Raptors Forum | Toronto Raptors Forums & Message Boards - View Single Post - JV: I love Toronto
View Single Post
Old 05-17-2013, 07:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
speak a good england

Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 57
Thumbs up JV: I love Toronto

So JV is back in Lithuania and recently did a short interview, sharing his experiences in Toronto. Since this was done in Lithuania I thought you might like to know what he really thinks of NBA and Canada.

Q: How would you rate your rookie year?
A: I think it was OK. I got plenty of experience and for that I'm thankful. I'd rate it positively.

Q: Did you feel exhausted after playing a season in NBA?
A: A little bit, the NBA schedule is intense. Sometimes you'd play 3 games in 4 days so you do feel tired, but I always gave it my best. I used my days off wisely and was good to go for the next game. When the season ended my body recovered after the first week, I'm still young I don't need that much rest. (laughing)

Q: What surprised you the most over there?
A: Traveling and the whole NBA life in general. While you're traveling you have zero free time, it's not easy. Also the level of basketball they play at was a little bit of a shock.

Q: You played with the biggest names in basketball, whereas before you would only see them on TV. How did you feel playing with the best basketball players in the world?
A:It was an honor to play with and against those guys. It just motivates you more.

Q: Sabonis always said he thought playing against Shaq was the most difficult thing he encountered. Who did you find difficult playing against?
A: Probably Nikola Pekovic. He's really strong and just a really good player in general. To be honest, there was no center who was easy to play against. There wasn't a single game where you'd come in get your points and walk off. I always gave it my all. There were no easy games.

Q: You got to travel all over North America. What did you think of the cities, arenas?
A: Most of the arenas are somewhat similar in the way they look, it's the history that sets them apart. It was a bit unreal playing in the same places where Kobe or Shaq play. My favorite was MSG.

Q: How hard was it to adjust to the NBA rules?
A: It was hard at first, since I've played according to European rules all my life. I made lots off mistakes at first, but as time went on I got used to them.

Q: How do they treat rookies over there?
A: Sometimes the refs will check you, to see how you act in different situations, they want to see if you're a smart player or not. Also the older players know that you're a rookie so they'll test you too. You have to be ready, mentally and physically. You can never relax if you want to achieve something.

Q: You suffered a neck injury during a game vs the Bulls and were taken to hospital. Did the injury scare you a little bit?
A: That injury wasn't very serious. They took me to the hospital just as a precaution. It looked worse than it was.

Q: How did you deal with the language barrier?
A: It was tough at first, I didn't understand much and I couldn't speak much. As the season went on I tried my best, I had a teacher who would give me a few lessons here and there. I think I learned a lot. I can communicate properly now.(smiles)

Q: Journalists in Toronto wrote that as the season progressed you earned the respect of the fans and the referees. Did you feel it?
A: I just played my game. I wasn't out to impress anybody (laughing). I guess I just earned it by working hard. Towards the end of the season I guess I felt that the refs weren't as hard on me as they were before.

Q: Did you feel that the coach D. Casey had your back? Did you feel you had his support?

A: I had a great relationship with the coach and I'm happy that I had a chance to work with him, because I did feel that I had his support. I was always able to approach him, ask questions, get some pointers. Of course there were some disagreements but I'm extremely happy I got to work with Dwayne Casey. I hope he stays next year.

Q: Raptors had high expectations coming into the season, so after the team failed to make the playoffs there were a lot of talks about the future of the Raptors. D. Casey and B. Colangelo received plenty of criticism.
A: I don't know much about that. My job is to play basketball not focus on what the management are doing. It was good for me, I don't know what the future holds. If there is going to be any changes I'll try to adapt, if not I'll just keep doing what I'm doing.

Q:How did you settle in Toronto?
A: I love Toronto. The city is very European. There's a lot of Europeans living there, who just like me don't speak English all that well. I really felt welcome and at home. I'm very happy I get to live in Toronto, it was easy to adapt. I live close to the ACC so I'm not late and I avoid the traffic.

Q: What are the drivers like over there?
A: Their good. A little slow maybe but good. (laughing)

Q: Do you get noticed on the street a lot?
A: I do. I felt the support of the fans.

Q: Basketball isn't the most popular sport in Toronto.
A: Ice hockey is number one, but basketball is still pretty popular. We had a sell out crowd almost every game, so there's not that much of a gap. The fans in Toronto are very active all four quarters. You always felt their support.

Q: It shouldn't have been too difficult when you first arrived in Toronto, you had Kleiza.
A: I was very happy to have him on our team. I had a lot of questions when I first arrived, he helped me out a lot.

Q: He didn't play much this season. Why do you think that is?

A: It's not my place to comment, he can tell you more himself. I actually don't even know, it was just the way it was. That's what the coach decided.

Q: Did you keep in contact with Donatas Motiejunas? (The other Lithuanian rookie)

A: I did. We kept in touch.

Q: Did you follow European basketball?
A: Of course I did.

Q: During the season and especially towards the end there were a lot of videos being posted of you playing. Did you watch any of them

A: I saw a few, it's nice when people make stuff like that, but I'm not one of those people who googles himself constantly. I don't see the big deal.

Q: There were reports that you'll be working with Hakeem Olajuwon this summer.

A: I don't know the full story. I need to be in Toronto on the 2nd of June. Who I'll be working with I don't know yet. Maybe I'll get a chance to work with him.
fizzgig is offline   Boss Key Wife Key