One. Contrary to what the announcers of yesterday’s game said during the broadcast, Dante Exum (along with fellow rookies Rodney Hood and Niels Giffey) had to sing “Happy Birthday” to himself during practice today:
Two. Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines: The Rookie Edition
** Dante Exum on this being his second time in Vegas: First time I came, it was all about going on the Strip, looking at everything. And it was a cool experience, but it’s good I had that, and now I can come and I don’t have to do any of that. I can just enjoy the experience.
** Exum on being one of the most-talked about or most-criticized draft picks of 2014: It’s in my hands, and I’m the controller of that.
** Rodney Hood on how he played yesterday: I was too antsy yesterday. Wasn’t patient. You know, I was trying to hit a home run every time.
Three. Rudy Gobert was asked whether the coaches talked to him about getting a technical foul yesterday:
“No, coach talked to me about the play before. He want me to dive on the ball. And he said, I mean, he don’t really care about the technical, but it’s easy points for other team, so just gotta be careful.”
Four. Speaking of Rudy:
Any regret that you’re paying Gordon Hayward more now than if you’d been able to come to terms last summer?
You always review things, but at the end of the day, we knew it was going to be a big allotment. And look, Gordon’s a restricted free agent, and he tested the market, and he did very well. But again, relative to our salary cap structure, it will not do anything to impede our ability to keep our team together and continue to build. …
Again, we got out ahead of the rebuild by a year. We decided to go extremely young, and again, it was in anticipation of signings that were larger signings, and offer sheets that were larger offer sheets, and so, we’ll stand by those decisions and own ‘em, and we’re very comfortable with where we’re at as a team right now.
Is Hayward worth this contract, and do you believe he is ready to live up to the expectations that come with the contract?
A couple things. All ships raise with a rising tide. And so, the NBA is doing very well. The collective bargaining agreement is a strong one for teams and players. The cap has moved up. And so, the amount that Gordon signed isn’t the, proportionally the same as it was seven years ago. So again, we’ll continue to be able to build our team, keep our team together as our young players improve and as they justify extensions.
Relative to Gordon and the dollars, look, we’re very comfortable with who he is. We’re very comfortable at the age that he’s at. He just underwent a physical. He’s got pristine health. So, 24, versatile, athletic, compliant, hard-working.
It just sounds like a natural fit for the Utah Jazz, and it’s not like we had to go out and visit with other free agents to know who Gordon was. And we’ve said all along that we wanted to keep him.
On restricted free agency and players flirting with other teams
It’s familiar to me. I wasn’t my wife’s first choice either. So yeah, you know, things happen.
Seats at the “decision-making table”
Now that Gordon, the commitment that we made to him, the one thing that we talked about is, you know, he’s gonna have a key seat at the decision-making table. You know, we’re going to include Derrick [Favors] and Gordon about the things that we’re gonna do going forward, whether it’s style of play or who we add to the team going forward.
On Marvin Williams signing with the Charlotte Hornets
We’re just ecstatic for Marvin. He, in so many ways, the last two years, led our group. He kept a very young group together. Look, it’s difficult when you’re 28 years old to hear from ownership and management that there was going to be a rebuild, but not only did we do that, we re-positioned Marvin from a “three” to a “four.” And I think that’s been good for his career.
I think Marvin appreciated that. And he’s grown very close with several of us on staff. In particular, our medical staff as well. And we hope we’ve been a positive in his career, and Marvin and I’s last conversation is, “Hey, things come full circle,” and the way he comported himself, we can see him back in Utah as a player. And certainly he has the intelligence and the makeup to be in management or as a coach. …
We were thrilled that he got a good contract with a good team.
Did you make Marvin an offer?
Yeah, no comment. (Utah Jazz)
Nah. Let’s just overreact away over plays like the ones below :)
The first gif, by the way, was Dante Exum’s first NBA (summer league) career basket and it would appear that the Trey Burke-Dante Exum backcourt is off to an auspicious start.
