An American shooting guard, Anthony Goods (6’3, 30 years old) fell in love with Europe playing basketball overseas. During his free time, he also works on his own podcast about basketball: Eurostep. 3ptshot.com met him.
Can you introduce yourself?
I am Anthony Goods. I went to College at Stanford University in USA. After Stanford, I played in the D-League, Italy, Venezuela, Ukraine, Israel, France – Cholet twice, and I played in Pau too – Poland, Dominican Republic. I have been everywhere.
How did you started playing basketball?
I started when I was young. I used to play with my dad. In my neighborhood, there are a lot of kids that are used to play. I wanted to be the best player. We played 1 vs 1. I just kept playing. My mum put me in a league. I loved it, I never stop kept playing. And I got good.
At College, you played for Stanford University. How did you get recruited? What is the process? Did you played AUU?
I played AAU. It is so political, it is all politics. Because I always get recruited by Stanford. When I was young, in my second year of high school, Stanford was always there. My third year of high school, Stanford was having a great year, they were the number 1 of the country. I went to an AAU tournament and I killed, I played great. I don’t know who were on the other teams. All I know is when I came home, everybody was calling my phone: Kansas, Georgia Tech who just had won the national championship, Arizona, all these big schools were coming to talk to me. They never talked to me before. After one weekend, everybody were coming. I was like « I don’t know you, you like me now but will you like me later? ». So I decided to go to Stanford because Stanford was always there, and it’s a great and a very smart school. When you go to College, you have to start over. As a young guy, you have to work, work, work. I didn’t really started playing until the end of my first season. I started to play a little bit of time but in that league where I was in, it is a very tough league. Every night, there were at least one NBA player on the floor: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, James Harden, Darren Collison, etc. I can go on names after names. It was very tough but fun. I enjoyed it.
At the beginning of your pro career, you mostly played into the D-League. At that time, why did you not went overseas?
My first year, when I left College, I had an injury. I had an offer to go to Spain. I didn’t go because of my injury, I didn’t know if I was able to play or not. So I went to the D-League. I tried to play on it. But it was hurting too much, so I got a surgery and I had to sit out most of my first year. Then, my second year, I didn’t get offers from overseas because I haven’t played. I came in the D-League, I had a great year that year. I had my first overseas job in Venezuela. The next year was the lockout year. A lot of NBA players went overseas, it was crazy. The market was crazy, I didn’t get offers. So I went to the D-League again, and I went to the training camp with Oklahoma City. I was the last cut. They sent me home on the very last day. After that, I signed in Italy and I have been in Europe. That is how it happened.
Do you think that the D-League is a good way for a basketball player in order to reach the NBA?
At that time, it was better to go the NBA because now, the rules has changed with the two ways contract. Now, every team has two rookies and two « two ways contract ». To be called, you have to wait for four guys to get hurt. Back then, if somebody get hurt, they called you and you go. I had a teammate, I remember we were practicing in the morning at 10 a.m., and then at 7 p.m. we were watching him playing with the Celtics on TNT on TV. It happened very quick. They called him at twelve, he flew to Denver and he was playing. It was better back then to get into the NBA. Now, I think it is gonna be harder, more difficult, but I think the D-League is good because there is a lot of talent. The coachs and ressources you have there is really professional. The NBA teams try to make it like a small NBA team. It can be good for your development like to help you to get better, but it is just the money is bad. It is different.
Since the beginning of your pro career, you has always played for at least two teams during the same year. How to explain that?
Yeah, that is crazy. That is the great thing about my podcasts. I know so many players because I have been on so many teams. I get ten or twelve teammates on every team I go to. Sometimes, people asked things like « oh, are you crazy or are you a bad guy? » you know. A lot of times, things are different. The first time I went to Italy, they didn’t paid me for months. I had no money, I spent all my money, I couldn’t stay there. So I left. The next year, I went in Ukraine, and the team told us « we don’t any more money, you are free, go ». So all the americans go, we left. There were like two or three times where I was playing bad, and they cut me. I understand that. But a lot of times, it’s not my fault. Every year, it is a different situation. I wish and I hope this year will be the year I stay in one team from start to finish. But every year, something happens. I go and maybe this is my life. C’est la vie, I don’t know. It just how my career has been so far.
