For this week’s episode of the heinnews/BallinEurope “Taking the Charge” podcast series, Sonny Weems joined us for a chat – serendipitously timed after his 30-point barrage in a career day for CSKA Moscow at Partizan Belgrade last week – not to mention a 13-point, five-assist, three-steal effort against VEF Riga on the weekend.
The entire interview with the former Toronto Raptor/Žalgiris SG/SF may be heard here beginning at the 46:15 mark. Below run a few outtakes for the more textually inclined…
Weems on what it’s like playing for Messina: “I love playing for him … he gets kinda rowdy during the games sometimes, but if you listen to him, you can’t do anything but excel. He comes off as real hard on his players and if you take that negatively, you’re gonna have a real hard time playing for him. He’s *real* hard on his players and he demands a lot.
On Lithuanian fandom: “Every fan in Lithuania knows everything about you: how many rebounds, how many assists, how many steals you have, your field goal percentage – They know *everything* about basketball. Even the smaller kids know everything – that’s a basketball *crazy* country. I remember coming into Vilnius when I first got to Lithuania. I saw a skyscraper when I was leaving the airport which had a basketball on it. And I had never seen that, not even in the ‘States. No country is that passionate about basketball like Lithuania [is] and for me it was great to be a part of those fans who really love the game and have such passion for the game.”
On the current state of University of Arkansas football – a subject that even former US president Bill Clinton has weighed in on: “Oh my god! Oh my god … the team is being real disrepectful right now. I don’t know what’s going on … all that money they spend at the school, you’d think they could at least do *something*…”
On the recent 52-0 beating handed to the Razorbacks by the Alabama Crimson Tide: “That was *ridiculous*. The worst ever…”
On who he likes in the upcoming NBA season: “I don’t like anybody in the NBA because I’m stuck over here … but for the championship, I would say it’s gonna be the Lakers and the Heat.”
Check out episode six of the “Taking the Charge” podcast series for more from Weems on his secrets to the Partizan game; summer training program; coming back from last season’s injury; the CSKA Moscow organization; getting back to the NBA; Sasha Kaun’s reality check about playing for a national team; the inevitable question of the Euroleague’s level of play versus the NBA; and that all out-of-proportion basketball talent in West Memphis, Arkansas – from a football-first town of “maybe 30,000,” have emerged Marcus Brown, Corey Brewer, Michael Cage and Weems. What’s in the water there?