For most rookies, playing in the NBA Playoffs and all that comes with that can be daunting at first. The atmosphere is like nothing most have experienced, same with the pressure and the stakes.
Not for Wizards' rookie Tomas Satoransky, who logged seven years of professional basketball before he made the leap to the NBA this past summer. Throughout those years in Europe, he played in plenty of big games.
"I’ve played a lot of important stuff, a lot of finals. With Barcelona I played both finals in the Spanish League. When I played in Sevilla, I played in the finals of the Euro Cup. So, a lot of important games. Also, with my national team there were games against NBA players. I could say that I have experienced a lot of big moments during my career, which I think can help me handle some situations even here. I don’t need to feel that much pressure," he said.
Satoranksy's teams didn't win those finals. Each time they lost to Madrid, which was a powerhouse at the time.
But as big as those games were, it isn't the basketball itself that stands out most to Satoransky. The crowds in Europe can get unruly and out of hand.
"I also played a lot of playoff games in the Euro League, with Olympiacos and all. That’s big, especially for younger players to play in the first year in the Euro League. The fans are amazing there. That’s the biggest part. It always gets you hyped playing in those kind of games because European fans are really crazy in certain places," Satoransky said.
How crazy? Very crazy.
"Especially in places like Greece, Serbia and Turkey. They are way too crazy. They couldn’t be here at the [NBA] games with all the rules from the league and everything. Sometimes in Turkey they get suspended for throwing things or throwing items to the floor. It happens. They got suspended. There are some crazy stories," he said.
It sounds like Turkish fans may have a little Philly in them.
"Usually they threw coins. I wasn’t [hit], but it happens," Satoransky said. "From that point, you are I think ready for anything."
Satoransky may experience some intense crowds, especially if the Wizards match up with Boston or Toronto in later rounds, two of the most raucous atmposheres in basketball. Let's just hope they stop short of the fans in Turkey.