Dorell Wright: «Russia is a great place, a lot of nice people, a little cold but not as bad»

Loko’s forward Dorell Wright talked to Tabris magazine and told about superstitions, stereotypes and his favorite breakfast. Here is the interview for you to get to know Dorell better.
– You've lived in different countries and played in different teams. When you got an offer from Loko what were your fears and expectations? What was justified, and what turned out to be radically different?
– I’ve lived in China, Germany and now in Russia. I don’t think I had any fears. I just didn’t know what to expect. One of the things is you never think you are going to go to Russia, ever. In my perspective, I never thought I’d be in Russia. You know, on the news, basically fake news, you hear that people in Russia are not nice and cold. But once I arrived and realized that Russian people are nice as heck, and not as cold as people think, people, not walking around with big old fur hats and fur jackets on. Those are the basic things I heard about it. And if I did my own research about it I would have known Russia is a great place, a lot of nice people, a little cold but not as bad.
– Did it take a long time to make a decision about Loko?
– No, it didn’t. It was crazy three years ago, when I was looking to go overseas, Lokomotiv was one of the teams that reached out and offered me a contract. So once I got the opportunity to come this time, I already knew a bunch about Krasnodar and Lokomotiv organization from friends that have played here. So that made the transition much easier because I’ve already been knowing for the last two or three years everything about the organization and everything about the city, so I felt very comfortable coming here. I’ve seen this team so far in the Eurocup last year and it was just right there from winning it. And the team that they put together this year was a team that’s gonna be the favorites, gonna be a great team to win it. I want to compete at a high level, I want to win something in Europe. That was the two biggest things that I looked at before coming here. You know, great team, good organization.

– Do you remember your first Loko game? Describe the emotions.
– I’d say the first home game against Zenit. That was a good game. First time I really played in front of the home crowd. I thought it was good. We had a good time, we won by a lot of points. That was probably my first one, that was a good game and the fans were great too.
– How do you like Russian fans?
– I like them. They support, they get on the referees when they feel like they don’t do their job. I think they do a great job and from what I heard Loko has the best fans in a VTB league, they come up and support, and all that gives you extra energy.
– What are you still getting used to?
– I think I’m pretty adjusted to everything, I have my little spots where I go to eat, I have my grocery shopping. I’m very close to the gym where I live. So everything is perfect right now. I think the main thing that’s helping me out is having good teammates. And being able to go to have lunch and have dinner with guys and have a good time. That is not very common with most teams to hang out outside of basketball.
– Your brother is also a basketball player. Have you managed to play against him in serious competitions?
– I played against him in NBA playoffs. I didn’t really play that much, this is when I just came back from China, I came to the team late, but we were able to play against each other in the playoffs. It was a great moment just because never in my wildest dream I would have thought both of us would be NBA players. So just to have an opportunity to be on the court with him and to share this moment I thought that was special.

– Does it affect your family relationship?
– You know, my mom and dad they don’t pick a side. The just want to see both of us doing what we love. Whoever comes with the win they row with that, whoever loses they have some words of encouragement for us. They don’t pick sides, but they kinda bandwagon because they go with whoever wins. I got to get on them about that.
– Have you ever regretted that you chose the career of a basketball, but not a baseball player?
– At this point no, because I had a great career, I put myself and my family in a position to live a good life, so no, I don’t regret anything. My father probably still wants me to play baseball, but I think I made the right decision.
– What if not sport?
– If it wasn't sport I probably be into coaching or be an agent. Right now more an agent. A lot of these kids get bad advice from agents and these young players listen to them. And they put the players into bad situations. So that one of my thing that I want to do after the basketball too – is to help kids in the community and help them make better decisions and better life choices.

– What has changed in your everyday life after the move? And what do you miss the most?
– Only thing is that I’m up a little bit late at night because we practice pretty late and I’m able to watch a lot more NBA games. I can watch a whole game and get enough sleep and be prepared for the practice the next day. So that’s probably the only thing that changed.
– What do you prefer before the game – silence or music?
– I’m listening to music. The older I get, the less rap music I’m listening to. I listen to a lot like slow jams and stuff like that to put me in a good mood. You know, mellow music. I never thought I’ll be listening to R&B slow jams before the game.
– What song do you have on repeat now?
– Song I have on repeat? Hmm...Brent Faiyaz – Why'z It So Hard. This is the song that I listen a lot.

– Are you an easy-going person? What can motivate you to change your life and place of living?
– You know, I’m an easy going person, you can put me pretty much anywhere and I’ll be able to settle in and get comfortable. I don’t really need much, just give me a big TV, Netflix, video games and some cool snacks that I know about and I’m good. I’m not too picky.
– Who should get the Iron Throne?
– I’m with the North. It took me a month and a half to watch it for the first time. So I’m So I'm going to rewatch it, so my mind is fresh once it comes. I think April it comes back out? And I’m right with the North.
– Do you often reply to their messages on the net? Do you run your Instagram yourself?
– Yeah, I run my own Instagram, so when I see something I respond. I lot of people DM me about something and I try to respond as much as I can just to interact and show that we are human as well. Because a lot of people think professional players are not human, not like them but we are very much the same. Some just busy, some just don’t pay attention to their messages. So I just try to interact as much as I can.

– Judging by one of the videos, your kid can play basketball well already. Do you want him to follow your steps?
– Not necessarily. I want him to be wherever he wants to be. But if he wants to be a basketball player I want him to be the best. I always try to push him to be good, work on his game. And just do small things that are gonna help him to be a professional. Because I try to let him know all the time it wasn’t easy for me, it wasn’t easy for his uncle Delon. We had to work and start at an early age. So if he does want to be a basketball player I’m all for it. If not I’m all for it as well.
Are you superstitious?
– Yeah, I try to do everything the same way. I’m very superstitious. I’ve been like that for a while. Is not as bad as it use to be back in the days. I try just to do the same routine. More on the court than preparing off the court. I used to be bad like I had to eat the same thing, listen to the same music. I’m not as bad anymore. The older I got I just really don’t believe in it that much. But when I’m on the court I try to do the same thing every time.
– Often, athletes are forced to go on diets in order not to gain weight. Is there such a problem in basketball and your life personally?
– We do so much running, we burn so many calories so it is a great thing that we can eat what we want. But sometimes you can eat bad too many days. So you just have your little cheat days here and there and back on track. Because I think the better you eat the better your body feels on the court, the longer you last. And it also prevents injuries.

– What do you usually eat on your cheat days?
– I like ice cream. Baskin Robbins cotton candy ice cream is the best thing ever.
– And what do you eat usually?
– A lot of different kinds of pasta, grilled chicken, just basic stuff. It doesn’t really take much for me to be happy.
– What is your «guilty pleasure» and «comfort food»?
– Pizza, cheeseburgers, Mexican food, taco, I love taco. I can eat a hundred tacos. So this is my top things: pizza, burgers, and tacos.
– Do you cook? What dish can be called your favorite/signature?
– I don’t cook, but I actually do a lot better here. I buy pasta every time I go to the store, but it's just sitting there. But one of the day I’ll just stop being a little wimp and cook it up.
– Share the recipe.
– I’ve got a breakfast sandwich as fire. What’s funny Trevor was looking at me crazy, he was like: «Whaaat??». So my breakfast sandwich is white bread, one slice with mayo, one with strawberry jelly, scrambled eggs and bacon and cheese. Fire, it gives you the sweet taste, but it’s not, you know, it’s good.
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