy to get here each season. I am lucky and very honored to be here again. It is a big accomplishment for the club and it has such a rich tradition in coming back. CSKA Moscow has reached the Euroleague Final 4 something like 13 times in the last 14 years. When I started my career I was hoping of maybe reaching one Euroleague Final 4, but now it´s five. It is just a great feeling.
What would it mean to you to win a third Euroleague title?
It would be a remarkable accomplishment. That is why players play the game to be able to win the big title. We put in a lot of work this season and it has been a long road to get here again. I was fortunate to have won two in a row with Olympiakos and then lost in the semi-finals the last two seasons which was very disappointing. I am back and going for a third title. It´s an incredible feeling to go for a third Euroleague title.
What does CSKA Moscow have now as a team that wasn´t present the last two seasons where you bowed out in the semi finals to FC Barcelona and Olympiakos?
I feel that we as a team have a lot more humble understanding what it takes to get here with the hard work that we have put in this season. I also think that each player has embraced their role on the team and the coaching staff prepared us well for each game. We also have many guys back for a second season and all are better accumulated to the system and feel more comfortable running it.
CSKA Moscow have arrived in the Euroleague Final 4 with a 11 game winning streak as the last loss was in Bamberg. Has the team peaked now and playing it´s best basketball of the season?
I hope so. We had a very grueling playoff series with Nymburk that really played us tough. We have achieved the needed experience in the last 7-9 games in very competitive games and hope that we can carry it over into the weekend.
You recently played the second most minutes in the VTB in a game against Nymburk in the playoffs notching a 14 point 12 rebound effort in 27 minutes. Do you sense that your adrenaline will be at a record high for yourself when you face off against Lokomotiv Kuban?
I hope so. Lokomotive Kuban is a very unique team and play a special style with five perimeter players. This game is like a final for me. We understand that there is no tomorrow. The adrenaline has to be at an all-time high and we have to play each possession like it´s our last.
This year the Euroleague Final 4 have CSKA Moscow, Lokomotiv Kuban, Fenerbahce, Istanbul and Laboral Kutka Vitoria. How refreshing is it that there are some other teams in the Euroleague Final 4 instead of the usual suspects?
I think that having these four teams in the final 4 is great for the Euroleague. I think that having the chance to have these teams here has to do with the Euroleague format and not like the traditional NBA format. All four teams are unique and in a different kind of situation. Lokomotive Kuban are a newcomer to the Euroleague. Laboral Kutka Vitoria are a traditional Euroleague team that had success back years ago and are back now. Fenerbahce, Istanbul have been on the rise the last 2-3 years and are looking to really establish themselves in Europe.
Many of the big guns like your ex team Olympiakos Piraus and FC Barcelona bowed out early. Do you feel like there has been a turn in the tide of the competition level or were some of the top teams just worse this season?
I wouldn´t say that. Teams have dealt more with injuries this season than any other year. Many teams also had at least one key player out which hurt them. Many more unknown and smaller teams stepped it up this season like Bamberg. It made the whole Euroleague season more competitive and it was great for the fans.
CSKA Moscow meets Lokomotiv Kuban in one semi-final. Both teams split the season series. What kind of game can we await?
I think that it will be an interesting game. In the press conference today a theme was that there are no secrets between both teams. We all know each other, because we compete in the VTB. The Russian players also know each other from other competitions as well. I don´t think that it will be so much a game of x and o´s, but a game where the mentality factor will play the main role and whoever wants it more will win the game.
In the last meeting against Lokomotiv Kuban despite having 56 points combined from Milos Teodosic and Nando De Colo, CSKA Moscow still lost 94-88. Does it scare you that even when your two top players are on you can still lose?
No I am not, because their two top players Anthony Randolph and Malcom Delaney also had big games. This was one of our biggest loses of the season. It was a close game until the end, but we were unable to make the necessary stops to pull out the win. They played very well, but we felt that we didn´t play our best. Now we have the chance to learn from our mistakes and not to make the same ones again.
Anthony Randolph and Malcom Delaney are the key guys to contain. What will be key in reaching the Euroleague Final?
Those two guys are great players. But key will be to stop their other players. In many of their big wins this season, they had a third and fourth player that stepped it up. We have to play a complete game for 40 minutes and just stay consistent. If we can do that then we will have an opportunity to reach the final.
How much do you see the bench possibly being the deciding factor?
The benches will be a big factor. We usually play all 12 players or at least 11 of 12 players. They usually play 7-8 players. I feel that we will have the advantage there. We have mulitiple players that can step it up at any time. Many of our players on our bench can start and play many minutes. We have top Euroleague player Milos Teodosic coming from the bench which is an advantage.
What kind of game can we await in the other semi-final between , Fenerbahce, Istanbul and Laboral Kutka Vitoria? Who do you see reaching the final?
I am not really sure. Both are good teams and had very good seasons in the Euroleague. , Fenerbahce, Istanbul is a deep team with experienced Euroleague players, international players and guys with NBA experience. Not to mention one of the greatest coaches in the Euroleague with Zejlko Obradovic. Laboral Kutka Vitoria is also a great team that had a great season. They have young hungry players and led by experienced players. It will be an interesting matchup.
The Brose Baskets Bamberg are playing another great season reaching the top 16 in the Euroleague and reaching the Cup semi-finals. They are as motivated as ever to defend their Beko BBL title. Do you think there is any team that could stand in their way?
I haven´t kept up with many teams in the Beko BBL this season, but know that Bamberg is playing another great season and that Frankfurt won the Fiba Europe cup and Munich has had an up and down season. I know that Bamberg is motivated and had some big wins in the Euroleague. A big advantage is always their home court. It is really up to them to take the opportunity and defend their title.
It seems like the Brose Baskets Bamberg and Fraport Skyliners will meet in the finals. Frankfurt just won the Fiba Europe Cup and are playing great basketball. They are like a mini Bamberg team as they have an amazing ball movement and defend, but their bench is slimmer. What advice could you give Frankfurt for their attempt to make an amazing upset?
I will always root for my ex team Bamberg. Bamberg has the home court advantage and Frankfurt would need to steal a game on the road which won´t be easy. Frankfurt had a great season and in the Fiba Europe cup beat many different teams from different countries and beat many different styles of basketball. Frankfurt shouldn´t worry about what Bamberg will do, but focus more on themselves and take it game by game.
Your ex teammate Tibor Pleiss just completed his first season in the D-league/NBA. Do you see him coming back next season and making the jump to the NBA?
I hope so. If you look back at his time in Spain, it took him some time there to make his break out. I believe that he will get the chance to compete with the Utah Jazz. He has such a strong work ethic and I know his biggest goal is to compete at the highest level. It isn´t easy for him competiting against Rudy Gobert who is a tremendous player on offense and defense where he can alter shots with his length and athletic ability and on offense can finish over most bigs. I think that when he can continue to practice with him and the other bigs that he will gain valuable experience and improve and get the chance to play in the NBA.
If you could construct your own version of an NBA Rushmore, what 4 heads would you choose?
That’s a tough question. My first choice would be Michael Jordan. Then I would pick Wilt Chamberlain. I also would have Kobe Bryant who I followed in high school. Last would be Tim Duncan. I love his career and what he has done. He has gone kind of the anti-superstar way. His career rivals anyone in the history of the NBA
Will the Golden State Warriors repeat this season?
I think so. I think that their play and style will take them over the top. They play with so much confidence and each player 1-15 plays with so much confidence. No matter in what situation the team is in, they come to play every night. Each player just enjoys the game so much, but also compete at a high level every night. They have a special swagger and are just very hard to beat.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Kyle for the chat.