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Off-season Odds and Ends

June 16, 2014

One. Here’s an excerpt from the first interview Tyrone Corbin has done since being let go (as far as I know) where he talks about how he viewed his role as coach:

I think it’s a leadership role, father figure, authority figure. Modern day athletes seem to have a harder time with respect for authority and how to deal with being told “No”. They have a harder time dealing with what’s best for the team and not what best for “me”. And at the pro level it’s really difficult because that may be the first time they have heard it.

I have had to tell them “I don’t care what’s best for you I have to do what’s best for the team.” They have to accept that while they are making a lot of money doing it…It’s an interesting dynamic. The coaches have to play that father role a lot more now than when I was a player.

We grew up respecting any adult – 21 and older that was an adult. We had to listen to that adult. They were the grown up you were the kid. Shut up and listen. Period. It’s a different animal now. It’s a whole different approach to be able to communicate with kids and reach them without compromising who you are and what you stand for in the process. These kids are used to breaking those barriers down to get to where they want it to be which may not be the best thing for anybody.

Two. Corbin was also asked about his future plans:

It depends on how much longer I want to work. I’ve always enjoyed coming back to Columbia to live. I’ve always planned on making this our permanent residence. I don’t know what God has for me next. We’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m in a good place now. We still have a lot of opportunities – in the business and out of the business. I still enjoy coaching. I look forward to still doing that a little bit. I’m open. (Momentum)

Three. Walt Perrin on Marcus Smart not having worked out for the Jazz, June 5:

If we like him at [the fifth pick], and he doesn’t come in, we’ll still take him.

Marcus Smart on June 15 (tweet since deleted):

smart tweet

Four. We know that Karl Malone has a man crush on LeBron James. Sounds like John Stockton might have one too. :)

stock lebron

Five. Derrick Favors (@dfavors14) getting cryo’ed at P3:

Bits from Walt Perrin Interview, 6/13

June 16, 2014
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How much input will Quin Snyder have on who you draft?
The final decision will actually be with Dennis [Lindsey]. It helps that we now know who our head coach is and who he, who, the type of players he likes and dislikes.

He won’t have a o–a major decision in the, or excuse me, a major, oh, yeah, in the decision of what we’re gonna make. Again, that’s gonna be totally up to Dennis, but he will have an input.

What qualities in player interviews indicate to you you’ve got the right guy for your team?
Well, we’re looking for sincerity. We’re looking for guys who’s, who are humble but have confidence in their ability.

We look for guys who have, who are truthful in their answers, because we do a lot of background and we know a lot about these kids before they even sit down for the interview process.

We look for guys who look you right in the eye and give you an answer. We look for guys who are somewhat articulate in their answers. They don’t have to be a Shane Battier or anything like that, but we look, we want guys who are fairly articulate and who think clearly and can process some things that we ask in question.

Has there been a time when you had a feeling about a guy but didn’t act on it and later just wanted to kick yourself for it?
You can always look back at the mistakes that you–well, I shouldn’t say–”missteps”* that you have taken in terms of drafting.

Just off the top of my head, I know, you know, here, when I, one of the first years I got here with the draft when Kevin [O'Connor] was here, he asked me about a player named Dwyane Wade…and whether we [should] move up for him and move one of our players to pick him in the draft.

And I said unequivocally yes because I saw him put his team on his shoulders and beat Kentucky in one of the regional finals. I said, yeah, if we can move up to get at him, grab him right away. We had something in the works. It just fell through at the last minute.

Now, we still wouldn’t have been able to draft him because Miami would have taken him before we woulda had the pick.** But he’s the one guy that I told Kevin that, you know, let’s do whatever we can to try to move up to get him.

* Because the Jazz “don’t do mistakes.”
** Miami took Wade with the fifth pick of the 2003 draft. The Jazz ended up drafting Sasha Pavlovic with 19th pick.

What happened the night you elected to take Deron Williams over Chris Paul?
Well, you know, Kevin did a great job that year of talking with Portland about trying to move up, and Charlotte was also trying to move up at that particular time.

And he, and Kevin had numerous conversations with the GM in Portland, and we weren’t sure whether or not we were gonna be able to move up versus Charlotte, because Charlotte was able to, they had a pretty good package that they were gonna put together to move up to take, we thought, we weren’t sure if it was gonna be Deron Williams or if it was gonna be Chris Paul.

