Maciej Lampe (1985) made his Euroleague debut at the tender age of 16, he did it with Madrid, the team that gave him his first matches as a professional basketball player. 11 years later, now defending the FC Barcelona colours, Lampe is ready to take on the Euroleague for the fifth time in his career. “There are always jitters before a match, it’s normal. But excitement always manages to compensate for the nervousness,” said the Polish-born player.
How are you approaching your first match of the 2013/14 Euroleague season?
“With a lot of confidence and excitement. It’s a good match against Partizan and we have a very strong team. We have to be very focused because it’s important to start off with a win.”
What does it mean to you to play in this competition for FC Barcelona?
“To play for Barça is something very special to me. I want to have good seasons during my time in Barcelona and want to win a lot of titles, that’s my priority. I’m excited and I can’t wait to make my debut.”
We’ve built a very strong team this year. What’s your impression from the inside?
“We can’t talk about whether or not we’re going to win titles. We have a very good team, but it’s a new team. I think it might be the best team I’ve been with throughout my whole career.”
Is it good for the growth of the team to be in a strong group with CSKA, Fenerbahçe and Partizan?
“It’s good for us to go up against tough teams in the first phase of the competition. It will help us adapt and compete better against harder teams. Our group can help us through this growth phase.”
What do you think about Obradovic’s Fenerbahçe?
“Fenerbahçe are an excellent team, but they are also pretty new. They have a great manager this season but it’s too soon to say which club is favoured to go through. They have a great team because Obradovic has a lot of experience.”
You are one of the most versatile players on the roster. How do you feel about playing in the “4” and “5” positions?
“Pascual told me that I can play in both positions. The coaches have helped me a lot and I’m adapting my play so that I can perform in those positions.”
Have you had to change anything?
“I’m very comfortable with my current weight, the way I move on the court and how I play in the “4” position. I’m adapting really well, I’m enjoying it and what I have to do is learn the system better.”
There are a total of 14 players on the roster and two have to left out of the squad. How do you approach this?
“It’s true that there will always be two players who will be left out, but I’m not thinking about that now. I’m only concerned with growing as a team and there are always injured players ... we’re lucky to have 14 excellent players.”
The team is capable of pleasing the fans at the Palau Blaugrana. What would you say to them?
“We’re a new team and I’m sure that our games will be fun. They’ll see top-notch basketball. I can promise them that I will fight to the death to win matches for the team. The fans should get excited, it’s going to be a good year.”