By Vangelis Papadimitriou/ [email protected]
Daryl Macon Jr. sat down with Eurohoops during the Media Day hosted by Panathinaikos OPAP at the outset of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season, his first in the premier European club continental competition.
Macon, 25, discussed his goal of making it back to the NBA and also shared many of his experiences playing overseas.
“Yes. For sure. It takes time. It’s not something that happens overnight,” he mentioned regarding displaying his talents in the NBA, “For the most part, I try not to think about it. It’s most definitely going to happen.”
Coming out of Arkansas in 2018, he made his way to eight NBA Regular Season fixtures as a member of the Dallas Mavericks. The next season, 2019-20, he logged four more games played at the Miami Heat. From there, it was Turkey’s Galatasaray and Greece’s AEK in 2020-21, leading to Panathinaikos for 2021-22.
“Honestly, I didn’t think I was coming back to Greece,” he confessed to Eurohoops. “I thought I was going to stay in the States. Things didn’t fall into place. So, I was thrilled and excited to come back to Greece again.”
His NBA stints prompted him to become a teammate of players the likes of Dirk Nowitzki and Jimmy Butler. “Those are actually great guys,” he said.
“To start with Dirk, he is an outgoing guy. He has a big heart. He is always smiling, laughing, just giving you free game to get you to the next level. He tells you what to do, what not to do, things like that,” he stated on the since retired German NBA superstar.
“Jimmy is an even better guy,” he went on, “Whatever reports you read on Jimmy Butler, it’s not true. He’s a winner. He’s aggressive when it comes to winning. Jimmy would give the clothes off his back to you. I will always respect Jimmy, always.”
The discussion spilling into the best European player in NBA history revealed Macon’s personal pick. “If Luka (Doncic) wins a ring, it will be tough. But Dirk is the best European ever.” he proclaimed to Eurohoops.
“I am not going to say he’s not there. He’s definitely very very close. But people like what they like,” he answered a question regarding his ranking of Giannis Antetokounmpo, “I like Giannis. He’s an amazing player. He’s unstoppable obviously. But I grew up watching Dirk Nowitzki. The way Dirk won his ring, you see who he played that year, he went through Kobe and went through LeBron. That’s tough.”
Another former Mavs teammate, Kostas Antetokounmpo has joined LDLC ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne for the 2021-22 season. He will be among his opponents moving deeper in the recently launched EuroLeague Regular Season.
“He is a great guy, a wonderful teammate, one of the best teammates I have had in my life,” Macon told Eurohoops, “He’s a great friend. We still keep in contact.”
The explosive guard has started the season since the interview averaging 13.0 points, 3.5 assists, and 2.0 rebounds per match over his first two appearances in EuroLeague. In addition, he had 9 points, two rebounds, and one assist in the opening week of Greece’s Stoiximan Basket League.
“I’ve heard racist things,” he said to a question on social injustice, “In the States, you face racism all the time. It’s just different ways of people showing racism. It doesn’t have to just be, ‘you can’t sit here, because you are black’. Here in Europe, I have heard a lot of racist things being said to me, whether it is in-person at the game, on my Instagram DM, on Twitter. I get it all the time, but it doesn’t faze me.”
Check out his full interview to Eurohoops:
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