Bobcats Planet name: tamburello
Real name (first only): Burak (a common Turkish male name with Arabic roots, see)
Current City: Ankara, Turkey
Hometown: İzmit, Turkey (Actually this is where I was born, I didnít live there much, we have moved a lot during my childhood)
Occupation: Junior student at college
1) How did you choose your screen name?
- Well, Formula 1 is very popular in Europe unlike US. I'm a big time F1 fan. Tamburello is the name of a curve in the circuit Imola, San Marino. The legendary Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna crashed his car at this very curve and passed away in 1994. I've chosen this name in honor of that "murderer" curve.
2) Could you tell us a little about where you grew up and about your family?
- As I have said above, we have changed so many cities during my childhood. I've lived in 5 different towns until I was 15. I believe this had effected my personality a lot. I've always been shy, and making new friends has always been difficult to me. So I was bounded to basketball and reading more and more. My father is an officer in the army, my mother is a housewife. I have a late brother, who is just 4 years old.
3) Did you play in any sports or where you involved with any High School clubs and such?
-Not in high school years, but during my primary school years, I've played. We had won a local championship when I was at fifth grade, and that's still the peak of my so-called playing career . Other than basketball, I played soccer recreationally, as each Turkish boy did. But I don't like soccer much.
4) What is your fondest memory of your teenage years?
-Definitely my High School years. I highly doubt I'll ever have better years in rest of my life. I don't have a specific memory to mention, because me and my friends had great years, telling one of them would be disrespectful to the others
5) What was your first job?
-Actually I didn't have a real job until now. At 14, I had briefly worked in a kiosk. Currently I write some articles about sports history and NBA for some websites, and once I had paid for it.
You wouldn't believe but I'm writing Bobcats articles for a Turkish NBA site. The article is in Turkish, but you'll definitely get the whole idea once you read the title
6) What lead to your dedicated following of the Bobcat's?
-Nothing specially. I was an avid follower of NBA, but I wasn't supporting any of teams. When I had heard a 30th franchise will be added to NBA, I suddenly decided to be a supporter of them. The year was 2003, even the Bobcats name hadn't been decided yet. I honestly might be the first ever international Bobcats fan.
7) Could you tell us one of your favorite memories of the Bobcat's?
-The Lakers game with 3 OT was a nice moment for me. Kobe had scored 58 but we had won. I was still hopeful about the team back in those days. The roster wasn't filled with overpaids and underachievers. We had capspace, which would be the key to the championship if used smartly. Anyway, we just screwed everything up.
8 ) How did you find the Bobcats Planet and what keeps you active on the site?
I don't remember exactly, I think I googled for a Bobcats fan forum and I'm still here and I'm very pleased to be here. It's great to read the people who actually "sees" Bobcats. I will probably never watch a Bobcats game live, that's why I value people's opinions.
And I'm also enshrined to the stuff, thanks to Mr. Ziggy
9) What other sports teams do you follow?
-Not much. My favorite team in Turkey is Beşiktaş, and I don't support any team in Europe as well. Also I'm a big tennis fan, and I've been following Russian Elena Dementieva for almost 6 years now. I watch a lot of sports and I always support the underdog.
The only major American sport popular in Turkey is basketball, and I have absolutely no idea about NHL, NFL or MLB.
10) When youíre not on Bobcats Planet what could you likely be found doing with your spare time?
-Internet surfing. Itís like an addiction, and Iím doing my best to reduce my surfing time. Once my college starts, Iíll hopefully say Iíd more likely be found studying
11) If you could have one moment being part of the Bobcats organization, what would it be?
-I'd like to be the GM at 2005 Draft Night. I would have traded #5 and #13 to Trail Blazers for #3 pick, before Jazz did it with #6, #27 and a future first round pick!! And guess who I'd have drafted
12) How many trips have you made to the Time Warner Cable Arena?
-None. And as I said previously, I'll probably never do.
13) What is your worst fear?
-To hurt other people by any means. I donít have a strong body enough to hurt people physically, but Iím a little outspoken, thatís why I sometimes hurt their feelings unintentionally. I try to avoid this, but sometimes I just canít helpÖ All in all, Iím a human being, I wish Iím making mistakes and I will.
14) What type of hobbies do you enjoy?
-Playing basketball, watching any kinds of sports, either at sport halls, stadiums or on TV.
I also enjoy walking for long distances. When I get upset about something, walking helps me to regroup.
I like to watch movies. My favorite genre is Drama-Thriller, and I hate action, animation and horror.
Ö and I love reading. Russian Literature is my absolute favorite, Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment, OblomovÖ these are masterpieces to me. American Literature is kinda young IMHO and not among my favorites, but I have the stories of Edgar Allen Poe, Iíve heard heís a great writer, Iíll read him as soon as possible.
15) Whatís your favorite food?
-Rice with beans. This is a very common food in Turkey and although people do not appreciate it much, I love it! Iíd prefer it to any kind of kebabs.
16) Where are some of the places youíve been, and where are some of your favorites.
-Iíve never stepped outside Turkey. Inside Turkey, Iíve seen a lot of places, but a lot of them are tiny towns. Ankara is the city that Iím happy to be living in, however, İstanbul is a magical one. It has a lot of disadvantages for inhabitants, but for tourists like me, itís nothing but a heaven.
17) What is one thing you've always wanted to do, but haven't done yet in your lifetime?
-Being a professional basketball player. It was the ultimate goal of my life while I was still at my mid-teens. Maybe I wasnít ambitious enough, I donít blame anyone or lack of opportunities. Maybe I was confined to suck, since Iím extremely skinny for a basketball player, in fact for a six-footer person (145 lbs) Somehow, it didnít go real and now Iím in a different position now, taking engineering education and who knows whatís next for me?
18 ) If you could live anywhere where would it be?
-Probably Iíd look for a tranquil place. In Turkey, young people generally want to go to Europe and -especially- USA. But Iíd prefer New Zealand. A country with low population and almost no wars, no terror attacks and no controversial issues surrounding it is what I look for.
But Iím still extremely pleased with living in Ankara, if I were to remain in Turkey, Iíd never want another city.
19) Name your favorite 3 Bobcats all time and explain the reason for one of them.
Matt Carroll: Being overpaid doesnít change his value to me a bit. He was a classy, hard-working guy. Iíd like to see him as a Bobcat againÖ after his current contract expires of course
Walter Herrmann: He was one of my favorites even before arriving to Charlotte. Iíve always loved role players, and Herrmann was certainly among best of them who has ever worn that orange jersey
Gerald Wallace: Heís a real warrior. Heís never afraid of injuries (although he should be now, take care of himself more), and itís no surprise heís a fan favorite.
20) Up to this date, what is one of your favorite Bobcats Planet memories?
-Draft Night of 2007 is a very interesting one. Just before the draft, there were rumors that indicated Amare will be traded to us for capspace. I stil remember how pumped everybody was! Maybe even more than some people were during Iverson saga Night went on, we have ended up with Jason Richardson. I was the only guy who objected that trade, eventually he proved me wrong. J-Rich experiment didnít go through as expected, though.
21) Anything else you'd like to add?
-Me and you American fellows have grown up in very different cultures. Therefore some of my answers would be long, stupid or irrelevant. Also my native language is not English as you know thatís why I had to consult to a dictionary at times. However I enjoyed doing this interview, as well as I enjoy being a part of this forum. Hopefully you have learnt something about me, take care everybody.
Who would you like to nominate to be interviewed next?
-Muttley hasnít been interviewed yet, if my eyes arenít misleading me.