Interview with Sofoklis Schortsanitis

Breene Murphy: Here with Sofoklis Schortsanitis. Sofoklis you’ve been invited to the summer league, what are you goals for the summer?

Sofoklis Schortsanitis: … All I want to do is to be here, make a difference.

BM: You were drafted by the Clippers in 2003, what was your reaction then?

Sofo: I was really happy about it. But I felt like I wasn’t quite ready. So I came back to Europe, to play a couple years. I’m here to practice, to show the coach that I’m fully ready for the team.

BM: In 2006, one of the memories for any USA Basketball fan is that your Greek team beat the US in the FIBA Championships. What was it like to play against the US players then and was there anything you learned?

Sofo: It was great, really great. It was a great experience. It was a pretty good game. We actually came up with a win. But it was different, it was the first time I actually started against the US team and played.

BM: I saw there were negotiations between you and the Clippers in 2006 to play. What decided to keep you in Greece?

Sofo: I still had a contract, a five year deal with Olympiakos. I couldn’t actually get out of it, and I decided not to cause any unnecessary trouble or any problems. So I just stayed there, waited until my contract finished and then I’d come over.

BM: You’ve been given the nickname Baby Shaq, and then last year you actually got to play against Shaq in an exhibition game against the Cavaliers. How was that experience.

Sofo: It was great. I mean, I grew up seeing him play. But I tried to do my best. I was a bit nervous but he’s a great player. He’s a force to be reckoned with. I tried my best, it didn’t go that well. But next time, I’ll be stronger next time.

BM: Was there any interaction between you and him? With you earning the nickname, did he try and say anything to you?

Sofo: He told me a couple of things. Keep playing the way I play, big and strong. Felt good and I’m just trying to follow his advice.

BM: All right. Now you’ve made a long trip over, have you brought any friends and family with you to L.A.?

Sofo: I just came here with my trainer. That’s about it. I’m here for work. My family right now, comes second. Right now I’m here to work. Afterwards I’ll see my family.

BM: Speaking of your trainer. A lot has been made of your ability to play starters’ minutes in a game. Has there been anything you’ve tried to do specifically?

Sofo: Here I’m just working on cardio. Trainer comes in at 6:15. The way they work here is totally different. I’m used to the European way, so it’ll be a couple days before I get used to it. But I think everything will work out.

BM: All right. Best of luck, Sofoklis. Best of luck in summer league.

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