The Jan Vesely Diaries: ‘To be like Dirk is my secret wish’ (Also likes beer for lunch, How I Met Your Mother)
[Editor’s Note: Jan Vesely/Czech Republic guru Lukas Kuba (@Luke_Mellow) provides us with (translates) more classic Jan Vesely things via the Czech media. Enjoy! -Kyle W.]
Jan Vesely Q&A
Talented basketball player Jan Vesely, who was drafted 6th overall in the NBA Draft 2011, answered iDNES.cz readers’ questions.
On whether he wants to make a couple with Jana Vesela [Czech Rep.’s women’s team player; not related to Vesely] because their children would have a big future in basketball:
I’ve heard that Jana says that we are a bro and a sis. But I have a girlfriend who is tall as well, so there will be no problem with kids. :)
On the team he wanted to be picked by the most:
Washington was my dream. It’s a nice city, practical for traveling from the Czech Republic. Moreover, the Wizards are a young team.
On how many points per game he scored in his last season in the Czech Republic (2007), and against what competition:
The last season in the Czech Republic I played for a youth team, I don’t even really remember it well. :) I think that I scored 15 points per game.
On his biggest basketball idol:
My idol is Dirk Nowitzki.
On his goals:
My goal is mainly to play, that’s why I’m glad that Washington picked me. To be like Dirk is my secret wish.
On interest in participating at the All-Star Game:
Just getting to the All-Star weekend is a dream for every player. Sure I’d want to take part in Slam Dunk Contest.
On which city/basketball arena is he looking forward to playing in the most:
Mostly I’m looking forward to L.A., probably.
On his standing reach:
I’ve got a reach of 9-feet.
On his future at the SF or PF, practicing shooting threes & basketball video games:
I like the 3 position, but I don’t feel bad at the 4. I’ve got a long career ahead of me in which I can work on shooting 3s. I play video games, but I play soccer more.
On liking other sports other than basketball:
I like tennis, I like playing beach volleyball.
On his height, weight and going to the weight room more:
6-foot-10 and 231 lbs. Sure, I have to gain some pounds yet. But I play athletic basketball, so I don’t need that many pounds.
On Dirk Nowitzki and playing for Mavs:
I’m a big Dirk fan. Sure I would want to play for Dallas, but when Dirk won’t be there… So as I’m able to get on the court at all. :)
On who he wants to dunk on the most:
Probably [to dunk] over Griffin, after all he’s the Slam Dunk Contest winner. :)
On his favorite show:
My favorite show it’s How I Met Your Mother.
On liking beer and how often he drinks it:
I’m Czech so I like beer. :) I’ll have one for lunch. :)
On blondes or brunettes, Coca-Cola or Pepsi, Ferrari or McLaren and (Dominick) Hasek or (Jaromir) Jagr:
Blondes, because my girlfriend’s blonde. :) Fanta. :) Škoda. :) Both. :)
On how old he was when he dunked for the first time:
I think that for the first time when I was 14. I was trying to dunk all the time until I did it. :)
On disliking the Miami Heat last season and who is the best player today and in the history:
I don’t like their star-laden team, every star player should prove something with his own team. For me the best player nowadays is Dirk and in the history it’s Jordan.
Jan Vesely, A Journal Entry
VESELY FOR Pravo ABOUT THE NBA LIFE: I ALREADY GAVE AWAY SOME AUTOGRAPHS
[via Sport.CZ – Feb. 13, 2012, 2:02pm]
“It was an honor for me to get into the starting lineup after just five games. Of course, I play with maximum effort off the bench also, and coach Wittman doesn’t somehow particularly reason it to me, but I already observed that at Wizards the sub player position copies the performance of players. Of course it does matter on the type of opponent as well, but in Europe the rotation seemed smoother to me.
So I‘m even more pleased when I get the playing time against the biggest stars of other teams throughout the most of the game. It was an enormous experience for me to be playing against the famous dunker Griffin vs. the Clippers. I carefully study his style, so even when I played, I closely watched what he does and how he does it.
Overall, the NBA seems a lot like business to me. It’s definitely a bigger show than basketball in Europe. All the time there are some events for fans organized, and they are offered bonuses and discounts somehow. Especially when the team doesn’t thrive, it is necessary. It often happens that all 12 players of the team march somewhere for signing autographs, so I already gave away a few signatures as well…
This week I had a visit from my mom, sis and other acquaintances. Quite a large group of people, but unfortunately they are all coming home on the weekend. I’m sorry that I didn’t have much time for them. We practiced or played all the time, thus they have created their own program, and then they were telling me how they walked through almost all museums and took pictures at every monument including the White House.
