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Utah Jazz Media Day 2014: Ian Clark, Jeremy Evans, Dante Exum, Rudy Gobert and Rodney Hood

September 30, 2014

** What are the main differences between Quin Snyder and Tyrone Corbin’s systems?
The way that [Snyder] has certain guys positioned on the floor to succeed, I feel like it’ll help us a lot because of, it’s not really you need to be in a certain spot. It’s like an area, and he lets you become a player and use your talents to help the team, you know, be successful. … Definitely, he’s a player’s coach, I feel like. You know, after practice he’s always with somebody on the court, working on something they need to work on.

** Do Quin Snyder’s reads work better for you?
The more you do it, the more it becomes natural. And especially, you know, for all the reads that we have, it allows you to be a player so you don’t have to think. You just react.
** What are your expectations for yourself this season?
Well, first of all, I’m way more relaxed coming in this year, you know, being, last year being my rookie year. Had a lot of jitters and everything, you know, the first year, not knowing what to expect and everything. But this year, you know, we have a new coaching staff and new guys. I’m just more confident in myself, the work that I put in this summer, coming in and being more of a combo guard instead of just a wing. Just try to find some minutes on the court.
** Richard Jefferson is gone. Who are the locker room leaders now?
I would say just from a, being, from a Utah Jazz standpoint, being Gordon [Hayward] or Derrick [Favors], ’cause they’ve been here the longest. Those guys are technically kinda the vets now…Also, with Steve Novak and Trevor Booker coming in, you know, those are guys that have been in the league for a minute or two, so they definitely can help us.

** What do you think of Quin Snyder?
I love him. I told the guys earlier today, he puts us in positions that we’ll actually be in on the court, and you know, we’re comfortable with making passes or you know, where our teammates are.

** Have you put on any weight?
Maybe a couple pounds, one or two…[Last week] I tipped the scale at 200, so, I hope so. I hope I can keep it on.
** Are you trying to get back to the Dunk Contest?
Not really…If it happens, I’ll go back if they call me. But I wouldn’t say it’s a goal of mine. The first goal is to try to win.
** On Alec Burks
He’s a funny guy. I think the funniest thing about him is he thinks he can jump higher than me.
If the Jazz had a dunk contest, who would win it?
I told Alec, he gotta take my trophy.
** What do you have to do to take the next step?
Probably just be there mentally every game, and come out and do my best and give it my all. I feel like it’s so many times that I just don’t do that, and I can be so much better.
** What’s the best thing you did this summer?
Went to Jamaica…It was nice. I got to stay on, in a resort and just got in the water. I love going, you know, swimming…I think the best part about it, though, I got to play soccer with a couple of guys, so.
What couple guys?
Couple Jamaican guys, Americans. And it turned out to be a little better than I thought…I’m pretty good.
** When Gordon was going through his contract stuff, I [David Locke] texted him. He wouldn’t text me back.
Same here.
Oh, come on. He had to text you back.
No. Maybe, you know, I hit him up once, probably right after he hit me that time.
Did you go to the wedding?
Yeah, I did.
How was it?
It was pretty nice. Yeah, I had a lotta fun. Got to meet, you know, a couple of his friends, you know, that I talk to now. Ready to see ‘em when they come out and have fun.
He’s your guy. How did you feel when you heard he could be going to Cleveland and you might be separated, that Frick and Frack was going to be broken up?
Not really. I just, you know, know that anything can happen, and just hold off and wait, just, you know, see the final call.
** On hitting Gordon Hayward up for money
I should, but he probably wouldn’t answer.
** Andrew Wiggins got a lot of pub for his massive jump at P3. Did you go there intentionally to break his record?
Not at first. But then after, you know, like you said, you hear the talk about it, and I’m like, “Man, what happened to, you know, my numbers and stuff?” So, I feel like, that, I need to, you know, prove some people wrong and set the bar high.
What was your final number?
I think 12-9. My goal is to get 13 [feet].
Twelve-nine. Do you realize how stupid that is?
Yeah, it’s pretty high.

** How do you feel you did at the World Cup?
Yeah, the Worlds was a bit up and down for me. You know, I didn’t get as many minutes as I wan–would’ve liked to, but you know, it’s all about a learning experience for me, and you know, [Australian national team head coach] Andrej [Lemanis] made that clear with me. And so, I had a good experience with it, in learning how to be professional in that kind of environment.
** Do you have to be patient with yourself, and does that affect confidence?
I think so. You know, a lot of people have been kinda putting me down. ‘Cause I’m only 19 years old, and I know it’s gonna be a patience thing, but I know both me and Rodney, we’re competitors, and we wanna be the best player we can right now. And we’re, so, we’re coming in everyday and trying to get better so when it comes to the opening night, that we’re ready. And it’s not about trying to be patient, so.
** What do you expect your biggest challenge in your rookie season will be?
I think physicality. You know, to step up and play with grown men compared to what I’ve been used to…I got a quick first step, and getting into the paint and trying to finish over guys, I think, and play with contact. So I think that’s gonna be the main thing. I’m gonna have to try and adjust as quick as possible to it.
** How has your family influenced you?
My dad played college basketball at UNC and played professionally back in Australia, and you know, I’ve had a loving family that’s supported me the whole way. My brother’s been there since Day One teaching me how to play basketball, and you know, I think that helps getting you to places, and I don’t think I would be here without them…[My mom is] kind of more on the business side, and she’s learning the game of basketball and how she can help me.
** You’ve been in Salt Lake for a week. What can’t you find, and what have you found that you like?
Well, actually, I’m a big fan of the Cheesecake Factory, so I’m happy I found one of those here. But things I can’t find? I don’t think there’s anything. One of the coaches, Alex Jensen, just told me that I can find some Tim Tams here, so I’m happy about that.
** What do you think the Utes didn’t do well against Washington State?
They didn’t score enough.

