With the clock ticking down towards the start of the regular season Malcolm took a moment to give a bit of an insight on his team’s upcoming goals.
The season is right around the corner. What was your main focus during the off-season. Which elements of your game did you want to work on?
This summer I honestly wanted to take a break and rest my body. Last year was very demanding on my body and I needed to time for it to get back to normal. For basketball the main parts of my game I focused on was splitting ball screens, and different scoring moves coming off of ball screens and isolations.
How did your offseason go. How many exhibition games did your team compete in and are there any elements that still need a bit of tweaking?
Our preseason was normal for a team of basically all new players. We won and lost some games but the main thing was how we improved once we had our full team together. We definitely have a lot to work on and aren’t close to how good I think we will be, but it won’t be too much longer before we put it together.
Did any of the current tensions between Russia and western countries had any influence on your decision to sign in Kuban?
That stuff didn’t really play a part in me signing to LOKO. If I knew there was some kind of war in Krasnodar I wouldn’t have even thought about it, but there were no red flags when I was in negotiation with the club and I’ve heard nothing but positive things. My decision to come here was easy.
Do you think that Lokomotiv Kuban can compete with Russian greats like CSKA to win the title?
I think we will definitely be in the talks for the next VTB title at the end of the season. If we put our talent together like I picture we can, we will have a very special year. I’m not saying that just because I play here. We can be REALLY GOOD.
Do you feel that the competition in Russia will be much stronger than Germany?
The VTB league is definitely much stronger than the German League. There were only a few teams who could compete for a championship in Germany, and in our league we have a lot of the best players and clubs in all of Europe. You definitely can’t afford to take a night off in the VTB league and we are definitely a top 3 league in Europe.
My goal is always to win championships. I’m 3/3 since I’ve been in europe and this year in the VTB league will be my toughest road to a championship.
That’s a challenge I took into consideration when I signed here. I don’t care who the BIG NAME is, I’m the type of player that wants to beat the big name. I’ve never been on a team that was favored to win a league an won 3. Last season because of talent on paper we were supposed to win, but Bamberg owned the BBL and they were the favorite to me. This should be a fun, competitive season.
Do you think that playing with guys like Mantas Kalnietis, Anthony Randolph, Derrick Brown can also elevate your personal game to new levels?
I definitely think these guys will bring my game to a new level. I’ve never played with guys as athletic as derrick and anthony. They will add another dimension to my pick n roll game. Manatas is a good guard that I had the chance to compete with last season. I think with both of us being bigger guards for our position, we will cause a lot of matchup problems for smaller guards.
Your group in Eurocup seems fairly easy to win. Are you looking forward to competing with any of the upcoming teams or is your focus based on winning one game at a time and moving forward?
I don’t underestimate anybody in our group but I’m definitely excited to play against one of my good friends and former teammate Chevy Troutman on opening day of the Eurocup season vs Stelmet Zielona Góra. We won a championship together last season and were roommates throughout the season. So it will be good to play against him and I’m happy he’s able to play somewhere to show his game again because he’s a really good player/teammate.