On the first photo on Instagram when you arrived in the USA was a big burger and fries, Are you a big fan of American fast food, do you miss it?
American fast food, no, I don’t like to go to McDonalds and Burger King and those type of places, but the burger I posted is from a special restaurant I always go to, everytime I come home from overseas I always go there and get the biggest burger I can eat.
Where is this restaurant and what’s it called?
It’s called “In and Out Burger”, it’s only in four states in America, my ones in Salt Lake City.
Apart from the food what else did you do on your vacation back home?
Not a whole lot, just things that I missed the most. Once I had my burger I hung out with my friends and my family, as I don’t get to do that a lot as I’m in Russia and the rest of my families in America.
In March, you turned 31, has the game become harder for you over the years, do you feel a difference in your body?
I actually felt a difference when I was turning 29, I felt I couldn’t eat all the junk food and candy bars and still feel fine, I had to eat less sugar and figure out a healthier diet, since I did that I haven’t felt anything affect me in terms of age. Last seasons was possibly the best season of my entire career!
Since turning 29 have you trained differently and other than diet, do anything else different?
Yeah I learnt, more isn’t always better, when I was young and I had all the energy I ever wanted, I could do everything I needed, plus more and be perfectly fine the next day. As I’m getting older, I can’t do as much, so in the off-season I do train, but I don’t train all day, every day, seven days a week. I make sure that after I do train really hard my body can recover and I feel better.
Is there much of a difference between this pre-season in the team and from when you first arrived?
No, it’s literally the exact same thing that we did last year, we’re staying in the exact same hotel, we’re eating the exact same food, we’re running on the exact same track and we’re playing on the exact same basketball court, beside the few new members of the team it’s pretty much the same everyday.
How are you and the other players spending your free time while at camp, or is it just enough to sleep?
Until today we didn’t have a day off, we just wake up, we eat, we go train, then we rest as much as we can, then we return to train in the evening, eat and go back to sleep and do it all over again. It feels a bit like Groundhog Day!
You had a day off today, did you do anything interesting?
No I slept in for an hour more than usual. Beyond that, last night we tried an Italian restaurant and had a pizza, Me, Aaron white and Kyle Landrey went. That’s the only change we had to our routine this week.
Now there’s another American is with you in Aaron White, will you be taking him under your wing and showing him around?
Yeah, I think just naturally since he doesn’t speak Russian we came together, me, Aaron and Kyle. Jannis Timma does a really good job anywhere because he can speak Russian and English so he helps, but with Aaron, me and Kyle are making him feel comfortable so he can learn what the coach wants for the team. He hasn’t seen the city yet as he’s just joined up with the team and when we go back, we’ll be sure to show him around. He has his wife and child coming with him and we’ll be able to show him around the city and show them the places they can enjoy.
You are known for being very attached to your family, but at training camp, of course, it's different. How seriously are you missing them and how often to communicate on Skype?
Right now is probably the worst time of the year, because I’m around my family a lot and I try to be there as much as possible, I know that I travel a lot with the Eurocup and the VTB league which is on average one game a week, so it is difficult. My kids are at an age where they are growing really fast and are changing really fast and its sad for me to miss some of the fun and important things going on in their lives. My son just learnt to ride a bike without the training wheels a few days ago, I was a little sad I wasn’t there for it, I try every chance I get to talk to them inbetween practises and before I go to bed at night, but with the 9 hours of time difference it’s a bit difficult. I feel bad for the people that played in the 90’s without skype, I don’t know what they did!