** Do you feel like you showed this summer what you’re capable of doing?
That was a great summer for me. I play a lot of playing time in summer league and national team, so I think I [did].
Did you feel like you could do all of that last year?
I think I got better and I got way stronger during the season, so I don’t think I was really ready to play at the beginning, but at the end I was ready.
** What role does confidence play?
That’s why I want to play summer league and national team, you know, to get my confidence back and be ready for the, for this season coming up.
** Quin Snyder’s bigs have to be able to pass and make reads away from the ball. Does that fit your game?
Of course. Of course. You know, I was a good passer, you know, when I was young…and that’s good that coach trust me about the pass. And he knows how to use me, so it’s gonna be great.

** What can you bring offensively to this team?
Coach want me to run the floor and first of all get my teammates open and help the team offensively. And after that, bring a lot of energy. Offensive rebound, and I know I’m gonna score being at the right place at the right time, and offensive rebound for sure.
** How do you block shots?
That’s timing. I’m very long, so it helps. Timing, anticipation. And when you get your shot blocked, you know, you think twice after when you come back. So, after I try to get in people’s head, and it helps the team.
** Did you say anything to Pau Gasol after you dunked on him?
No, I didn’t say nothing. I respect him…I just try to play and win the game.
** When you came to the NBA, did you believe you could be good?
Of course. I came in the NBA to be good, and I think I didn’t do anything else, so I came here to play, to be a very good NBA player, so. I’m just starting.

** Is Quin Snyder’s system a good fit for your game?
I mean, it’s a great fit, you know? He doesn’t want us to be shy, you know, as far as, you know, if you can shoot it, shoot it. If you can get to the basket, get to the basket. He doesn’t want us to slow–play slow-down ball. He wants us to play with pace, so I, from that perspective, you know, you got guys who can get to the basket, and me just sit out there and do my job and knock down shots.
** On learning the offense
I mean, the game is a game of phases. You know, you start off with one move, and then, you know, they stop that one and you go to another one and counter, and you know, it just an ongoing thing, and it’s been great to have [Quin Snyder] so hands-on with me.
** Who’s the one NBA player you’ve thought about going against one-on-one?
I mean, for me, it’ll probably be Monta Ellis just because he’s from Mississippi and I watched him growing up, when he was in high school before he made it to the NBA. So I always looked up to him.
** What is your living situation?
I mean, well, my brother, my big brother’s coming out here, and, just to keep an eye on me. And you know, and his family.
** How has your family influenced you?
Everybody in my family played ball. My mom, dad, sister, brother. And just watching them go through it, and you know, listening to the advice of my dad, you know? He played overseas for a few years, and just listen to everything he says about taking a professional step into this league and trying to be the best you can be. That’s how, that’s the way he always taught me, just, no matter what the result, just be the best you can be.
** People calling Deron Williams “Duh-RON”: Rodney Hood.

Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of Media Day (UDQM)
** Clark on adjustments to his shot: This year, I been, being in the stance, ready, and just getting it off faster.
** Clark on adjustments to his shot, continued: I’ve tried releasing it higher, and I think it gets me, it gets the arc a little off. Like I said, I think the biggest thing for me, because my release is so low, is just being ready early, before the ball is swung to me, being ready to shoot.
** Clark on the long NBA season: This year, you know, I got more of a sense of what’s coming up, and I’m ready for it.
** Clark on reads in Quin Snyder’s system: The more you do it, the more it becomes natural.
** Jeremy Evans on unselfishness in practice paying off: I believe that’s real big…Everybody feeds off that. It’s just a simple thing, but it goes a long way.
** Rudy Gobert on how he blocks shots: That’s timing. I’m very long, so it helps.
** Rodney Hood on Media Day: I guess the first one always fun.
** Hood on NBA 2K: I haven’t got it. I’m ready to get it though, just play with myself.
Locke: So Rodney Hood’s gonna play with Rodney Hood?
Hood: Oh yeah, most definitely. Most definitely. I got to.
** Locke: One day during open gym, you finished and then Quin came, and spent about 10 minutes with you…You were pump faking and he’s like, “No, no, no, no. We’re not doing that.” Explain why he didn’t want that.
Hood: I mean, just, you know, we playing pretty quick and we playing with the pass. So you know, my job is to shoot, and you know, my pump fake is used in certain situations, but you know, I have a quick trigger, so he just want me to just, I mean, let it ride.
** Dante Exum on attending the Utah-Washington State game: Brock was loving it, so. He was kinda trying to persuade me to go the other way.
** Spencer Checketts: What’s up, Dante?
Exum: Not much, just trying to get out.
** David Locke: Tweet out that Dante Exum’s on. Then our audience will, like, go up 10 times.
** Locke to Exum, on criticism: I’m just gonna keep feeding it to you to piss you off.

