Christian Drejer: "I have no regrets"
Christian Drejer: It was harder for me to adjust to life in America. That was more difficult. This is easier. I'm European and this is an European culture here in Barcelona. The language is the only problem. I'm trying to learn some español (Spanish) now.
What are your expectations for the rest of the season with Barcelona?
CD: My goal is to win. I want to win as many games as possible here. I want to win titles. We have the ACB (Spanish league), the Euroleague... My main goal is to help the team win as much as possible.
With the amount of talented players they have, you may not play much this year. Are you worried about that?
CD: Well... Last game, I played 27 minutes. I can't say I'm worried. I know there will be some games in which I will play more minutes and some others in which I may not play all that much, but I'm not worried about it.
Some of the best basketball players not in the NBA play for Barcelona. Is there anyone that has particularly impressed you?
CD: Bodiroga is the one. He is the one that has surprised me. I mean, I'm not surprised because I already knew him. But playing with him, you realize how good he is. And then you have Navarro (Wizards' second-round pick in 2002), who is great. He was able to play with a broken hand and still play really well.
What was the main factor for you to decide to leave Florida and sign with Barcelona?
CD: It was an opportunity for me. It was a dream for me to play with Barcelona, to play for a team that is one of the best teams there are. It was certainly a great opportunity for me.
The media in Florida said that your relationship with coach Billy Donovan could have been a factor, too. Is there any truth to that?
CD: Hmmm... I wouldn't say that. I don't think that's true. We had a professional relationship. He was my coach and I was his player. I wouldn't say that was a factor in order to leave Florida.
I guess you don't have regrets about signing with Barcelona. But have you got any regret about the way you left the team in the middle of the season?
CD: First of all, I have no regrets at all about coming here. As for leaving in the middle of the season, that was hard. You don't want to do that. But this is what I wanted. I wanted to be here and when the opportunity came, I think I made the best decision for me and I have no regrets about it.
Why did it take you so much time to decide whether you would sign with Barcelona or not?
CD: Did it took long?
Well, it was like a couple of weeks.
CD: No, I think it was more like one. And that was an important decision, so you have to think about a lot of things and it takes time. You have to take your time to make the decision that is best for you.
How would you rate your performance in Florida in the last two years? Are you pleased with the way you played there?
CD: That was one of the reasons I came here. I was not pleased with the way I was playing there. Some games, yes, I played well. But there were others... The first season I had the injury and it was not possible for me to play well. And overall, I was not satisfied. I know I can play much better than that.
Why do you think you didn't play at the level you expected?
CD: There are many reasons. First of all, college basketball is a different game. It's a lot more individual than European basketball. In Europe, basketball is a team thing. In college, you run up and down all the time and it's not that structured. Besides, my team had a playing style, always looking to score first... It was hard for me.
Is the NBA a long-term or a short-term goal for you?
CD: The NBA is sure one of my goals. But playing for Barcelona was one of my goals, too. It was one of my dreams. We'll see.
So is playing in the NBA something you plan to do in a near future or not?
CD: That's hard to say. I can't say that. Right now, I'm focused on playing for Barcelona.
There was a report on ESPN saying that you are forced to enter the NBA Draft this year because you will not be eligible next season. Have you heard any of that?
CD: Yeah, I knew that.
Did you know that before making the decision to sign with Barcelona?
CD: I knew that, yes.
So you are entering the draft this year...
And in which position do you expect to be selected?
CD: I haven't thought about that at all. I don't know. I'm just focused on Barcelona right now.
Jorge Sierra is the editor of HoopsHype.com