TUBPodcast has been given exclusive quotes from Turkish star Ersan Ilyasova following his trade to the Orlando Magic. The forward spoke very positively about his new adventure and of his excitement to be a part of the Magic family.
Q: How do you feel about being traded to the Magic?
A: “This is really exciting for me. I am excited to be a part of the Magic family and helping them to go forward.”
Q: Where were you when you heard about the trade (from the Pistons)?
A: “I was vacationing in West Palm Beach (Florida) when I got the call, and I thought ‘Why would I even fly back to Detroit?’ It’s a big transition but hopefully I’ll pick it up quickly.”
Q: What are you aiming for during the rest of the season?
A: “There are still a lot of games to play (30) but the end target is very close (just 3.5 games out of a play-off position). Obviously we are going to run the race and see where we end up. But we are looking for the play-offs for sure.”
Q: How soon do you think you can fit in here?
A: “We have a lot of things to pick up, but I already know (coach) Skiles. I have been with him for four years before (at Milwaukee) and he has taught me a lot about this league and what it takes to be a good defensive team. I know the system he runs and I am really into it. Hopefully I know enough to play straight away but obviously it will take some time to pick things up offensively. Basketball is still basketball and being familiar with the system is good.”
Q: What do you think you can bring to the team?
A: “Sometimes it’s not about age; it’s all about setting an example. If you set the tempo by playing hard and bringing energy, that always helps. With me being 28, I have to bring even more energy. It doesn’t matter how old you are; it matters how hard you play and what kind of example you set for the other guys. I know a couple of the guys already and I will just aim to be helpful.”
Q: What is your best memory of working with Coach Skiles in Milwaukee?
A: “I remember the 2009 season very well when we reached the play-offs. We had some good players and we played hard. We trusted each other, because that’s what it takes in Coach Skiles’ system. Sometimes you have to sacrifice yourself to help others in the team. It is about moving the ball and sharing the ball.”
We also secured some quotes from Orlando Magic coach Scott Skiles, who spoke about his new player, whom he had already coached in Milwaukee. Coach Skiles praised his toughness and defending skills.
Q: What do you see in power forward Ilyasova?
A: “Ersan has toughness, he gets on the boards and rebounds well; he runs the floor and does a lot of detailed things, sets good screens, things like that. Ersan as a defender has pretty good length and he has a willingness to defend, which is a big part of it. He takes great pride in that end of the floor and he’s normally very active on the boards. I have always thought of him as a really good defender. Once you figure your game out in the NBA, the technique kind of always stays the same.”
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Source: Pitch London/NBA
Image: NBA/Getty Images