You played in Europe but also in South America. How it works there?
The Dominican Republic is the summer, Venezuela starts in January/February and goes to June/July. You can play in those leagues during the summer. It is different. It is more physical, they don’t call fouls. Everywhere you go, it is a different basketball. Here, in France, it is very structured, it is smart basketball. For the most part, it is very smart basketball, it is good basketball and I like it. In Dominican Republic, it is more one vs one, more talent. They want you to make plays and scores stuff. But it is really physical. The refs don’t call fouls, they let people hit you, it is crazy. In the NBA or the D-League, every touch is a foul, you can’t touch anybody. Every countries is different, so you have to adjust a little bit everywhere you go. But it is basketball, it’s fun.
And what is your favorite country?
Israel, I love everything about Israel. If I could, I would finish my career in Israel. I also love France. Israel first, France second. I love both.
Few weeks ago, you had hit a game winner shot at the buzzer beater. What is the feeling about this amazing play and also about the beginning of this new season in France?
I was glad we won, but I was mad because it shouldn’t never got to that point. We were up 16 or something like that, they made came back. Same story the week before, we lost in Denain. We were up 16, they came back and we lost. The game winner at the buzzer was a good thing because you always want to win. But at the same time, I was thinking like « Okay, we have to get better ». Since then, we got problems just adjusting and playing better to win games. We are always there and something goes wrong and we loose, or something goes right and we win. As a team, we have to be more consistent doing good things. We have enough talent to be one of the top team in Pro B. We just have to be consistent, that is the main thing.
What are the main differences between playing french Pro A and french Pro B?
The experience of the players is different. In Pro B, there are guys more younger. In Pro A, the players are usually older, they played more games at a high level so they understand basketball a little better. But there is plenty of very good players in Pro B that can play in Pro A. I just think that collectively, Pro A just has more experienced players. I think that is the biggest difference.
In Europe, how to explain the differences between playing at home and away?
It is always tough to play on the road. At home, for whatever reason, it is not just our team, it is every team. When you are at home, you have the fans. You play on the court every day, you feel more confident. The fans give you more confidence and you usually play better at home. I think that is the biggest difference.
You created your own basketball podcast: Eurostep. How did you get the idea? What is the concept?
I just wanted to give a voice for players overseas like myself and other players. Sometimes, you can only talk to a reporter. Maybe you don’t feel confortable, maybe you don’t feel like saying, or maybe you feel that he doesn’t understand because he doesn’t play basketball. So, in my podcast, I try to create a confortable environment where, ok, you want to talk about your team not paying you money, let’s talk about it. I’ve been there, I done that. You know, I just create a fun environment. I have a guy, Charles Thomas, he told me about a time a team owner put a gun to his head. For some of the other people, not something bad had happened, they just enjoy basketball overseas. And that is fine too. I want to give a voice to everybody, not only players but also coachs, assistant-coachs, reporters, rappers, every body can share. The basketball world is more that just players.
I just finished an interview right now, before I came for this interview. The guy was actually a rapper but he played basketball at the University of North Carolina. He won a national championship back in 2005, then he was trying to go to the NBA. He hurt his knee but he used always rapping. His CD got to a big time producer, they call him. He came and now he is a big rapper. He just released an album last week. I had an another podcast with an other guy who get in trouble in College for a point checking. They said that a gambler was paying him money to loose the game, to cheat the game. It is a big problem and he went to jail. He is playing overseas now. He played in Germany, he is in Montenegro right now. I try to get different types of people, it is fun.
Once you will be retired as a professional basketball player, could that be your full time job?
I love to watch basketball and talk about it. I would love to have a job where I can get paid to talk about basketball. Even if it is in Europe, I can stay in Europe for the rest of my life. If I can do something like that for a company like the Euroleague, that would be great. I am open to everything.