Jordan Talbert is a 26 year old 198cm forward from Little Rock, Arkansas that completed his third professional season and first with the PS Karlsruhe Lions averaging 13,3ppg, 7,2rpg and 2,1apg helping lead the team to the Pro A. He came to Germany as a rookie in 2014 and played with the Giants TSV 1861 Noerdlingen (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 26 games: 21.6ppg, 9.6rpg, 3.2apg, 2.0spg, Blocks-4(1.5bpg), FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 28.9%, FT: 78.4%. He played his college career at Missouri SO(NCAA2) from 2010-2014 and as a senior played 31 games averaging 11.7ppg, 7.4rpg, 2.9apg, 1.1spg, 1.7bpg, FGP: 44.8%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 70.1%. Last season with Nordlingen he tore up the Pro B averaging 17.5ppg, Reb-1(11.0rpg), 2.4apg, 1.7spg, Blocks-5(1.5bpg), FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 27.5%, FT: 73.4%. He spoke to German Hoops at the end of the season.
Jordan congrats on an amazing season, but the goal ended during the last game of the season. Did you ever suffer a more bitter loss in your career?
Yes, I have suffered much more devastating losses in my career. This one cuts but not nearly as deep as some of the others.
Weissenhorn had to win by more than four points to be crowned 2017 Pro B champion and really grinded it out winning by six points. What were your first thoughts after the buzzer. Did you feel like you were in a bad dream?
I was just really disappointed in myself and my team. The way we played that game wasn’t the way we played all season. We didn’t deserve to win.
The Weissenhorn youngsters controlled the game from the get go, but PS Karlsruhe made a run in the fourth quarter as you started really to fire away from outside. What do you feel was missing in crunch-time to have got over the hump?
Our defense during crunch time was what was missing. Credit to them for taking advantage of it.
Both teams really wanted this Pro B title badly, but do you feel like the visitors wanted it more?
Yes I definitely do. The way we played in the first half it seemed as if we were unmotivated and unfocused.
Dou you feel like the Pro B title was lost in game one in Weissenhorn? Do you feel like if PS Karlsruhe could have taken more advantage of their horrible 1/25 shooting that you would have been in better position in game two to have won it all?
No I don’t think that we lost the title in game 1. Sure we could’ve taking better advantage of their off night but still we should’ve been able to close out the series at home.
How much respect do you have for the Weissenhorn organization winning the 2017 Pro B title without a single American. What made this team so special this season?
That’s a major accomplishment. Their team chemistry is what made them special. Seems like no one on their team had a problem stepping up and making a play when needed.
I really enjoy watching huge Hungarian talent Marcell Pongo and his aggressiveness. Do you see him becoming a solid BBL player down the line?
I’m not sure I’m the guy to make that judgement since I’ve haven’t been around many BBL players. Don’t want make the mistake and underestimate their skill level.
You stated in our last interview in March that “Our focus is what needs to increase. Our effort and toughness is always there, just our focus on the details during key moments is what we plan on fixing during the playoffs”. Is this something that also was missing a bit in the final series against Weissenhorn?
Yes our focus on the defensive end, turnovers and at the free throw line were what really cost us in the end.
What is your overall season summary. The club reached the Pro A as the 2017 Pro B finalist. Did you truly think this was possible after the first few weeks of the season?
Yes I did. Making it to the semi-finals last season with a less talented team in Nordlingen compared to the roster in Karlsruhe really gave me the confidence that we could get the promotion.
How much of a pleasure has it been playing with Dimitrij Kreis? He is a very underrated point guard in the Pro B. Is he a guy that could make the next step in the Pro A?
It has been great playing with Kreis. I’ve learned much from him not just on the court but off the court as well. He’s a veteran in Germany and I’ve soaked up much wisdom by listening to some of the things he’s said and done.
What German player do you feel has improved the most from the first day of training camp until the last game against Weissenhorn?
