Locker Room Cleanout: 3 of 3
In no particular order:
** It was a tough situation for Raj. He came in and started and obviously towards the end of the season, him not being able to play, obviously I know had some situations throughout the season, but Raja’s that fiery type of guy. I respect him as a player and I learned so much from him.
** [Was Raja still close with the team at the end of the season?] Raja’s great. He’s great in the locker room. He coaches the young guys; he’s a consummate professional. I continued to pick his brain every game night just to see what I could do differently in certain types of situations. Obviously him and coach had their thing, but it was tough to see.
** Summer plans: It’s up in the air. I’ll spend a little time with Al in Santa Barbara, that’s our team thing, and I’ll find pick-up games wherever they may [be].
** On his relationship with Tyrone Corbin: I think we understand one another. Communication got better as the year went on. He started to understand me more as a player; I started to understand what he wanted as a coach. [Is communication something that needs to be developed by him?] At times. He could be a little more open with players and express what he’s thinking and why he’s doing certain things, but that may not be the type of coach that he is.
** If I felt like there was something that needed to be said as far as like to the team or as far as like to the coaches, I felt like sometimes it was looked on like…(pause)…I’m 25 years old and played on good teams. I’ve seen the things as well as them that it took for us to be able to win, so if I felt like some of those things weren’t being done, sometimes far as speaking up or speaking out, I did it. And I don’t know. I guess that transition [of my relationship with Corbin] is still kind of up in the air.
** [Rank the following for free agency: Opportunity, location, money.] Opportunity. Location is not a big deal to me. If you not willing to drive in the snow to be able to do what you love, then I don’t get you. I never understood that with people.
** On three pointers: As the year went on…we were basically told not to shoot them. That wasn’t what we did. When you shot them was pretty much out of sense of urgency. That was pretty much the only time we shot them. It wasn’t really part of our offense.
** [Do you feel like you're a part of the Jazz's future plans?] I don’t know. Hopefully.
** On Corbin: There were times where there could’ve been more communication, as far as things wanted to be done, what you want to be done, how you want to do it. And it made it a little tough. Even guys that played a lot of minutes, there was times when just trying to figure it out…like Al or guys that played heavy, heavy minutes, everybody was pretty much up and down, like guys trying to figure it out and it was tough.
** More on Corbin: Being able to know what’s going on makes everything a lot easier. You don’t want to have to come in guessing everyday…Just being able to know what’s going on and what you’re asked to do, I don’t even remember us naming a captain…but they want leadership.
** On Jerry Sloan: Coach Sloan made it clear from the beginning of the year how he was gonna do things. From [the first second of] training camp he made it clear this is what we want to do, this is what we have, this is what we gonna try to do. The year where I was moved to sixth man, he came to me and sat me down and had a conversation with me about it. Told me exactly why, what he wanted to do. And with Coach Sloan, he made sure even if it wasn’t a direct sit-down, he made sure you knew during practice how we were gonna do it and he pretty much stuck with what he was trying to do.
** On Corbin: He’s a good coach and going to be a better coach.
*in Chandler Bing voice* Could it BE any more obvious that Matt Harpring is employed by the Utah Jazz?
Harpring also tweeted this, and Gordon barely said anything about Corbin at all:
** The blowup [in Philly] was unfortunate. I said as much to them and Kevin in a private meeting after that right before the trade deadline. I think both parties had something to do with that. I take my fair share of blame for it, but I wasn’t the only one in that locker room. We sat down as men and we all agreed that we’d let that go, and so that’s what I was basing the rest of the season assuming that we were just going to move forward and try to put it behind us like men. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen like that.
** I had a great season here. I love these guys in this locker room. I made some good friends. I got to see some young fellas develop into some really good players. So not a wash; I don’t regret it.
** On Derrick Favors: He’s a dominant force. He’s got a motor that never stops running. He’s active; he’s long; he’s athletic. The sky’s the limit for him. I’d like to see him with somebody who really knows what they’re doing as far as low-post footwork and move-making,* and really streamline his game if you will [to] make it more effective and efficient. If he can do that, you’re looking at a really, really, really special player.