** Quin Snyder’s assessment of the game
Well, we got down early. I think we turned the ball over, and they were really aggressive defensively. And then it was good to see us, we defended as well as we have. You know, it’s almost, it’s nice to see that, you know, in a game where there’s a lotta other things that aren’t going your way.
** Snyder on what the team could have done better
Timing and offense, at this point in the summer, with, you know, three days of practice, I just wanna see ‘em play together. And as long as they’re unselfish–you know, that’s the only mistake, in my mind, they can make right now. Bad shots and not making the extra pass.
** Snyder on what he’s been able to learn from Jerry Sloan
We’re getting to know each other, and it’s just, it feels good for a young coach to be able to have someone with [his] level of experience and you know, wisdom about the game…We haven’t spent that much time together, but the time we have spent together, you know, it’s an opportunity for me to just listen, and you know, we’re, I don’t think anyone’s forcing anything. It’s just been a natural process, and it’s just great that he’s here, and I think it’s good for our players to see that the organization and Coach Sloan is, want to see ‘em succeed.
** Trey Burke on Dante Exum
I talked to him before the game. You know, I could tell [during] warmup, he was kind of nervous. You know, and it’s natural. I was nervous last year, my first, all of my games in the summer league, ’cause this is, was my first taste of the NBA. You know, so I just told him to go out there and play. Play your game, and you know, don’t try to do too much, but just play hard and compete.
** Dante Exum on the game
Coach Snyder has told us to make sure we keep up the pace, and I don’t think we executed that as much as we wanted to. This game, I know at some points I did get tired and slowed the ball down, and it’s just a matter of thinking to myself, just saying that I need to push it.
** Exum on what surprised him the most about the NBA game
I knew it was gonna be physical, but you never know until you actually get out there. And just driving into the lane and getting those bumps, you kind of feel it. It’s different coming off screens as well. It’s just, yeah, just the physicality.
** Rodney Hood, asked how important it is to keep shooting
Very important. You know, I feel like all the open ones [went] in and out, you know, right down the line. It felt good, so I just gotta continue to have faith in my shot. I mean, that’s what, that’s, you know, why I’m here, to shoot the ball. So I’m not down on myself because they all were good shots. So I just gotta continue to work hard on ‘em. (Utah Jazz)
Random Stuff, etc.
** The Jazz have matched for Gordon Hayward.
** Marvin Williams will be reunited with Big Al Jefferson in Charlotte (2-year, $ 14 million deal). That could very well be the best locker room in the league with those two guys.
** People calling Rudy Gobert “Go-burt” (rhymes with “yogurt”): Walt Frazier. Pretty hilarious how
the other broadcaster Joel Meyers kept doggedly trying to hint to Frazier that that wasn’t how you say it, no matter how many times Frazier kept going back to “Go-burt.”
** Per the broadcast, tomorrow is Exum’s 19th birthday. As the only other rookie on the team, Hood will have to sing “Happy Birthday” to him. After the game, Exum got to celebrate with The Starters, who gifted him with a cake and a rousing rendition of the Essendon Bombers club song:
** Not that we need another reason to love Rudy Gobert, but here’s another one (tweeted yesterday):
Elsewhere in the Summer League
** Earlier in the day, the Minnesota Timberwolves played a game. This may be too much awesomeness all in one .gif, but here’s Kyrylo Fesenko, in a (probably special order) T-shirt jersey, sinking a free throw:
** Also earlier in the day, the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors played. Some familiar Jazz faces in the game, including new Warriors assistant coach Jarron Collins (with shirt neatly tucked into sweats of course) and David Stockton:
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Night (UDQM)
** Derek Harper (Minnesota game): If you’re not gonna go hard, you might as well do something else.
** Harper: How do I put this? If there’s two guys in a room and one bone, my money is on Ivan Johnson to get that bone. I guarantee it. He did it for Atlanta for a long time.