Of course they also went to see me play on Wednesday, the New York game. As players we have a couple of seats available for family members right down along the sidelines, of course free. But I had more of those acquaintances here, I had to ask for more seats. That wasn’t a problem, everyone also had an access to VIP area and so-called Family room, where relatives and friends of players meet. They could refresh themselves there and watch the game without having to sit in the stands. I got fifteen minutes of playing time, but it bothered me that we lost again.
Also, I have to reveal about myself, that so far I postponed the venture with driver’s license indefinitely. I don’t even necessarily need a car now, and when I gotta go somewhere, I take a cab. In the end that is more comfortable as well, because parking in Washington is very problematic. Rather than passing driver’s license tests, now I want to devote myself to improving my basketball performances.”
Jan Vesely Interview
Jan Vesely on the coaching change, the nostalgia and his rising game shape
[via Basketbal.CZ – Note: The interview happened before the Blazers game in the Rose Garden.]
The Wizards’ last game in Detroit was your best performance in the NBA so far. Do you have a feeling that you are settling in and that your game is on the rise?
I hope that yes! I’m trying to give everything to every game, to do the maximum for me playing at full blast. I think that I managed to do it so far, and that I’m gaining self-confidence on the floor.
How was the team influenced by the coaching change, Randy Wittman taking over for coach Flip Saunders?
Randy tries to prescribe us an aggressive and a fast game, which we are showing out on the floor now. He preaches defense, from which we are making the best. I have to tell that’s it is all right so far.
Do you prefer the 3 position or the 4?
So far I played the 4 position here, sometimes 5 . When we play with [Trevor] Booker together, we alternate there [at the 5 spot]. Here I didn’t play the 3 yet, so I’m not quite accustomed to that. In Europe I played the 3, and so I was defended by smaller players in the low post. Here I have to defend stronger and bigger players, so I gotta get used to it.
What’s your role on the team according to coaches?
My job is to bring energy on the floor – on defense and on offense too. I don’t have my number called, my main task is to play hard.
What is your basketball goal in the NBA? Where do you want to be within two years?
I don’t want to predict anything, where I’ll be in a few years, but sure I want to improve by every day.
On what skills you should be working the most according to your coaches?
I work mainly on my shooting, I try to improve it in order to being able to play from the outside. I hope that it will improve in time.
You played in Europe at the highest level. How would you evaluate the difference between European and American basketball?
Definitely the biggest difference is in physical fitness. The players here are stronger and faster, in Europe it’s more of a team sport based on defense.
Who is your biggest friend on the team?
Ronny Turiaf, because he‘s French, European. The rest of the team’s cool too, they’re good guys, but with Ronny we understand each other most.
How do you spend your free time in Washington?
I don’t have much free time, I’m almost all the time at the practice, games or traveling. I try to rest as much as I can, so either I watch movies at home or I go with Ronny for dinner. When my family visits me, we set off somewhere, but I never go by myself.
What do you miss in America the most?
The most I miss my girlfriend Eva. Lately we spent a lot of time together and got used to each other. Otherwise, of course family and friends. I got used to life in Serbia quickly, and I found a lot of friends there, so I hope here it will be the same as well.
What do you like the most in America?
Overall I like the show around basketball, the service and comfort that we have here. When traveling, we don’t have to deal with [passenger] screenings and check-ins, you just go to the plane and don’t lose time with unnecessary things.
For how long will you be in the the Czech Republic after the season?
Probably I won‘t stay too long. I’m thinking about [Czech] national team, and before that I’ll definitely want to go to workout camp in Los Angeles for three, four weeks. But in the beginning of May probably I’ll spend a couple of weeks in the Czech Republic.
What would you tell to young Czech ballplayers who one day want to get there where you are now?
Definitely they have to practice a lot. Even when you would want to do something different instead of practicing, you have to kind of gnaw through it and [the success] will come. You have to work hard for a couple of years, give it everything [you’ve got] and in the end the results will come. I know from my own experience that I gave all to basketball, even when I didn’t want to [do it], I had to, and I forced myself to practice.
Herb Brown on Vesely
“I saw him play several times and I have to say that he’s very athletic and gives everything he’s got to the game. But he plays for a team that is in a bad state. The Wizards’ players don’t know what winning is about and what they have to sacrifice in order to win. It seems to me that he plays a little frightened and tries not to attack the opponents’ basket. Mostly he rebounds, sets screens, runs fastbreaks and defends. I think that one day he’ll be a very good player, but now it’s easy to see that due to the lockout, he didn’t play in summer league, he couldn’t participate in practices and preseason games, and it’ll take some time before he gets used to the league. But anyhow, he’s got talent and skills for playing in the NBA.”