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Bits from Walt Perrin Interview, 6/19

June 20, 2014
tags: , ,

perrin

Mental ability and readiness vs. physical ability and readiness
You know, we don’t want great athletes who are not very smart, who don’t, can’t remember plays, who don’t know where to be on the court during the action. So we’re looking at guys who have some basketball intelligence, also have basketball skills. So that’s the perfect package that you’re trying to look for.

So, in terms of, if you want [to] rate one over the other, I think we would probably go more with intelligence than athletic skill.

How do you measure a player’s mental capacity and readiness to play at the next level?
Well, that’s why we go out and watch ‘em play games live. That’s why we look at a lot of tapes on ‘em. That’s why we, hopefully, we can get ‘em in, whether it’s here for a workout or in Chicago at the combine, sit down with them for an interview session.

See how they think, see how quick they react to questions we may ask them, how long it may take them to formulate a good answer. It’s all part of it.

And I would also say, guys who [can think the game], they can overcome some of the lesser athletic skills that they have, but those who have great athletic skills that can’t think the game, don’t last long in the game.

Do you have concerns about Julius Randle’s foot?
This year’s group was, there’s a lot of things on our medical reports from a lotta players. Is there major concern with most of ‘em? No. Is there a concern with some of ‘em? Yes.

And again, you know, with the HIPAA laws, I can’t really talk about any individual player, although the question I asked yesterday was, was I concerned about his ankle? No, I wasn’t, because our doctors have told us he’s gonna be fine.

On feet and bigs, in regards to Joel Embiid
I think, with feet, with anybody, you don’t know, you know, you’re talking about big guys may have a little bit more weight on their body and on their feet.

I think with feet, it’s a concern. Feet and knees are big concerns with any of the players because that’s what they have to utilize to get up and down the court to jump for a rebound, to jump in terms of getting off their jump shot.

So I mean, any time you have that, it’s a concern and you have to really trust your doctors and have your doctors be able to take a look at it and try to have a pretty good decision in terms of where, how bad the injury may affect him not only right away, but in the future.

What were your conversations with Marcus Smart’s agent like?
[He said] he’ll go back and talk with the player and maybe talk with the family, maybe talk with another advisor or somebody else within their organization…

We’ve done a great job of doing a lot of background information on him. We had an opportunity to speak with Marcus in Chicago. We’ve watched a lot of tape. I’ve been to a few games. We all, the whole franchise has probably seen him play live eight to 10 times. So, we’ve got a good feel for Marcus.

We would’ve loved to have got him in here in Salt Lake. Sometimes we, I’m able to do that. Sometimes I’m not. But it doesn’t affect how we feel about Marcus. It doesn’t affect whether or not we’ll take him at five if we think he’s the best player.

What is your evaluation of Dante Exum keeping the level of competition he’s played against in mind?
I watched him in Hoop Summit, watched him at Under-19. The guys he played with in the Hoop Summit game were people by the name of Andre Wiggins*, it’s Joel Embiid. The guys he played against was Julius Randle, the twins from Kentucky [Andrew and Aaron Harrison]. So, he’s played in some high-caliber competition, and we had an opportunity to see that.

The one problem with Dante is we don’t have a lot of information in terms of watching him and tapes of him playing outside of those international competitions…What you’ve gotta do, again, is do a lot of background on him, which, we had a nice little interview with him in Chicago. You get as much stuff you can in terms of watching him play in games.

I, we’ve got the information of, again, myself, and a lot of the Jazz people saw him at the Hoop Summit. Myself and Rich Sheubrooks, who’s our international guy, saw him in the Under-19 in Prague for a full, I think, week or 10 days and probably saw him play four or five games. So, we’ve got some information on Dante, so we’re not overly uncomfortable with him in terms of knowing him.

* People calling Andrew Wiggins “Andre”: Walt Perrin

What did you see from Exum in those games you watched?
He was one of the better players at Hoop Summit, when he played against all the guys who are basically in this year’s draft, a lot of guys in this year’s draft. He’s got great speed with the ball. He handles it well. He’s got, he’s not a bad shooter.

Naturally, he’s not very strong, so he’s gotta get a lot stronger for our level. And like most freshmen, in his case, he’s a, he’s just kinda straight out of high school, there’s a lotta things he’s gotta learn and a lotta things he’s gotta get a lot better at to be able to step on the court to play at the NBA level.(1280)

Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 6/18

June 20, 2014
tags: , ,

randy rigby

How are you guys feeling one week away from the draft?
Well, I’ll tell you what, you can feel the excitement at the [practice facility]. I, everyone is really up to their A-game. Everyone’s excited, and we’re really at it.

What did you like most about new Jazz assistant coach Mike Wells?
Well, you know what, Mike brings a lot of experience, and he is, the thing I like about Mike is he’s a no-nonsense guy that is very passionate about the game of basketball. He’s been in it, been around it from the NBA ranks to the collegiate ranks.