Utah Jazz Media Day 2014: Trevor Booker, Carrick Felix, Dahntay Jones and Steve Novak

September 30, 2014

** What can you bring to the Jazz this year?
Well, I plan on bringing leadership, experience. You know, with me making the playoffs for the first time, I can bring a little bit of experience. A lotta energy, and just a lotta passion.
** Is it weird to be known for your love of cereal?
I mean, I didn’t expect to get known for it, but it is what it is. I’ll take it. I love cereal.
** What do you think of Quin Snyder and his system?
Coach Q’s like a, he’s like a basketball genius. I mean, he knows the game so well. He’s trying to, you know, incorporate the offense and defense and at the same time point out little things to the players and make sure we see it from his perspective on why we’re doing this and this. So I mean, he’s great so far.

** You get compared to Paul Millsap. Do you see that?
Yeah, I could see that. A couple years ago, people were asking me who I patterned my game after, whose game is parallel to mine. And I would tell them Paul Millsap, because he was that workhorse when he was here. You know, he got the job done; rebounder; hard-nosed guy.
** Tell us about yourself.
I’m a family guy. I love playing with my kids. When I’m free, you can find me with my family, playing with the kids, just running around the house being a big kid with me.
How old are they?
Nine, four and one.
Are they all boys?
One girl and two boys. The oldest is the girl.

** What should fans know about your game?
That I play hard…I give 100 percent, if not 120 percent every time I’m on the floor. I’m a guy who’s gonna defend, I’m a guy that’s gonna do all the small things, and like I said, I’m a guy that’s gonna go out there and just play the game of basketball like it’s supposed to be played, so.
** What can fans expect from you? (different interview)
Definitely they can see a guy who’s gonna, every time I step on the floor, I mean, I’m gonna give 110 percent.
** What was your reaction to being traded to the Jazz?
I was excited. It’s definitely an opportunity to–as the Utah Jazz is building a new culture, and building to win a championship, I wanna be a part of something like that. I wanna be a part of something bigger than myself, so it was definitely easy. It was a easy feeling, so.
** How did skateboarding evolve into basketball?
I definitely feel like it’s helped me with my athleticism, and also just, I just, I don’t really fear too many things, especially on the court. Skateboarding made me very not afraid to take the risk and not afraid to go up against anything, and I think that’s one thing that I’m grateful for and from, taken from it, so.
** On his master’s degree from Arizona State
It’s something that is very, very, very dear to my family, so I definitely have to go after it.
** There’s a retired player that people would like you to become. Who is that player?
That player is Bruce Bowen…Definitely, I watch a lot of his game, and I definitely see myself being that type of player. Just a little bit more athletic, but definitely see myself being that type of player. Just kinda the way he defends, the way he just kinda just embraces his role, hits open shots, and I mean, I’m always willing, I wanna guard the best player on the floor every time, so.

** On providing veteran leadership
Definitely. I’ve been on a lotta different teams. Winning teams, teams that are growing, teams that are not very good at all. So I have a lotta, I have a different perspective that these guys can lean on and learn from. And that’s my, part of my role coming to this organization, is be able to mentor a couple guys, teach ‘em how to work, teach ‘em how to practice on a daily basis, teach ‘em how to compete, and then play at a high level myself.
** Did you know fellow Dukies Quin Snyder and Antonio Lang before you signed with the Jazz?
I do, I did, in a small way, because when I go back to the school and different events for coach [Mike] K[rzyzewski], those guys are around. We don’t know each other a great deal, but we’re very familiar with each other.

** What does Quin Snyder bring?
You know, he’s a basketball mind. He’s a basketball junkie. He’s someone who I think we as players really respect because we know when he’s even not with us, he’s thinking about the game. He’s figuring out ways to make us better, and implementing that as soon as he gets to us. And you can see his mind kinda churning even when he’s talking to us in practice and stuff like that. So, that’s what we want as players, someone who thinks about us when he’s away from us and thinks about how to use us better.

** What are your impressions of what Quin Snyder is trying to do with this team?
Last year, I know the pace was very slow, and I think you can see a lot that Quin is gonna definitely help the pace. And we’re gonna get up and down the court; we’re gonna outlet the ball quickly; we’re gonna not have play calls a lotta times on the court. It’s gonna be very much, he’s gonna trust us. And so, I think there’ll be some trouble at times. We won’t look perfect at times, but I think it’s gonna be a process that we’ll get better at, and I think, you know, he’s a very, very smart basketball mind, so I think that we as players believe in his system and are gonna buy in.
** Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in a basketball family. My dad was a high school coach when I was born. He was my high school coach. He coached myself and my brother at the same time. I was a senior; he was a freshman. So I grew up in a basketball atmosphere, and I think he’s the one that really taught me how to shoot. Taught me to love the game, just kinda introduced me to the game and I grew up pretty much at his practices. You know, going to the vending machine…and opening my bag of candy and, like, pouring it on the floor and eating it off the floor. So, this has always been, like, where I’m most comfortable, in the gym. And so, I was just lucky to grow up in that kind of environment and be with, you know, my dad through that whole time, who was obviously someone who I really looked up to.
** Who are the shooters you admire?
Definitely growing up, Ray Allen. He was in Milwaukee with the Bucks when I was growing up in Milwaukee, and just a, obviously a good guy. Someone who my parents were like, you know, “He’s a stand-up guy. You should like to watch him and follow him.” And the fact that he was playing for the Bucks at the time and I was, I think, in grade school and high school, he was someone I looked up to…I always wanted to be a shooter, and you know, the big, a lotta times, honestly, the big white guys, to be honest, who shot it, those were the guys I looked up to.

Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of Media Day (UDQM)
** Dahntay Jones, asked if he knows Quin Snyder: I haven’t known him like that.
** Trevor Booker on Media Day: It’s not really a bad part about it. It’s just time consuming. But you have to do it, so.
** Booker, asked if he’ll be rebounding and leading the break: I don’t know. I gotta talk to coach about that, see what he thinks. He’s been watching, so hopefully he let me, lets me bring it up some.
** Booker on getting Paul Millsap comparisons: I could see the same type of player in me.
** Carrick Felix on his game: I’m a guy that’s gonna do all the small things.
** Felix on being traded to the Jazz: I wanna be a part of something bigger than myself, so it was definitely easy.
** Locke to Felix: Do you longboard also?
Felix: No, actually I hate longboards for some reason.
Locke: ‘Cause they’re fast and you’re gonna die?
Felix: Nah, just ’cause they’re just, the shape of it. I’m just not into it.

Utah Jazz Media Day 2014: Dee Bost, Jack Cooley, Brock Motum, Kevin Murphy and Toure Murry

September 30, 2014

** How’s been your reaction with Trey Burke been? And how has he helped you with your game at point guard?
You know, just looking at things he learned, you know, it’s helping me through open gyms. And then starting tomorrow, I feel like I can learn some more things, you know, and just continue to get better as a point guard.
** What are your thoughts on Quin Snyder so far?
I feel like he’s a great coach, you know? He know what he talking about, and you know, hopefully he can change the organization. And I feel like he’s a great coach.

** What are your goals this season?
Just to help the team win and whatever I can do, just to help us get better.

** Tell us about yourself.
I’m from Glenview, Illinois. I went to the University of Notre Dame. I graduated in 2013. I have a degree in finance. And I grew up, I’ve, I lived with my mom and dad and my sister Blair. She goes to the University of Missouri. She’s a journalism major. And I’m engaged to a beautiful fiancee, Jackie Oberlander.* And, no date yet, but you know, we’re just still working on that. But, I mean, just, life’s pretty great now.
* Which is cuter, Jack and Jackie or Rodney Hood’s parents, Ricky and Vicky?

** Is your fiancee moving to Utah?
She will be coming out in January. She’s finishing up an internship. She’s an architect. She’s working in downtown Chicago, so.
** You look pretty comfortable from 20-22 feet.
I showed [my range] a lot better this summer league. I can shoot threes, and I can shoot outside jumpers. I mean, in the system right now, I’m trying to see where I can find my shots and stuff like that, but coach [Quin Snyder] is doing a good job of recognizing that I can shoot. And I mean, I’ve been doing it a pretty good amount in the open gyms and making those shots. So, I just wanna–the offensive end is good. I just want to try to learn all the defenses and just keep playing hard.
** How does Quin Snyder’s system fit your game?
No matter how good of a shooter you are, there’s always gonna be misses. So, having, coach is great at having guys crash the glass and play hard and physical, and he respects anyone who plays physical, so it’s good to be able to do that and seem to fit into the system. And the system’s been working pretty well so far.
** What kind of coach is Quin Snyder?
He’s a very, very good coach, and an extremely intelligent coach. You can tell that right away. And he’s very adaptive to what’s going on and makes good adjustments, which is what a coach needs to do. And I, he’s been a phenomenal coach so far.

** Where are you from in Australia, and what’s your basketball background?
From Brisbane, Queensland, so I grew up playing there until I was about 17. Then I moved down to Canberra, the Australian Institute of Sport, the thing that Dante [Exum] came from. I was there for a year and a half, and then I went up to college.
** You know more about American culture so you can compare. What’s the Australian Institute of Sport like?
We can go there either when you’re in school, or when you finish school. So it’s basically, you wake up in the morning, you shoot, you go to a class, you come back, you do weights, individuals, go to a class, and then team practice. And then, you live on-site. And then when you finish school, you do the same thing, but a little extra practice. I’d say you can compare it to a prep school.
** What did you learn about Exum from playing with him on the Australian national team this summer?
I think he’s got a lot of potential. He’s a very exciting player. I played alongside him, obviously, this summer, and I got to know him a lot. He’s a great kid, and I think Jazz fans are gonna be really happy with what they see.
** What’s the first CD you ever bought?
Probably the Macarena or something. Played that thing until it stopped playing.

