The NBA is the American sports league with the most worldwide appeal. The Wizards specifically have three players from the European Union, with Marcin Gortat coming from Poland, Ian Mahinmi coming from France, and Tomas Satoransky coming from the Czech Republic.
So, let’s take a quick look at some newspapers in Europe. We ran a few language searches on Google to see what they thought of the Wizards this last week. Here’s what we found, with the help of Google Translate in most cases.
First, let’s head to Marcin Gortat’s stomping grounds. Sure, Poland has a number of top soccer stars, like Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich, but Gortat has more than held his own as the Wizards’ starting center for much of the last several years.
Here are some of the stories from Polska, or Poland in Polish. All links are also in Polish.
- The Polska Times mentioned one detail in Saturday’s Clippers loss that I didn’t mention: Gortat took the last shot after 1.1 seconds were added to the clock. He took a long shot that he normally wouldn’t do, which the piece emphasized. You can even watch a video where an analyst analyzes what they’ve done so far.
- Before that Clippers game, I noted in the GameThread that the game was timed very well for people who live in Europe. The game was a 12:30 p.m. matinee in L.A., a 3:30 p.m. game in Washington, and a 9:30 p.m. game for people in most of Western and Central Europe, including Poland. ProBasket.pl was pleased about that.
- The Polish certainly cover Gortat’s performance each and every game. But they aren’t blind cheerleaders either. On this article by ONet Sport, they did mention that Gortat has been getting outperformed by Ian Mahinmi lately.
With Ian Mahinmi coming from Rouen in Northern France, I also spent time looking for news stories on the Wizards from France. Are they covering him on a game to game basis? All links are in Français:
- After Mahinmi’s 10 point performance against the Suns, L’Equipe, a Paris area-based sports paper was quick to jump on it. They combined his performance with Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert’s with an interesting headline that reads “The night of the Frenchies: Mahinmi shines, Gobert loses.” Mahinmi had a good game, but Gobert? Not so much when he scored just six points in a loss to the Rockets.
- Mahinmi had an even better performance on Saturday against the Clippers though the Wizards lost. BeBasket.Fr was quick to note Mahinmi’s season-best performance as well as other French players who are in the NBA.
- BasketSession.com told it like it was when the Wizards lost to the Jazz last Monday. Washington was humiliated, plain and simple.
Like Gortat does in Poland, Mahinmi is going to get regular mentions by the NBA writers in France. However, Mahinmi isn’t the best NBA player from France, so he’s not going to get quite as much as Rudy Gobert, Nicolas Batum, or Tony Parker get.
Tomas Satoransky hails from Prague, so how do the Czechs feel about the Wizards guard? He’s played quite well as of late. All links are in Čeština (pronounced Cheshtina), or Czech:
- iDNES.cz seems a bit unsure about Satoransky’s playing time now that John Wall will probably come back from injury later this week. Once Wall is back, the article states that either Frazier or Sato will have to take a minimal role. I’m not sure if it’s that simple, especially since Satoransky has more size and could be a point forward.
- iDNES.cz also wrote about Satoransky’s 11 point performance in the Clippers game, but given how the Wizards lost, the recap also had a “dreary account” of the game as it went.
- Let’s finish this on a positive note though. On December 1, he scored a career high 17 points against the Pistons. This article from iSport.cz has a little more on that. And Miroslav Němý has more on iDNES.cz.
With most news on Mystics forward Emma Meesseman being in Dutch, we would notice when Wizards news is in Nederlands (pronounced Nay-dur-lahnds), or the Dutch language. So we ran a search to see if anything came up. There was nothing of note on the Wizards from Meesseman’s native Belgium, but we found links from the Netherlands instead.
All of the links focused on Beal’s performances of late, and they are in Dutch:
- The Algemeen Dagblad in Rotterdam had two very short recaps from the Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau (or ANP, it’s basically the Dutch Associated Press) on the Wizards’ wins this week, all featuring Bradley Beal’s name on it. If there’s one stat that struck me, they specifically mentioned that the Wizards’ win against the Suns was the first time they won two consecutive games in almost a month.
- De Telegraaf in Amsterdam had the same ANP articles that the Algemeen Dagblad had. But there’s a more creative headline after the Suns game which says “Beal heeft smaak te pakken bij Wizards.” Literally, that means Beal has a taste for the Wizards. That probably doesn’t sound right to an American ear, so it’s probably just a Dutch idiom that Beal has a big appetite for scoring. If you want to use a more “American-like” context on what having a taste for something is, heeft Lou Williams smaak te pakken bij de Wizards.
And to the “closet Bradley Beal fan”/ ANP sports desk lady or gentleman who’s writing NBA recaps in a cubicle somewhere in the Randstad: Schrijf meer over de Wizards, alstublieft. Wij hopen dat u geen robot bent!
So that was interesting, seeing what sports wires say about the Wizards in Europe. Let’s do this again in a month or so when the Wizards hopefully make their climb up the standings!
UPDATE on December 11, 2017: BF Commenter Robkazoe tells us in a comment below that “hebben smaak te pakken” is one of many spreekwoorden, or figures of speech. Hebben smaak te pakken literally means to have a taste for something as mentioned before. But figuratively, it means “doing very well.”
So when a Dutchman or Dutchwoman says, “Bradley Beal heeft smaak te pakken bij Wizards,” it means that Beal is doing very well, or in Robkazoe’s words, Beal is “on a roll” for the Wizards. They aren’t saying Bradley Beal really has a TASTE for the Wizards.
If someone practically has a taste for the Wizards (in an American sense), that’s Lou Williams as mentioned above. Hij is een echte Wizardmoordenaar, toch?
Yes, I do know some Dutch, though I’ve learned from Belgians not named Emma Meesseman. Reading, writing, and listening to standard Dutch has helped me after being exposed to the language for awhile though I’m not fluent yet — especially with speaking. I didn’t use Google Translate upon seeing the piece. At any rate, idioms can be hard to understand unless you’re a native. So thank you to Robkazoe and everyone else who has read this article!