Celtics newcomer Daniel Theis, a 6-foot, 9-inch German power forward, is excited to be playing basketball in the United States — and specifically in Boston. “This city reminds me of some European cities,” said Theis. “And there are some really good restaurants.” Theis, 25, the youngest of three who was raised in Salzgitter, Germany, played professional basketball in Europe for eight years before coming to Boston. He said he is impressed by what he has heard about the TD Garden fan base. “One of the first things Coach [Brad] Stevens told me is that the fans really cheer and keep it up for the whole game,” he said just before the season started. “I can’t wait to see it for myself.” Theis lives in Needham with his wife, Lena, and their 18-month-old daughter, Laila. We caught up with Theis to talk about all things travel.
Favorite vacation destination? I went to Crete [in Greece] this summer. The weather was just amazing, the water was perfect, the food was really nice, the people were nice. . . . It was perfect.
Favorite food or drink while vacationing? I like pasta in all kinds of ways. To drink? Just a cold Coke. I try to avoid sugar during the season, so off-season, it’s really something nice and special.
Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? I would like to see a lot of places. I want to go to Australia and New Zealand. It’s a long flight, so I’d like to go there for something like four to six weeks. I think if you go there for a week, it’s not worth it. You get really comfortable and you have to leave.
One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? My iPad and headphones. Most of the time, I like watching TV shows like “Game of Thrones” and movies. Before and after games, I just like watching the games again. I would like to read more books in English; it helps with the language.
Aisle or window? Aisle because I can stretch my legs out. I’m not the type of guy to sleep a lot on planes, so I don’t need the window to lean against.
Favorite childhood travel memory? I remember when me and my dad went to a soccer game for the first time. I was like 8 or 9 and it was in Hanover, about an hour from my home. In Germany, soccer is the biggest sport, so it was a really fun atmosphere. My dad was working a lot, so it was nice to spend the time with him going to the game.
Guilty pleasure when traveling? Just relaxing. When I’m on vacation, I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to go out, have plans. . . . I just want to lay in the sun, relax, and get my feet up for eight hours. I don’t touch a basketball. Not everybody needs time like this, but I do. We practice a lot, travel a lot. . . . It’s hard work, so it’s nice to relax on vacation.
Best travel tip? It’s important to choose the right place, so start doing your research, your homework early so you have a perfect vacation. If you go on vacation once a year, you don’t want to be disappointed.