Well even though this guy was only with us since January I think Jacob Mampuya has made the biggest improvement over the season. Coming late from Nordlingen which was a team at the bottom of the league he had a lot of bad habits he had to break before he could help our team. The great thing was that he learned everyday doing practice how to play winning basketball and eventually being a huge piece for us.
You had a tight bond with Orlando Parker and one could say you have become like brothers. What did you learn to appreciate most about him on and off the court? I definitely appreciated his game.
He was our leading scorer for most of the season, coming off the bench. He has the ability to come in and change the game within a short period of time. Off the court he has great character which made being away from home for so long not so bad because it felt like I had a family member here with me.
Let´s talk about your game. In our last interview you stated that “I’ve think my game without the ball has improved. Finding ways to have an effect on the game whether it’s screening to get a teammate open, helping out on defense, or rebounds in traffic. Making those little plays that don’t show up in the box score is what I’ve been proud of” How important was this season for you where your stats weren´t as big as with Nordlingen in building your overall team player skills?
Very important, this season I believed I proved that how effective I can be within a truly professional system designed to get everyone involved and not just a few players.
You had a three point shooting slump, but shot the ball well in the last three playoff games going 9/19. Is this something you will continue to build on for next season this summer?
Yes of course, I want to continue to expand my shooting range because I know at the next level I will be required to stretch the floor even more. I finished the season shooting 34% from 3 which is much better than the 28% I did the season before. I would just like to continue to improve that part of my game.
How do you feel did your defense progress in your third professional season? You stated that “Making those little plays that don’t show up in the box score is what I’ve been proud of”. What kind of defender has Jordan Talbert become with PS Karlsruhe that will help you make the next step?
I’ve always considered myself to be a great defender. It’s something I really take pride in. I’m confident that I will have no problem making the adjustment to the next level. Improving my strength and quickness are my main focuses in that area.
What is the next step for Jordan Talbert? You have paid your dues now three seasons in Germany in lower leagues. Are you ready for the next step in the Pro A?
Yes I’ve believed that I’ve done more than enough to prove that I’m ready. Now I’m excited to finally get the opportunity.
What are your summer plans? Do you have anything special planned or will you just be staying at home with the family and working on your game?
I have a little trip planned early in the summer to visit some friends I haven’t seen in a long time but then after that it’s back to work.
Devin Booker recently hit the Boston Celtics for 70 points. Did it surprise you that a guy like him was able to do that before many other amazing NBA scorers?
No not really. First I was really to impressed with the accomplishment primarily because his team lost. I think the players are so good at scoring in the NBA that a hot night could mean huge numbers for anyone.
Where do you rank Boston Celtic Isaiah Thomas at the moment with the best point guards in the NBA? Is he a top 3 point guard at the moment behind Westbrook and Harden?
I would also put him behind Curry and maybe John Wall.
How special was the run of South Carolina at the 2017 NCAA tournament? Do you feel like this was the story of March Madness 2017`?
Yes I do. I think Frank Martin did an excellent job by maximizing his teams abilities and shocking the basketball nation.
Is Lonzo Ball the real thing? Do you feel like he will be able to develop further despite the antics of his father on social media?
I haven’t seen him play much so I don’t know. But I sure hope that he develops because I feel that his father is putting a target on him to forget once he gets to the league.
There has been criticism of Russell Westbrook to be focusing more on rebounding to help inflate his stats and possibilities of getting triple doubles instead of focusing on his defensive assignments. Do you feel that this is a fair assessment to the player Russell Westbrook?
I think Westbrook was doing all he could to help his team win, which is all you can ask for in a player.
There was some speculation that the Morris brothers both played in game one and game two for Washington despite Morris being under contract to the Detroit Pistons. Do you really think that could be possible with all the technical capabilities around to really have let a capper like that go unnoticed?
No I don’t think that’s possible. Just because they look alike doesn’t mean they think alike. He would have to know all the plays and the tendencies of his teammates which is something only a person who’s been on the team all season would know.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Jordan for the chat.