By Jamie Thomas
With another European adventure on the horizon and a star-studded roster in toe, it promises to be another season not to be missed for London Lions fans, as Vince Macaulay’s side look to conquer all challengers in the BBL and fly the flag for the league on the continent, as well.
Last season’s playoff finalists have assembled a new roster blessed with NBA G-League experience and some of the best British talent too, as the Lions are expecting to challenge on all fronts domestically – and perhaps even further afield – in the season to come.
“I learned a lot being a part of the Warriors.”
Isaiah Reese will be a focal point of any success the Lions do obtain this season, and he comes to the BBL with a fantastic pedigree, having represented the Golden State Warriors’ G-League affiliates.
The 24-year-old Miami native discussed his reasoning for joining the Lions and how he hopes to bring a little bit of Golden State with him to the BBL.
“The opportunity to play in the Basketball Champions League is huge and I’m very excited to get out there with the guys and compete and show what we can do. As far as coming to London, this city is what it is and growing up in America, London is certainly one of the places you hear about, so when my agent made me aware of this opportunity I was really keen.
“I feel like we’re heading in the right direction, we’ve still got a lot more to do and plenty of time until we get on the court, but what we’re seeing in practice is really encouraging and as we get more time together we’re only going to get better.
“I learned a lot being a part of the Warriors organisation, so I’m looking forward to bringing that experience over with me and I’m hoping I can bring the winning ways over with me too!”
“Our biggest strength will be playing together this season.”
Having a star-studded roster mesh and perform to their optimum every night is no mean feat, and it’s a matter the Lions certainly battled with at times last season as they looked to extract the most out of their talent-laden team.
It was always going to take time to build that chemistry, and Reese is conscious of how important doing so is going to be to the team’s success this season.
“I think our biggest strength will be playing together this season. We’re an athletic team, we have a lot of quality throughout the roster, and as long as we play together as a group we’ll be fine.
“I knew Marcus Teague and Julian Washburn from my time in the G-League, and even Kylor Kelley, so that’ll help build togetherness and chemistry that we need to be successful, and I’ve gotten to know the other guys quickly since I’ve been here.
“I’m a facilitator, first and foremost, so I know I have an important role to play there. I can do a little bit of everything, I guess, but I’m about winning and will do whatever I can to help the team achieve that. Winning is what the fans should be expecting from us, as we aim to have a successful season in Europe and back home in the BBL.”
“Winning makes everybody look good and solves all problems.”
The 24-year-old floor general played alongside the likes of Mo Walker and Corey Johnson – two soon-to-be rivals – over the summer months in Canada and in front of a limited capacity crowd.
The Copperbox is sure to be full of adoring fans when the action does resume in the BBL, as well as any venues the Lions travel to across the continent, and Reese detailed how much he’s looking forward to the prospect, as well as the confidence the team will take into their games this year.
“I’m so excited to have games back with fans, definitely. I didn’t realise how long it had been until I thought about the games coming up, but we’re excited to compete against some top-quality opposition and to have supporters there adding that atmosphere can hopefully help us as well.
“Anytime you step on the court you’ve got to believe you’re going to win, it doesn’t matter who you’re going up against, and we’ll definitely go into these games with that mindset in Europe and in the BBL and we’re confident that we can go out there and do our thing and get the results.
“Winning makes everybody look good and solves all problems, so as long we win and play for each other along the way, those are the only goals we have for this season.”