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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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i want to be machine in my study

08:29 PM Mar 27 2009 |



United Kingdom

its verry simple to be machine.. but the problem sometimes we forget whats mean the life..
my dream to be machine man .. in evrythings

07:32 PM Mar 27 2009 |

Dani Tomeh

Dani Tomeh


I wanna be a machine on english


06:51 PM Mar 27 2009 |



wow it's really interesting when you learn English. I don't remember when last time i was the machine. But i think when i have a really lot of work to do and when i have fantastic challenge i'll be machine. really it is very good  to call your self  a machine to have a real power. there is no impossible to be a machine really we can do it. don't lose your self-confidence trust in your self.

05:15 PM Mar 27 2009 |

quick to pardon


my nickname is the king.
I hope be machine in Englis.Laughing

04:43 PM Mar 27 2009 |




Just never give your dream up!! It will make you a Machine!!

02:33 PM Mar 27 2009 |




I cannot be like a machine. There does exist something I am very interested in, but even thus, I still am always trying to restrict myself to do it regularly. If it is defined as doing something perfect, to be a machine, I used to be some one. It was up to my effort and luck.

Now I am working hard on my job, doing my best to be an expert. But now, i am not one. Can I be a machine, in order to learn more, and to do my work better, forgetting anything but just study and work, and think. Well, I don't think I would do this in this way. I will grow up little by little.

02:32 PM Mar 27 2009 |




Everyone can be a machine,cause they have their own talents in some aspect.Everyone is special,when they find out what they are really into then they would behave like a machine,like,they are missing in the thing they like,and the whole world has nothing to do with them.I hope to find out the stuff makes me become a machine,that would be fantastic!

01:27 PM Mar 27 2009 |




 if u want asuccessful live u must be machine.

i now like amachine becuse ihave the last tearm of study.



12:49 PM Mar 27 2009 |




 if u want asuccessful live u must be machine.

i now like amachine becuse ihave the last tearm of study.



12:49 PM Mar 27 2009 |


Russian Federation

Well people can work like  machines. They do the same things day by day. They do their routine work.


08:39 AM Mar 27 2009 |



Maybe it is good to be a machine,but then we won’t have our own colorful life.

08:30 AM Mar 27 2009 |



Every day i should do my best try to be a machine, study , exercise,less do sth wrong .

07:50 AM Mar 27 2009 |



Hello, Wish all of you will be a machine in the English study.

07:13 AM Mar 27 2009 |

shimaa mohammed


I want to be a machine in English I hope that.

07:07 AM Mar 27 2009 |




I rather agree with sasha who took on “a machine”!...
I believe everyone would be a machine ,if everything was well done by ourselves

06:20 AM Mar 27 2009 |




Does playing games whole night count? lol~

When I was in  the last year of high school, we studied very late everyday, that was really like a machine. nightmare.

04:49 AM Mar 27 2009 |



i don't like SV. he's of couse a great 3P shooter but i don't like him at all. Kyle Kover is my favourite 3P shooter in the entire league.

03:54 AM Mar 27 2009 |



I have known the Sasha’s nickname before but I just surprised to know that Kobe speaks Italian as well as Sash. I think everyone would want to be a machine in every event in his life.

01:47 AM Mar 27 2009 |




In my life, sometimes it is hard to handle my mind. At that time I want to be a robot. No feel , no pain. But I know that I might quit this way of thinking as I will never become robot.

01:46 AM Mar 27 2009 |

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