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January 2, 2018

Daniel Theis

New York, New York

Q. How does it feel being one of the fans' favorite players in Boston, and did you expect to play such a role? And the second one is are there any personal teasing with other German NBA players because you are the only one playing on a team at the top of the league?
DANIEL THEIS: First off, I would say the Boston fans are special anyway, so every game is sold out. Every play I get, it's loud from the fans for me. I mean, I should say some fans. It's an honor for me, for sure. I just try to play like I've played the last years, bring energy.

And the second one, for the other German players, now in Chicago they've made a run. They're getting better. They have played the last year on the highest level. [Chicago's Paul Zipser] played a lot of games. So I hope all the other German players and teams they play for, they're going to get better this season.

Q. You've excelled in your role coming off the bench now for years. Can you explain why this role suits you so well? And can you tell us how many friends and family will come over to the London game from home?
DANIEL THEIS: I don't mind starting or coming off the bench for the game. Like I said, I've been doing this in Bamberg for years. I just try to bring energy, play defense when I step on the court. For me, it doesn't matter if I start the game, come off the bench or whatever, so whenever the team needs me, I try to be ready.

I've got my brother coming with his girlfriend to London. My wife is coming from Boston to London. And I've got some friends or people I know that play in London, like all around London, soccer, they're coming to the game, too.

Q. Do you ever see a situation where there is a permanent franchise in Europe, whether it be Germany, London? Do you think, from a playing point of view, that would be an attractive proposition?
DANIEL THEIS: I think it would work, but we'll see how it goes in London. I think London is a good place to play also for NBA teams and franchises, for sure.

Q. In terms of game preparation, players having to travel over to Europe, would it just be too far for teams to come over to Europe regularly in a season rather than a one-off?
DANIEL THEIS: Regularly? Oh, OK, now I've got you. I think with the schedule, with so many games, playoff games, I think we have close to 100 games, it's hard to do it because it takes a week for us and Philadelphia to play one game in London. I think it's possible for one or two games in a season when a team goes around like two or three cities maybe, but permanent or for different teams I think it's hard to get it done because the schedule is so packed with all the games and everything.

I would say if teams go around like when we would go to London, we could go maybe to one or two places. But it takes a lot of time for us to travel there, prepare everything, then of course with jet lag, time difference, I think it's six hours or seven hours to London. But for this one game, I think it's going to be special for both teams, for fans all over the world or in Europe. They have a chance to come to London and see the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. I think it's going to be a big thing for the NBA and also just for people and fans in Europe.

Q. Have you got any players from the Premier League football, from the German national team? Do they keep in touch with you? Are they likely to be coming to watch in London?
DANIEL THEIS: Yes. One guy plays in Germany first league. I don't know where he plays right now, somewhere in -- I think in the Premier League. He's a friend of mine, plays in Germany first division. He's coming to the game. I think the German guys or some of them that play for Arsenal are also interested in basketball. I think we're going to meet with some of the players, for sure.

Q. I would like to ask you one thing about the schedule because everybody talks about how tough it is for a rookie playing in the NBA with 82 games per season. But in your league last season, you almost played the same type of games, and in Europe facilities aren't as good as the NBA. Maybe it's easier now for you than it was last season, or is it one opinion?
DANIEL THEIS: We played almost 70 games last year with Bamberg with the EuroLeague, but we had the chance to rest a lot of players in the German league, too. With the NBA's schedule, the games are like back to back. We've played 40 games right now, and the season is two months old. Especially our schedule was really tough because we only played two games right now the whole season with two days in between. I think that's the part that makes it harder than in Europe because in Europe, with EuroLeague, you have Monday to Wednesday for practice or preparing, and then you know you play maybe Thursday, Saturday, like two games a week. And right now with the NBA schedule, we play like four to five games a week.

Q. Obviously you began wearing the protective mask due to an unfortunate injury. Are you now starting to get used to the mask, and are you going to miss it when it's gone?
DANIEL THEIS: Since I got the second one, the fitted one, it's way better so I can see more. But I thought it's gone for the London game. I'm not going to miss it.

Q. How different is the NBA's playing style from the playing style in Europe? And how much did you have to adjust to play as big of a role as you are playing now with Boston?
DANIEL THEIS: I would say the NBA game is a little bit -- it's faster, more athletic than Euro, and also offensively you take open shots. Even if it's the first pass, you take it if the open shot is a good shot. In Europe, we used to play in Bamberg, you run through the system, you make the defense run, so you are a little bit more patient.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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