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Tibor Pleiss: the NBA-Interest sounds strange to me

March 29th, 2010 · No Comments

The German Center Tibor Pleiss gave recently an Interview to spox.com where he spoke about very interesting details on his past but also showed some surprise about the interest NBA Teams are having for him. You can read the full Interview in German here, I summed up the main parts in English.

Tibor Pleiss on his weight

I gained 30 kilos in 1.5 years. I always wanted to gain in weight as I was too thin for my height and I spoke to several nutritionists. It didn’t really help though, so I drunk a full bottle of water before games to feel mentally stronger. At one moment, I started to eat way too much. When I was still playing in Cologne, the team could get free meals at Burger King. That’s why we went there often and when some of my team mates bought too much, they told me to eat their rests, which I did. Also, at the sports school where I lived back then, I always filled 3 to 4 plates with food and took them to my room and ate it.

At one moment, my body did not react anymore and I never had a feeling of being sated. That’s why I had a stress fracture in my foot afterwards as the muscles and bones were not prepared for the gained weight. I had to sit out half a year and came back as a totally new player. I gained weight and felt stronger but lost my speed and mobility. So I lost some weight again. What happened can not happen again, I pay attention on my nutrition now. I want to add 3-4 more kilos of muscles but I feel pretty well now with 116-117 kg.

Pleiss on his development over the season

I came to Bamberg with the hope of playing 10 minutes per game. But now, I am the Starting Center and get about 20 minutes. I need though to become more regular and being present on both ends of the court. It is not enough when I score a lot in one game but I am not present in defense. This is a mental problem. Sometimes, I think too much instead of just playing intuitively and free. I tell myself to be aggressive and then miss the layup because of over-aggressiveness.

Too much thinking is not good, but I consider my analytical mind as one of my strengths though. I try to read what my opponent does und analyze their moves to get a strategic advantage by good positioning. Slowly, I start to know how to play against the best Centers in the league. Dirk Bauerman, the German NT coach, helps me a lot in this process. I can call him at all time and he comes once a week to Bamberg to practice with me.

Pleiss on the NBA

I know what I can do on the court. And I know, that I want to play in the NBA. Until now, I always progressed step-by-step. This is the way I earned the starting job in Bamberg. And that’s why I believe that I can make it in the NBA. I don’t know if there has been a lot of interest by NBA teams this season as they don’t tell me when they come. I heard that there has been a scout once but I have no idea from which team. In Cologne, it was a bit different as such info was going around faster. Back then, scouts from the 76ers and the Raptors came to practice.

Spain has been an option before this season because I thought that it would be easier to reach the NBA by playing in Spain. Real Madrid and some other teams tried to convince me to sign for them. But I learned that a season in a top league is not absolutely necessary to make the step to the United States. I see how my former team mate Marcin Gortat did it. But this year, the NBA Draft comes too early, I still have two years of contract with Bamberg where I want to develop at best. I feel how much upwards potential I still got.

I know that I have a certain market value, however I still think that it is surreal that there are people in the US that follow exactly what I do and that are interested in me. That sounds strange to me.

Tibor Pleiss on the past Eurobasket

In the first games, we played against Serbia with NBA Center Nenad Krstic. To be honest, I did not even know who he was. I want to play in the NBA but besides Dallas and Dirk, I don’t follow the league that much, at least for the moment. Because of the games at the Eurobasket, I gained a lot of confidence as I saw that I can play on that level. Now I hope to get more minutes at the World Championship this summer, Chris Kaman being present or not.

The Interview has been realized by Haruka Gruber for spox.com.

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