So it came down to the last day, just before the draft, do–excuse me, the morning of the draft, and Kevin and I sat down and talked about it. And we talked about, well, let’s add to the package and see if Portland would take it, not, knowing that Charlotte wouldn’t know what we would be giving. And as it was, we, you know, we gave up three first rounds to move up to get Deron, and I think Charlotte was giving up two first round picks.

So, that w–during the draft, again, Kevin did a tremendous job of staying in contact with the Portland GM, Bob Nash, or ch–no, excuse me, I think it was Nash, John Nash, and having constant conversations with him to be able to, you know, on draft day, pull that off.

Do you prefer players who come from winning teams with successful coaches?
Yes, it is something we look at. But see, with, you know, you have to understand most of the good players are all on winning programs anyway, so it’s a natural to gravitate to looking at those type players. But you want guys who have a winning attitude, not only on the court, but also off the court.

And if you can find those and get ‘em and they wanna work hard and they wanna get better, they’re gonna really become very good players.

Now, if you’re looking at guys who are on losing programs, they may be, they may come in with a defeatist attitude, and now you’ve got not only to work on their basketball skills, you gotta work on their mental skills also. Mental abilities in terms of trying to be a winner instead of thinking that they’ve always been losers. (1280)

Bits from Utah Jazz Draft Workout: Kyle Anderson, Melvin Johnson III, Tyler Stone and Davon Usher

June 15, 2014
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** What position would Kyle Anderson be in the NBA?
He’s a player, and, he’s, might’ve been the toughest guy since I’ve been here, trying to figure out, okay, who should I play him against in the workout, or try to get in to play against him in the workout. So, because he’s such a unique player. I mean, he handles the ball like a point guard. He passes the ball like a point guard. He’s got length like a power forward. So, it was a, it’s a tough one to try to match him up.
Can he defend point guards?
No. No, he can’t defend points…He would be a player that would be a ball-handler on the offensive end, and on the defensive end you’d have to switch or rotate matchups. So, yeah. You know, but, and I, you know, I hate to compare him to this player, this person, but in terms of the way he play, and he’s nowhere near ye–this guy, okay, so don’t quote me on this one. But I mean, he’s like a Magic Johnson. I mean, ’cause he’s 6-9, he can handle the ball, he can pass the ball, but he’s, can’t guard anybody at the position that he would play offensively. So, he’s a unique player.


** How did the workout go?
It went very well. I enjoyed the workout today. You know, the staff put us through some tough drills. You know, we got to compete, go at it. We had a bunch of guys that were competitive, so I enjoyed it.
** What position would you play in the NBA?
Not sure. I’m not sure what position. You know, I think I could play a lot of different positions, which, you know, which helps me, it’s to my advantage. So you know, I’m not sure. I think it solely relies on whatever team I go to and where they see me playing. So, I think I can play many different positions, but we’ll see.
** What are your biggest strengths?
I think my ability to pass the ball is my biggest strength. I think, you know, my gift to find the open man or maybe advance the ball up the floor with, you know, one simple, a hockey assist, I think it’s, that’s my best, you know, attribute.
** Can you defend at the NBA level?
Yes, sir. I think I’ve, you know, I play the game with my mind, not only on the offensive end, but defense end as well. I think I have long arms. Of course, I have slow feet, but I think that’ll continue to get faster, and you know, I have long arms. So I can con–get to contest shots, and as I grow older in this league, I think I’ll be able to defend fours.
** On his “Slow-Mo” nickname
It’s all fun with the fans. It’s a great nickname. I embrace it. I guess I get it from my methodical way of playing. You know, I don’t really think I’m slow, so I don’t really, you know, look at it as a negative nickname. I enjoy it. You know, the people love it. My friends love it, so I get a kick out of it.


** Last workout was with the Bucks; next workout is with the Kings
** How did the workout go? / Comment on the altitude
It was a really good workout. I’m glad they c–let me come up here and work out with ‘em. It’s really an honor. Man, altitude kinda got to me a little bit, but after awhile I kinda got used to it. So, it was a really good workout.
** What position would you play in the NBA?
I play shooting guard, through, ever since I been a boy, but man, I can play, I been playing PG the last year and a half. So, kinda point guard, shooting guard. I’m only 6-6, so gotta do a little point guard a little bit, so wanna get better at that.
** What are your strengths? What can you bring to an NBA team?
Competitiveness, hard work and potential. I feel like I’m talented, but you know I’m saying, I got kind of a long way to go as far as the NBA-wise. But I do feel like I have enough potential and the work ethic to get there where I need to be.


