The biggest question about the phenomenon of Europe Sasha Veznikov It was answered in a variety of ways at his introductory press conference in Sacramento.
How does the 6-foot-9 forward fit into the Kings’ system?
Wezenkov sat down with Kings general manager Monte McNair and the two tried to answer Summer’s question in the simplest way possible.
“You’ve heard me talk before about our goal going into the postseason and continuing the success we had last year,” McNair began. “And after watching Sasha play over the years, and seeing him live and getting to know him, I’m sure he’ll be a great fit here and help us continue to achieve those goals.
He has incredible shooting, size, IQ, he’s just a winner. Euroleague MVP, Greek league champion, Euroleague #1 player and finalist, so he’s had a lot of success on the international stage and we’re excited to see him transition to the NBA.
Of course, we’ll have to see for sure, but Wezenkov’s fit is close to perfect with Sacramento purely in terms of basketball.
Last season, the Kings ran a historically incredible offense built on speed, movement and cutting. With Domantas Sabonis or De’Aaron Fox up top, their non-stop motion schemes allowed for easy buckets in the paint or open shots beyond the arc.
Watching Vezenkov film with Olympiakos over the last few years, especially last season, the Bulgarian big man was constantly moving without the ball to find ways to get open. And he would make the defenders pay to give him the slightest space with the rock he was holding.
Wezenkov called the Kings’ style of play “beautiful” and explained what he admires when watching from thousands of miles away.
“I think it’s the speed,” Veznikov said. The speed at which they played was unbelievable. Fast and strong and hard. And at this rate, they [were] He won the games and the other team could not follow this pace.
“Also, movement, passes. It’s not like a regular NBA team. And it’s like being back in Europe, because we don’t watch a lot of NBA games. This particular team, Sacramento Kings“He played beautifully last year, a style that I love and love to watch.”
Shooting was another key component that separated Sacramento’s offense from others in the league. The Kings averaged 120.7 points per game last season, the best in the entire NBA.
The system allowed Keegan Murray to shine as a rookie and unleash his elite 3-point shot, breaking the NBA rookie 3-point record along the way.
And if Mike Brown chooses to insult Terrence Davis more than that Dion MitchellHis defense in the biggest game of the season doesn’t tell you how much this team depends on his shooting, I’m not sure what will.
But that’s another part of Vezenkov’s game that should match up with the Kings. He’s an incredibly efficient scorer, shooting 40 percent from deep and 63 percent from beyond the arc over his eight-year career. Read it again. These are not isolated shootings from one game or one season. He is a professional 40% 3-point shooter and 63% 2-point shooter.
It’s hard to imagine Coach Brown not licking his lips and making plays for Wezenkov and the rest of the shooters on the team. And he won’t have to wait long to start making plays, as the Kings report to training camp on Oct. 2.
“I think the coach will see how he will fit me in the team,” said Veznikov. I will continue to work on my game [and] Strive to improve … I really focus [on] Preparatory camp and in the first games. I want to show that I can play with these players that I only saw on TV.
“So I’m really happy and excited about the opportunity. And like I said, I see the opportunity. So that’s why I’m here. I think I can help the team and that’s why I’m here to take it. “
Vezenkov left Europe as the best player on the continent, but none of that matters as he embarks on a new journey in the NBA against the game’s greatest players.
While what happens overseas stays overseas, Veznikov is confident that his experience playing in the EuroLeague will help his transition to the NBA.
“It’s a completely different game, I understand that,” Vozenkov said. But the coaching staff and the players will help me adapt to this new game as quickly as possible. But on the other hand is basketball. It is five by five.
There is certainly more athleticism here. But I can fit in this team. I can help this team and that’s why I’m here, to fight every day, to work hard every day and that’s all that matters to me. [about] It’s the team.”
Vezenkov has dreamed of playing in the NBA all his life, and this dream will become a reality in a few weeks.
He admitted he might be a little nervous in the first two games, but given his experience, age and accomplishments in Europe, he believes he’s fully prepared for what the NBA throws at him.
He said: I am ready. I am 28 years old. I have experience that the NBA is a completely different league, but I have to adapt first mentally and then physically to be ready to help the team. I’m here. Of course, every beginning is a little difficult. My first game will definitely be nerves. “But as time goes by, I will get better and better.”
Veznikov will enter the NBA as a 28-year-old rookie. It’s an unusual situation because he’s not your average rookie coming out of college. McNair recognized the unique position, but said Wezenkov’s experience and Brown’s coaching gives him confidence that Wezenkov will fit right in.
The Kings are preparing for the new season with new expectations and will have a new player by their side who they hope can help their goals and rise to the top of the NBA.
As the Kings look to open up a new chapter next season, Wezenkov is turning the page on his NBA journey. Together, they hope to contribute to Sacramento’s newfound success and make sure it’s here to stay.