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Tomas Satoransky declines to meet Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis after Mavericks game

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The Czech head of government is a Tomas Satoransky fan, but that feeling doesn’t appear to be mutual.

The October Euro Summit Takes Place In Brussels
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis went to the Wizards game but did not meet Wizards guard Tomas Satoransky. This is a picture of Babis when he was at an EU summit in Brussels, Belgium.
Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the Wizards held German Heritage Night. But there were more guests in attendance besides the Emily Haber, the German Ambassador to the United States. Andrej Babis (pronounced Bah-bish), the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic was also in attendance.

Na basketu Washington Wizards vs. Dallas Mavericks

Posted by Andrej Babiš on Thursday, March 7, 2019

Prime Minister Babis was on a state visit to the United States earlier this week when he met American President Donald Trump on Thursday. Both have a fair amount of characteristics in common since they are businessmen by trade and became politicians as outsiders among others. President Trump also has Czech ties. His first wife, Ivana is a former Czech-born model and has three adult children with her.

I’m just wondering why Babis had a seat in the 200 level instead of courtside though. And there may be an answer to that.

Apparently, the Prime Minister didn’t want to cause a scene or perhaps he just wanted to blend in. It isn’t clear but Babis’ office may have reached out to Satoransky to arrange a meeting after the game. At any rate Satoransky declined, according to a private Facebook message that was published on proBasket.cz’s Facebook page.

SATO ODMÍTL BABIŠE Co si myslíte o tomto gestu českého zástupce v NBA? Pište do komentářů.

Posted by proBasket.cz on Wednesday, March 6, 2019

In the message (in Czech), Satoransky stated he didn’t agree to meet Babis, “but anyone could do it,” according to echo24.cz (article in Czech). Further reports from Radio Praha indicated that Satoransky took issue with Babis’ alleged ties with the StB, a plainsclothed Czechslovakian state police during communist rule when the Czech Republic was united with Slovakia. Babis has denied such ties though Slovakia keeps him on a list of known StB spies affiliated with them. It should be known that Satoransky never said anything about this specifically.

Babis also denied trying to set up a meeting with Satoransky, saying that he just wanted to enjoy the game and Satoransky’s play. He also said “hackers” could be trying to sway the Wizards guard’s political views as well. Satoransky scored 14 points, dished 11 assists and grabbed 8 rebounds in Wednesday’s win.

It is unclear what Satoransky’s political beliefs are within the European spectrum. But it is possible that it could make planning a Wizards “Czech Heritage Night” a bit more challenging. I don’t think that in and of itself should stop such events from happening as long as Satoransky is in Washington. There can always be plenty opportunities to have cultural exchanges in D.C. even without an embassy’s help.