HoopsHype.com Interviews

Federico Kammerichs: "I'll put the national team ahead of the Blazers"
by Jorge Sierra / April 4, 2003

What being drafted by the Blazers [51st overall pick] last year meant for you?

Federico Kammerichs: It was incredible. It took some days for me to believe it was real.

How big of a surprise was for you to be selected before somebody with better achievements like Luis Scola?

FM: A lot. I even think it is unreal. How can it be possible that somebody like me, with the half of what Scola has basketball-wise... And in every possible sense... What he has won, what he has achieved, the way he plays... To tell you the truth, I still can't understand it.

I read an interview made days after you were drafted in which you said you didn't see yourself playing in the NBA. Has your opinion changed?

FM: It's still the same. To this day, I still don't see myself at that level to tell you the truth. I'm far away from it.

Then when? In two, three years?

FM: Well, I would first have to establish myself as an important player in Spain [in Pamesa Valencia] in order to make the jump to the NBA. If I'm just an average guy, I would never do it.

Have you been in touch with anybody in the Blazers organization?

FM: One scout attended a game and I talked with him a little bit.

About what?

FM: They want me to go to the summer leagues.

And will you do that?

FM: There are several tournaments with the national team, so I don't know what is going to happen. I don't know if the national team will call me into the squad... If they do, I'll put the national team ahead of the Blazers. I don't know if I will always do that, but I'll do it this year.

Are you following the Blazers this year?

FM: No, very little because I don't follow the NBA.

Did you hear anything about the off-the-court record of some members of the team?

FM: No. I think I read something about that, but not much.

And what about Ginobili?

FM: Yes, that's what I follow a little bit.

What do you think about what he is doing?

FM: It's great. It makes us -- all those who know him (although not much in my case) -- very happy because he's putting Argentinean basketball on the map.

Do you see any other Argentinean player in the NBA in the near future?

FM: I think "Chapu" [Andres Nocioni] and Luis [Scola] are going to play there.

Soon?

FM: It's up to them, it's up to them.

Just one more thing... I've heard you almost cried when Argentina beat the U.S. team in the World Championship. Is that true?

FM: I cried. I think I cried (laughs).

Jorge Sierra is the editor of HoopsHype.com

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