** Other guy (not Harper): Fesenko at 7-1, and plenty of meat down low.
Thanks to @tribjazz for the reminder that photographic evidence of said “plenty of meat down low” exists:
** Walt Frazier on Rudy Gobert: Listen to the crowd, man. They’re aroused by the effort by the big man. (H/T @dianaallen)
** Frazier on Tim Frazier: Surprising the big guys as he penetrated inside.
** Frazier: Gobert’s dominating the game the last few minutes, creating havoc inside against penetrators…Can’t be a Sunday driver against Gobert. Gotta come with some intensity when you penetrate.
** Quin Snyder on Brad Jones coaching the Jazz’s summer league team: I’m comfortable with him doing it, and me watching. I’ve done it. I did it last year.
Today’s Opponent Game Thread host: Liberty Ballers.
Dante is just cute as a button
by DnY on Jul 12, 2014 | 7:06 PM
So uh, Noel isn’t playing tonight. Eff everything
by iladelphia on Jul 12, 2014 | 8:10 PM
what a joke
done with this organization
by InDougWeTrust on Jul 12, 2014 | 8:49 PM
Well my Saturday night is ruined
by Eric Wise on Jul 12, 2014 | 8:43 PM
First round picks on the floor:
Jazz — 4
Sixers — 0
by yosoysean on Jul 12, 2014 | 10:42 PM
All I know is we’re starting people that 5 of our grandmas are better than and we’re winning
by iladelphia on Jul 12, 2014 | 10:50 PM
We are a summer league powerhouse. Feels good
by DnY on Jul 12, 2014 | 10:53 PM
Exum looks legit
by AB2016 on Jul 12, 2014 | 11:13 PM
I love how the Jazz have a bunch of white players even during summer league.
by JHG722 on Jul 12, 2014 | 11:03 PM
Rudy Gobert = 7 feet 9 inches of softness
by Patrick Bateman VP on Jul 12, 2014 | 11:08 PM
i think if Exum pulled it out
these announcers would get on their knees
by no1pipelayer on Jul 12, 2014 | 11:12 PM
These announcers have some sort of bias against the Sixers
by Philly Sports All Day on Jul 12, 2014 | 11:20 PM
They absolutely love Malcolm Thomas. It’s ridiculous.
by secondroundpick on Jul 12, 2014 | 11:21 PM
knick fans. I hate Frazier.
On another note. I love hood. Would have liked to have seen him with the sixers just so I can yell out where the hood at during sixer games
by AI3 on Jul 12, 2014 | 11:22 PM
Exum looks pretty polished. If it wasn’t his jump shot selection, he would be close to perfect.
by secondroundpick on Jul 12, 2014 | 11:24 PM
He can’t shoot at all. The announcers were saying during the one shot. “That was right on…just short” so were Gobert’s free throws. Seriously get off your knees guys…
by jayofdajungle on Jul 12, 2014 | 11:27 PM
Credit to GhostofGeorgeLynch:
BRANDON DAVIES PLAYER PROFILE
PROS: He’s had sex.
OVERALL RATING: B+/A-
by DnY on Jul 12, 2014 | 11:29 PM
I was nervous for Exum going in to summer league, but sounds like he’s holding his own.
by briztoon on Jul 12, 2014 | 11:44 PM
crowd is SO behind him, it’s like almost annoying. no love for tim frazier and jordan mcrae.
by Michael Levin on Jul 12, 2014 | 11:44 PM
by Michael Levin on Jul 12, 2014 | 11:45 PM
[gets suspended from BYU again]
by kill the action on Jul 12, 2014 | 11:47 PM
You’re adorable, Trey, but you’re no Dante.
by DnY on Jul 12, 2014 | 11:49 PM
This guy would literally marry Malcolm Thomas.
by JHG722 on Jul 12, 2014 | 11:54 PM
Lol. Feel like I’m watching a super homer Utah jazz crew.
by Iversonian on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:31 AM
Damn you Exum
by iladelphia on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:26 AM
What is with this crowd. Like seriously. WTF is your problem.