** How did the workout go? / Comment on the altitude
It was a really, really good workout, but the altitude, I never experienced anything like it, you know? But I mean, it was good overall.
** Why did your stats improve year to year?
It’s off-season work, you know? After a season, you just gotta work year-round. You know, if you work all summer, you know, you’re gonna get better, you know, so the game of basketball’s always about hard work. You get out of it what you put into it.
** What were you trying to show the Jazz?
The type of player I am, it’s more of a fast-paced, high-energy thing. But with this altitude, it was kinda hard. But g–they probably want to see you just push through everything, you know, push through. So I was just trying to fight through, and show that I can remain resilient.


** How did the workout go? / Comment on the altitude
This workout was a great experience. You know, the altitude is kinda harsh on your breathing, and with me having asthma it was kinda difficult, but I got through it and they were generous giving us breaks to catch our breaths. And I felt like I did a pretty good job.
** On pursuing his dream
It’s amazing. Yesterday, I was just sitting in my hotel room really manifesting about everything that’s been going on lately. I feel like I came a long way. I went to junior college, and to a HBCU, to a Division I team that went to the NCAA tournament. And I never pictured myself getting here. I always dreamed about it. I just never thought I’d have the chance, and now that the chance is approaching, I’m really excited and it’s very humbling.
** How would you fit in with the Jazz?
I just try to fit in myself as how Wesley Matthews did. He was a hard-working guy, came out undrafted. Defensive stopper; he can spot up and shoot the three. And I just feel like I can help ‘em a lot, with the way they space the floor, pick and roll offense, and I’ll be open a lot to help them make some shots hopefully.

Other players that worked out for the Jazz with no interviews made available: Jeronne Maymon and Devin Oliver.

Kyrylo Fesenko is on his honeymoon

June 15, 2014

Everything Fes does is funny, so naturally his honeymoon pic is a picture of just him by himself.

fes honeymoon

Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 6/12

June 14, 2014
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Random observation: As some of you are aware, Dennis Lindsey previously dropped “you knows” in interviews like he was getting paid by the “you know.” For whatever reason, he’s gone cold turkey. The change coincides with the (re-)introduction of Quin Snyder into Lindsey’s life. Not that this is definitive in any way, but here’s a cursory look at this Lindsey-nomenon:

Locker room cleanout this year (Apr. 18):

418 locker room cleanout

Interview on May 2:

502 interview

Interview on May 29 (after his first interview with Snyder):

529 interview

The day after Snyder was announced as the Jazz’s new coach (June 9):

609 interview

What sold you on Quin Snyder before you’d even had a chance to get to some candidates?
I think there were quite a few things relative to Quin that we felt would be good for our group. His level of experience as a head coach; the ties to certain philosophies, where there just was a seamless view that not only fit Randy Rigby and the Millers and me, but more importantly, frankly, the players and our playing group as we evaluated him. So there, many things that struck a chord.

I think his passion, consistent passion way back to early Duke days of player development, that is a key piece. We have a team of very young players, and still impressionable, and so if we can individually get those guys be–or even without adding to the group in an aggregate, you would think that we could be significantly better…

A big piece for me was, is when we started doing debriefs and exit meetings with players, really, A through Z in his three years at the Austin Toros. They just mentioned, consistently, “Hey, you’ve got, have something different and special in Quin. He really has spent more time working to help me get better.” And these weren’t, not necessarily guys that were the most, or the highest-level prospect to reach the league.

And so we just really appreciated that overall diligence, and, towards his job, and the passion towards development, and clearly the great communicator.

Update on Ante Tomic and Raul Neto
So, Ante is playing terrific. He’s really improved. He’s showing some motivation to come over. Quin knows him very well. CSKA Moscow, where Quin was an assistant two years ago with Ettore Messina, was in the Euroleague with Barcelona.

That’s, those are two of the five to seven international clubs that operate at NBA level. So, they’re just terrific clubs. So Quin knows him very well, and likes him. We’ll see where that takes us. There’s always buyouts and contractual things.

There’re teams that have interest in Ante, so I think we have to just take a look at it, and participate as best we can to understand what he wants and what he’s looking for. Does it fit with us? Could it fit with someone else? If it does fit with someone else, what are they willing to give us? So again, there’s a ton of interesting conversations to be had there.

Raul had a good year. He’s someone that’s really clever, that plays with good imagination and pace. This market likes players who can pass and play as pure points…There’s some things that we hope to touch him up close and work on, but he’s a really interesting young player. He’s a really sincere kid.

