Michael Dixon:
Making The Playoffs Isn't Enough For Nymburk

Nymburk was the only foreign team to advance to the postseason, finishing 8th to face 1st-place CSKA in the quarterfinals.

Prior to Game 3 in Nymburk, one of the club's leaders, Michael Dixon, spoke with VTB-League.com about coming off the bench, described the impact Ronen Ginzburg has had on his career and admitted that the team really wants to beat CSKA at home.

- Nymburk is the only foreign team in the postseason...
- The VTB United League is the strongest league I've ever played in. In college, I played against a lot of players that are now in the NBA, but the guys I've faced in the VTB League are just as good. Most of the starting guards in your league could definitely make an impact in the NBA. And, of course, it's cool to be the only non-Russian team in the league playoffs.

- CSKA is a team of stars. Is there are a leader on the team that you have to shut down in order to have success?
- CSKA is the best team we've played this season. During the regular season, we didn't have everyone available to play against them because of injuries. But we've improved from game to game and increased our chances of victory. But anyone can get hot for CSKA. You can't focus on shutting down one player. It's not that type of team.

- You come off the bench for Nymburk. Was that the coach's decision?
- I've always been a 6th man, both in college and in the pros. My coach wants me to give the game a new spark and energize my teammates when I come off the bench. The game's tempo also changes immediately.

- Would you call your relationship with Ronen Ginzburg a turning point in your career?
- Yeah, that's the case. We got to know each other before I signed with Nymburk. He told me right awaywhat I needed to work on, if I wanted to get better. All of that was important for me as a player. I get to play my style of basketball on his team. I've got almost complete freedom.

- When did the team realize that this could be a special season for Nymburk?
- We knew right away that we had a good team. It was the right mix of experience and youth. We enjoyed practices and there was always a good atmosphere in the locker room and that carried over to games. It didn't matter who our opponent was. For example, we beat Lokomotiv-Kuban to start the season and now they are in the Euroleague Final Four.

- What was your main impression of this season?
- We made it to the VTB United League playoffs for the first time. That's probably the biggest thing. But we want more than that. We want to play as long as possible in the postseason. We need to beat CSKA at home and, of course, continue our winning series in the Czech Republic. Nymburk has been Czech champions for 13 consecutive years.

- This is your second season in Europe. Do you like it in the Czech Republic? Have you tried the local beer that's world-wide famous?
- Basketball is my first love and I'm happy that I'm playing in Europe. Everyone welcomed me with open arms in the Czech Republic: the fans, coaching staff, teammates. I like everything here! I've tried Czech beer--it's great--but I don't drink it a lot.

- Are you following the NBA playoffs?
- Yeah, I watch all the highlights. I love the NBA. I think that every American dreams of playing there. It's the best league in the world. Our captain Jiri Welsch has told a lot of interesting stories--he spent a couple great seasons there. As for individual players, I like Chris Paul. I played in his training camps twice when I was in high school and college. But I cheer for the Warriors. My dad was born and raised in Oakland.