** Tell us about yourself.
Well, I’m from Houston, Texas originally, born and raised. I have two older brothers, one younger sister. And my career, I went to s–well, I went to college at Witchita State University, four years. Got my degree, and you know, from my first year of pro, starting off in the D-League, you know, everything was kinda slow, at first. And then as the season progressed, you know, call-ups and people leaving to go overseas, you know, things bounced my way and I finally got to start at point guard. And that’s kinda how my situation at point guard started, from the D-League. And we ended up winning the championship, and I played really well in the championship games. Had a triple double, and my team went on to win the championship. And then went into summer league with the Rockets; it didn’t work. And then the Knicks picked me up, and from then on, you know, Knicks, went into training camp, played really well and pretty soon played, well, and the team voted me in, basically. You know, everybody was a big fan of Toure’, and that’s how I got my career started in the NBA.
** What do you bring to this team?
I’m able to bring defensive capabilities. Defense is really one of my key components of my game. And offensively, I’m a versatile point guard. Also, I can score the ball, so that makes me, you know, a reliable, you know, scorer and not just a defender.
** What do you think of Quin Snyder?
He’s very intelligent. He knows the game, and he’s young, and he’s a, he wants to win. And he doesn’t care about us being young. He feel like if you prep–when you prepare yourself, and you know, work hard everyday, you can have a chance to win in this league.

** What are you trying to get done in Utah?
You know, just being around a young team, new coach, new organization, for me, I just, I came to a situation where I feel like I can get more playing time, and you know, have an opportunity to showcase my talent on a, you know, it might be on a smaller market, but you know, you still in the NBA.
** On headbands
I’m definitely gonna ask, ’cause you know, I really enjoy wearing headbands. But we’ll see. I axe Quin Snyder.

** On being back with the Jazz
Back for a second chance. You know, it feel good to be good. Just trying to give it, go out here and try and kinda, try and have a opportunity to make this team.
** What have you learned since you were here last?
Basically, it’s a business, you know what I’m saying? It’s just something you gotta, it’s not just basketball. You gotta play all, like, all aspects of the game. Just being a good community guy, being a good teammate, locker room guy, everything.

Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 9/26

September 29, 2014
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** In DL’s estimate, it will take around 25 games for Quin Snyder’s system to take hold and for Jazz games to stop being ugly.

Will we see some toughness and nasty on this team this year? Will Trevor Booker provide that? Would Gordon Hayward still let Delonte West “wet willy” him? Do the Jazz have the personnel to get that needed “edge”?
So, great question, and we talk about edge all the time…Hopefully Trevor will provide experience and some physicality, some pop around the rim to finish, but certainly urgent, edgy play. So, I think Derrick [Favors] can provide that. We certainly need to, there’s some other things that Derrick needs to do for that to come out. Number one, being more vocal.

But at the end of the day, you know it’s athletic competition, and bodies w–even though it’s not a collision sport, it’s a contact sport, and when one body moves another body, and you get deeper position, that’s a good thing* whether it’s post position or a ledge rebound.

And 50-50 balls don’t come up as much as an open jump shot comes up in an NBA game, but there’re 50-50 balls, and there’re certain guys that are just more apt to not worry about the contact in that situation and come up with the ball than others. And it’s certainly to gain possession of the ball, there’s a level of physicality you have to have…

In San Antonio, there’s competing with an edge but competing with great poise. So there’s that fine line of being very physical, yet not being undisciplined. And so, to be able to have good body position and stances and communicate and play with physicality, but not too much so so your opponent’s at the free throw line, is a huge part of your success too.

Jazz management likes to talk about acquiring good citizens and good people. Is there a contradictory element to good people versus nasty on the court?
Awesome question. I’ve had this debate with a lotta different types, and certainly there is a coaching and personnel element that could lend itself to, if a guy is maybe a little more rough around the edges, and their away-from-the-court life that they’ll naturally bring back to the court.

It, the thing I would say to it, it, that may be true, with, let’s just say, in this case, it would be, that is true. I would argue that, the, to, it’s been my experience you get high-character guys that are highly motivated, and by definition they’re tough. And then, if they’re not losing the game out late at night or certainly doing something illegal, if that’s something you can build around…

We believe in high-character guys, and we believe in workers. And we believe those guys, you can get your “tough quotient,” if you will, out of those guys. It’s been my experience, and you can also build around those guys long term.

Because even if you do get a tough guy and he’s a, he goes out and he commits a felony, what’s the rationale behind it? They’re not gonna be with you long term anyway. And you guys see the level of scrutiny that is placed upon public figures and sports figures and teams, and so, we’re in this for the long term, and we b–we really believe in building around high-character guys.

On Dante Exum having access to money and fame at his age
I would be very surprised if Dante is polluted by the attention, or the money. We’ve had multiple interviews and conversations on this topic. I know, we feel like we have a great pulse for his heart, his motivation, his family structure; the support, the fact that his dad is, was a professional basketball player. He’s been around it, and he’s in it for the right reasons.

And really, the goal for Dante is really simple. It’s to build a physical, emotional, habitual base that he can perform from after this season. We just want to support him in every way, challenge him in every way, have a, and then have a great spot to work from when, you know, he turns 20 next July…I think in time, everybody will be pleased with the returns.

Greg Miller described the Jazz’s team-building approach “organic.” What is your interpretation of that?
So, it’s a great term, and look, it’s, when you’re in a small market, it’s, in my opinion, it’s the best way. I’m not saying it’s the only way. There’s certainly the Reggie Whites,** the Green Bay, they can happen. That’s a different sport, and a different collective bargaining agreement. And you don’t want to rule out free agency and trade in your team building.

