By Alex Molina / firstname.lastname@example.org
Six years later, Tomas Satoransky is once again a Barça player. The Czech point guard spoke exclusively to Eurohoops about the reasons that led him to end his days in the NBA and return to Barça, his experience in the best league in the world and his goals for this season with Barça. Satoransky, who is still recovering from the ankle problems that hampered his Eurobasket, is satisfied with the work done despite the defeat in the Super Cup against Real Madrid.
Eurohoops: Are you happy with how things are going so far?
“Yes, very happy. I try to improve every day, both as a team and myself to feel better on the court, always trying to do what Saras wants. We have a very interesting team, with many possibilities when it comes to playing and players who can play in different positions. But I’m very happy with the character of all the players, I’m getting to know them but I think it’s going to be very good, I think we have a fairly deep roster”.
EH: You are one of the new faces for the 2022-23 season but you are coming back here, to Barça, after your career in the NBA. How would you say your experience in the United States was?
“It’s obvious that the last season didn’t go well for me. Well, the last two months in Washington were good, but I think that in my experience in the NBA I had a lot of ups and downs. The first and last year were the most difficult but in the other four, two in Washington and two in Chicago, I was comfortable. Playing a lot of minutes, having an important role… I had to earn respect and the second contract came to me, with which I had a bigger role. I was doing well but with my family we never wanted to live in the United States, I am at a point in my life and my career where I want to compete for things, not just wait for my opportunity to come”.
EH: Everything in the NBA is very uncertain to the point that you don’t know where you’re going to play next week and I also wanted to ask you about your contract with Barça, which is for the next four seasons. Are you looking for stability in your life with your return to the Barça club?
“Yes, it’s one of the main reasons I made the decision. Not only because I always loved Barça very much, but because they offered me stability with the children and the family. As you say, you are in the NBA, even with a very good contract, but they can also transfer you”.
EH: Would you say this is the worst thing about the NBA?
“I think that’s the hardest thing. The truth is that it is a business, something that I never wanted to accept in this sense and confirm it. You always had a passion for basketball, it’s clear that they pay us a lot of money but sometimes it’s too much business and that makes it difficult to build chemistry in the team, which is very important and Spain showed it in the Eurobasket. It is the most difficult especially when you have small children, it has to be really tough for some players”.
EH: We’ve talked a lot about the bad side of the NBA but it also has good things, obviously. For you, what is the best thing about being there?
“To be able to say that you are an NBA player [laughs]. That already gives you a lot of respect in many places. That happened to me in my country, nobody followed basketball very much but if they know that you are from the NBA they already look at you differently and give you more importance. And compete against the best players in the best stadiums and have fans all over the world. But then the time comes and you have to decide… It was very nice and I wanted to fulfill my dream… but that’s it [laughs]”.
EH: It is only a few games that you’ve played but I think that’s enough for you to replace this for me. Did you remember Spanish basketball like this? Did something change?
“Something has surprised me and it’s that maybe they didn’t play with such intensity. In the Eurobasket they were already playing very fast and it may be because of the new inbound rule. It is very up and down all the time, it is played very fast. I was very tired the first few minutes! There are many point guards that are very small and for me it is different, I have to run all the time and they pressure me all over the court. I think it will cost me more in the Endesa League than in the Euroleague”.
EH: And there are also few games and training sessions in this case, but I would like you to tell me about Sarunas Jasikevicius. You are one of the few who has played against him as a player, but I am now asking you about his role as a coach.
“He knows a lot about basketball and when you hear him talk during the video sessions you realize it. For me, having someone who was so great as a point guard is important. He has a vision of basketball that I really like, thinking of all the details. He is very demanding and emotional during games, I have never seen him sitting down. I’ve always wanted to have a coach like that. It’s hard when you’re playing six years with coaches who don’t tell you much during games and you have doubts if they know you’re on the bench. Now you have a coach with a lot of energy and you have to get used to it, but many things he says are very good and make a lot of sense”.
EH: Once again, Barça is a candidate to win everything. You weren’t here, but Barça has reached the Final Four for two seasons in a row, but without winning the title…
“You have to be aware of how difficult it is to reach the Final Four, it has a lot of merit. We all want to win the Euroleague and lift the cup, but what makes it so difficult to win the Euroleague is precisely the Final Four. It’s two games in a row, a tournament. That’s why it’s also so difficult to win the NCAA, for example. They said it was a failure or a bad season because they missed the Euroleague semifinal and then the Endesa League final, but they were playing very well all season. Also, I think they were affected after losing to Real Madrid in the Final Four. And now it will also be very difficult, without the Russian teams there are many teams with good players on other teams”.