Comes from a basketball family; his dad was a basketball instructor, so I think he’s learned the game the right way. Is it the right thing to bring him over now, or push it out and stagger he and Trey [Burke]‘s contracts*? Again, we have to debate that, but it’s a, it’s, those are the type of debates that you wanna have, ’cause you have a set of good options.

* Asked last July about bringing Neto over, Lindsey’s reason for not bringing him over was “With where we’re at, with Trey and the rest of the group, you know, it would’ve been hard to put, you know, Ty[rone Corbin] in the position to try to develop and play two point guards simultaneous.”

Are guys like Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green products of the Spurs organization, or would they have the same success on any other team?
I was always amazed, when I walked through the walls,* the level of character that was in the walls,** the people that you worked with, proficiency and skillset, and I’m not just talking about players. The motivation, the open environment where nothing was sacred. There was no bad question, so it was really an unbelievable place to learn from.

And so, when you get, and when you can build a culture like that, with the right people in the right seats, amazing things can happen and one of the things we decided w–in San Antonio years ago, we were really going to invest in player development. And just, whatever that percentage is out there that you can improve a player, let’s do everything possible to get every player to that point.

It may be .5 percent for an aged veteran. It may be, you know, 3.6 percent for Kawhi Leonard here, but what you, you start adding those small wins up, it’s amazing the synergy that you can create.

So, I had to take, those two players clearly are NBA players. Would they have developed differently elsewhere? Who’s to say, but they did develop very well there. They came into the organization in much different circumstances, but it’s a credit to the program, really, from A to Z. (KALL)

* Is Dennis Lindsey a ghost?
** Are they all ghosts in San Antonio?

Bits from Utah Jazz Draft Workout: Jordan Adams, Jabari Brown, and Patric Young

June 13, 2014
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507 perrin

** Jordan Adams and Alec Brown* shot “pretty well”; Jabari Brown shot “fairly well.”
* People calling Alec Brown “Alex”: Walt Perrin
** Could you see drafting Patric Young with the 23rd or 35th pick?
It’s too early to say. We haven’t looked at 35 yet, w–as, I mean, in terms of we haven’t looked at it in the theater watching tapes yet.
** What do you like in Jordan Adams’ game?
He’s a really good shooter. Kinda knows how to play the game. Strong going to the basket. He can space the floor for you because he can shoot it. He needs a little bit, probably work on a little bit more on his ball-handling. And as most of the college guys coming out, defense.
** Dennis Lindsey was able to trade for Trey Burke last year because he knew what Minnesota wanted. How common is that, that you know what/who teams want?
For the most part, we have an idea. Do we know for sure? A lot of times, no, but we do have an idea of what teams ahead of us or behind us may be looking for. So, it’s a, Dennis will be talking with all the GMs. Justin [Zanik]‘ll probably be talking with some GMs and some assistant GMs, and we’ll get a feel for who they like, who they think they will take. So, it’s–
Pretty friendly?
Yeah, I would say most GMs are pretty friendly. But I also say, you know, I always tell people this is the time of year when liars’ clubs open up.
** Is Noah Vonleh as out of shape as people are saying?
Haven’t heard anything on that one. I watched him in a workout. He didn’t look out of shape. Now, again, it was in Long Island and not Salt Lake, so.
Is there still a chance you might get him in?
I think we will.
Why is Dante Exum slipping?
Really? I hadn’t heard that one yet.
Any plans of bringing him in?
Still talking.


** Eighth workout; has four more scheduled
** Why did you feel this was the right time to enter the draft?
I thought that, in my two years at UCLA, I was productive on the offensive and defensive end. And you know, I wanted to take upon the challenge of coming out here and playing against some of the best players in the world.
** What did you show the Jazz today? / Comment on the altitude
You know, that I could play in the altitude. You know, most players get fatigued, but being at UCLA, we played against Utah and Colorado, so you know, I had experience with playing with it.
** Was there anything you couldn’t do or show in college?
Yeah, I didn’t have the ball that much in my hands. A lot of teams have been trying me, putting me in pick and roll sets, to try to see how comfortable I am with the ball. And I think I’m very comfortable. You know, I didn’t get to showcase that at UCLA because we had two primary ball-handlers already, so, but I think I’m doing pretty good at that.
** Do you think you’d fit in with the Jazz?
Yeah, hopefully. One of my long-term friends, Derrick Favors, is here with the team…[We played in the] same AAU program, Atlanta Celtics…He couldn’t make layups when he was 12. So, to see what he’s become now is actually amazing. Yeah, he’s came a long way.


