George Zidek on Jan Vesely Playing For Czech National Team: ‘Now everything depends on the Wizards opinion’ | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

George Zidek on Jan Vesely Playing For Czech National Team: ‘Now everything depends on the Wizards opinion’

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Updated: May 30, 2012

[Eds. Note: After the NBA season ended, Jan Vesely seemed to favor loyalty to his new job as a Washington Wizard over playing for his country this summer to qualify for EuroBasket 2013. He indicated that he would participate with the Wizards in the Las Vegas Summer League from July 13-21, and that he would likely train in Los Angeles afterward, but that he was unsure about his basketball summer otherwise. The Czechs will spend mid-August to mid-September in Germany playing in the qualifying round for EuroBasket 2013 with hopes of beating up on their group — Turkey, Italy, Portugal and Belarus — to become one of sixteen more teams punching a ticket to Slovenia in September 2013. As Lukas Kuba noted in his review of Vesely, there has been a past perceived rift between some young and old players within the Czech program. However, in speaking to Czech journalists on Monday, George Zidek, former NBA player and current general manager of the Czech team, commented on Vesely’s status for this summer. It now appears that the door is wide open for Vesely to play for his country, if the Wizards think it’s a good idea. Kuba (@Luke_Mellow) brings a translation of Zidek’s comments. -Kyle W.]

Czech GM George Zidek on Vesely playing for CZE this summer:

“We offered him support and he has interest in playing. Now everything depends on the Wizards opinion. They took some time to ponder, and I expect that at the beginning of practices (for Eurobasket 2013 Qualification) in July they should give Jan the final recommendation for participation. We’ll accept it, it’s fifty-fifty. We definitely don’t intend to coax him into playing against the recommendation of the ballclub. We have good relations with the Wizards (Tommy Sheppard, Wizards VP of Basketball Admin, worked for the Nuggets when Zidek played for them), and we talk straight. They don’t impede players from playing for their countries, but concurrently we must take into account that Jan just finished a demanding rookie season, and there’s probably the most important season of his career in front of him. Jan has a challenging summer ahead, he has to work on his strength and physical condition. After all, he has a chance to play in the starting five, and we must respect it. However, four and half months of individual workouts await him, and I’d still recommend him playing some team ball, he’d benefit from that. Jan already started doing his physical workouts. A strength-and-conditioning coach will come to Czech Republic on June 10 to work out with him, and at the end of June, Jan will fly to Washington, where he’ll play in a pro-am summer league. Then the summer league in Las Vegas is on the program. At that time, we should clearly know the Wizards’ standpoint toward Czech national team.”


Lukas Kuba