Segafredo Virtus Bologna, back to the 7DAYS EuroCup for the first time since 2004, signed a lot of experienced players. One of them is versatile forward Kyle Weems, who at age 30 is right in the prime of his career. Weems is playing his third EuroCup season. He reached the EuroCup Finals with Strasbourg in 2016 but did not get past the regular season with Tofas Bursa last season. He has also played for Bonn and Bayreuth of Germany, Nanterre 92 of France, and Besiktas Istanbul of Turkey before joining Virtus over the summer. Weems will tell us all about his new life in Bologna as he tries to make Virtus meet its very high expectations in the 2019-20 7DAYS EuroCup.
We had a great start to the season. It is really good to have a coach like Sasa Djordjevic who defines what he wants from us, down to the details, helping our chemistry go along a lot quicker. Our assistant did a great job while Coach Djordjevic was with his national team at the World Cup. This is the exact start that we wanted. We are 3-0 in the Italian League and had a big win at home against Reyer Venice this weekend, and we got a tough road win to start the 7DAYS EuroCup season in Ulm. We just have to keep this thing rolling and, even more importantly, we got our man Milos Teodosic back in our last game and he was a huge part of that win. This is why he is one of the best players in all of Europe!
"Playing with Milos is great. The guy is a magician, that is all I can say!"
Playing with Milos is great. The guy is a magician, that is all I can say! That is the best word I can give you to describe him. Milos sees things literally five seconds before they happen. Against Venice, I was open and I thought he was going to pass it, but he literally kept the ball for two extra seconds to make sure I was going to be completely open. He delivered it on time, and his is some playmaking that only a few people in the world are blessed with – and Milos is definitely one of them. Some of the stuff that I see in practice, to go along with the only game he played this weekend, literally all I can do is smile after he does it. It is incredible, but I am definitely glad that I am playing alongside him and I am looking forward to the future.
And it is not just Teodosic. We also signed Stefan Markovic. I had no idea that Stefan was the all-time EuroCup leader in assists. That is amazing in itself, and then you put him with Milos, which we did it a lot in our last game. The way that these basketball minds move is incredible. Both of then pretty much think the same way at the same time, and both call the same plays. They both can bring the ball upcourt and play off the ball. Most important, they don't want to score first – they want to pass first. This is something that I never really experienced – two guys who can make the fancy play, but also do the simple play. It is really fun so far to be part of Segafredo Virtus Bologna.
"You kind of have to pick your poison with our team and so far, we have been able to make people pay."
With these two point guards, you have more responsibilities on offense, and some of that goes along with them getting a lot of the attention in the pick-and-roll. At the same time, Coach Djordjevic told me from Day One – and has kept his word – that he wants me to run pick-and-roll myself, be aggressive, attack first and pass second. I think I have done a great job of mixing both of those together so far, but we have so much talent on this team! Honestly, it can be me having a great scoring game, the next one is Milos, the next night is Frank Gaines or Julian Gamble... You kind of have to pick your poison with our team and so far, we have been able to make people pay. In my opinion, our chemistry is not even as good as what it can be. That is a scary good thing for us.
I had the luck to be part of some very good teams. I had a short stay in the EuroLeague with Strasbourg and this is my third EuroCup season, but I have to say that, by far, this is the most talented team from top of bottom – and obviously on paper – that I have been a part of. The closest thing that I have played with would be Besiktas, where uys like Earl Clark, Michael Roll, D.J. Strawberry all went on to bigger and better clubs after we played together. But again, from top to bottom, I honestly don't think it even compares to this team.
Our next game is against Maccabi Rishon LeZion, which comes off a bad home loss and will want to bounce back. Everybody in this competition can give you a run for your money, so we have to treat the game seriously and don't at them as a bad team just because they lost one game. Everybody has a bad day, especially when you are a new team in the competition, and that's the way that sports in itself and basketball in particular can be. One minute, you can win by 25 and if you are not prepared, mentally and physically ready for the next one, you can lose by that much. We know that they are going to come in here and take the underdog role. They will want to give us their best shot.
Bologna is an awesome city, more my taste – not too big but not too small, especially compared to cities like Istanbul or Paris. Even Bursa had a lot of people and was busy at times, but this is more my speed. My wife is enjoying it after being in Turkey for three years and its excited to be in Italy. The team has been great. The basketball situation is good, as well as the living situation. We are finally in our home, a little bit on the outside of Bologna. Both of my sons are in school and things are good here as far as off the court. I just want to keep things going on the court in the same direction!