by BrokenSquirrel on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:28 AM
Utah is geographically pretty close — i’d imagine a lot of Jazz fans
by bradptbn on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:29 AM
isn’t Vegas to sinfull
for those Mormans
by no1pipelayer on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:31 AM
Did not know this. I AM Australian so it’s kinda weird I’m pissed at these guys showing some love to Dante.
by BrokenSquirrel on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:31 AM
Can’t stand this crowd or the announcers…
by Blasphemizer on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:28 AM
announcers still d-riding all the jazz players
by Bubbachuck383 on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:34 AM
Dude really loves Malcolm Thomas. Like stalker level love.
by JHG722 on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:35 AM
Literally every time he got a board or got a bucket it was “i’ve been watching him for soo long, he’s a future HOF’r”
by Bubbachuck383 on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:37 AM
these announcers really want the Jazz to win, WTF
by el tortuga on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:34 AM
We are sitting everybody…Noel, KJ and Casper…they have Exum, Burke and Hood…
And we win.
Gotta love it.
by bebopdeluxe on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:34 AM
You can’t beat Summer Sixers.
by Justin F. on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:34 AM
Can’t stop these Sixers
by iladelphia on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:35 AM
they’re just kids. they don’t know any better.
by kill the action on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:36 AM
be careful, WINNING can be contagious
by el tortuga on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:35 AM
by DnY on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:36 AM
by illmatic0000 on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:36 AM
it looks like we have a juggernaut on our hands.
by no1pipelayer on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:36 AM
Dante is still cute as a button
by DnY on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:37 AM
Of course they interview Exum from the losing squad
by illmatic0000 on Jul 13, 2014 | 12:37 AM
(*In grandfather from The Princess Bride voice*) The arena was filled as never before to hear the announcement of the great coach Quin Snyder’s Jazz-to-be.
Okay, not as “never before,” but it was more filled than during games last season.
A couple of plays:
Note Brad Jones’ reaction on the Trey Burke shot. From what I saw–little though it may be–Jones was very active on the sideline, constantly popping out of his seat, talking to guys, directing guys, etc…
** On Dante Exum
Obviously, he’ll shoot the ball better. I think he’s nervous. He got tired. And, but again, both he and Trey [Burke are] passing the ball. I mean, they can get it into gaps, and they make plays for other people.
** On Rudy Gobert
If Rudy embraces the things that he’s good at and the things that our team needs, he’ll have an opportunity to play and really have an opportunity to succeed. If he continues to run like that, we’ve created a lane for him to run, okay, and we call it the “alley.” He’s an alley big, where he’s the trail big. And if he can do that, they’ll throw him the ball. Our guys are good about sharing it. And obviously, on defense he’s a presence down there. We’ve asked him to come out more right now. We’ll be smart about, you know, keeping him in a position where he can impact the game. And again, if he’s focused on the right things, you know, he’ll be impactful.
Quin Snyder already has a leg up on everyone on the previous coaching staff and everyone in the front office.
** On Rodney Hood
I think it’s true of a lot of shooters. It just takes a little to get your legs, you know, relaxed and you can see even when he missed, that he’s got a good stroke. I liked him too, he’s down in a st–I like seeing our guys in a stance.
** On Trey Burke
I think part of the summer league, for him to lead, for him to have a presence. I’ve been on him maybe more than anybody, about making defensive–one of the best plays tonight was he got up in his guy on the pick and roll, and he tried to go over the top and he drew a foul. And if he can keep doing that stuff on the ball and really set an example, that’s a big thing to me.
** Can we keep a mic on you every game?
I was afraid of the microphone. I got the handheld just ’cause I didn’t know, you know, you gotta be careful. Didn’t want to turn the fans off right away.
** How big is this summer in terms of your personal growth?
It’s really big. I think for me, I just want to be the, be that leader. The voice on the court, you know, for the young guys, and for, you know, the guys that’s coming in, you know, for summer league. So, I think today was a, you know, a good, like, preview, going into Vegas. You know, I think we all were kind of shocked and surprised with how many people was out there. I think the biggest thing is we all played hard. I’m glad my team got the win.
