Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer answered media questions ahead of the NBA Paris Game 2020 against the Charlotte Hornets which will take place tomorrow.
Do you need any adjustment to get on the French floor?
MB: ‘No, the basket’s still at 15ft so that’s all that matters at the end of the day.”
Do you feel excitement among your players for this game?
MB: “I think the guys are excited about being in Paris and bringing NBA basketball here. Experiencing the culture in three or four days in the city. I think they have a great outlook.”
Does it require a sacrifice from your players to have a break like this in the middle of the season?
MB: “I don’t know what the right word is. It’s unique, it’s different to play a regular season game in Europe, in Paris. So, I think they’ll do whatever it takes to hopefully get the win here and then go back and continue our schedule.”
Have you had time to visit Paris and drink some wine?
MB: “Yeah, we will definitely, or at least myself and I’m sure some of the players will have some wine, some good food and some of the great restaurants. I think that’s the best part of the week being here.”
How satisfied are you about coming here this morning instead of travelling tonight?
MB: “You put a lot of time and thought into travel and what’s best for the players and how you can be ready for Friday. For us, we felt like it was good to have the game yesterday afternoon and travel through the night, get a little bit of movement today and hopefully we’ll be in a good place come Friday.”
Giannis is not here today. Is this something planned?
MB: “No just a personal situation. He should be here tomorrow and everything should be good.”
How was the plane?
MB: “The plane was amazing. It’s very special. If anybody’s got any complaints about that then I don’t know what they’re flying.”
Giannis getting 10,000 points – what do you make of that?
MB: “He’s just amazing, to be so young and to be so talented and gifted. We’re incredibly fortunate to have him in Milwaukee. He does so much for us, not just score, assists, rebounds, defence – I mean he’s special.”
Being first in the league, does it make this game even more special?
MB: “We feel great about what we’ve done so far with the season but there’s still a lot of work to be done. To come to Paris and have the record that we do, it’s a good feeling but we’ve got a lot more work to do.”
You have a few European players in your team, do you feel like they’re going to be ambassadors for basketball this week?
MB: “I think any time you bring European players back to Europe to play a game, there’s a lot of pride. Making it to the NBA and having success in the NBA but then also bringing the NBA back to Europe and I think they enjoy these games, these opportunities and to share it with their teammates. It’s great that we have so many international guys and European guys.”
Did you know that more than 100,000 people wanted to buy tickets for the game?
MB: “I think basketball in France feels like it’s at an all-time high, there’s so much talent coming from France. A lot of great players over the years and more coming so I think it’s a great sign for the NBA that there’s so much demand for tickets and the game is so popular here. The players are contributing to the NBA.”
Can you talk about Gregg Popovich’s influence on the coach you are today?
MB: “Having JB over here to coach against, we’ve spent so much time together in San Antonio – learning and growing. There’s so much you take from San Antonio and from Coach Popp, a ton of it’s defensively but also spacing and ball movement and an unselfishness offensively. I think both JB and myself we’ve taken things, and have done things our own way and find our own footing – but it will be great to have JB here.”