Summer of Satoransky Pt. 1: Last Days in Europe; Shooting Coach Talks Jumper | Wizards Blog Truth About

Summer of Satoransky Pt. 1: Last Days in Europe; Shooting Coach Talks Jumper

Updated: September 6, 2016


Tomas Satoransky met with Czech media at the end of August for the first time since officially signing with the Washington Wizards in late-July. This happened in Prague, where Satoransky hosted a hoops camp for talented teenage kids from Czech Republic and Slovakia.

What follows are his most interesting answers, as translated by TAI’s Czech correspondent, Lukas Kuba.

On choosing jersey No. 31:

“I chose 31 because I think Jarell Eddie already wears No. 8 (Satoransky’s jersey number with Czech national team) and Marcin Gortat has No. 13 (his jersey number with FC Barcelona), so I just put No. 3 in front of No. 1.

“I like my new Wizards jersey a lot. I was excited when I first saw it, because not only it is a great honor to wear it, but I really like the way the Wizards jerseys look, too. I’m looking forward to wearing them in NBA games.”

On Wizards Senior VP of Basketball Operations Tommy Sheppard visiting his basketball camp:

“Tommy Sheppard brought me several Wizards jerseys with my number on them to the camp. It’s very valuable that the Wizards organization supports its players in such ways like this. Throughout the summer I was in contact with Tommy, and during my first three weeks in America (as a Wizards player), we discussed various organizational matters together. And this weekend we went to dinner together in Prague. Everywhere I am, I extol the virtues of our capital, so Tommy enjoyed his stay from this perspective.”

On his plans for the last days of the NBA offseason:

“Before I leave to Washington, I’m going to be working out individually for nine days here in Prague [Ed. note: alongside German shooting/development coach Stefan Weissenbock.], and then I plan to work out and practice for three weeks in D.C. After that begins the official training camp with the Wizards—basically a week of the toughest practices of the season.”

On having respect playing against NBA stars:

“Yes, there is [respect], but it must not be exaggerated, because in that case you’re automatically defeated, you’re defeated in advance. If you don’t have self-confidence, you won’t succeed in the NBA.”

On how many minutes per game he’d be satisfied with in his rookie season:

“I have to reckon with the fact that I’m a rookie coming from Europe. Adapting to a different game and different style of basketball will take some time, but I hope that I’m going to be helpful to my team as quickly as possible. [By the way] the coaches already told me what to expect, and they also said they would use me at different positions, not just as a point guard.”

On Q&A session with campers:

“The kids asked me various questions, and the best one was which NBA player I’m afraid to guard. I answered that it’s going to be difficult defending Steph Curry, I don’t want to end up on the wrong side of his highlights.

“The first one was how satisfied I am with my contract [Ed. note: Saty signed a three-year contract worth $9 million.]. They just fired off that question without hesitation. I told them they must understand the fact that there’s taxation and other things. I found out immediately why they play basketball (laughs).

“[The campers exhibited] lots of enthusiasm for the NBA, and I hope that in the future we (the Czech Republic) will have two NBA players [Ed. note: Saty was probably alluding to his buddy Jan Vesely, who signed a new contract with Fenerbahce Istanbul this summer has an opt-out option for the NBA after each season.].”

On talking with former and current NBAers about what to expect in the NBA:

“I got lots of information from them, from Honza (Vesely), of course. For instance, I talked with him about prices of apartments in D.C. and other organizational matters. I’d rather not get duped by somebody. I also talked with Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks, who’s a great friend of mine, since we played together in Seville.”

And Coach Weissenbock on Satoransky’s jump shot:

“His shooting is still kinda average. Before it was even below average. Tomas has learned to hit shots when he’s open. That’s very important. You can’t progress as a player without it. A whole ‘nother level awaits him in the NBA. He has to accelerate his shooting mechanics in order to get the shot off before a defender can block it. However, he must not lose the stability and accuracy of his shot. Together, we have to find something that’s going to help him.”

Video of Satoransky’s session with the Czech media can be found below; images from his camp and summer workouts can be accessed via this Facebook link. Read “Summer of Satoransky Part 2” here.

Lukas Kuba