** What are the offensive differences between this year and last year’s coaching staffs?
I think we just got a little more freedom…[Quin Snyder] lets us just go. He lets us play in the pick and roll. There’s more drag screens. And I think that kinda opens up the court more, and I think a lot of you could see out there, you know, we were just playing. We weren’t really as stagnant as we was last year, and I think that’s going to be to our advantage.
** On Derrick Favors being in the house
Well, we need him around. He’s one of our leaders…It was good to see him out there. You know, I’m glad, I know the crowd was glad to see him, you know, still being here even though he doesn’t have to. So, it was good seeing him. I think we needed to see him.
** Were nerves a factor?
No, I didn’t think so. Like, coming in the changing room, I was fine. I knew it was gonna be a lot of people, but I think when they started clapping for me it was kind of, it kind of hit me a bit.
** Did it take awhile to feel settled in the scrimmage?
Yeah, when you get in and your adrenaline’s up, you just wanna run, run, run, and it kind of took me a bit just to kind of settle down and just start playing my game. My shots weren’t falling tonight, but you know, it was just about getting my teammates involved and I think I did that well.
** Were your legs an issue?
Yeah, the legs are always gonna be [tired] from practice, but you know, I’m going into an 82-game season, so that can’t be an excuse. And it’s just something that I have to work on.
** How do you think you played in the pick and roll?
It definitely, when the offensive end isn’t working for me, I look to go into the defense and make a difference there. And I f–I made it my mission to play as hard as I can on the ball, and definitely the pick and roll. And [Snyder] has emphasized pick and roll defense is something that we really need to work on, and I, so it was just about playing hard and getting over screens.
** On 10,000 fans showing up to watch the practice
Man, that was crazy. You know, I got chills just walking out there on the court. I mean, I just appreciate our fans coming out.
** On nerves
I had a little jitters, just going out there for the first time, and, me and Dante both. But once I got going, you know, it was good. I got a little rhythm.
** On keeping the floor spread
Spacing. That’s what coach been preaching, you know? All the time, just spacing. It gives him room to operate, and it gives us a chance to, you know, make a play or knock down shots. So it’s been great for me, especially, because I can shoot.
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Night (UDQM)
** Quin Snyder on Trey Burke and Dante Exum’s passing ability: They can get it into gaps.
** Snyder on Rodney Hood: It just takes a little to get your legs, you know, relaxed and you can see even when he missed, that he’s got a good stroke.
** Snyder on Burke: I’ve been on him maybe more than anybody…If he can keep doing that stuff on the ball and really set an example, that’s a big thing to me.
** Snyder on being mic’ed up: I got the handheld just ’cause I didn’t know, you know, you gotta be careful. Didn’t want to turn the fans off right away.
** Exum on nerves: Coming in the changing room, I was fine. I knew it was gonna be a lot of people, but I think when they started clapping for me it was kind of, it kind of hit me a bit.
** How’s the appendix?
It’s gone. It’s gone, so I feel good.
** First impression of the new coaching staff?
Great. I really like the new coach philosophy, the way he want us to play defense, and the way he want us to move the ball. So, I think it gonna be great.
Do you feel like Quin Snyder can help your game?
Of course. He already helping me, and he put me in confidence. So, that’s great for me.
How has he helped you?
Just tell me to play simple, and he communicate. I like to communicate, so talk to me, and I just learn.
** From what you’ve seen, do you think Snyder’s system will benefit your game?
Yeah. Yeah, I think that would be better, because I play with less pressure. And we just play, you know, every team plays with freedom, always better. So I think it’ll be good.
Did you feel like you were under pressure and didn’t have that freedom last year?
I was, yeah, I was really under pressure. Little bit more. And I was a rookie, so that was even harder.
** Have you talked to Gordon Hayward at all?
Just talked about the French national team. We didn’t talk about basketball.
