A basketball team can never have too many points. With Alphonso Ford around, too few is rarely a problem. Ford has led the Euroleague in scoring across several phases the last three seasons and did the same in the Greek League before switching to Montepaschi Siena last summer. To say that Ford only scores, however, is a dangerous simplification for any opponent. His game also consists of as many assists and rebounds as almost any shooting guard, even if his scoring remains the primary concern of the unlucky player assigned to defend him. Now, Ford is making his Final Four debut, and in a video interview with Euroleague.net on his first night in town, Wednesday, he couldn't have been happier about that. "It's good to finally be here," Ford said. "This is a dream. Everybody who plays in Europe wants to make it here."
Euroleague.net is here with Alphonso Ford, the Montepaschi guard who has been, several times, the leading scorer in the Euroleague. First of all, welcome to Barcelona.
"It's good to finally be here. I'm really glad about that."
This is your first Final Four. How does it feel to be here?
"This is a dream. Everybody who plays in Europe wants to make it here. So it's a dream for me to make it here after playing so long."
What are your expectations for the games?
"It depends. We just gotta go out and play defense. On our offense, we have a string of people who can play offense. We just gotta play defense to make this thing competitive. There are three great teams here, so we gotta play hard."
Your team is considered something of a first-time outsider: Do you agree with that opinion?
"More or less. We've played on a lot of teams in Europe. It's true, like you said, that we haven't been together for a long time, but we're here. We had to do something to get here, and we're here."
You know Benetton well. What does Montepaschi have to do to win Friday and advance to the final?
"Everything they do starts with their point guard, Tyus Edney. We have to really, really buckle down on him and just play hard on defense. They have a great team and everyone can score, so we have to play hard man-to-man defense."
What can the fans expect from this event?
"Just come out and watch us, because it's going to be great. We have four great teams, four different teams. It's going to be a great atmposphere."
People are calling this maybe the best group of teams ever in a Final Four? Do you think so, too?
"It's the best in quite some time, but I think last year they had some great teams also where they played it. So it's going to be fun, and it's going to be interesting."