Quincy Acy helped Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv get past Olympiacos Piraeus (65-90) in spectacular fashion. The 29-year-old forward had a good game at the Peace and Friedship Stadium against the Greek team, posting 8 points and as many rebounds in 24 minutes.
Acy saw his game -and his team- grow, as he made several stops on the defensive end. In a frontline inhabited by Othello Hunter (a EuroLeague champ with CSKA Moscow last year) and Tarik Black (a former Laker), the Texas-born EuroLeague rookie made a big step on his way to becoming an integral part of the Israeli squad.
Acy and Maccabi sealed a much anticipated deal last summer, since the Baylor graduate had received expressions of interest on several occasions, as he recalls in his interview with TalkBasket.net. After a more or less successful NBA career in which he served as a role player (337 games with six franchises averaging 16 minutes, 4.9 points and 3.5 rebounds), Quincy Acy joined the giant wave of basketball migrants who flew to the Old Continent last summer.
Q: How was the game for you?
A: It was great since we won. We made a good defensive effort and got a win on the road against a good team. We were consistent on defence in the entire game. It’s hard to play here. Everyone is helping on the defensive end and that’s helping us get wins. If we keep that up, we can be pretty good. Everybody gets along on and off the court because we all want to win.
Q: What’s the objective of Maccabi this year?
A: To win. For sure, the fact that we have some players with European experience helps a lot. NBA players are new to this style of play and need to get adjusted. Othello (Hunter) is always talking to us.
Q: Are you still adjusting to the team?
A: It’s mostly about adjusting to the European style of play. It just takes patience because it’s a different game with different rules.
Q: Any particular difficulties that you’re having?
A: Spacing. There’s no defensive three seconds and there’s a lot of clutter. That’s an adjustment, for sure. The three-point line is shorter and therefore the court is not as open as in the NBA. There’s less space.
Q: How would you describe the European game?
A: Here, there’s a higher I.Q.. The athleticism and the skill level may not be the same as in the NBA, but the way they play the game, the fans that are so into it and the fact that every possession really matters make it fun to play. It’s like a college experience.
Q: Did you expect this flow of NBA players to Europe last summer?
A: There’s an influential youth in the NBA right now and it kind of left many players out. I don’t know why, I suppose that’s the way the game goes. It could be a coincindence. I’ve seen a lot of turnovers in my seven years in the NBA.
Q: How come you didn’t come to Europe earlier?
A: I was playing in the NBA.
Q: Did you have any offers?
A: Yes, Maccabi had been on it for years. I can’t remember since when, you got to ask my agent about that. There’s been other teams also. My agents were definitely in contact with a lot of teams. I told them: “Don’t tell me anything until something is in motions”.
Q: Why did you decide for Europe this time?
A: I was coming off two ankle surgeries and I needed to play. I love the game and I believe it was a great decision.
Q: Did you get to talk with Omri Casspi before he decided to sign with Maccabi?
A: He’s a great player and had many options, but it was good for him to return home. Our wives are really good friends. We had built a realtionship while playing in Sacramento and that helped us come to Maccabi. Tarik Black’s wife reached out to my wife before we signed. That was good because she had spent some time in Dallas, where I’m from.
Q: How was your NBA experience?
A: Great. Seven years, second round pick. That’s big. It’s a blessing, for sure, because I learned a lot. I played with many great players and coaches.
Q: What do you keep from those seven years?
A: Just my effort. I had to play consistently on defence to stay on the court. That was a big thing when I was in the NBA and the same goes for me now that I’m in Europe.
Q: You’ve been a fan favourite everywhere. How do you do that?
A: I play hard. I’m 6’7”, undersized and I’m not the most skilled player. But I’m giving my entire effort on the court. I think that I have overcome my small size by playing with heart. There’s a lot of great players out there. Sometimes, offence gets the best of defence, but in the end of the day I’m going to compete.
Q: Before signing with the Brooklyn Nets in 2017, you sent your former Texas Legends teammates gift cards and shoes. May I ask why?
A: That was because they accepted me with open arms in the middle of the season. It’s hard to adjust to a player getting thrown on a team’s rotation. We were on the grind together and it was tough; the travels, the hotels … It’s a tough game. I just wanted to show my appreciation to them.
Q: Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said that it was very difficult for him to let you go because you’re a warrior and a guy that has the right mentality. How did you deal with it?
A: I love coach Carlisle. That was kind of a numbers’ game and they had to let me go, but it’s part of the business. That was home for me. I’m from Dallas and it was tough to be let go, but coach Carlisle was definitely one of the most influential coaches I had in my career. There was also Mike Malone, who’s in Denver right now, Kenny Atkinson in Brooklyn, Dwane Casey in my rookie year with Toronto … They all did a great job with me.