Interview with NBDL All-Star Brian Chase

Interview with NBDL All-Star Brian Chase
Feb 16, 2007, 02:50 pm
NBDL All-Star point guard Brian Chase is known for his deadly outside shot and leadership on the court. The same qualities he displayed previously at Virginia Tech and then later in the CBA with the Gary Steelheads. Now playing nightly for the Los Angeles D-Fenders at Staples Center, Chase continues to prove his doubters wrong, as he leads his team in points, assists, steals and, of course, 3-point shooting. I had an opportunity to speak with Brian after a game against the Colorado 14ers to get his perspective on how his style of play is evolving and the D-League in general.

Richard Walker: You played in the CBA with the Gary Steelheads, what was that experience like?

Brian Chase: It was a great experience. I actually finally got an opportunity to play basketball at a very high level in front of a lot of people which was able to provide me with more opportunities after that season was over with. It was a wonderful experience because we played together and we won a lot of games. Unfortunately we lost in the championship, but the year before that the team was in last place, and we wound up finishing in first place – one game away from winning the whole thing.

Richard Walker: You played briefly for the Roanoke Dazzle and now with the [Los Angeles] D-Fenders. How does this compare to playing in the CBA with the Steelheads?

Brian Chase: It’s different. This league is younger. It’s much younger than the CBA. [In the CBA] you have a lot of NBA veterans who are at the end of their careers and just want to continue to play basketball. I think the quality of the basketball in the CBA is a little higher because the league is a little older.

Richard Walker: Did you know you were going to get signed by the D-Fenders?

Brian Chase: I had an idea. My agent talked to the Director of Player Personnel and they said they had seen film on me from summer league when I was playing for the [Utah] Jazz. It was an option. I didn’t know, but once I got drafted it wasn’t a surprise because I knew they were looking at me.

Richard Walker: Speaking of playing for the Jazz, you made it into training camp with them, what was that like?

Brian Chase: It was a great experience. Just to get that opportunity was one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt in my life. Once I found out I had made the team nothing could really express how I felt about it. Unfortunately I got released, but nobody can take what I’ve already accomplished so far away from me. I’m just trying to continue to work hard to get back to that level.

Richard Walker: Speaking of accomplishments, you were named to the All-Showcase Team during the Sioux Falls Showcase. What was the Showcase like?

Brian Chase: We played together, we played as a team. We had a couple of guys who played well up there who could have easily been on that Showcase team. Fortunately, I made it, and it’s a great accomplishment. To finally be recognized in this league for being a pretty good player.

Richard Walker: Coming out of Virginia Tech you were more of a scorer really than a playmaker, is that an adjustment you’ve had to make? Is that something you’re trying to work on specifically?

Brian Chase: No, that’s not an adjustment I had to make. I haven’t adjusted my game, I’ve just continued to prove people wrong. It depends what system you’re in. Different systems are designed for you to do certain things. At Virginia Tech they wanted me to shoot the ball and that’s what I did. I’ve always been this basketball player – the point guard who can score. I’ve always been that. But because I can shoot the basketball [my point guard skills] have always been overlooked. Teams always think I’m a shooting guard instead of a point guard. I’m a point guard who can score.

Richard Walker: Are you getting any feedback on what you need to work on to get back to the NBA?

Brian Chase: Of course I can’t do anything about my size. But, I’m just trying to get better in all areas. Of course I shoot the ball well, but I just need to be sure that I continue to be aggressive on defense and continue to prove that I’m a point guard. I still have doubters that I’m a two-guard instead of a point, but I just need to continue to prove that I’m a point guard – that I can get people open shots and can get teams into their offense.

Richard Walker: You’re clearly an accomplished player at this level. Have you played against anybody that you feel has that ability to go to the next level that’s in the D-League right now?

Brian Chase: You just saw what Von Wafer did!

Richard Walker: Yeah.

Earlier in the evening the Colorado 14ers were down by 12 at half time, but Von Wafer came out blistering hot, scoring 27 points, and shooting 4 of 5 from behind the arc, to lead his team to a comeback victory over the D-Fenders.

Brian Chase: He’s done that four times against us. I respect everybody in this league, but for us not to have been Colorado yet, and for Von to have done what he’s done each and every game, he’s one of those players who will be back in the NBA soon. He was drafted by the [Los Angeles] Lakers in the second round a couple of years ago, and he’ll be back. As long as he continues to play the way he’s playing and shooting the ball the way he’s shooting it. That’s one person who deserves to be up there.

Richard Walker: Thanks a lot.

Brian Chase: You bet.

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