Credit: Fotodiena.lt/P.Paleckis
Credit Fotodiena.lt/P.Paleckis

Mike James, who played for Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz between 2014 and 2016, returns tonight to the Fernando Buesa Arena to defend the jersey of AS Monaco and try to spoil the party to his ex-team.

Mike James

Mike  James
Mike  James
MIN: 31.8
PTS: 16.25 (46.48%)
REB: 5.25
As: 5.25
ST: 2
BL: 0
TO: 3
GM: 4

As one of the EuroLeague's top stars, the American guard leaves no one indifferent wherever he goes, whether it's on or off the court.

In an interview with DIARIO DE NOTICIAS DE ALAVA, James talked about many interesting topics, like his life in Vitoria, his separation from CSKA and the realistic goals he has set with AS Monaco.

Asked whether it's special for him to play at Buesa Arena, James responded: "It's been a long time since I played here and I've come back on other occasions, so I wouldn't say it's something super special. Obviously, it is the team with which I debuted in the Euroleague and I really enjoyed my time here."

The 2019 Alphonso Ford Trophy winner remembered that when he came to Vitoria, he was "very young. Many of the players I met are now in the most important clubs in Europe doing great things, and that speaks to the work of Baskonia. I would not highlight a specific moment, I stick with the full experience."

A few years ago, James said on Twitter that Vitoria is a boring city. Of course, he hasn't changed his mind ever since.

"Vitoria is boring and everyone who knows the city is aware of that. I never understood why people got so angry. There's nothing to do here.

Think I came here as a 24-year-old boy, living alone, without a family, and I was bored to death. There are some very good restaurants I went to with my teammates, but nothing else. I couldn't even go to the movies because when I was here there were still no screenings in English, so I spent the day at home. There's more to do in Monaco."

Referring to the reasons that brought him to Monaco, the 31-year-old guard said: "It was the club that best suited me and what I was looking for. I wanted to go somewhere where I could feel like I'm playing on my team.

Even when I signed with CSKA I didn't feel that the team was mine, but that I was joining someone else's team. Monaco is a new project and this is their first year in the EuroLeague. I'd like people to say that this team grew up with Mike James".

According to James, Monaco's objective this year should be "to compete. I think if we fight every game and manage to qualify for the playoffs, we can end up with our heads high. It would be a big step forward ahead of the next season".

Asked whether the media and CSKA were unfair to the problem he had with coach Dimitris Itoudis, he replied: "I think CSKA had nothing to do with it, the club behaved well. As for the media, they generally don't like me, so it's not something I care about."

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TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz
AS Monaco
40%
17 Position
Field goals
45%
11 Position
39,25
1 Position
Rebounds
38,75
2 Position
14,50
13 Position
Assists
18,75
3 Position
4,50
17 Position
Steals
7,25
7 Position

Teams leaders

Simone  Fontecchio
13,5 PTS
42% 2P%
48% 3P%
Mike  James
16,3 PTS
44% 2P%
36% 3P%
Landry  Nnoko
7,0 REB
4,3 DREB
2,8 OREB
Donta  Hall
7,0 REB
4,0 DREB
3,0 OREB
Jayson  Granger
5,3 As
2,0 TO
22 MIN
Mike  James
5,3 As
3,0 TO
32 MIN