But the, when you are able to draft and develop a base, a, there’s just something about it. It’s a little bit like raising your own kids and there’s an organic feel. It’s just, it feels right. It tastes right. It looks right.* …

Just step by step, and with the right people, the right amount of character and talent and skill level on your team. (1280)

** DL’s poster boy for “a small market CAN attract a decent free agent!” DL has cited Reggie White in this context probably a dozen times–that I’ve heard–since he joined the Jazz.

Meanwhile, at the Nets’ Media Day…

September 29, 2014
tags: ,

ak deron

nets media day

I can’t get over this…

September 28, 2014

It’s White Kobe.

white kobe

Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 9/25

September 26, 2014
tags: , ,

…aka Dennis Lindsey, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine. The following UDQMs are all from today’s interview.


** DL on the Jazz’s media training camp: I think it’s probably hard to fit PK’s head in the studio right now. That’s what I think. So, let’s talk about the shot, guys.
** DL on whether the Jazz will add a hook shot for a gaggle guy: There’s no question we gotta reevaluate what we’re doing and make sure that that shot, especially at the buzzer, is inside of our repertoire of things to pull out.
** DL on a shot PK made during the camp: You know, I had a suspicion that it was going in, and I had an inkling that we would be talking about this for years to come.
** DL on a shot Jody Genessy made during the camp: Jody’s was pretty good. You know, given the context of everything, it definitely rivaled PK’s.
** PK on what happened after he hit the shot: And then I come back, and Brad Jones says, “You’re not going in. You’re done.”
** DL on the media training camp: Quin had a lot to do with the famous Duke fantasy camp.
** DL on teaching the system: Whatever you emphasize, is what the players grab on, hold to.
** DL on setting good screens: When I was playin’, I wasn’t, I didn’t have Alec Burks’ or Gordon Hayward’s size and quick twitch.
** DL on Snyder’s system being a reactive one, which means he probably won’t be standing up to call plays a great deal: Yeah, so, I’ll be interested to see if he’s be able to sit down. I think I told you, I don’t think our team’s gonna, in the experience level especially of our team will allow him to do that. He’ll have to come out and orchestrate.
** DL on learning the system: I think any time you have a young and relatively inexperienced team, you have natural inclinations and then you have reality where the rubber hits the road.
** DL on why the Jazz decided to field such a young team: It, way back from the Deron Williams decision, and then Kevin [O'Connor] and I coming together with the Miller family.
** DL on the Jazz’s decision, part two: There hasn’t been anything that has been compelling enough for us to change, you know, what was a, you know, a monumental moment in Utah Jazz history, of when Jerry [Sloan] resigned and then quickly moving off Deron.
** DL on the young guys: We’ll see which of that young talent rises. Hopefully, it’s all of ‘em.
** DL on the Jazz having several ball-handlers: You’ll see multiple people bringing it up, multiple people playing inside.
** PK to DL: I’m sore and my knee is swollen. You’ll be hearing from my lawyers.

More UDQMs below…find your own.

How much of Quin Snyder’s offense would have been instituted by him wherever he is, and how much is specific to the personnel he has?
There will be periods where we’ll come down and play inside of our concepts, inside of our flow, if you will. And then certainly, if there’s angles that Gordon [Hayward]‘s better attacking at or rolls that Derrick [Favors] is better rolling to, shots that Enes [Kanter] is better playing from and certain areas on the court, and I think attack angles for Alec Burks and pull-ups from Trey Burke, that can all be incorporated inside of what you do.

So, it’s not just straight, formulaic and cookie-cutter.

There’s a lotta ways inside a situation, dead ball situations, after free throws, where you wanna attack a matchup. But the problem, in our opinion, at playing solely matchup basketball or post-up basketball or pick-and-roll basketball or pin-down basketball is many times, the ball really has to stop while you get yourself organized on the court.

And so, a big part of what we wanna do is we wanna play on the second side of the court, so the ball being swung. We wanna play on the third side of the court; and if the ball’s really humming and popping, sometimes the fourth side of the court where you’re really getting the defense to change their body position.

And any time you get defenses to change the body position, usually there’s somewhere inside the defense that there will be a breakdown and the integrity of the lines of the defense can be compromised through penetration, whether it be with a dribble or with a pass.

So, that’s the whole goal, but yeah, there will be situations where we’ll definitely want to exploit matchups, but if we do that, it will be situation-specific, because we don’t want the ball to stop to try to get it to one person.

You guys have seen that, and really, if we thought that was the most effective way, if we had a player that would be good inside of that, maybe you would see that more. I don’t think you would see that solely, but we don’t believe it’s the most effective way.

The math shows it’s not the most effective way to play basketball. So, we’re using some intuition, some teaching, and some math of the game to help guide us in the directions that we wanna go.

What kind of role will Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors have in Quin Snyder’s offense?
Yeah, so there are multiple things within the offense that they can do. There’re a couple post-up sequences that we like, for both of ‘em, that they can be slightly different.

There are some options where they’re setting screens, whether they’re pin-down screens or pick-and-roll screens that moves the defense off their body and allows them to take a deeper offensive position. So that could be via a duck-in into the paint, or a roll into the paint.

