Satoransky Interview: LeBron Is Another Challenge For Me, I Gotta Get Stronger | Wizards Blog Truth About

Satoransky Interview: LeBron Is Another Challenge For Me, I Gotta Get Stronger

Updated: November 28, 2016

Just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday in America, Wizards rookie Tomas Satoransky did an interview with BasketMag, an outlet from his home country, the Czech Republic. A translation of that interview via TAI’s Czech correspondent, Lukas Kuba (@Luke_Mellow), can be found below.


Satoransky on his first month in the NBA:

“We don’t exactly have the best record we could wish for. We started out badly in away games and that dragged out with us for almost the whole month. We failed to win even two games in a row, which cost us a better record. Now we’ll try to fix it. We won our recent game with Phoenix and showed a little better play, both on defense and offense. For us, the most important thing is to defend well—that should be the foundation of our team—but so far we have failed to catch the right rhythm.”

On his play and role on the Wizards:

“I can only be satisfied with my playing time. I have a pretty big role, alternating between several positions and I was in the starting five for two games [when John Wall sat out], which is very positive for me. I’m glad that the coach believes in me, although certainly the team results can always be better. Every game I try to play with more confidence. I’m already starting to get used to my role, and when I go out there on the floor I’m not that surprised anymore.”

On if there is a growing trust from his teammates:

“Yes, definitely—especially in the last few games, you could see that my teammates’ trust in me is much bigger. They believe in me when I get the ball, [because] they know that I will look for them and create [scoring] situations for them. It gets better every game. With the starting center, Marcin Gortat, we have begun to find chemistry together—the chemistry was already there in some games. Since the beginning, I got enough playing time from the coach and I’d only evaluate that positively. When I go into a game, I always try to do my job on defense, which was the reason why I got on the floor in the first couple of games. And this is precisely what I should continue to do.”

On why the Wizards’ defense doesn’t work:

“It’s because we have a new team, with a lot of new players. Another thing: the coach is new, too. In the NBA, the incorporation of a playing style takes a bit longer, because the preseason isn’t as long as in Europe. And very often the teams deal with it during regular season games and they improve gradually. We are already starting to get used to the defensive system of coach (Scott) Brooks. Much of the problem is our transition defense. That cost us the game with Miami, but [in the next game] with Phoenix it worked better. You could see some progress there.”

On his individual play and scoring:

“I’m still working on my long-range shooting in order to make the defense come out and guard me tight, instead of backing off of me. I score most of my points off what such-and-such defense gives me. I’m starting to be more confident shooting along the perimeter. I’m working on that with our coaching staff in order to make defenses respect me more. Then I’ll be able to get into better positions and will thus create better situations for my teammates. So far, I’ve been scoring baskets mainly by being very aggressive. I’m continuing to try to build up more respect from opponents.”

On if he recognized that the media and fans liked him from the start, and wanted him to play more:

“In truth, I didn’t notice it that much, nor did I seek attention, even though I was aware of it. A good deal of it was because a lot of people haven’t known me until now, because they haven’t followed European hoops. They were surprised by my game, that I don’t play like a complete rookie and that I play with a composure—which obviously delights me—but I’ve played this way the last five years. I’ve built a level of play in which I have confidence in, and I’m glad that I can keep convincing people that I can play.”

On what stuck in his mind the most from his first 13 games in the NBA:

“It wasn’t an individual play. Rather I found it unreal—when I thought about those games—that, in every game, I’m in situations where I guard the best players in the world. Perhaps during just one week, I got into one-on-one situations against Kyrie Irving, LeBron, then in the next game against (Dwyane) Wade, and after that against Carmelo (Anthony). Those are the situations which mean a lot to you. Of course, you don’t think about them during game, but afterward I was saying to myself that it’s unreal. I watched these players when I was little and now I can guard them.”

On which NBA star he enjoyed playing against the most:

“Well, I can’t say just one. In those situations I was 100 percent focused on the defense, and I did the best I could. But in some cases, their talent is so huge that they score a basket despite good defense. Dwyane Wade is an awfully strong player, and LeBron James, well, didn’t score on me on a drive just because he missed an easy bunny. He outweighs me so much that it’s almost impossible to defend him. It’s another challenge for me, I still gotta get stronger and work on myself individually even more, because these players belong among the best in the world.”

On if facing the best players gives him energy for future games:

“Yes, of course. I don’t play so many minutes, so I’m rarely exhausted. I always find the energy to play and my appetite is so big that it trumps any fatigue. I look forward to each new opponent.”

On what life is like in Washington, D.C.:

“It is one of the most beautiful American cities which I’ve visited. Of course, I haven’t had much time to explore it, because the pace in the NBA is murderous. One doesn’t realize it until he begins to play here. Two games in two days is very time-consuming and we play practically four times a week. During a game day, I usually don’t get home [until very late] and I only have the time to go out somewhere in the city during very rare days off.”

On if the Wizards players discussed the recent presidential election:

“Yeah, that’s logical. The whole of America dealt with it, so my teammates and the people around the team dealt with it. We are in the capital—the team is located five minutes from the White House. The elections were talked about around the whole NBA. Let’s just say it’s a very big change. As for who my teammates voted for? I’d say that most of them didn’t go to vote…”


Lukas Kuba