By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]
Czech guard Tomas Satoransky talking to the media for the first time after his trade to the New Orleans Pelicans revealed his feelings on Willy Hernangomez adjusting to the NBA and the United States.
“He loves weight room now. He is much stronger now. He got Americanized a little bit. I am always making fun of him (laughs),” he pointed out replying to a question regarding the Spanish center, “I like how he found a way to fit in.”
Satoransky and Hernangomez were teammates at Sevilla back in 2013-14. That season was his last before moving to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and ACB powerhouse FC Barcelona, and from there, a couple of years later in 2016, to the Washington Wizards.
“He was like one of my younger brothers,” he recalled discussing Hernangomez. Sevilla, currently labeled Coosur Real Betis, also featured Kristaps Porzingis up to his own jump to the NBA in 2015. However, the reunion currently involves Satoransky and Hernangomez, not the Latvian player for the Dallas Mavericks.
Hernangomez, 27, joined the Pelicans last November and has recently agreed to a three-year contract extension as a free agent. The New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets shape his previous NBA stops.
“He always gives you the numbers when he gets the opportunity,” added Satoransky on the bigman, “He’s the guy who can give you 10 (points) and 10 (rebounds) in one quarter. He’s always the guy who plays with a lot of energy. I always tell him he’s like a kid, but in a good way, because he just plays with a passion and he doesn’t care about anything else, but to help his team and play with energy. That’s why he always fits in whenever his name is called.”
Satoransky, 29, learned of his first NBA trade after three years with the Wizards and two more seasons attached to the Chicago Bulls while returning to home, Prague, after the Olympic Games. An eventful summer with 16.0 points, 5.5 assists, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per match in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Canada, and 10.7 points, 8.7 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per contest in Tokyo. The Czech Republic failed to make it through the group stage falling behind France and Team USA.
“The timing wasn’t the best, because I was on the way home through Paris,” he said on the trade to New Orleans, “When I landed, I knew the trade was official.”
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL
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