You guys saw Derrick’s finishing last year; really, really improved. We hope to capitalize on that. With Enes, he has a variety of talents and skills. We’ll allow him to shoot deeper shots this year. That’s a natural progression. He’s worked very hard at increasing his range, and so we’ll take a look at that.

And then within the offense, it’s going to be very important for both of ‘em to grow, frankly, and the, when they’re on top of the key and moving the ball from one side to the other in a swing or passing the ball inside to a slip. So they’re gonna have to grow quite a bit…

If you can get your bigs to really be able to make good decisions–they don’t have to be Vlade Divac every night–but if they just make good, solid decisions with the ball, it allows you to play five-man basketball and be more effective. (1280)

Final(?) Off-Season Odds and Ends

September 25, 2014

One. Back in the summer of 2009, Ronnie Price (forever “Ronnie P” to me) was asked how much of the final 17 minutes of the Jazz’s last Playoff game was “Hey, you forgot about me and I’m proving to you what I could have brought.”

His response: “It was more ‘I hate the Lakers’…It was more about that. It had nothing to do with trying to prove a point to Coach or anything like that. I just like getting my name called and like being on the court and having a chance to compete, especially against a team I can’t stand.”

Price just signed with the Lakers, and the comment was picked up and tweeted out by a Lakers blog.


How are Lakers fans responding? Pretty much how you’d expect:

price response-s

Two. I’ll let Kyrylo Fesenko break the news himself:

fes 300


For the record, he was listed at 288 when he was with the Jazz.

Three. Patrick Beilein’s path to Jazz player development coach/video analyst:

Patrick landed the job with Utah after being approached from deep left field by the Jazz. The team’s front office came calling this summer to gauge his interest in being head coach of the Idaho Stampede, the franchise’s NBA Developmental League affiliate. He was one of three finalists and, after interviewing with general manager Dennis Lindsey and others, was confident he’d be hired.

Instead, not long after, the Jazz called Patrick Beilein to say he’d be more valuable on Jazz coach Quin Snyder’s staff. The offer came despite Patrick having “no connection whatsoever*” to Snyder or the franchise. He accepted with little hesitance, leaving his head coaching gig at West Virginia Wesleyan after going 35-24 in two seasons. (M Live)

* His dad, John, was Trey Burke’s college coach.

Four. I believe the new season of Downton Abbey isn’t airing stateside until next year, but for those who have already watched the Season 5 premiere, did this scene bring to anyone else’s mind one Carlos Boozer?


Five. The new Stockton and Malone (aka your beloved Jazz beat writers Aaron “Stockton” Falk and Jody “Malone” Genessy) at the Jazz’s Media Training Camp, via @DJJazzyJody:

Bits from Greg Miller Interview, 9/24

September 25, 2014
tags: , ,


On Derek Jeter
I love watching Jeter. He’s a class act…My wife’s a huge Yankees fan and a big Jeter fan, and she twisted my arm to take her back there and watch Jeter at Yankee Stadium one last time.

You are your father’s son, but you’re a different alliteration* of what your dad did here. How have you put your stamp on the team and what would you like your stamp to look like moving forward?
My dad was a self-made guy, classic entrepreneur. And I tell people that if–I really think in his heart, if he would’ve been able to do things the way he wanted, he would’ve fixed every car that came through his service department. He’d’ve scanned every Jazz ticket. He’d’ve torn every ticket at our theaters, and touched everything.

And our organization got to a point long before he died where that entrepreneurial, hands-on [approach] actually became counter-productive. And I was witness to that.

And I saw that we could do more if we would just let the talented people in our organization have more authority and autonomy to exercise their ideas and to develop their talents and abilities. And I always felt that if I ever had a chance to make that decision, that would be one of the first things I did.

And I’ve restructured the company since I became CEO, and the first thing I did was install presidents over our various business units who are very, very good at what they do….

It’s served the organization very well, a–but it’s also allowed them and those who work under them or support them to grow as well as they’ve employed that same philosophy. And so it’s, I think it’s fostered growth throughout the organization.

Another difference is that, as we all know, my dad was a very passionate guy and he wore his emotions on his sleeve. And I think there’s a time and a place for that. But I saw the remorse that he felt that night that he got into it with a Denver fan and had him in the headlock. And he regretted that so deeply, that it was such a public event. There was no hiding from it.

And then there were times, the time that he came over and yelled at Jerry [Sloan] for the, Karl Malone having a bad night. And that got a lot of coverage. And other nights he’d go in and throw furniture, metaphorically or maybe literally, in the locker room. But every time something like that happened, it was followed by a measure of remorse.

And I just decided that I wasn’t gonna do those things. I’ve worked hard to not do anything to embarrass the organization or the family, and I try really hard to keep my emotions in check. And a lot of times people misinterpret that as disinterest or I’m not as passionate as my dad. I beg to differ. I’m every bit as passionate. I just try harder to keep it in check so I don’t have to apologize to folks after I misstep.

There are, I can tell you stories like that. I can go on and on, but the main thing, to answer the rest of your question, is that I think it’s my responsibility to honor my dad’s body of work, what he did throughout his life. …

My hope is that when it’s not my turn, hopefully many years into the future, that whoever follows me will say, “Wow, Larry started a really great thing. Greg picked up where Larry left off, and made it even better.”

