NBA Paris Game – Killian Hayes: “I hear constructive criticism… from my father”
Killian Hayes will be one of the attractions of Thursday’s NBA game in Paris between his Detroit and Chicago team. Before this meeting, the French leader confided.
21-year-old Killian Hayes, drafted on the 7the Position in 2020 by the Detroit Pistons, arrives at the AccorArena in Paris Bercy (9pm on Canal +) full of confidence and above all a desire to have fun, he who has been gaining momentum with his team for a few weeks.
What does it mean to come to Paris and play?
I can’t wait, really! The opportunity to come and play in France will never come again… The whole team is very excited. It will be a great opportunity. (…) It has been a long time since I returned to Bercy. It will be a very great experience. My family and friends can see me in the room. Many of my teammates had never been to Paris before.
Since the end of December we have seen a real improvement in your game and you feel much more comfortable on the pitch. How do you analyze your progress over the last few weeks?
The goal in the NBA is to be as consistent as possible and limit the number of bad games. I noticed that. There are games in which I played very well and others in which the shots weren’t fired. And then I have to do something else, like defend. I’m a playmaker, I need to pass, do things that help my team.
What are your areas of progress?
I’m far from being a perfect player, I still have a lot to learn. Being consistent is the hardest thing in the NBA, being in every game. After that I have to continue working on the right hand, the shooting… everything. I still have a lot to learn and I’m not where I want to be in a few years.
The Bad Boys against Michael Jordan and Co. in the years 1980-1990, that was historic!
Do you pay attention to criticism in the media or on social networks?
Criticism can cloud your mind. I think I did a good job separating the good and bad reviews. Do I watch the post-game comments? I know what I did right or wrong, what I could have done better. And I also have my employees. You know, so I don’t really have to go on the internet to see what people are saying… (…) I listen to constructive criticism, for example from my father, from the reception, from the coach, people who see me every day.
Who is the toughest opponent you have faced?
Luka Doncic is very difficult to defend because of his size and body, he plays at his own pace, you can’t rush him, he knows how to play the ball and he has shooters around him. (…) I liked watching James Harden when I was younger and we’ve met him four times since the season started with Philadelphia. LeBron James, D’Angelo Russell and actually all left-handers, including Manu Ginobili.
Victor Wembanyama will join you in the NBA next summer. What do you think of the player he is?
He is an exceptional talent. A player of his height who can shoot and dribble like him… I’m very happy for him. I hope he’s the first pick, he has to be. No matter where he goes, he’s going to have a very good career… Are we going to talk about that in Detroit? Yes… He’s the talk of the NBA, he’s the next attraction. After that, it’s not the players who decide who comes, it’s the front office.
This match also has historical significance, we know the rivalry between the Bulls and the Pistons…
We played them at home for the first time this season. It was a close game that we lost in the fourth quarter, Zach LaVine had a very big game. It’s going to be a game we’ll take seriously. We need to control DeMar DeRozan and Zach Lavine and try to limit them as much as possible. The Bad Boys against Michael Jordan and Co. in the 1980s-1990s? It’s historical. Isiah Thomas is always around us, we often see him at our games. When the Bulls come to Detroit, you feel a different energy from the fans because there’s a lot of history between the two teams.
What is your prediction for the East and West Finals?
It’s hard in the west… Maybe Memphis in the final. They are good, defensively and offensively, they convince with Ja Morant. After that in the East I don’t really want to comment because they are a little bit our competition even if we have a difficult season.