** Are you bigger? You look bigger.
Yeah, I’m bigger.
How much more do you weigh?
I got, like, 10 pounds, but I just lost five because [of the appendectomy], so I’m, like, 245 right now.
You look taller.
No, I’m just bigger.
** Quin Snyder said you looked a little tentative on the first day and he talked to you. What did he say?
Just be more aggressive. You know, not to try to ease my way in. You know, he know I can play. Everybody know I can play. Just go out there and be more aggressive. And today, I did that. You know, I was handling the ball more. You know, I wasn’t giving it up and just running. I was handling the ball more and getting to the basket, things like that.
** What has the coaching staff been emphasizing? Defense? Shooting?
They actually been surprised by my defensive ability. You know, the thing with me is making it consistent. And you know, I been, you know, playing on a NBA level, I think I can get more steals…just making read. You know, sometime I might gamble too much but at the same time, they like the effort I’m putting up.
** What do you like about this offense for your game?
‘Cause it’s space. You know, ‘specially when you got guys like Trey [Burke] and Dante [Exum], who’s able to get into the lane and make things happen…Just do my job, knock down shot.
** What has been Trey Burke’s role in these practices?
He’s pretty much been the leader. You know, he’s been out there, going first in all the drills, teaching us, showing us different things about the NBA game. So he’s been really good for us…You can sort of tell from guys, see if they got that quality. He has that quality to be a really good leader.
** Do you have any comment on the Gordon Hayward offer sheet?
It’s probably not the right time for me to react to any of that…At this point, you know, it’s probably best for me to talk about the guys that are on the floor right now.
** On Trey Burke’s leadership
One of the things as you see him out here is he’s verbal. I think he’s getting more verbal, which will help his ability to lead. But he’s definitely got a presence.
** What have you seen from Rodney Hood?
He was a little tentative yesterday, which is natural. And I kinda gave him, ribbed him a little bit this morning in front of the group when we were putting in a few little plays. You know, and I, he responded. He came out and shot the ball. I, at this point, I’d rather have him, you know, miss a tough shot than pass something up.
** Is there one thing that you just want to put your stamp and let these guys know what is up?
Since I’ve gotten here and even before I arrived here, one of the things, the themes that you hear is accountability…We all, you know, as human beings, we have a level on our own, and then someone encourages us, pushes us, challenges us, hopefully we can raise our level. So that’s something we wanna start doing right now.
** What have you seen from Dante Exum?
The thing that I’ve enjoyed seeing, and that we were giving him a hard time, when he was playing in Australia–not with his national team, ’cause he competes with his national team and is in the stance–but it’s good to see him against better competition and be in the stance and really focus on defense and play a passing lane. And I think that’s where some of his speed, he’s figuring out how to use it with the ball, or excuse me, without the ball on the defensive end, and dishing on the offensive end.
** On how the summer league gives the coaching staff the chance to get used to each other and work together
When I came to Atlanta last year, you know, I coached the summer league team. You know, [Mike] Bud[enholzer] wasn’t around as much as I am right now. Its h–you know, I tell Brad [Jones] it’s, you know, I apologize ahead, in advance when I jump on the floor and try to say something. But we’re a young team, and I think all the teaching and things that we can get right now is important. We’ll spend a lot of time meeting, you know, preparing practice as a group, because I think each minute we have with them right now can be impactful. (KALL)
** Kyrylo Fesenko, windmill dunk at the Minnesota Timberwolves’ open scrimmage (original video via @BCookMN):
** More from the T-Wolves scrimmage. Fes, throwing his wristbands into the crowd while the rich folk in the front row give him a nice, polite golf clap (via @JBHoopsFan):
** Jazzmen, watching the World Cup (via @utahjazz):
** How was the first practice?
It was good, you know? We started just running up and down, and the high altitude got to me a bit, so, but I had the coaches on the sideline stressing defense, so I was trying to stay locked in and get through the practice.
