Ignas Brazdeikis names differences between NBA and European basketball, fans’ atmosphere / News


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Credit: Ž. Vingelis / LKF

Ignas Brazdeikis made his debut with the Lithuanian national team tonight in a friendly game against Latvia in Riga. Lithuania lost the game 52-70.

3-pointers this season

When asked about his impressions about the game, Brazdeikis emphasized second-chance points.

“I just think we got outrebounded big-time, on the defensive end they had too many second-chance points,” started Brazdeikis.

Lithuanian forward also pointed out the lack of chemistry.

“This was our first time playing together as a unit with the guys out there, so as expected, we didn’t have chemistry yet, but I think we learned a lot this game,” said Brazdeikis.

Brazdeikis did not want to comment about his personal performance in the game when asked about it, as the team have lost.

“We lost the game, so it really doesn’t matter how I performed,” said Brazdeikis. 

“It only counts if we win, so I think if we come together and play a little bit harder defensively, not giving up too many second-chance points, we will be in a much better position,” Brazdeikis added.

Brazdeikis said it gave him goosebumps when he was asked what it means to wear a Lithuanian jersey and hear the Lithuanian anthem in today’s game.

“Gave me goosebumps for sure. I was truly honored,” said Brazdeikis with a smile.

“As soon as I got it to put on in the locker room and then coming out, warming-up, being with this team, having that uniform and then hearing the national anthem on top of it, yeah it was goosebumps,” added Brazdeikis.

Brazdeikis also answered a question about his experience so far with the team, saying he enjoys the environment.

“It’s been great so far, getting to know the guys, I love every single one of them. Great people, great environment, great culture, it’s a basketball country,” explained Brazdeikis. 

“We love this, we love to practice every day, we love to play every day, so we are just gonna continue to bring it,” Brazdeikis continued.

Kaunas-born Brazdeikis thought the team was not making shots tonight that they usually make and thought the team needed to play more aggressively on offense.

“Offensively I think we could have attacked a little bit more, a few more kick outs into attacks,” said Brazdeikis. “I think we settled a little bit for 3-pointers and obviously we didn’t make shots, normally shots that we make so.” 

Brazdeikis admitted that European game is more physical than compared to what he is used to in the United States.

“I think it’s a little bit more physical in the European game, so adjusting to that. I think you get away with more things here, so,” Brazdeikis shared his thoughts.

“Just adjusting to that. Pace and space too, it’s a little bit more crowded in the paint, but it’s something I am adjusting to,” added Brazdeikis.

When asked about the European atmosphere, Brazdeikis smiled and said that he loved it.

“It was amazing, I loved it, insane. They had the smoke going, they had a concert in the middle of the game, it was cool,” said Brazdeikis.

Brazdeikis talked after the game to Latvian NBA players Kristaps Porzingins and Davis Bertans, who were in attendance but did not play tonight, but he didn’t want to reveal what was conversation about.

“We were just chatting a little bit, just about the game. I am excited to see them suited up for Latvia too, so we were just chatting a little bit,” Brazdeikis concluded the interview.

Ignas Brazdeikis national team debut highlights:


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