Since Shawn Long got off the plane, the third import signing for the Skycity Breakers has had the ball in his hand. On the court he is doing everything he can to help take the Breakers to the NBL playoffs in the extremely tight eight team league and Shawn Long is delivering.
This season has seen some ups and downs as a club with new owners and essentially a new core group of players that are playing great basketball right now and facts show it is a perfect time of the season to make a playoff run despite being under .500 (Current Win/Loss 8-10). But through it all, the consistent energy Shawn brings on game day and practice is obviously infectious and could be the difference in the final stretch of games. The humble Shawn Long seems to be unpacking his skill set for all the NBL to see; shooting three’s, put back dunks, dynamite blocks and assisting his team mates at both ends of the floor.
Your basketball Yeti sat down with Shawn at the end of training (16/01/19) before they head off to play Illawarra Hawks on Friday then travel to Cairns to face the Taipans talking about his time in the #NBL, being apart of the Breakers and what the pros back home think of his success down under.
Basketball Yeti: Cool so here we are man, final ten games for the Skycity Breakers, it’s basically win the next seven, six or seven, playoffs bound. How does the next month look for Shawn Long?
Shawn Long: Um just continue to try and play the best I can on both ends, stay out of foul trouble so I can help the team win, that’s the biggest thing for me.
BY: So there seems to be like a zone defence that’s really working for the Breakers regardless of the, you know a few people being a little bit hesitant and not liking doing it or not, do you think the Breakers have clicked with that now?
SL: Oh yeah most definitely, I know it helped me a lot you know staying out of foul trouble, I’ve been locking in on my one match up every night so it’s cool, it’s good.
BY: Cool! And you know when it comes to Armani (Moore) and Patrick (Richard), the other two kinda imports, how do you think they’re going bro?
SL: Aw you know they’re doing good man, they’re putting in the work every day; and I tell Pat all the time all his shot are going to fall, he’s definitely one of our best shooters on the team, Armani is one of the hardest workers on the team defensively and he can produce offensively I think he’s just trying to find his rhythm right now.
BY: Yeah off the defensive end Amani seems to be like almost, try and keep up with the energy and at times almost bringing the energy do you think you guys kinda just bounce off each other?
SL: Yeah yeah most definitely, you know coming from the States, you know it’s a different game here, but I think being that we all from the States it’s helped us gel just off the court and that’s translating on the court, like I said, in Basketball it’s funny not every shot is going to fall, that’s the way it works.
BY: And you know sorry to ask the question man, but you know you’ve come up against Bogut four times now, would you call it a two all draw of who’s winning inside the paint or would you be like ‘Hey, I think I’ve got an edge over you’?
SL: Aww I honestly couldn’t care less. You know I think I tweeted something out a little while ago it got a lot of attention, but it really was just trolling, but I think it kinda went over everyone’s heads that I was messing around, but that’s cool man, I don’t care. I’m pretty sure [Bogut] doesn’t care either. Yeah, we just wanna win and play the game the right way.
BY: Drama aside of that kind of competition and that, do you think the NBL has lived up to your kinda hype you know coming here wanting to get a championship and just actually being way past halfway now?
SL: Yeah it’s great man, I like it a lot more than I initially did, you just find out how things work here, how the game is played, cause it’s a lot different and that was a little frustrating at first, but the guys, great guys man…you know I think the future of this league is very bright.
BY: And what about your future man, I think your future’s looking pretty bright too and not slowing down do you just hope that the momentum keeps going for you and that you’re back in the NBA soon?
SL: Yeah, I mean you always want to play at the highest level but right now all I can do is take it one day at a time and try to win a championship here, you know that’s the goal right now, that’d be great.
BY: What about kind of your pals through College who are just playing in the kind of G League and things like that what do they kind of think of your highlight reels that are popping up and things like that, you know basically every weekend man?!
SL: Aw you know a lot of them just hit me up saying like I’m back, cause last year I had a kinda flat year in the G League, but the year before I tore it up, and it’s them kinda saying I’m back to my real form so it’s good, it’s good man to get that kind of feedback from my peers and I try to do the same for them.
BY: Cause you know it’s real cool man, I’ve been following the NBL for a while now and it’s really rad to see this kind of umm more of a focus on the 18 months and attention on the NBL, like it makes me happy but, like, um, cool to see those kind of other, your friends from College and stuff like that saying “Whoa this NBL, should I be looking into it?” have you have any of those kinds of interests?
SL: Yeah I’ve had a lot of guys, even guys from the [NBA] League, you know that play in the League right now, that ask me how is it and stuff like that I try my best to give the most positive feedback I can, you know like any other League you have things to say and I tell them you know it’s not perfect but it’s a great League man, great.