Utah Jazz Introduce Trevor Booker
Do you know any Jazz players?
Not other than playing against them. [Derrick] Favors, I played against him in the ACC. Ton of potential. Rudy [Gobert], I know him through one of my former teammates, Kevin Seraphin. But that’s about it.
Where does your toughness come from?
I think it comes from my dad. He was a football player in high school. He was pretty tough, so I think I get that toughness from him.
What kind of player are you on the floor?
When I’m on that court, I’m focused. Imma do whatever it takes to win. If it means knocking you out the air, Imma do it. But like I said, off the court, I’m just this laid-back, chill guy. But once you get me on the court, I’m just an animal.
Where did your affinity for cereal come from?
Just growing up, all we did was eat cereal. We ate probably at least 15 boxes a week, just between me and my brothers. We used to eat cereal, like, any time of the day. Sometimes we’d eat cereal for dinner.
Right now, it would have to be Raisin Brans* with bananas.
Maybe Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
* Not a typo.
There’s been a stigma over the years of free agents coming to Utah. What do you know about the town?
I mean, when I told people I was coming to Utah, they were like, “Where’s Utah?” But I’m sure I’ll get acclimated real quick. From what I see, just been here for a couple days, I think I’ll love the city. It’s much different from D.C., but I’m sure I’ll like it.
Not too many top free agents would come to Utah, so I think that’s another thing why coach [Quin] Snyder’s important, in developing these players, because like I said, not too many top free agents like Carmelo [Anthony]* or LeBron [James] would probably pick Utah over other cities. So with [Snyder] here developing these players, it’s huge for the organization.
* Cause for celebration.
Normally I’d give this the “Who dressed him?!” treatment, but I’m going to give Booker the benefit of the doubt because he may have been asked to throw on this Jazz shirt before the interview. Pic via @tribjazz.
Have you talked to any friends in the league that have played in Utah?
Josh Howard. Josh, he played here, I think, for a year. But he loved the city, so I’m sure I can love it too.
Does Snyder’s system fit your game and passing ability?
Oh, definitely. I watched the Spurs play in the Finals. Even after the Finals were over, I replayed the games on my TV, just watching them move the ball. And I think that’s something that coach Snyder wants to do.
Will you be sticking with No. 35?
No, it’s actually retired, so I’m gonna do, hopefully, [No.] 33, but I’m not sure yet. I’m not sure if it’s taken.*
* No. 33 was, in fact, taken by Erik Murphy when Booker said this. Just hours later, however, the Jazz traded Murphy along with John Lucas III and Malcolm Thomas to Cleveland for Carrick Felix, a second-round pick and cash.
What was your childhood like?
I grew up in Whitmire, South Carolina. Deep in the country. We have one stoplight. A town of, like, I think it’s 2,000 people. But I went to school 30 minutes away in Union, South Carolina. Like I said, deep in the country.
At my grandma’s house, we used to raise pigs and slaughter ‘em, and that used to be the highlight of the year right there. So, things like that, we did growing up.
During the summertime, just stayed outside, or actually, all year round. My cousin Jordan Hill, he used to come stay with us during the summer and we would be outside from 10 in the morning until 10 at night, just having fun.
First basketball memories?
Probably, yeah, playing with Jordan and my brothers, just on the basketball court that we had, concrete basketball court down the street. Having dunk contests, one-on-one, two-on-one. Just doing things like that.
Favorite players growing up?
It started off being M[ichael] J[ordan]. And I hated Kobe [Bryant]. And then all of a sudden, something clicked and Kobe became my favorite player of all time. I don’t know what it was, but he’s my favorite player right now.
Who do you pattern your game after?
It’s actually a guy that just left here recently. I’ve been looking a lot [at] Paul Millsap. You know, I really like his game, and I really think we have a similar game.
What should Jazz fans know about you?
I’m very quiet off the court, but on the court, I’m very crazy. (KALL, Utah Jazz)