Sunday, October 05, 2014

Tomas Satoransky: I kept letting the NBA window open, but my heart just pulled me more to Europe

Take a look at the most interesting answers regarding FC Barcelona, the Washington Wizards, Honza Vesely, Czech nat'l team's future, and his long-range shooting Tomas Satoransky gave during this summer's EuroBasket 2015 Qualification:

* On the process of picking to play for Barcelona this summer: "It‘s true that if the Wizards wanted me last summer [2013], I’d come over there, I was really prepared [to play for Washington]. But after this [2013-14] season, in which I played even better, I registered a big response and interest from European teams. So I decided to go about getting to the NBA gradually, in a step by step manner. Looking back, perhaps my Cajasol Seville coach Aito Reneses had quite a big influence on me in this as well; with him I talked about it a lot. I don‘t regret my decision and I hope that my stint in Barcelona is going to be successful. And maybe it will help me to get better leverage in the NBA. I lined up all the offers on the table and then little by little I narrowed the selection. Inasmuch as I got quite a lot of interesting offers from European teams, so I didn’t even get to the point where I‘d seriously think about the NBA. I kept letting the NBA window open [through this process], but my heart just pulled me more to Europe. And I wanted to stay in Spain, too, where I know it well and where they know me. The general conditions which I’d have in the NBA now, those wouldn‘t be wholly ideal. I realized that I don’t want to get there at all costs, and I have chosen for myself better conditions and position in Barcelona."

* On his good pal Jan Vesely being considered a bust in the NBA: "I think every player has a different position and role on the team. I don‘t want to completely dissect it, but maybe what harmed him was the fact that he was drafted so high and the high expectations placed on him. I think that if he was taken lower [in the draft], he’d last longer in the NBA. But every situation is different and generally, players who come over to the NBA from the Euroleague are successful in most cases."

* On the Czech Republic national team's (ranked no. 48 in FIBA World Ranking) future and ambitions: "The way I see it, we have the last [qualification] summer to advance [to the EuroBasket] and thus to keep this team with [veterans] Jiri Welsch and Lubos Barton, because in two or three they won’t probably be playing for the national team anymore. We‘ll see how this qualification turns out and then, if we qualify for it, how’s the EuroBasket going to play out. Of course, getting to the World Cup [of basketball] or the Olympics is very difficult, we’d have to play an excellent tournament in order to achieve it, but I don’t see it as unrealistic as it looks. However, we must have all the [best] players playing and mainly we must really gel together as a team."

* On his long-range shooting [note: shot 37% (29-79) from the three-point line in the Spanish ACB last season]: "Well, it's not one of my biggest weapons. To the contrary,  it is considered as my weakness. But I try to improve my shooting all the time, and last season, also thanks to the role that I had on the [Cajasol] team, it went up quite a bit. So of late, I'm not afraid to shoot and possibly this helps bettering my shooting percentages. When I have a choice [to shoot it or to drive it], I would rather drive it. A player can have good [three-point] shooting percentages, but oftentimes they deem you a shooter when you jack up shots out of pick-and-rolls and the like. Then you have guards who shoot off the dribble [from long-range] and I don’t belong among those guys, either. When I take such shots sometimes, I try to have a good shooting percentage on them."

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