Bits from Practice, 1/18
Loved this anecdote from a DN article on Johnnie Bryant:
While half the players for the Jazz are younger than Bryant, six players are older, including three guards in their 30s — Mo Williams, Jamaal Tinsley and Earl Watson. Bryant said he discovered early on that he had the players’ respect despite his age.
“The crazy thing is, they’re very respectful of my teaching,” he said.
One example came during a preseason game against Golden State when Tinsley was trying to get his attention.
“Jamaal was saying, ‘Coach J, Coach J, Coach J,’ and I’m looking around, thinking who is he talking to?” After Bryant realized it was him, he took Tinsley aside and said, “Come on man, I grew up watching you play, you don’t have to call me coach.’ But he said ‘It’s a sign of respect and I’m happy you’re in this position.’”
** On CJ Miles and their talks: CJ’s one of my good friends, man. Seven years, you know, we been together. And it’s good to see him do well right now…We talk a lot. Just talk about different situations. You know, we talk about how different, you know, Cleveland is from here, and you know, it’s a big change. You know, so I’m always willing to hear that, you know, see what’s going on out there…He’s enjoying it. And you can tell, you know. He’s more relaxed on the court. He’s showing that he’s more confident out there.
** On Alec Burks’ progression playing point guard: I think that, you know, we all kinda thought he could play point from the get-go. In the NBA it’s going to be different than anywhere else you play point guard, and I think he’s done a great job of trying to transition there. Like you said, he just needs more reps, and the more time he gets, the better he’ll be at it.
** How was the first practice? It was great to get back on the floor with the guys, lot of energy. Had a good workout. I thought the guys were enthused about getting back to work, and seeing each other again, and working to get better.
** On the four-day break: Well, you know, it is, the schedule is what, I mean, you look at it both ways. We need the rest. I mean, the guys are beat up pretty good, and you need to get your legs back under you to get ready for the stretch run, but then you have played well, so you want to continue that run while it’s going good. But you know, it is what it is.
** How valuable have the vets been to the team? These guys have been super at supporting each other. We talked about, you know, the focus of us getting better from where we are, controlling what you can control…These guys have been tremendous about just doing that. Taking care of the moment, worrying about how we can get better as a team, and as they play better, we’ll get better and everybody will be ok. So you know, the veteran guys have been super. The young guys just following suit and working hard to make all of us better. (KALL)