Satoransky: Why I’m Not a Point Guard In the NBA | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Satoransky: Why I’m Not a Point Guard In the NBA

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Updated: July 12, 2017

On Tuesday, Tomas Satoransky spoke with the Czech media on a variety of topics. Saty’s comments were published in BasketMag, an outlet from his home country, the Czech Republic. A translation of Satoransky’s comments via TAI’s Czech correspondent, Lukas Kuba (@Luke_Mellow), can be found below.

Tomas Satoransky on his role on the Wizards next season:

“I don’t think Washington is counting on me at the point guard position, and I’ll have to adjust to play more at the 2 and 3 positions. I have not reconciled with that yet, because for all of my career I’ve played at point guard and I feel best there. But I have to be prepared for this change in order to not be surprised by it, like I was in my rookie season. Even when I did the exit interview with Coach [Scott] Brooks, I had the feeling that he wants to count on me more as a shooting guard and small forward, where I can use my versatility. Now it’s on me to cope and prepare for that.”

On why it seems like Brooks doesn’t trust him as a PG:

“It’s hard for me to talk about it—I can’t explain it away. Coach didn’t know that much about me before the season, and at the beginning of the year it looked like he was trying to get to know my game. For me, [not playing minutes at point] was difficult to understand, because at the start of the season I played well as a playmaker. I’m no scoring point guard, but I think I managed our game well and my teammates off the bench worked with me well, too. I definitely miss playing point guard. Probably the important thing for me is to accept this role, get ready for it, and be the best I can be in it. That’s how my role is probably going to look next season.”

On the difficulties of being John Wall’s backup:

“It’s always difficult to backup a point guard like John. Trey Burke got chances at point guard, but he didn’t do that well there. After that, for a couple of games, I was the backup again. Coach thinks I’m a versatile player who has a big chance to play at other perimeter positions—I think (Saty smiles) right now I’m the guy who is used to the position where another player was struggling. I’m the ‘joker,’ but only for the short-term.”

On if he has to be able to score more points as a point guard in today’s NBA:

“This can be one of the reasons [why coach plays me more at the wing]. There are a lot of scoring point guards in the league. John Wall is that type of player as well, but he’s not a typical long-range shooter, he’s more a point guard who creates. Nevertheless, his role is huge and his stats are always great. Maybe Coach Brooks sometimes wasn’t satisfied with the tempo of the game when I was on the floor, because I was used to—in Barcelona, too—being more of a guy who sets up the half-court offense and runs a called play in order to create a good shot [for a teammate]. So coach maybe wanted us to play even more uptempo when I had the ball, but I don’t know exactly. I’m still searching for reasons how to explain it all to myself. I still haven’t found the reason for it.”

On the difference between playing as a PG and as a wing:

“At point guard, I have the ball more in my hands and I create the offense out of pick-and-roll. [When I play the two or the three], I’m more in the corner and waiting for the ball to come to me, which doesn’t happen very often. It’s a static role which better suits good shooters, and I’m not a good shooter, yet.”

On working on his shooting this summer:

“I just came home [from Germany] where I worked on my shooting with [shooting coach] Stefan Weissenböck. It’s good to work with him, we did eight intensive shooting workouts together. You can get a lot better at shooting. The best shooters are born with it, but after those workouts I felt like I’m shooting it better—my form is better and my shooting percentage should go up. Even Stefan said I got better. So, hopefully, it will help me in the future. But still, I was shooting without anybody guarding me. Now I’ll try to apply it in a game.”

On current NBA mega-deals for players like Steph Curry or James Harden:

“Those deals are adequate with the current salary cap and with how much the NBA got for the TV rights. You can see that franchises have enough money and they need to spend dollars somewhere and they give the most to the biggest stars. Of course, it’s unfair towards the stars of the ’90s or the stars from the first decade of the 21st century. What present-day stars make in just four years, some star players from the past didn’t earn throughout their whole careers. But it’s the reality in the NBA today and that just proves that the league is a huge attraction [for sponsors]. It’s a show.”