* I’m guessing Spencer Checketts was trying to use one of Dennis Lindsey’s favorite words, “iteration.” Sadly, it didn’t work out.

Jazz fans are excited about this year for a lot of reasons. Why are you excited about this season?
I should probably preface my remarks by saying that I’m very thankful for the years that Tyrone [Corbin] gave us. And I may have never met a finer gentleman in my life. He is just a genuinely good guy, and there’s a big part of me that’s sad to see him go, on the personal level. And I do think that he gave us everything he had and I have absolutely no complaints about the time he was with us.

But having said that, I am very excited for Quin Snyder to be here. And the main thing that is apparent to me with Quin is that he is one who will lay out what he expects and then he will hold the guys accountable to execute his game plan. And if he’s not liking what he sees, he’ll stop it, and he’ll tell the guys–I mean, essentially, he’ll say, “Listen, we can get through this in an hour, or we can take all day. It’s up to you and how well you execute.”

And that level of accountability is one of the reasons that I’m excited, because if our players are held accountable to do what they’ve been coached to do, then I think you’ll see us perform at a level that we haven’t for the last few years. …

I think we’re very young; we’re very fast; we’re very athletic. And I think properly coached, these young guys can develop into something very, very special. And that’s what I expect.

When did you know Quin Snyder was the next coach of the Utah Jazz?
When we were interviewing Quin, we got to the part about what’s your defensive philosophy, how are you gonna improve our defensive performance. And he said that the, everything hinges off the defense.

And it’s not just from a basketball standpoint, but it, if a team plays defense well together, it means they know how to trust each other. And when you have that level of trust, you can do just about anything. It creates wonderful opportunities for, not only for chemistry, but then you look at the offense and the opportunities that spring from the defensive side.

And it was in that vein of the conversation that I looked over at [my brother] Steve and I said, “This is our guy.”

Talk about the process of pursuing a championship. How patient do fans have to be? How patient should they be? Is there a time frame?
Well, I wouldn’t want to quantify it from a timing standpoint…

There’s a, probably several ways that you could get a championship. One would be to just do like Miami did and go out and hire a bunch of free agents and more or less, I’d say, buy a championship. I don’t wanna be unfair to them because I have a lot of respect for the Heat and the Arison family, but our style is different.

And we’re more organic. We’re not looking for the quick fix. We’re looking for long-term success, and that’s why we’ve chosen the route that we have. We’re gonna recruit young guys who are good citizens, that are not troublemakers, that follow direction, that can work well together, that represent the franchise well and the community, and then we just nurture them, and build and invest and hope that dividends come.

And that process takes longer, but I think it’s more durable, and it is more rewarding if and when the payday comes. And I’m confident that it will.

If you’re stumped, where do you go?
Well, prayer.

That’s a, that’s true. I mean, there’ve been a number of times where I’ve just thought, “Man, where do I go from here?” and knelt down and said a prayer, and the answers come.

I also have been, as I said earlier, very, very blessed to be surrounded by extremely talented people who are very good what they do, at what they do, and my style is very collaborative.

Getting back to your question earlier about some of the differences between my dad and me, one of our presidents said, says that, “Greg, the difference between you and your dad can be summed up like this: Your dad ran the business from his desk; you run the business from your conference table” — which means that I’m a lot more collaborative.

Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines (UDQM)
** Miller to Checketts: We ran into your dad and your mom there…It was neat for me to see the success your dad’s having back there.
** Monson on LHM saying Greg should be able to run the empire as he sees fit: I looked at Larry and I thought, wow, that’s, coming from him, and you know how he could be pretty set in his way, that he was willing to release it and feel good about that.
** Miller on when he knew Quin Snyder was the one: Well, it came during the interview process. (1280)

Off-Season Odds and Ends

September 24, 2014

One. The Lehi Mascot Bowl took place on Sept. 22. Jerry Sloan was there.

jerry 923

Asked jokingly about there being rumors that he would be coaching the game, Jerry said, “I’m through coaching…I don’t wanna coach football. That ball won’t even bounce right.” Classic Jerry :)

Oh and by the way…I never knew the Jazz Bear had his own assistant:

bear assistant

Two. Fuel for the insecure Jazz fan with an inferiority complex:

road prices

Three. Derrick Favors, asked if he’s talked to Quin Snyder yet and what kind of guy he is (H/T @My_Lo):

“He’s cool. I talk to him every other day almost. We sat down and had a conversation about the upcoming season and how I should play.” (Hoop)

For an article published on–Hoop is the official magazine of the NBA–it’s surprising how many typos there were in the post (including Quin Snyder’s name being spelled wrong).

I mention this because of the following #UDQM, when Favors was asked about the Jazz’s young guard trio of Trey Burke, Dante Exum and Alec Burks:

“All three of them are going to be really good. Dante just played for Australia in FIBA and should be on his back.”

Four. Watch this. Big Al truly does what he does better than anyone (H/T @OhioHadley):


Five. Five days until Media Day! Have you told your boss you’re taking a vacation day yet?

I just cannot wait to see Rudy Gobert doing this in a Jazz uniform.

rudy beast face


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