Munich – AZ interview with Elias Harris: The 33-year-old former international is new to FC Bayern. He has previously visited Japan, Spain and the United States. In Germany, he spent four years in Bamberg.
AZ: Mr Harris, three wins and now Niels Giffey has strengthened the team. It’s clearly progressing. How does the new guy impress?
ELIAS HARRIS: Well, he’s not exactly new to me.
They have known each other for several years.
We have known each other for a long time, I think we played against each other in ProB then. That was really a few years ago. But he makes a good impression, is the missing piece of the puzzle. Niels has a lot of experience, has a certain class and is very communicative. I think it’s good for the team as well.
“Don’t lose strength at the end”
Is it worth it to meet familiar faces who have been together in one department or another?
Especially our German rotation has a very good class, a very good level. We often played against each other. We are in a good position and that is important in this long season with so many games. It is also necessary not to lose strength in the rear.
The pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together.
Over the past few weeks, you’ve seen things get better and better. We were good defensively in the beginning, but it takes time, it’s a new team. Something like that requires time, training, match practice. Sometimes you have to eat dirt with defeat. These are all things you can learn a lot from. We’re stuck in the process, it’s definitely going in the right direction at the moment. We just have to keep building on it.
Euroleague head-to-head: Alba vs FC Bayern.
Today (8pm, MagentaSport) it’s time again: Alba vs FC Bayern. More German basketball is impossible. What is the relevance of the Euroleague duel during the season?
Both Alba and we shouldn’t overestimate it because it’s still so early in the season. There is still so much basketball to be played. A win or a loss does not determine the course of the season. It doesn’t matter. What must be at the forefront of our minds is continuous development and improvement over time.
But with a win you can close the gap on the playoffs a bit?
It is clear that we will not lose to Berlin. We’ll try everything and get it right.
Did FC Bayern find their EuroLeague button with victory over Istanbul?
It was a close game, but the most important thing is that you saw that we can beat a top class team like Efes Istanbul. Something like that is a balm for the soul, especially when the beginning was a bit rough. The key now is to find a rhythm, create a run and get as many wins as possible.
“German basketball is growing”
You were last in Japan, but that was by no means your only experience abroad. You’ve seen different styles and influences. What is your attitude towards German basketball?
German basketball has been growing in recent years. Now we are creating the best talent. Now we have very good players NBAthat not only warm the bank, but also have a real impact on the game. This alone shows that German basketball is moving in the right direction. We must be doing something right because it has been working well for the past few years.
What is essential for real progress?
German players now have better opportunities to play and this is all very important for development. No matter how much you practice, at the end of the day you have to play. Also in the Bundesliga now you see a lot of German players getting a lot of minutes – and that only helps to improve. This can also be seen in the national team.