When we spoke, Bobby was just about to start his first season with Italian Serie A Club, Teramo.
Montlake Madness: What brought you to Italy? How hard was the decision to commit to a year in Europe?
Bobby Jones: Money brought me to Italy. It’s real hard to make that move, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. It’s great chance to see the world, though.
MM: How has the experience been so far? What’s been the best part?
BJ: Well, we’ve been so busy training two times a day. No time yet to sightsee. So, the best is yet to come.
MM: Are you thinking you’ll be a starter for Teramo this season?
BJ: Yeah. I’m starting here. I have a lot of freedom on this team to really work on my game, so I’m excited.
MM: When does the season start?
BJ: Sunday, actually. (Yesterday)
MM: Do you still keep up with what the Huskies are doing? Are you still in touch with coaches and players?
BJ: Oh yeah. I still talk to pretty much everybody. Some more often than others, though.
MM: What do you think of the team’s prospects for the coming season?
BJ: You never know. It’s all about how quick a team can gel and get chemistry going. They have the talent. That’s for sure.
MM: You wrote a bunch on your blog, “My Adventures and Beliefs While In Italy” about some of the difficulties of being a scholarship athlete, essentially working for free, and having your schedule set for you. What’s the other side? What makes that four-year sacrifice worth it?
BJ: Memories. The people you meet. Networking, hopefully, while you’re there.
MM: Based on what you’ve written on your blog, I have to ask, do you feel that college athletes should be paid?
BJ: Depends what you call paid. I believe they should get more than they do now. Depending on the sport as well. Whatever your program brings (in), you should get something to show for it at least.
MM: Do you feel like players are exploited then? How would you change the system to make it more fair?
BJ: Not exploited, because they do get things in exchange, but not enough. (What I would change) is a good question. Too bad I don’t have an answer for that yet.
MM: Talk to me about the NBA. Are you able to leave your current team if the NBA gets in touch with your agent?
BJ: Depends on the situation. After this year, I do have a clause to leave if I do get signed by an NBA team though.
MM: But, this year, you’d have to negotiate a way out of the contract?
BJ: Not quite sure. Some kind of buy-out probably.
MM: Is that still the goal for you: a full-time role in the league?
BJ: Of course. I’ll try again next year.
MM: What part of your game do you need to develop most to be successful long-term in the NBA?
BJ: Depends on the situation. I feel I’m ready now, but it has a lot to do with the situation, and when that window opens.
MM: Right. And, you’ve proven you can play in the league. But, given the competition for jobs, what can you do to improve your odds of sticking with a team next year?
BJ: Confidence and knowing what i can bring. And, offensively, just get more polished.
MM: Back when you were being recruited, do you feel like the process was simpler than it is today? Or was it still a crazy circus?
BJ: It’s always been crazy.
MM: Do some coaches promise things, and go further than they’re supposed to?
BJ: All the time, or they don’t keep it real as they should.
MM: Last question. Have you had a chance to run in open gyms with the current Huskies? If so, who’s impressed you?
BJ: They all did. I’m expecting Quincy to lead. Isaiah is better in person than I realized. He’s very good offensively.
Thanks for coming!