iDNES.cz / basketball -- 28th June 2011 4:59
He’s not played a regular NBA game yet, but Jan Vesely’s journey to the NBA already hit a snag. "On July 1st the lockout begins, it's for sure. Now I have to talk [to Wizards] on other matters, in the coming days and weeks we will see," said Vesely from USA.
THE FIRST PHOTOSHOOT. The third Czech in the NBA, Jan Vesely already donned the jersey of his future team - the Washington Wizards. Whether it happens in the game, it’s not on him, but on the collective bargaining between players' union and employers. The competition is threatened by lockout. | Photo: Washington Wizards
I'M SHY, BUT I'M GETTING USED TO IT. A girlfriend of Czech basketball player Jan Vesely, Eva Kodouskova, famous for a kiss in the draft, in an interview for American television ABC.
The most famous basketball competition in the world stops because of the dispute about the money between owners and players. Vesely has to wait, too, until the feud is resolved. However it does not diminish his experiences from the draft, in which on Thursday he became only the third Czech in the NBA history. "It's unbelievable. The whole thing. Just the fact that Washington drafted me," he said.
Next topics of discussion?
On the famous kiss in the draft. A video of the moment when Vesely gives a kiss to his girlfriend Eva Kodouskova, is an Internet hit. "To me that kiss was a normal thing, which wouldn’t be noticed by anybody in Europe. Just here there was kind of disarray because of that. But of course, I don't mind publicity. They will talk about it for a long time."
On being adored by fans. With a spontaneous kiss he won over audience and journalists. Washington newspapers emphasized that Vesely enjoyed the role of the fans‘ darling in Serbia, too. "I'm laid-back. I managed to be friends with fans and other people in Belgrade, I have no problem with anyone. Neither with Americans. Just sit down and have a talk."
On Washington. Wizards team, the new employer of Vesely, seems a good choice. "I'm very happy. We knew in advance about the interest, but even then there was a lot of nerves. It is a beautiful city and a young, fast team. We will put on a show, the team will be growing in the coming years. Moreover the advantage is that Washington is on the east coast of America, thus closer to Europe. "
On his NBA jersey number. In Europe he was accustomed to dunk wearing '24' on the back, a familiar number to his fans. "I don’t have a new jersey yet, but they say it's not a problem. At least that's what they said to me. So I hope the number 24 will remain mine."
On the competition. Despite a promising start, Vesely will hardly succeed just byt "showing up", the fight for spots in the rotation will be tough. However the Czech supertalent maintains the nature of phlegmatic. "I've not particularly tried to found out yet who on the Wizards team plays on my position(s). Competition is a big everywhere."
On hockey in Washington. His fellow countryman Michal Neuvirth is the Capitals‘ goalie. And Vesely certainly plans to go see him play. "I know that he‘s a goalkeeper, I like hockey. I follow more our national team than team leagues. Now I guess I'll start with NHL. When I will have time, I will gladly go watch hockey."
On shopping in USA. With his 211 centimeters, the big man enjoyed America in another aspect: in stores. "I bought some clothes. Often I can't find anything for me, but here there is an incredible supply for tall people."
On looking forward to vacation. Vesely’s career in the NBA can be an impulse for Czech basketball, Vesely himself talks that he would gladly help raising the prestige of his sport. Now he flies home – end of stress and infinite interviews? "I’m looking forward to just laying, relaxing. The question is, if I will have a tranquility in the Czech Republic. I'm sure we're going on vacation, we will see where and for how long."