Q: You were overseas the entire year. What was the calculation behind that decision, considering the labor situation the NBA faced at the time?
Chris Douglas-Roberts: It was actually great for me, because during the lockout — I’m was a fairly young player, I (had just finished) my third year — so it was about basketball for me. It wasn’t about money, I just wanted to play basketball. But I went over there, and made that commitment to stay. It definitely made me a better basketball player, and it made me a better person.
It made me more appreciative, because some days I didn’t have heat. The living conditions were terrible. I had to heat up water to give my daughter a bath, some days. If you had the microwave on and the washer on, the electricity may go out in the whole house. It was very small. The shower at the gym that we practiced at, it was filthy. There was mold everywhere. You couldn’t put your feet on the ground, barefoot. Guys were getting staph infections. It was basically back to when I was growing up in Detroit. But when I look at it, it just made me a better person and a player.
Q: Did you know what you were getting into?
CDR: Not at all. I had no clue. When you think of Italy, you think of beauty. You think of good food, great people. Which was the case, but it’s a different game over there. They look at basketball different, they look at the athlete different. You’re practicing two times a day, regardless. Very hard practices, two hours both sessions, and there aren’t any days off, really. It’s more about the organization, really. It’s not about the athlete, really.
– Reported by Brian Kamenetzky of ESPN Los Angeles