By Niki Bakouli/ email@example.com
Bill Bayno is in love with European basketball. As a former coach of UNLV, he feels right at home in Las Vegas. However his chat with Eurohoops was about his vast knowledge about European basketball, as he is also the Treviso’s Eurocamp coaching director and also assistant coach of Minnesota Timberwolves. Or shall we say… Euro-wolves after the acquisition of Alexey Shved, as it was formally announced by CSKA Moscow.
The Russian is added to Rubio and Pekovic, something that made Bayno more than happy: “We don’t always as coaches control that, but I am happy that we have those players. Pekovic was a big surprise for the NBA last year and again he is an unbelievable coachable young kid with very high basketball IQ. Ricky is Ricky. He is phenomenal and now we have Shved coming in. I am hearing nothing but good things about him. He was a Eurocamper, I remember him when he was young and I am hearing that he is getting better and better”.
So what if Ricky was healthy last season: “I think we were heading to the play offs if Ricky didn’t get hurt. Pekovic got hurt after and then Kevin Love got hurt. It was the lock out situation. That contributed to many injuries this year and we definitely paid the price for that. We are hoping that Ricky will be back healthy for the start of the season. We are hoping to see him in the training camp and we are also hope to see good things there from Shved”.
Bayno believes that this generation of European players can adapt quickly to the NBA: “I think so. The impact of European players has been incredible. You have some down years in terms of talent, but every year you go on, they get more and more used to what it’ s like playing to the NBA. They know the difference in the rules, because they are talking to their friends that made it to the NBA and also because some of them after being in the NBA, they return to Europe. However, it’s a different game, just as it’s hard for American players to adjust to the Europe. It’s just different, so there is an adjustment period, but the European players, because they listen and because they are so coachable, is a small period of time before they pick up things. That’s also because there are many good coaches in Europe. The European coaches are at very high level and as good as anybody in the world. You have to give to coaches a lot of credit”.
After all, he knows all about it first hand from Treviso’s Eurocamp: “Treviso was great. I loved the camp, I can’t even remember how many years I have done it, like eight years. Pete Philo (ed. Note: Eurocamp creator) who is a close friend of mine brought me there and they asked me to come back this year. The thing that I love most about it, the European players are so much fun to coach, they listen, they appreciate the knowledge and the teaching that you can give them. They welcome it and they are just fun to be around. The energy is great, the attitude is great. There are challenges though. I worried a little this year, maybe we wouldn’t get anyone drafted, but then Fournier went first and then we had some guys go to the second round. In total I think we had five players from the camp being drafted, so I was happy to see that as well”.