** Ninth workout; has six more scheduled
** Comment on the altitude
It wasn’t as bad as Denver…Denver was worse. Yeah, Denver was rough, definitely.
** What did you know about the Utah Jazz organization before you got here?
A lot, you know? Stockton and Malone, Coach [Jerry] Sloan, you know, a lot of winning teams. So you know, it’s definitely a team I could see myself a part of.
** What did you try to showcase today?
I’m just tryna show all parts, you know? I’m a scorer, I can play defense better than people might think, and I’m a competitor, you know? I’m gonna be the hardest-working guy every time in the gym.


** How did the workout go? / Comment on the altitude
I think it went pretty well. The altitude was something that’s pretty serious…It’s not anywhere else except Denver.
** Has not talked to Erik Murphy; Murphy is working out at P3
** Which aspects of your game are you working on?
I think just coming in with the mindset that, you know, teams need guys that are gonna be physical, who can play defense, and rebound, run the floor, be low maintenance, you know, not somebody they have to worry about off the court. Also, just whatever I’m asked of, just doing it without an attitude, just doing it happily and just being happy wherever I am. So I think I can do those things. Those are, you know, things I can’t control, so hopefully I stick to it and do it.
Where did you get that attitude? Where did that come from?
Well, the humility is something that’s big with my Christian faith. Just being a guy that’s always willing to serve, and put others before him. And I know that if I can make other people’s jobs easier by, you know, being low maintenance, not complaining, you know, just taking care of myself and being a pro, then I can just, you know, help us focus on the goal of winning and being great and getting better. So, and coach [Billy] Donovan’s also helped me with that as well, just, the importance of practice every single day, making sure we’re coming in with the right mindset, focused on the task at hand.
** Never played football, but played baseball (pitcher, right and left field, first base)

Other players that worked out for the Jazz with no interviews made available: T.J. Bray, Alec Brown and Chaz Williams.

Bits from Quin Snyder Interviews, 6/10 and 6/12

June 13, 2014
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When was first contact, and how did things unfold from there?
I think it was late May. I was kind of, I think, one of the later people that they talked to. I actually just had my hip replaced, so, I’m a little young for that, but it, I was busy with that for a little while, and Dennis [Lindsey] was good enough to come to Atlanta, and we spoke there at length.

I think the majority of the meeting was just getting a feel for how the chemistry would be, you know, with the two of us working together. We talked a little bit of basketball, and a lot of the stuff was just, you know, sharing various experiences we’ve had in the game, or professionally, and that was the gist of the first interview.

And so, then I waited, hopeful that I would get an opportunity to come back and, knowing this time that if it were more serious, I’d be flying out here. And that happened, myself along with a few other candidates. And at that point, I was able to meet with the Millers, with Steve, Gail and Greg.

And we had a very, very good session, dialogue, about everything, kinda across the board. Everything from, you know, personal philosophy, philosophy on basketball, you know, you name it, I think we touched it in part.* They had some very specific questions about, you know, what we wanted to see the team do, especially about, you know, wanting me to improve on the defensive end, and talked a lot about the Jazz and their management philosophy…

So, I was riding in the car with my wife picking up our daughter from pre-school and Dennis called me. He said, you know, “Can you talk?”

And I said, you know, “Yeah.”

He said, “You, are you sure? If you want to get somewhere where it’s quiet–”

And I was like, “Absolutely not.” I’m, can you imagine waiting for that call? … And you know, at that point, he told me that I was offered the job and obviously, it didn’t take me long to accept.

* Was anyone else picturing a Bachelor/Bachelorette cocktail party during this part?

What kind of offensive system will you be implementing?
Well, I think, and especially with this team, because we’re so young, that offensively we can play a little faster. If the ball gets up and down the floor quicker, maybe we get a chance with some easy baskets, and it really sets the tone for a possession.

I’d like to see our team play with the pass, where the ball’s moving. You know, there’s times when we wanna attack off the dribble. There’s no question we’ll play a lot of pick and roll, but usually to gain an advantage. And then we’d like to see the ball move.

How do you motivate guys to play hard(er) on defense?
Well, I think, you know, the first thing is to teach ‘em certain habits, you know, because I think when you’re confused in anything, really, it’s very difficult to execute. And when you know where you’re supposed to be, and then when it becomes habitual, you can turn it up. You know, you can start moving quicker, moving faster. You begin to anticipate.

