heinnews’s David Hein attended the premiere of the German basketball film Phoenix in der Asche (No Ashes – No Phoenix) at the 2011 Munich Film Festival. Also in the crowd was Bayern Munich and German national team point guard Steffen Hamann. Afterwards, they discussed the film, Dirk Nowitzki winning the NBA title and his reception in Würzburg, Germany’s preparations for the 2011 EuroBasket and Bayern Munich’s chances in the BBL next season.

heinnews: heinnews: Steffen, what did you think of the film?

Hamann: It’s a great thing for basketball that it’s getting more and more public and in the cinemas. I hope a lot of people watch it. For me, it was very interesting because I know every player who was in the movie. And it was very interesting to see something about one of not the best teams. I always played on the best teams in Germany – to see how things go on there. Like practicing in a gym with 11.7 degrees – I never experienced something like that in my entire career. I didn’t think stuff like that happened in the first league. It was interesting to see stuff like that. And I can say I never had team chemistry like that before

heinnews: What do you think this film shows people who aren’t big basketball fans? Do you think others can become more interested with the drama etc?

Hamann: It doesn’t show the real Bundesliga. That movie is from two years ago. So the league has made another step forward. The gyms are better and the teams are more professional – with everything around the team and sponsorship. I think the league is better than it’s shown on the screen. But for a movie – of course the filmmaker had to put in a little drama so people are going to watch it. All of the people who watched the movie today seemed really interested in it, clapping their hands. I hope people will go out and see it and I think they’ll enjoy it.

heinnews: Do you think basketball fans will enjoy it?

Hamann: Oh yeah. I think a lot of German players will watch this movie, take their friends and family. It’s interesting for German basketball fans for sure.

heinnews: Moving to the German national team and this summer we have the 2011 EuroBasket. Other than waiting on Dirk Nowitzki’s decision, how much are you looking forward to Lithuania?

Hamann: Every two summer the European championships are very big, competitive. You can’t really compare any championship to the European championships. The first round is even really tough to manage. Our expectation is always to give our best and leave it out on the floor. After Beijing, we are all hungry for London.

heinnews: What do you think about Dirk?

Hamann: Man… you have to tip your hat to him. Of course I was watching all the games and pulling for him. I lost some tears after he won it. I’ve known him a lot of years and am so proud of what he did. He wasn’t just a part of the team, he was running the show. Nobody can take this away from him. He has earned his rest right now. But we are all hoping. We know he wants to come this summer. But the thing is if it makes sense for his body and his mind to play a tough European Championships.

heinnews: What did you think about the reception he got in Würzburg?

Hamann: I watched it. I was surprised about his singing talent. But now it’s proven that he can’t sing.

heinnews: Moving back to Germany and looking forward to next season, Bayern Munich have brought in Philipp Schwethelm and Ben Hansbrough …

Hamann: And more to come.

heinnews: And (Bayern president) Uli Hoeness has promised two more “rocket signings”. Alba Berlin has added Gordon Herbert as head coach along with BBL MVP DaShaun Wood. What are your thoughts about the up-coming season with Bayern?

Hamann: I think our goal is to survive the first five games after the European Championship. We can only practice about two weeks with the coach and players. Something like three or four players will be gone (at EuroBasket), and we don’t have much time to work together. So it will be very important to survive those first five players to be successful and get people in the gym. After the first three, four weeks or so we are looking forward to do what we are here for. We are a big name. We will have a really good roster and a really good coach and we want to help German basketball and finish among the first four teams in the league.

heinnews: As a Bamberg native who played and lived in Bamberg a long time, what do you think about living in Munich?

Hamann: I love it. I feel almost at home. Bamberg is about two hours from here. They like to drink beer here. And I know that from my old city. And the people here are really friendly. Lots of friends come visit me. I really do like Munich and I hope it continues like that for many years.

 

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