Malcolm Delaney is one of the best players in Europe for sure. His career has been rising since his arrival to Europe. We wanted to ask him some questions and he kindly accepted our request. Hopefully you like our interview.
Question: Let’s begin with your performance in recent years… You are one of the rising stars in European basketball for sure. How do you rate your improvement since your arrival to Europe?
Delaney: I think, I’m one of the top point-guards in Europe and I take pride in playing against the best. Europe has taught me how to make the game a lot slower and to play at whatever pace I want, instead of one speed all of the time. My game is making plays for my teammates and myself but I think the best part of my game is transition and make plays when the clock is low when it’s 1 on 1 situations.
Question: You were one of the most valuable players in transfer market this summer. Many people expected you to sign with Olympiacos but you ended up with Kuban. How will you summarize the off-season and reasons to prefer Kuban?
Delaney: It was simple, Kuban made more sense for me. It wasn’t just about how much money but I wanted security and for a club to really invest in me and my talent. Talking to the guys here before I signed made me feel comfortable because they said the club really was a high level club and thats really why I chose here. Also they were building a strong roster.
Question: Kuban has a great roster. Of course such a team must expect the Eurocup tittle. So, what do you think about your chances for that?
Delaney: I think if we play well, we are a Euroleague Top 8 level team for sure. We have a great chance to win Eurocup which won’t be easy but if we play together and keep getting better, it will happen. We have a great team with guys who like each other.
Question: Differences between the NBA and European basketball are obvious. Some players don’t fit in NBA but perfectly fit in European style or vice versa… What do you think about your game style? Do you think Europe or NBA fits your style better?
Delaney: The only similarity is that there is a lot of pick and roll play but I think I fit in both styles very well. I think I’m better in Europe because I’m more valued. But if I got the same type of minutes in the NBA, with the spacing they have, I know I could be equally as productive.
Question: You are a point guard, can be said combo-guard too but in my eyes you are floor-general all-around point guard, do you agree with that?
Delaney: I don’t define my position because I can play either well. If I wanted to, I could put up big numbers but I’m more about winning and that’s what makes me a better PG. Players have to respect me from every spot and thats tough on PG.
Question: I asked if you agree or not, because when we look at the Euroleague history, we see many many important American players like Anthony Parker, Marcus Brown, Mike Batiste, Alphonso Ford, Willie Solomon, Tarrell McIntyre, Trajan Langdon, Keith Langford etc… Most of them dominated the Euroleague and had high stats. Some of them were important parts of the champion teams, even top scorers of their teams. But we can’t see any American point guard that led his team to glories in last 15 years. Big teams like Panathinaikos, Olympiacos, Barcelona, CSKA, Real always had dominant European point guards. Never controlled by American point guards. What do you think about this situation? What might be the reasons that American point-guards can’t be team leaders in Europe?
Delaney: I don’t think American point-guards can’t be leaders of those teams, I just think some teams have history and don’t want to give an American a chance. To me, I don’t really care much for it. Maccabi won Euroleague last year with 2 American point-guards and they beat teams with European dominant stars. So, I honestly think its about club history. Also, I love playing against the big names, and every team who doesn’t want me or doesn’t think I’m good enough, motivates me to prove my skills against their point-guards.
Question: Last summer, Turkish national team considered some players for naturalization. Your name was among these players according to rumors. Did anyone from Turkish Basketball Federation have contact with you about this? What’s your opinion about playing for the Turkish national team in the
Delaney: I had an offer from the Turkish national team, but they decided to go a different route with another player that didn’t workout. I was going to accept the opportunity to play for sure but as far as the future goes, I’m not sure that I will do it. I have had some opportunities to get passports but I don’t think they are as important as they once were in Europe. And the seasons are really long, I want to enjoy my summers and time off. So, I can’t say if I will or won’t take the offer if it comes again, but I don’t think last summer was the best chance for someone to get me to play for their national team.
Question: What are your career goals for the future?
My biggest goal is to play in the NBA. I’m not chasing the NBA but thats my biggest goal. Next is to win a VTB and eventually Euroleague title. Those are really my only goals.
Question: Could you write us your dream 5 in NBA and Euroleague?
Delaney: I honestly haven’t followed Euroleague much this year. But if I had to choose 5 of the top of my head, I would say:
Andrew Goudelock – Vassilis Spanoulis – Sonny Weems – Zoran Erceg – Boban Marjanovic…
There are a lot of players who are good and maybe these aren’t the best but this would be my starting 5…
NBA: Steph Curry – James Harden – Lebron James – Anthony Davis – Marc Gasol
As Altıncı Adam, we wish a huge success to Delaney in his career. Hopefully he can achieve everything he dreams during his career…