So, you know, those habits, I think, will allow us the opportunity to play hard. It’s tough to hold the guys accountable if they’re not sure where they’re supposed to be. So, that’s our job as coaches, is to teach ‘em those habits.

And then really just to, you know, you do it or you don’t play. It’s pretty simple. There’re certain things that we’re gonna call non-negotiables, that our players just gotta do.

The Jazz have lacked toughness and a defensive mindset since Jerry Sloan’s departure. Can mental and physical toughness for defense be developed in players, or do players have to have it already?
When your leaders and some of your better players are, you know, exhibit those qualities, it sets a tone for a team. But you know, I think you have to demand a certain level. …

To me, you know, being tough is being in the right place at the right time…Whatever it is in an execution situation, doing it harder, you know, longer, better, and sustaining effort, takes a lot of mental toughness.

So, it’s, you know, the Jazz with Coach Sloan for years, you know, that, I think that’s in the Jazz DNA, to have a tough, competitive team. And we wanna be competitive…Sometimes you don’t know how fast you can be until you’re pushed, so that’s kinda the direction we’re headed.

Do you feel there are things that have be undone from the previous coaching staff?
We’re starting with this group, and I have a good idea of how we wanna play. And you know, I just wanna move forward and do what we can do right now.

You said at the press conference, “I love developing young players.” Why do you have so much success in this area, and why do you enjoy it so much?
Well, I think part of it is, you know, in order for guys to get better, they gotta trust you, and being able to, you know, to try and connect and really, a lot of it has to do with your staff too. To see people get better, and you know, the people that have helped me get better, you know, just, it’s gratifying to see people improve.

And one of the key things about development that people kinda lose sight of is, development really isn’t just an individual thing. I mean, sometimes we call it development and we think of it as, like, one-on-one or two-on-two, but what we wanna develop here is a way of playing five-on-five.

You know, the culture of our team, you know, having an identity. And those are types of a development as well, that, you know, maybe we don’t think of in a typical definition, but it, to me, it’s really about building a team.

And anytime you get an opportunity to build a team and to be a part of something, you know, that transcends us as individuals, it’s a pretty neat thing, to be able to be a part of a group like that and hopefully accomplish something special.

What separates Gregg Popovich or the best coaches from great coaches?
I think it gets down to kind of intangible things, and there’s a lotta guys out there that are, you know, great tacticians and very, very good coaches. I think, you know, those guys that really transcend have the ability, you know, to build.

And each year, their team’s a little different, and to get the guys on the team to buy into something that’s bigger than all of them. ‘Cause it’s a game that, you know, you’re rewarded for individual stats, for success in that way.

And for guys, it happens a lot when you see guys later in their career. Then they’re able to say “I wanna win a championship.” But to have that happen consistently with a team is, I think, very, very difficult to do.

What was your experience with CSKA Moscow like?
It was a great experience, you know, to, one of the best things about it, you know, we played in the Russian League. So you know, whether it’s Vladivostok, which is right above Korea, or Siberia, I’ve seen some places in the world that make you appreciate being in Salt Lake City or Atlanta.

But we traveled quite a bit in the Euroleague, and got to play against some high-power teams, whether Real Madrid, Barcelona, Milano. As our coach there, Ettore Messina used to say, it, he was great, and just the general experience.

I think Euro–the game slows down a little bit, you know, if you have one Euroleague game a week. I mean, you think about preparing for one game a week. I mean, you can do everything from a scout team, you can think about matchups more. It makes it a more tactical game, and the game’s only 40 minutes.

So there’s some, I always thought the European game is a little bit more like the NBA playoffs, in that you really end up to the point where you know teams very, very well. And you know, from that standpoint, I feel like it was a great experience and I really learned a ton. (KALL, 1320, Jim Rome)

It’s official. The entire world hates the Cleveland Cavaliers.

June 13, 2014

hate cavs

Note: This somewhat related post has also been updated.

Bits from Randy Rigby Interviews, 6/9 and 6/10

June 12, 2014
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Quin Snyder is 47 years old. Why do you think teams are going young with head coaching hires?
Well, maybe we were trendsetters because Jerry Sloan was with us for 22 years, right? And he ended, I think, when he was about 70 years old, 69 years old. So, he actually started with us at 47. So, we’re counting on Quin giving us another 22 years.*

So, you know, I don’t know that age comes into play in it, but I will say this, that what we do like and what we saw with Quin, is we had a very young, questionable mind about the game of basketball.** And I think that’s very important in today’s world, that this is a very dynamic game, and there’s fundamentals that you wanna have and a solid knowledge and mindset about basketball.

