In an exclusive interview with Jeff King, The 2015/16 BBL MVP gave his thoughts on the season.
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle Players’ Player of the Year, Eagles Supporters Player of the Year and the big one, BB: MVP of the Year. It was quite a season individually for Ramon “Fletch” Fletcher in 2015/16 but would he have traded it all for team success?
“It felt good to be recognised in that way but I’d rather have four team trophies than any individual awards. Let me give credit to my team-mates. I know it’s cliché but without them I couldn’t get awards like that. I know I’m speaking for everyone and the coaching staff that we’d rather have the four team trophies than any individual awards.”
“I think I did all right. Last season I improved physically and this one it was more the mental edge I got better at and next season I hope I can put the both of them together but who knows.”
Looking back as an individual is one thing but as Fletcher has already indicated he’s more about the team’s achievement than his own so how did he assess a season where it looked like The Eagles might sweep the board again but in the end just had The BBL Cup to show for their efforts.
“I think we did okay. We can’t look past the fact that we won 28 games in a row and finished what 38 – 6 or 37 – 7 depends on how you count the play-off game. It think that’s an accomplishment an accomplishment that stands on its own. I think it was good for the league that the Trophies got shared out.”
“Yes Leicester were good but they only grabbed two of the four and it was Sheffield that came through with the big one in the Play-Off final which I think is a credit to our league that it’s so competitive.”
Fletcher mentioned Leicester who were very much The Eagles nemesis last season.
“Every time we played them they had that look in their eye like we’d had the season before. That confident, arrogant, cocky type look and it wasn’t just that it was the confidence they had in their skills and they gelled well from top to bottom.”
“They were a deep team they had seven or eight that could start and others that could step in when or if things went wrong. I think it was a nice group of guys and Despite that loss to Sheffield I think what they did all season long was up their with what we did.”
How does the mercurial point guard feel about his two years in The BBL and comparing the difference between the two.
“ I felt like a veteran this year but really I’m still a rookie. I felt good and mentally and body-wise I was good all season. Our team was good but unfortunately we didn’t have some things that went our way particularly towards the end.”
“Any other season if we’d played the way that we did with our record we’d probably win the League no question but it was Leicester’s year both in football and basketball and that’s just how it is sometimes.”
“That’s the trick about basketball, sometimes the basketball gods are not in your favour that’s what happened this season. But it’ll come back I’m sure of that.”
“Despite everything I really enjoyed the season for sure I did. We had new goals, the Pre-season tournament was a huge step for us and you can never take away what we did in The Cup Final. No matter how and where went, even in the play-offs with only seven players, I think it showed we were strong mentaly and how we battled from the bottom.”
“We could and perhaps should have pulled it off and I hate the way that we lost in the end but hey, that’s basketball.
So, season 2015/16 consigned to history and memory and now comes the big question and the awkward one. What next for Rahmon Fletcher?
“I train all summer basically from the moment that I land. I normally take two weeks off when I get home but I feel like I’ve already had that with going out early in the play-offs so it’s training all the way and just trying to improve my game all round.”
“I think Newcastle appreciates me and I appreciate Newcastle and that goes a long way for wherever you play and end up. I’ll talk with who I have to talk with and all those that I need to and we’ll see what happens. After this year we all might have different visions or it may be the same. who Knows.”
“I’m still young at 27 I’ve only really played three years as a professional after sitting a year out. Everybody’s goals are to go to Europe if you can’t make the NBA. You have to be realistic and see what comes when it comes. Going to Europe would be good and staying here would be good.”
“Sometimes though things happen for a reason and you don’t always get the chips falling the way you think they might. So we’ll have to wait and see but I will be playing somewhere at least I know that.”