** What was the first experience playing with Trey Burke like?
It was good. It was, like I’ve said, with our Australian team it’s whoever gets the ball, and we had Ian [Clark] as well playing the point with us. We had all three of us on, and it was, if he got the rebound, he goes. If Trey got it, he goes. So you know, it wasn’t a problem for me, and it’s good to get off the ball sometime and let someone else run the show.
** What are your summer league goals?
I just wanna go in and play hard. Coach [Quin Snyder] has stressed defense a lot and I know a lot of people have knocked me on my defense, but people haven’t watched me play in awhile. So I wanna go out there and play as hard as I can. Try and help my team on the defensive end and turn defense into offense, and I know coach Snyder has stressed that a lot, and all the coaches. So yeah, it’s just about working together on the defense, and we’ve been doing drills, and everything in preparation for that.
** What is your impression of Quin Snyder in a practice setting?
I think he’s a great coach. He knows the team, and I think that’s important, because coming in, running the plays that we’re running, he knows that we’ve got two point guards that can run the show. So it’s not this kind of set offense. It’s kind of a free flowing-type offense. So I think that benefits us a lot. For him to notice that and be able to adjust to that in coaching style, I think it’s been great.
** On the present he got from Derrick Favors
Second day there and I’m already getting gifts, so the veterans aren’t too hard on me…He gave me Aussie shampoo, which I actually haven’t seen before. So, about to go hit the showers and test that out.
** You posted a picture on Instagram of John Stockton’s autobiography on your shelf. Is he someone you look up to?
It’s actually funny. My dad roomed with him at the Portsmouth Invitational, and so my dad’s talked about him and how he didn’t, how he got into the league…He kinda worked his way up, and you know, you look at him and ho–and what he’s done over his career, and definitely as a point guard and what he’s done, you definitely look up to that. And it’s an interesting book, so yeah. I hope I get to talk to him and the Jazz bring him in and [he can] teach me a few things…I’m sure he’ll be happy to come in and help the Jazz out in any way possible.
** What is your first impression of the new coaching staff?
I’m excited, man. I think they’re giving us a lot more freedom, and they’re emphasizing defense a lot and you know, that’s one thing that I think myself and everybody that was here last year, you know, was concerned about, you know? The coaching staff coming in, you know, what they would emphasize and what they wanted out of us. And you know since Day One, since we’ve been here, they’ve been emphasizing defense a lot and kinda getting on us about making that a priority. So that’s good.
** How has the Trey-Dante relationship gotten off?
It’s going good, s–thus far. You know, I didn’t know him before he got drafted, but he’s really a good player. He has a lot of potential. Still young, but his work ethic is, you know, is gonna allow him to continue to grow and get better in this league. So, I definitely think we can play together. You know, I like how coach allows me to bring the ball up, and then sometimes he’ll tell me to just go to the corner, let him bring the ball up and kinda play off the ball. So, you know, it’ll be interesting to see how it works.
** On whether he’s feeling more comfortable now than he did at this time last year
Much more comfortable. You know the game’s slowed down, you know, a lot for me. You know, I’m seeing things, you know, quicker out there. Slow in the mind, fast on the court. So I feel good right now. Just looking forward to continuing to get better.
** Have you been able to get a sense of Quin Snyder’s personality?
Yeah, I’ve already, you know, built, a personal relationship with him already, you know? He br–he pulls me to the side, gets on me about being that leader out there, you know, being that voice that the team needs to hear. So you know, I’m excited to play for him. Very excited.
** Have you talked to Gordon Hayward at all during this process?
A little bit. You know, I texted him, you know, a couple months back, you know, when he got married…If he decides to come back, that’ll be great. If not, then, you know, I wish him the best of luck.
** What do you want to work on during summer league?
I think, first and foremost, being the leader. You know, I think that’s something that I, you know, gotta continue to grow it, specifically at this level. You know, I was used to it at Michigan, going into my second year, and now I’m tryna, you know, get all the way used to it now going into my second year here. So, I think that’s one thing. And then just being confident out there. You know, not second-guessing anything. You know, playing aggressive, and you know, doing what it takes to win.