And Quin has it. He’s had good basketball experience, under some of the great coaches of the game…but then, he also is very inquisitive and very progressive, and that was very important for us as we looked at a new coach for the Utah Jazz, that we hope, then, will be with us, though, for a long time.

So, when hopefully he’s done with his era, hopefully he’s one of those older guys that you referred to, but I think is young, always young at heart.

* Kevin O’Connor said at Jerry Sloan’s resignation press conference, regarding Tyrone Corbin, that the Jazz’s next head coach introduction would be in 2034 and the Jazz having the same coach for 22 years “will happen again, because Ty will do a terrific job.”
** Quin Snyder has a “questionable mind about the game of basketball.” Haha.

What’s your free agent pitch?
Our pitch is very simple…We invite players and individuals to look at what the Utah Jazz has meant in the NBA. Who we’ve been, our credibility, our quality of life, and when, as players come in and realize what we have in Salt Lake City, they really realize, “Hey, this is a special place.”

Let’s take, case in point, Deron Williams right now. You know, sometimes it looked like the grass was greener for the oth–on the other side of playing in a big market, right? And Deron’s playing in Brooklyn, a great market.

Deron is living in Salt Lake City with his family.* And I think it speaks to the quality of life. I look up here in Boise. What a great quality of life and a lifestyle and great sports community. And Salt Lake City is so, almost mirror image of that very thing, and that’s why it’s a great place. (KTIK)

* I guess that explains this (originally via @michaelcummo):

deron sign

On Quin Snyder’s “we” mentality
He has a real “we” mentality. And I’m very impressed with him. And by the way, so did all of our candidates that we had.

But Quin comes across in a way that he is, he’s looking, this is his first big opportunity in the NBA, and on the top of, really, of basketball. And he’s appreciative of it. And he doesn’t want to let himself down, his family down. He doesn’t want to let the Utah Jazz down, and he wants to be a part of something very special.

And you can see him talking about what we can all do and what, and we’re in this all together, and so I really see this as a great opportunity for Quin, but I think to see him, I think he’s going to be a perfect fit for us, really. …

Here’s a man that, we gave him notice on Friday night, had, sorry, on Saturday, on Friday afternoon, and by Friday night, six hours later, he and his wife were, and Amy is expecting and great with child, but they, they’re on a plane. By the time the plane got here, it was four in the morning, by the way, for the press conference.

So, but then, they were gonna be here for a day and a half. Just had hip surgery, replacement surgery, I believe four weeks ago. But he said, “You know what? Instead of traveling back and forth, you know what, while I’m here, I’m gonna stay here.”

And literally, so he’s, he is actually, instead of going back home, he said, “Hey, there’s a lot going on here. I’m staying here. I’m gonna work on, I’m gonna look at homes for us, but I’m also, we got mini-camps, we got a lot of decisions right in front of us. I’m here. I’m here to really get right to work.”* And I, it shows, to me, that hunger in him, that drive to say, “I’m not gonna pass up one moment to help contribute and be a part.”…

He has jumped in with both feet, and running a hundred miles an hour.**

* Snyder said on the day of the press conference that he would be traveling back and forth between Atlanta and SLC.
** “He has jumped in with both feet, and running a hundred miles an hour.” Classic Rigbyism. :)

Did you put the screws to Snyder in the contract negotiation?
I always have viewed myself as being very direct, and honest, and you know what, I don’t play a lot of games in my negotiations. …

I look at Derek Fisher’s [contract], and you know what, I’m very happy of where our contract is.

So, how should Jazz fans feel about Derek Fisher?
Well, you know what, I think we need to say “Let’s all of us move on.” It’s, it is in the rearview mirror.

There are a lot of good things Derek Fisher did good and did well for the Utah Jazz. Worked hard, played hard, was a good leader in our locker room. We can all question what took place, only, really Fisher knows what really took place.