On Wall’s hesitation to sign the huge contract extension the Wizards offered him:

“Yes, they offered him a four-year, $168 million contract extension. I’ve seen an interview with him and I think that right now he’s considering various possibilities, but I don’t know what his decision will be. I’d say that he’s so much connected with the team and he’s created such a position for himself that his next contract signing will be with the Wizards. He belongs to the rank of players who sign the biggest deals these days.”

On the support of the Wizards coaching staff:

“It’s common that coaches from the team who work with the players individually come to Europe during the summer. They check on a player, his playing form, work out with him for several days—the team just wants to be in contact with us. I think they are going to come to see Marcin Gortat and me, too. I’ll be in the training camp with the [Czech] national team then, and I’m looking forward a lot to playing at EuroBasket 2017. The Wizards know that I’ll play there. Our general manager (Ernie Grunfeld) will be at the EuroBasket as well.”

On his summer workouts:

“I have been trying to add strength elements to my workouts. The focus is dependent on the exit interview with the team, where they say what to focus on in the summer. It’s particularly important for players who leave to Europe and aren’t in regular contact with the team. Moreover, for example those players who finish the season in April have to pay attention in order to not get out of shape during those four months of the offseason. You have to work hard individually [even in the summer].”

On the exit interview with Coach Brooks:

“All in all, it was positive. From what I understood, it was sort of a get-to-know-me year for him. I learned that when he had come to watch our practice in Barcelona [in the 2015-16 season], it was his first stay in Europe. But I didn’t think he knew that he would become the Wizards coach then. At the end of the season, he evaluated positively that I work hard at practice and after practice, too. And then we talked about how he imagines my position on the team in the next few years.”

On the possible return of Jan Vesely to the NBA:

“We didn’t talk about it together, but I think that Honza will probably consider it. His overall position in Fenerbahçe is excellent and he feels good there, but on the other hand they won everything you can [in Europe] and he could have extra motivation to return to the NBA and show that he has what it takes to play there. When he first got to the league, it was just very complicated for him.”

On several star NBA players going from the East to the West this summer:

“It confirms the dominance of the West. Nowadays teams try to build a team in order to be competitive with the Golden State Warriors as much as possible, that’s why they put together those super-teams with at least three superstars. Well, we’ll see if someone can beat Golden State four times in a series. For me the Warriors are still the best team.”

On if Kevin Durant on the Warriors is bad for the NBA:

(laughs) “These questions always appear when someone dominates in a given sport. Others say those who lose (tank) most damage the sport. I think, on the contrary, it’s incredible how fast the star became part of the collective unit. It’s kind of unprecedented. They were able to suppress their egos, which is a big problem in the NBA, and they showed how strong their team is.”

On if the Wizards’ chances for winning the East increased:

“Our biggest rivals are still strong. Boston got better, Cleveland with LeBron will always be good, and even Toronto can be a quality team again. On the other hand, a lot of teams which didn’t make the playoffs (last season) will have a big chance to make it to the postseason next year.”

On the departure of Bojan Bogdanovic to the Pacers:

“I’m sorry that he’s gone, because he was a good friend and we had a great chemistry. Moreover, he was a player with whom I talked only in Spanish and I’m going to miss that a bit, too. But he deserved a big contract, and I believe he will thrive in Indiana.”

On the signings of Tim Frazier and Jodie Meeks:

“The arrival of Tim only confirms how the team perceives my role, because he’s a pure point guard. Jodie is a great shooter who will certainly help us.”

On the recent wedding with his long-time girlfriend Anna Maurer:

“I admit that I was nervous in the morning of the wedding, but everything was the way it was supposed to be—the bride was beautiful and happy. I didn’t eat that much because I tried to be sociable, but people praised the food we had. There were a few of my former teammates from Seville, and of course my friends Jiri Welsch and Honza Vesely. It was a celebration of our relationship. And our honeymoon? I’d wish to experience something more adventurous, like going to Iceland. But those are just plans. So far we went only to the Karlovy Vary film festival.”

Lukas Kuba