** What are the biggest differences between this year’s coaching staff and last year’s coaching staff?
Well, you know, I think last year’s coaching staff was good as well, you know? As much as, as much negativity as they got from, you know, the fans or whoever, you know, threw negative things at ‘em. You know, I think, you know, they knew what they were doing. I think we were just a young team and it was a rebuilding process for us last year. You know, now with the new coaching staff, I think they’re giving us a little more freedom on the offensive end, allowing us to, you know, play more and you know, bringing that potential out of everybody even more, so. And then on another note, you know, I think both coaching staffs really emphasize defense, and that’s one thing that I really like about this new coaching staff as well, ’cause coach Snyder and you know, all the other guys are really on us about, you know, being in our spots, talking, and we’re gonna need that, you know, coming up for this next season.
** How did the first practice go?
It’s kinda half empty, half full. You know, there’s things you can get excited about, and there’s always things you feel like, you know, you wanna do better, so. A lotta new habits. I think the main thing is you want ‘em to embrace those things, and I feel like that’s, you know, probably haven’t embraced them as much as we want, but there’s definitely an effort.
** What is your first impression of Dante Exum?
He’s fast. I think, more than anything, he really looks like he knows how to play. And you say that, you know, you have to illustrate situations, but he knows how to play in pick and roll, he kicks the ball ahead, you know, willing passer. It was fun to see him and Trey interact…Clearly, they’ve done a really good job teaching him in Australia, and he knows how to play. I also, you know, there’s an aptitude that sometimes guys that just, you know, the game comes easy to ‘em, and he’s one of those guys. The neat thing is, he loves to play. And I think you could see his personality come out when he played.
** What were you looking for as you assembled your staff?
Wanted to get guys that can really coach. You know, it’s just a premium on guys, and when I say “coach,” that can teach, that are capable of organizing…Obviously, we got a couple D-League guys with D-League experience in Brad [Jones] and Alex [Jensen]. And Mike Wells has, you know, been coaching a long time. He’s probably had every job in the NBA except head coach. Tony Lang’s been a head coach in Japan. Talk about trying to communicate, you know, he’s learns Japanese. And Johnnie Bryant, you know, is very good. You know, he’s been here teaching everyone from Paul Millsap to Trey Burke.
** What have you seen from Trey Burke in the last few days?
Yeah, you know, he, there’s a willingness from him, right away. I mean, you talk to him; he’s engaged. You know, I wanna see him get over screens. I wanna see him defend pick and roll and the ball. And he’s, you know, you can tell it’s important to him. That gets me excited. I think, you know, offensively, he’s got a great tempo. You know, he just has a really good feel for the game and pick and roll…I think, you know, there’s gonna be a pride that we all have in defense, and specifically pick and roll defense. That’s gonna be an emphasis. And it’s not easy, you know, especially in the West.
** What are your impressions of Rodney Hood?
Good. He’s bigger than, you know, any time I’m around him, I’m like, “Yeah, you really are 6-9.” So, you know, I think Rodney’ll be a good piece for us this year. Like all our young guys, he’s got a ways to go, but again, there’s a willingness to learn and I [think] that’s what you want.
** How involved will you be in the summer league?
I’ll be involved in practice. You know, like I am now. If I see something, I’m gonna go talk to the coaches about it. Maybe, you know talk to one of the players as we’re going, and, or do something afterwards if we feel like I need to. But once we get to Veg–you know, I, again, Brad’s terrific, and he’s gonna coach the team, and you know, we’re, we feel comfortable, you know, with me not distracting them. (KALL)
** Gordon Hayward and the Charlotte Hornets have reportedly agreed to a four-year, $63 million offer sheet.
** Alec Burks is celebrating his 23rd birthday on July 20 and he wants you to be there:
** Dante is finally getting some real fan mail:
via @utahman130, H/T @5kl
via @saltlakebees, H/T @utahjazz