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Interview with the Blazers' Nicolas Batum: 'Slam Dunk'

Interview with the Blazers' Nicolas Batum: 'Slam Dunk' English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Jan 23 2009

Themes: Sports

Grammar: Modal Verbs


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Basketball was invented in North America, and the US almost always wins the gold at the Olympics. But every year, more international players are drafted into the NBA.

Currently, the Portland Trail Blazers have three foreign players. The youngest is Nicolas Batum, who just came over from France for his first season in the NBA. Jason recently went to the Blazers’ practice facility to talk to Batum about what it’s like to play pro basketball in your second language.

3. Watch - Watch the video without reading the dialog.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Jason:  Welcome to English, baby! I’m Jason, here with Nicolas Batum of the Portland Trail Blazers. How old are you and where are you from, Nicolas?

Nicolas:  I’m twenty. I’m from France.

Jason:  When did you learn all the terms for basketball?

Nicolas:  I know the terms in basketball because in France the coach speaks English almost all the time.

Jason:  Has there ever been a time, though, where there’s been, like, a funny misunderstanding?

Nicolas:  Sometimes I don’t understand what he’s saying during the game. Yeah.

Jason:  You’re new to the team this year. Have the guys teased you for being from another country or anything?

Nicolas:  Yeah. They joke about if you can play basketball in France. “They play basketball in France? You sure?”

Jason:  They do play basketball in France, but you play a lot more games here. How’s that goin’ for you?

Nicolas:  Yeah. It’s tough. I’ve played almost thirty-four, thirty-five games in two months. In France I played thirty-five games in six or seven months, so…Yeah.

Jason:  Is it OK though?

Nicolas:  It’s tough, but I’m good. Yeah.

Jason:  We were wondering if you could explain what a slum dunk is now?

Nicolas:  Slam dunk?

Jason:  Yeah.

Nicolas:  You just go to the rim, and crush...crush the ball in the rim. That’s all. Yeah.

Jason:  Can you show us one?

Nicolas:  OK.

Jason:  Sweet.


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When Jason arrives at the practice, Nicolas was running drills and practicing his jump shot. He learned terms like that early on because his coach in France usually spoke English. So Nicolas can easily explain what slam dunk means in a basketball game. But did you know that you can use slam dunk in your daily life, even if you don’t play or watch sports?

Since when a player dunks the ball almost always goes in the basket, you can call any sure success a slam dunk. If your job interview goes really well, you could tell your friends, “It was a slam dunk. I’m sure I got the job.” Or if you want to convince your friends to go into business with you, you could say, “We have such a good idea. It will be a slam dunk. We’ll make lots of money!”

Is there anything coming up in your life that you hope will be a slam dunk? Is there an NBA player from your country?

For more with Batum, watch another video of him dunking, check out this YouTube fan channel or visit the Portland Trailblazers’ website.



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i dont know this guy .Nicolas  is he very famous in NBA??

sorry .i dont know basketball .just know KObe and Tray . Often i will spend more time on Football.

05:31 AM Jan 23 2009 |

avril girl

avril girl


i don't know what i can say.

but i think he is a intelligent basketball player.

i admire  him.

04:48 AM Jan 23 2009 |




blazers! blazers!blazers!blazers!blazers!blazers!blazers!blazers!blazers!blazers!blazers!blazers!blazers!

04:21 AM Jan 23 2009 |

Canna :)

Canna :)


coOl basketball player :P but I cann't watch the video:SS these days youtube cann't available in here:/ I dont know why.. osh @&@"

04:02 AM Jan 23 2009 |




oh!!!!!!!!!!!no!!!!! I`m not tall enaught,so i can`t slam down.

but basketball is good sport,everyone can do it.

03:28 AM Jan 23 2009 |




WOO~ It’s so cool that we can see a basketball player’s interview.

01:46 AM Jan 23 2009 |

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