Randy Rigby, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine
** On Rudy Gobert’s appendix and appendectomy: They got it out. The methods of them now, getting in, is a lot easier and a lot less invasive. And he looks very good. High spirits.
** On the draft party: Locke’s gonna be coming live from, also, Madison Square Garden, or somewhere in New York.
** On what would happen if Gordon Monson were to call in the middle of his granddaughter’s birthday party: That would be even worse, because then you’d have Sandra Rigby on ya. (1280)

Bits from Utah Jazz Draft Workout: Cleanthony Early, Glenn Robinson III and C.J. Wilcox

June 12, 2014
tags: , ,


** One of the guys shot worse than everyone else, but for the most part guys shot well and didn’t have problems with the altitude.
** How did C.J. Wilcox shoot the ball?
C.J. Wilcox shot it very well today…He looked good on his shot.
** Cleanthony Early says he can play the “two” or the “three.” What do you think?
I think that depends on the team, with, how they see him. We see him as a guy who can really shoot the ball. Good 3-point shooter, plays hard…”Two”? I don’t know. I don’t think so. “Three” is a possibility. “Four” is a possibility.


** Eighth workout; has three or four more scheduled
** How did the workout go? / Comment on the altitude
It went really well…Everyone competed and played hard. It was a really good workout.
Did you feel the altitude?
Not as much as I did when I came and played Air Force my junior year. I was beat then. But it was pretty decent now.
** What are you trying to show teams?
That I’m just improving on anything that I need to improve on. That I can compete at the highest level. That I’m a player, you know, and that I belong in the NBA, you know?
** What position do you see yourself playing in the NBA?
Small forward. Shooting guard…At the end of the day, measurements don’t matter ’cause they can’t measure your heart…I think I always could play the “three.” I think at Witchita State, we lacked the “four” position, and with my height and my length and my athleticism, I could fill in that position and I would also have been a really good four. But if I’d’ve played the three, I think I would’ve killed at the three too. Wherever they would’ve put me, honestly. But that’s not what I played, and that’s not what you guys seen, but that’s what I like, you know? People not to know what I’m capable of, and I go out there, and it’s like a smack in the face.
** What are your strengths?
I’m competitive, you know? I’m athletic. I have ability. I can shoot the ball, you know? I could put the ball on the floor…I can defend the three. I run fast and jump high. Whatever it is that I need to improve on, I’m willing to sit right in this place right here and do that.


** Is the son of Glenn Robinson (Jr.) and college teammate of Trey Burke
** How did the workout go? / Comment on the altitude
Great workout. I’m feeling great. Coming into this workout, you know, a lot of people, you know, talked about the altitude…you know, how that kinda affected their play. But you know, I felt great. I thought we did a great job.
** Have you talked to Trey Burke about the workout?
That’s one of my close friends, you know? And not only Trey, but Tim Hardaway Jr. You know, and I talked to Trey a bunch about, you know, Utah, the Jazz, you know, his experiences, his ups and downs. So, he really helped me out throughout the process, you know, and I just seen him not too long ago…A guy with all his success, you know, the way that he’s been able to stay humble, you know, just made the whole University of Michigan proud.
** What was it like growing up with a famous father?
It was a little difficult at first. You know, my dad did a great job of telling me, you know, I didn’t have to play basketball. You know, he wanted me to do what I wanted to do. But definitely, having him at this moment, you know, in my life, and this stage that I’m going through, he’s been through it all. You know, he can definitely help me right now, and he is. You know, so, it’s definitely a advantage over some players, just having a father who’s been through that and having that connection.
** What can you bring to the Jazz?
I know coming in as a rookie, it’s hard to display leadership. You know, but the, you know, the things that I can do on and off the court to help a team out, and I know how to play a role, you know, and do what I can to help a team win. And that’s something I think that’s important, of whether that’s bringing energy every night, defense every night, you know, if you need me to score. So I think, you know, I’m a unique player who can kinda display several different things, especially with a younger team, you know, and kinda on the uprising.


** How did the workout go? / Comment on the altitude
I think it went really well. I forget what the altitude’s like here in Utah, but it was a good workout. We had a good group of guys.
** On his shooting
That’s my strength, so you know, any team that needs shooting, I feel confident going in that I can, you know, come in and contribute right away.
** When did making the NBA become a goal for you?
I would say seventh grade, when I really started to try to put the work in, and, not really knowing what work needed to be done, but you know, just putting in as much work as possible. And you know, from there, just kinda continuing to grind and get to this point.
** You’ve worked out with Johnnie Bryant. How much has he helped your development?
He’s helped me a lot. I spent two summers with him my freshman and sophomore year, and I made some big changes that time. And then he got picked up by the Jazz, so I didn’t get to work out with him as much. But he definitely helped me grow as a player…He checks in from time to time, so that’s really cool. You know, keep me motivated and focused.

Other players that worked out for the Jazz with no interviews made available: Kendrick Perry and Xavier Thames. P.J. Hairston was present but suffering from back spasms.


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