Malcolm Thomas – on playing for Khimki, Chinese experience, coach Blatt and Maccabi Tel Aviv, new teammates and Alexey Shved.
Despite the fact he's only 28, Malcolm Thomas has a solid career profile, having changed jobs 20 times. Coach Bartzokas said on Thomas as an “elite rebounder” and it looks like Malcolm is ready to maintain this reputation. It's true that Thomas has had many career stops with Russia being the next on his list. This is a new challenge for him as he's back to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, the best championship outside the NBA. BC Khimki newcomer also has EuroLeague experience as he played for Maccabi Tel Aviv under coach David Blatt in season 2012/2013. This is his second arrival in the competition.
On coming to BC Khimki
“I feel good. I feel like it’s gonna be a good season; all the players are good guys like team guys. We need to win. I played against Khimki, maybe four years ago, when I was in Maccabi but I wasn’t there for long. Now it’s my first experience here. It seemed to be the best option for me to keep better and grow my game”.
On playing in Europe
“It was good [to play for Maccabi]. Tel Aviv is a very nice place and coach Blatt is a good coach. It was a good experience for me”.
On living in Russia and VTB League
“It will be new experience and I’ll learn as much as possible, trying to adapt as fast as possible to be in a new place. VTB League? I haven’t heard anything yet and don’t know much about it”.
On personal skills
“Absolutely, I’m ready to contribute to the team’s game in terms of rebounds. I always tried to be the best rebounder out there. But also, to bring a little bit more; I mean to give a low post threat, shoot, just to do everything”.
On playing in China
“That was a new experience for me. I’m really a pity eater so it wasn’t a lot of food I can eat and see I was in. But I had a great coaching in coach Donewald. He let me play my game that made a lot easier for me to adjust. Chinese championship is a very physical league. There are not many teams and they have a short season, which a lot of guys like, especially me. It’s a lot of competition, definitely”.
On NBA experience
“It was tough to establish myself there. Honestly, NBA is the best league in the world. It’s always good to be there but you always need to do more to be able to contribute. I think that’s why a lot of guys chose Europe over the NBA because they can contribute”.
On Alexey Shved
“Oh, yes, it’s great. I played with Alexey in Phila and I like him. He can shoot, passing, just everything. I can’t wait for our play and his assists for alley oops. He knows how I like to play. It’s gonna be a fun year. Also, I’m familiar with my new teammates. With Anthony Gill, we played together in the Summer League; Tyler [Honeycutt] and Charles [Jenkins] came from the same draft year. I’m pretty familiar with James Anderson playing for Spurs together”.
“When I was in the NBA, I was usually coming from the D-League and then I was usually like 15th guy in the roster. It’s hard to be the last one in the roster, especially coming in the middle of the season learning all the sets, all the plays and defensive schemes. It was a little bit harder to learn it all in short time. So, I moved around”.
On his basketball story
“My sister was a basketball player so I really wanted to copy everything she did”.
On free time
“Usually I spend my free time with my family and my daughter especially, because she didn’t get to come to China as she’s in school. I’m a huge family guy”.