* Me tooooooooooooooooooo….
** I haven’t asked for anything [trade], but I think everyone understands the situation we’re in now. When it gets to a point where there’s absolutely no communication for months on end, I think we all know that that’s irreparable damage.
** Relationship with Jerry vs. relationship with Corbin: Night and day. For whatever reason; no finger pointing or anything like that. Just two different people, so the dynamics were different…I came back for the stability, the things that were in place. They had been in the Playoffs the last few years. There was rarely any change around here. So all those things were really important to me when I signed, and they didn’t work out like that. But that’s no one’s fault. That’s just the nature of the business.
** I was getting one set of commands from one person and then just zero communication from the other person. I honest to God didn’t know if I was playing one night until [the media] told me I was active. I mean, that’s as unprofessional as it gets in my opinion.
** We had a conversation at the All-Star break where I told them, as matter of fact as I could, that if that was what they wanted to do, then I 100 percent supported that, and that it might be a good time for us to part ways, and it could be good for everybody…and there would be no hard feelings whatsoever and that I’d actually welcome it if they felt like they were ready to go with their youth movement. They told me no.
** On not playing in the Playoffs: It wasn’t my call to make, and once I realized after Game 1 when he cleared the whole bench and I didn’t even touch court at the end of the game, that it was a personal matter, then I didn’t care anymore.
** On Corbin: He’s a young coach and he’s growing. Maybe I’m not the easiest person to get along with.
Course, Bitter Ross had to weigh in with several AK references, including the one below, despite the irrelevance::
No surprise that the Jazz posted every player’s locker room cleanout interviews except Raja’s and C.J.’s. FWIW, it didn’t feel like either Raja or C.J. were taking potshots. Neither was angry or ranting. Seemed like they were both just calmly trying to give honest, measured responses to questions.
** [How different do you feel now than you did one year ago?] I’m so much more comfortable in the position. I have an idea of what to expect. I’m comfortable making the decisions that we need to make without second-guessing everything…I feel great about where I am as the coach of this team.
** [How did you manage your roster?] Well, just talking. Being able to communicate with the guys…we were open to communicate about anything. If you had concerns about your time, how I was using different guys, what we running, whatever, we can talk about it…you’re a part of what we have going on here and we want to hear from you.
** On Alec Burks: Alex* had a great year for a young guy.
* Not a typo. Tyrone still calls Alec Burks “Alex.” Maybe he’s getting him back for this.
** [Do you think Derrick Favors can be a starter next season?] I mean, you never know. We got a lot of bodies. He’s warranted with his play this year to be a starter. You can only start five guys but you like to have 13 guys you’d like to start and we have a lot of guys I wouldn’t mind starting.
** On Raja: He’s got a contract for next year, and we expect him to honor it.
I said this six days ago, and it’s still what I think (though now I would add “and dick move” to after “power trip”):
If Corbin isn’t going to play Raja, the Jazz should’ve traded him or even waived him. Players’ careers are finite, and Raja’s at or nearing the end of his. The Jazz are wasting his time–and that’s not even considering the possibility that Raja could actually help the Jazz in this series. Winning should come before personal issues, and keeping him around so that he can “get the message” is nothing more than a power trip.
** Everyone should appreciate the professionalism that [Corbin] brought to the team.
** On whether Jamaal Tinsley and Josh Howard have futures with the Jazz: Yeah, both of them. Absolutely…They didn’t do anything to prevent them from coming back.
** [Do you see Derrick Favors becoming the face of the franchise?] What I see is improvement. I think the face of the organization is Gail and Greg Miller.
** [Do you think Ty's communication abilities could improve?] Every time I’ve been at practice, I’m watching him talk to players. I don’t know what else communication you’re talking about. Normally guys that don’t play, you don’t get communicated to, I guess is the new thing.