Vesely Struggling to Find Role in NBA
The showman who became a cult figure in Serbia for his infectious emotion and improbable dunks, who once beat out Ricky Rubio for honors as the best young player in Europe and boldly introduced himself at the 2011 NBA draft with a spontaneous smooch with his now-fiancee shies away from the stage these days.
Jan Vesely has descended from being a cocky player who greeted adversity and negative scrutiny with a wry smile to one who now serves little purpose in his second season with the Washington Wizards.
After 14 games, the Wizards have one win and Vesely, the sixth overall pick in the 2011 draft out the Czech Republic, has more fouls (34) than points (29) or rebounds (30).
“He needs to play better. No question,” Coach Randy Wittman said recently. “He’s non-aggressive and he can’t play that way.”
Wittman had hoped that putting Vesely in the starting lineup would help him regain some confidence and yield better results this season. But in four starts, his production was only slightly better, his long arms and activity had little impact, and he rarely saw the floor when the game ended.