Tim Shea Interview
By Aran Smith
[img_assist|nid=3863|title=Tim Shea|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=220|height=295]The following is another chapter in what's becoming our annual conversation with Tim Shea (in his fourth year as Director of International scouting for the Charlotte Bobcats).
Q) How's everything in Lugo, Spain?
A) It's National Leagues Playoff time in Europe and in Spain that means Spring, Basketball and Bullfighting season is here. Now we get to see who is the truth and who are the pretenders. And sometimes the Bull wins. (laughing)
Q) Your region in Spain, Galicia north of Portugal, what drew you to that part of Spain?
A) My wife's family is from Lugo and we met when I was Head Coach here for Breogan. It's a small city that has some of the best food in Spain. It is mountainous with plenty of rivers and the Atlantic ocean only an hour away. There are also very good schools. It's truly a beautiful place to live. When you have children you think of the things that will be good for them. In this sense Lugo was ideal.
Q) As a coach you won National Championships in Benfica, Portugal. Do you ever get the urge to step back into the coaching arena?
A) Always. I'm always itchy. I never stop thinking about it. I left active coaching and went to the NBA for family reasons. Now my children are teenagers and I am active again … talking to the Spanish Coaches Association to do more clinics for them.
Q) You're one of few overseas based NBA American scouts. Is residing in Europe a distinct advantage over the US based International scouts?
A) I doubt it. With all the info and venues available it's irrelevant where you find yourself anywhere on the old globe.
Q) Walter Hermann carried the Bobcats to a number of wins and showed ROY qualities in the later part of the season. What did you see in him and what do you expect from him in the future?
A) What I saw was what everyone on our staff eventually saw. He was a good player, a wonderful person and a NBA level talent. Someone who knows how to shoot, rebound and play defense, someone who makes or tries to make the right play. That's the best of him.
Q) Would you say the market has corrected itself in regard to "Internationals"...? considering the recent failures of many first round picks? Skita, Darko, Welsch, Carbakapa, etc?
A) Tough question. I honestly have no idea about the "market correcting". There have been failures probably because of what I said previously… Some International players are better adapted to the International style while having difficulty playing the NBA game. Conversely, it's also true that a good number of past and present NBA players were flops overseas. Go figure! It's not rocket science but it's often tricky.
Q) Are teams beginning to come to the realization that targeting older European free agent "players" often can be more advantageous than drafting European "prospects"?
A) No. It's really two different fish. Teams have been doing both the Free Agents and the draftees. I simply inform my club, my GM/Head Coach Bernie Bickerstaff, of what I consider constructive for us in Charlotte. I expect more of both will be showing up. The competition is good.
Q) This year's European Final Four in Athens was dominated by two "middle aged" players, in basketball terms. Do Diamantitis and Papaloukas have an NBA future, or are they better served playing out their primes in Europe?
A) It's contracts and buy-out, it's preferences and tastes. Both are "World Class" players. It's a general consensus that both could play in the NBA..
Q) Would you call this a strong draft or a weak draft in regards to International talent?
A) It may not have the number of candidates as did previous years. However, the talent level is solid and, in most cases I think, NBA adaptable.
Q) With the 8th overall pick and the 22nd pick, what positions do you anticipate the Bobcats to target, and what players could be there for them at those selections?
A) One of the things that I have learned these last four drafts is the art of being patient. There are still important factors for consideration (workouts, interviews etc) to be certain of anything at this point. We (all NBA clubs) have preferences as to certain players. Final decisions are still more than a month away and then, "You go with your gut".
Q) Is there
A) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That phrase comes to mind. There is an opinion that there is one. My jury is still out.
Q) How much do you think the buyouts for Rudy Fernandez and Tiago Splitter could affect their draft status?
A) In both cases there are positives and negatives to consider. However, until we arrive at draft day we have circumstances that could change.
Q) You were recently involved in a coaching clinic, what was the event and how were you involved?
A) You are surprisingly well informed. The event/clinic was organized by the AEEB (The Spanish Coaches Assoc) for young coaches. Like most clinics, it was two days on the court instruction and demonstrations, drills and theory. My material was based on the Flex offense as it relates to defensive and offensive concepts, execution, structuring practice time and tips on the methodology.
Q) With Spain's win in the World Championships last summer, has Spain finally been recognized worldwide for their level of talent?
A) Spain has been in the forefront of International basketball for many years as a perennial contender for all International titles in all the age groups. The "Worlds" Gold medal was a crowning of the best basketball organizations, ACB and Spanish Basketball Federation, outside the NBA. I expect they will be there for many years to come.
Q) Are the Toronto Raptors establishing a new way of thinking in the league with a European Assistant GM Maurizio Gherardini?
A) From where I sit… if there was an award for Best NBA Asst GM of the year… it would be Maurizio. And that's a truth as big as a house because when it comes to pro basketball… "expertise" could be considered an understatement when we talk about his abilities and track record. Surely, he had a lot deal to do with BC getting NBA Executive of Year and Sam Mitchell as Coach of the Year.
Q) There are rumors that Luis Scola's rights, held by San Antonio, could involve a trade at draft time. Is he a guy that could make an immediate NBA impact in the league right now?
A) There are always a flurry of trades and trade offers around draft time. Specifically, Luis has been the leader and franchise player of Taugres for at least the last five years. Just like Garbajosa he would be a solid NBA contributor. I think that's pretty much a unanimous opinion by NBA experts.
Q) Toronto is considering bringing former second round pick Roko Leni-Ukic in. Is he a guy that would be successful in their system?
A) I would say that there is only one way to find out. Perhaps he's learned all he can learn from European style basketball and it's time to see if he can adapt to the American brand of ball.
Q) Finally, the Bobcats are in great position salary cap wise to target some free agents this off-season, how active do you expect the team to be and which players do you see them targeting?
A) No comment. I take the 5th Amendment.