Random Off-Season Quotage
(The Hazing of Enes Kanter has already been covered a great deal, but here’s the story from another player):
** Gordon Hayward on how Kanter’s rookie hazing started: Enes was foreign [and] Enes is a big dude, so I don’t think anyone was trying to mess with him that much and we were still kinda feeling him out. One time on the plane, Enes was sitting there–like I said, this has been a month and a half or so since we started the season–and they said something to him, and I sat right behind Enes so I kind of was overhearing the whole conversation. Enes just was like, “I don’t feel like a rookie anymore.” And as soon as he said that, things were just completely downhill for him.
The rest of the flight, ’cause the vets were like, “Oh, you don’t feel like a rookie? OK, we’ll make you feel like a rookie.” So the rest of the flight, he was standing up the whole flight. Didn’t sit down til we had to land…Everybody on the team started just dinging [their flight attendant call buttons] and Enes was supposed to come over, so it was just ding, ding, ding. I mean, he was just getting frustrated. [The rest of the story was lost due to a poor connection.] …pretty funny, he kinda brought it on himself.
** Hayward on Kanter’s mic drop: That was something in the locker room they talked about him doing. They had kinda rehearsed a little bit and I don’t think anyone thought he was gonna actually go out there and do it. They told him if he did it, then he wouldn’t be a rookie anymore and he wouldn’t have to bring donuts everyday or anything like that. So I think he was sick and tired of it and just went out there and did it and he was kind of lied to. So I think he was upset about that.
Poor Enes got lied to, but that lie led to one of the greatest Jazz moments in recent memory. So the moral of the story appears to be that sometimes, lies can be good. :)
** Hayward on whether Kanter secretly enjoyed the hazing: I think if you were to ask him he might say he was frustrated, but you could just tell he did kind of embrace it and he liked the attention. He liked being involved with the older guys and the vets, and they liked it too, so it kinda worked out for them both.
** Hayward on his own rookie hazing: One practice we get there and it was Big Al’s birthday. Big Al was always on Jeremy [Evans] pretty hard and he’s on Enes too, so he comes on us and says that we can’t have a weak happy birthday song; we need a performance. And this was at the beginning of practice, so Jeremy and I are freaking out. We’re going the whole practice thinking, what are we going to do? We don’t have anything ready. We pretty much took the practice off mentally and were trying to figure out what to do, and by the end, we had to sing “Happy Birthday” to Al. I did some beat boxing and Jeremy did some vocals. (video)
** Hayward on whether his rap career is over: I would say I’m a one and done. (2)
** Earl Watson: [Alec Burks] is back in town [in Kansas City]. We actually gonna meet up and go to church on Sunday. (1)
** Kevin O’Connor on the Jazz’s most pressing need this off-season: (7-second pause) I would say shooting, but that comes at a premium first of all. And the second thing is, as you get into the Playoffs, there’s a lot of guys that are really good shooters that can’t get a shot in the Playoffs. So you gotta look at that situation and say, “How do I get people that can be able to stretch the defense* but also be able to play the other end and hopefully also be able to move and get open?”
[Host makes catty remark about Kyle Korver.]
KOC: I think Kyle’s terrific, I don’t want to go there with that but that’s part of some of the things you talk about. (KUTV)
*This is so revealing about the place of three-point shooting in the Jazz offense. Guys capable of hitting three-pointers are just out there to stretch the defense and act as decoys, but not actually take shots unless the ball happens to be in their hands as time is running out.
** Randy Rigby on Kevin O’Connor’s selection to the NBA’s Competition Committee: As [the NBA Board of Governors was] voting on this selection of individuals on there, I went to [David Stern] and put a strong plea for them to consider Kevin O’Connor as a great candidate, being I think one of the best minds in basketball from general managers.
** Rigby on Hayward and Derrick Favors’ selection to the USA Select Team: It speaks very well to our fans and to this community in the job that Kevin and Ty[rone Corbin] have done selecting and developing these players to be who they are, and to them. (2)