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"The Machine" - Sasha Vujacic of the Lakers

"The Machine" - Sasha Vujacic of the Lakers English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Mar 27 2009

Themes: Interview, Sports

Grammar: Phrasal Verbs


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Since when do robots have such cool hair? Sasha Vujacic is a man from Slovenia who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, but when he’s having a good game, he is no man, he is a machine.

It’s pretty great to be human, but it means you can never be perfect. People get scared or tired and make mistakes. They feel pain and get nervous. But machines can do the same thing over and over flawlessly.

Imagine playing against a basketball player who seems like he can’t miss. He’s a machine programmed to make his shots and block yours. Sounds scary, right? Well, don’t be scared. Sasha Vujacic may be known as “The Machine,” but he’s all smiles, and one of the friendliest players in the NBA. Jason recently met up with him in LA to talk about learning languages, making friends and where he got his nickname.

3. Watch - Watch the video without reading the dialog.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Jason:  Welcome to English, baby! I’m Jason, here with Sasha Vujacic of the Los Angeles Lakers. How are you today, Sasha?

Sasha:  I’m OK. Thanks for having me.

Jason:  You’ve played both in Italy and now in the United States and you’re from Slovenia. So you’ve had to learn two different languages. And then when you came here, how hard was it for you to learn English?

Sasha:  I knew English since I was probably eleven or ten. In school we always had English as a second language.

Jason:  So when you first got here, did you do any speaking Italian with Kobe?

Sasha:  Yes, I did since day one. He speaks really good Italian and we kind of clicked from day one.

Jason:  And so, your nickname is “The Machine.” How did you get that nickname?

Sasha:  I think it started when I made a couple of shots and I was on a roll. You know, on both ends, defense and offense. Our announcers on TV, they kinda started calling me “The Machine.” Fans kind of picked it up, carried it on, and that’s the nickname now.

Jason:  When do you call someone a machine? For people that don’t know, like, what makes someone a machine?

Sasha:  There’s so many reasons that you can call a person a machine. You can be a machine if you don’t sleep at all. You can be a machine if you don’t feel pain or whatever. Whenever you see a little bit of supernatural power in someone, you can call them a machine. I don’t know. It’s just funny.

Jason:  Is Pau Gasol a machine also?

Sasha:  I don’t know. I mean…They gave me that nickname so you can’t just give it to anybody.

Jason:  Sure.

Sasha:  So Pau Gasol is Pau Gasol. Everybody is a machine in their own way, but we just gotta do our thing this year and that’s win the championship. That’s all I’m thinking about right now. Machine or not, the championship is the most important thing.

Jason:  Definitely. Thanks so much, Sasha. Can I get you to give me a high-five and say, “English, baby!”?

Sasha:  OK. English, baby!


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Sasha began learning English in school as a kid in Slovenia, but before he came to the US, he played basketball in Italy, so he learned Italian as well. When arrived in LA, he and Kobe Bryant bonded quickly because they both speak Italian.

One night, when Sasha was playing really well, the TV announcer started calling him “The Machine” because he was so hot, it seemed like he couldn’t miss. The name stuck. Soon, Sasha’s fans started using the nickname, and even making videos about it and posting them online.

As Sasha explains, anyone who seems stronger or better than a normal human can be a machine. If you get 100% on all your quizzes in school or can play a song perfectly from beginning to end, then you’re a machine. When was the last time you were a machine?

For more with Sasha, read the rest of this interview or visit his official site. It may also interest you to know that this Ebaby! high five was mentioned in the LA Times.



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Hi to everybody!

Sasha is really perfect and sometimes he seems to be machine. I think, someone can be like machine when persevering to reach his/her goal, no matter what obstacles he/she meets.

Otherwise, I think, those english pages are great, specially for understanding and learning slang or colloquial language.

Well, be nice everyone!



03:12 PM Mar 30 2009 |




ehehh, I´m almost a machine too. I finished my studies at Math College. Everyone thinks Maths is a hard subject to learn, but I nailed every parts of it and marked almost 10 in every exams I made. So I´m considered a machine!

02:47 PM Mar 30 2009 |




i got only 1 right mark…Cry

05:00 AM Mar 30 2009 |


Palestinian Territory, Occupied


i got 3 points


09:26 PM Mar 29 2009 |




it’s cool, why don’t you talk to Kobe?

01:15 PM Mar 29 2009 |

Mr Shaluunge

United States

I don’t like to be a machine coz I do not more

07:18 AM Mar 29 2009 |



i'm not good at English,this lessson too fast,i think i should study English hard.COME ON

06:44 AM Mar 29 2009 |

wang jing

wang jing


So fast. I want my english will as good as him. Study hard!Smile

02:59 AM Mar 29 2009 |


United Kingdom

thank you


11:47 PM Mar 28 2009 |




Human can't be a machine overall. But human can work like machine for short span of time. Therefore, both have different perspective.

04:31 PM Mar 28 2009 |





  •   I've never been a machine, but if the Machine is a nickname for who is hot !!!, I wanna be a Machine. Apart from that , I'm human, I'm not a machine Don't forget the machine can damage and becoming less useful !!!!!!!Surprised 

10:54 AM Mar 28 2009 |




Actully i remembered i made lots of machine wrokings  , like study and get a colleage degree. adn so on. but i found i have not too much energy to become a machine. 

so i think i will become a english learner machine.

09:54 AM Mar 28 2009 |

charmaine lcy


so fast。。。。

07:01 AM Mar 28 2009 |




english baby


05:02 AM Mar 28 2009 |


Viet Nam

i've never done anything perfectly so i can't become a machine. in some area,it good for you when you are a machine, for instance: in labour, in learning, in games, you'll not tired but in sentiment, if you were a machine, its really terrible!


03:20 AM Mar 28 2009 |




it is pretty good to be regard as a machine in NBA..

03:17 AM Mar 28 2009 |




I need to be a machine to do everything I want, hahaha. Unfortunately I'm not!

02:57 AM Mar 28 2009 |



haha,sometime,I realy want to be a machine ,dont need think right or not and whatever I do want.

02:02 AM Mar 28 2009 |



Saudi Arabia

we cant be a Money mouthmachine!!

11:33 PM Mar 27 2009 |



I have to study a lot of english!! 

I sometimes seem a machine!!

10:03 PM Mar 27 2009 |

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