Will Bynum, Yotam Halperin Interviews

Will Bynum, Yotam Halperin Interviews
Oct 18, 2006, 09:53 pm
DraftExpress’ Director of Prep Scouting Rodger Bohn had the chance to sit down and speak with Maccabi Tel-Aviv Elite stars Will Bynum and Yotam Halperin immediately following their blowout loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Both players were visibly upset about the loss, but gave good excellent quotes on a wide variety of topics. Here is what they had to say:

Will Bynum Interview

DraftExpress: Looking back at the 2005 NBA Draft, is there anything you wish you could have changed in terms of preparation? I mean, why do you feel that you weren’t drafted?

Bynum: I wasn’t drafted. My college situation, unfortunately, I was on the team with point guards everywhere I went. That’s just how it point. I had a different path. Everybody has a different path, everybody has a different way. This was my way, and I’m sure God has a great plan for me.

DraftExpress: Well then looking back at your transfer from Arizona to Georgia Tech now, do you have any regrets?

Bynum: No. I transferred from Arizona because my Mom got sick and I wanted to be close to my Mom. I wouldn’t change anything. The decisions I make I’m firm with and those are the decisions I make.

DraftExpress: Did you view the NBA Europe Live Tour as an opportunity for you to show all of the NBA teams who passed up on you this summer what they missed out on?

Bynum: No, not really. I was going out to win. I was just going out to win. I wasn’t going out to prove nobody wrong or nothing like that. I’m pretty sure everybody knows what I can do. I’m fortunate to be in a great situation here.


DraftExpress: Well can you touch a little bit on your experience this summer? Why did you decide to sign with Maccabi instead of giving veteran’s camp a shot or playing in the D-League again?

Bynum: I couldn’t do that experience all over again. Maccabi is a great opportunity. It’s just like being in the NBA. The decision was a no brainer.

DraftExpress: What is the biggest adjustment that you’ve had to make from playing in the NBA to playing in Europe?

Bynum: Just not being able to communicate with my family. That’s the biggest adjustment. It’s just hard not being able to reach out and have them, to be able to reach out and touch them and see them. That’s what makes it really hard, but I’ve been getting better at it.

Other Bynum Quotes

“We came out. We played well for a little bit and then we just went down hill from there. I don’t know if it was the jet lag, but this is the worst we’ve played as a team. With me as the point guard, I take full responsibility for that.”

“It was just one of those nights, one of those nights. We don’t play this way. This is not Maccabi basketball. We definitely don’t play this way. It was just one of those nights. We’ve gotta wash it away, forget about it, and move onto the next game against Toronto.”

Yotam Halperin Interview

DraftExpress: Do you feel that your solid play in your games against NBA teams in both the summer leagues and now in the preseason has shown that you went a little too low in the draft?

Halperin: I don’t know. I mean, everybody thought maybe I would go a little bit higher in this draft, but for me, it doesn’t make a difference. I’m happy that Seattle picked me. I’m happy that we made the decision for me to come back to Maccabi Tel-Aviv to play one more season in Europe. It doesn’t matter if I’m drafted 31 or 59. I’m just happy that Seattle picked me.

DraftExpress: Now you seem incredibly happy with your current situation with Maccabi. Out of curiosity, what is your contract situation like?

Halperin: I signed for three years with Maccabi. Of course every summer, I am free to go to the NBA. That is it.

DraftExpress: Why did you decide to leave Olimpija Ljubljana after you had such a successful season season last year and sign with Maccabi?

Halperin: I believe this is the best place for me. Maccabi is like my second family. I’ve played for Maccabi since I was 16 years old or something. I played one year in Ljubljana because I wanted to play some minutes and be one of the main guys on the team. Now I have decided to come back to Maccabi because I believe I can do the same with Maccabi and to me, it is the best team in the world.


DraftExpress: What is the biggest adjustment that you will have to make when you come over to the NBA?

Halperin: I think I should play more aggressive and should improve my athleticism. I mean, it’s a different game. I have to get used to it. You see that when we’re playing against NBA teams, it’s a little bit of a different game. You’re running more, you should control the tempo of the game. For me, that is it.

DraftExpress: Now you played pretty well in the summer league this year with Seattle. Why did you decide to return to Europe instead of coming over this year?

Halperin: That’s something that me and Seattle talked about and discussed a lot. We thought that this was the right thing for me to go one more year for Maccabi and play and develop more and more every time I am on the court. I really believe in our coach and that he will make me a better player after this so I can be better for Seattle.

Other Halperin Quotes:

On playing with Nikola Vujic:

“It’s very easy to play with Nikola. He always finds the open guy with an easy shot for you to make. He is always making the right decisions. Like I said, he makes playing the game very easy.”

On Maccabi’s play against NBA teams so far:

“We haven’t played well against these NBA teams. We have a lot of things to improve with this team. It’s a pretty new team. There were a lot of changes this summer to Maccabi Tel-Aviv. I believe it’s going to take time. Minute after minute, we’re going to get better on the court. It’s always fun to play against the best players on the court, the best teams in the world. I believe it’s fun for everybody, but it’s important for us to win also.

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