Has dealt with a lot of young players, and as we all know, we’re dealing with some really, a lotta young players right now in our development, and I really like what Mike brings to the table in his development skills and his overall basketball and coaching skills.

But you talk to Mike, and you can just feel his love for basketball and his love for coaching and teaching basketball, and that’s a great talent.

The Spurs have nine international players on their roster. Are you looking to increase the international presence on the Jazz?
Well, you know, I will say this. In the last two months, Dennis Lindsey has made two international trips. Justin Zanik, I believe, has been, two or three international trips.

Rich Sheubrooks,* who is our international scout, we have then, some, also, some regional scouts, that are out there. We are very active in the international marketplace, and looking.

And, as you know, I mean, we made a move for Rudy Gobert, there, we had, which was ga–someone from France. We, of course, we have Enes Kanter from Turkey. We’ve had, you know, a number of players, Memo [Okur], you mentioned it, from Turkey.

There are some very, very good players internationally, and we expect to be, and we will be, continue to be, very aggressive in our analysis and utilization, of international scouting and international players. It’s fun. This is such a dynamic and exciting game now, internationally, and it’s being so well-received. There’s some great players that are, because of that, coming from it, and we need to be out there.

* For now, anyway.

sheubrooks tweet

Have you talked with Quin Snyder about the direction of the team?
Well, you know, it’s still early, but I’ve had numerous conversations with Quin, and he is a delight to be around. There’s a real energy that I’m feeling, and an excitement that I’m feeling in our facility, and with all of our people, and it’s been very rewarding.

And Quin is, has just a bright mind. At the same time, I see him being very inclusive as well. Today, during the workouts, I watched as he and Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson spent well over an hour watching the workouts and talking together. He’s one that is a, really a student of the game and loves input and feedback.

And watching him talk to them, we spent some time in talking a little more about his coaching staff and his mind at how he looks to be very progressive at, as, the approach to the game. I’m very impressed, and so I think you’re going to see an individual who is going to be, again, very defensive-minded, very, push very hard to see personal responsibility and accountability.

But at the same time, he’s already reached out to a number, I’ve watched him, even, out interacting with some of these players. Very approachable and very interested and very sincere. Players like talking with him, getting connected with him, and I think that’s going to be a great asset that we’re going to be able to utilize for the future.

Brad Jones? Alex Jensen? Johnnie Bryant?
Well, you know, I think we’re best to wait. I think everyone there’s, knows that we have Johnnie Bryant and Alex Jensen under contract for another year. So, that’s, that one I can definitely say they’re involved, and they’re going to be involved.

They’re doing a remarkable job for us. They’re conducting a lot of the workouts, and they’re, not only do they finish the workouts, then they turn around and, Rudy Gobert’s coming, is back in, and they’re working out, and you see them helping him. And so, these guys don’t stop, and it’s impressive to see their commitment to our players and their development, commitment to this organization.*

So, as it relates to Brad and the rounding out of our coaching staff, that one is under Quin’s responsibilities. He’s working very hard at it. I’m really impressed the direction he’s going. And I think we’ll have some announcements in a fairly soon time pi–time period.

* UDQM paragraph.

What is the status of Raul Neto and Ante Tomic?
Well, we’ve actually had Raul, has been, in town.

He looks, by the way, great. For our female fans, by the way, he is very handsome.* And you know, I think if and when he participates in the Jazz team, I think we’ll have a lot of fans–female fans**–that will really like cheering for Raul Neto.

But I’ll tell you what, he’s worked very hard. He’s a player that is really developing…We are very actively looking at exactly and watching their careers and seeing if, you know, how they would fit in with our Jazz roster. And they’re very much in our, you know, in our bull’s eye, in our analysis, right now.

* This reminds me of the Friends Thanksgiving episode with Brad Pitt where Monica is describing him to Rachel: “Oh, and by the way, he’s lost a bunch of weight. He looks good. Okay, I mean really, really gorgeous.”
** I like how Rigby keeps emphasizing it’s female fans and only female fans.

Are Neto and Tomic available contractually, or is it a sticky wicket?
Well, it’s not sticky, but there are aspects to it that we have to deal with.* But they’re, they are not…[Rigby enters a tunnel or an elevator and the audio breaks up]…but we are prepared, if we think that that was right, to be able to pull the trigger and make those moves. (1280)

* UDQM.

Bits from Utah Jazz Draft Workout: DeAndre Daniels and Julius Randle (and Marcus Smart talk)

June 19, 2014

snyder workoutFYI, I am very impressed with Quin Snyder’s sartorial style and how his clothes fit. Photo via @BenKFAN.


perrin

** All eight guys played pretty well and pushed through the fatigue. Some guys shot it well.
** Did Julius Randle shoot it well?
He shot it pretty well. Now, we had him shooting a little different than normal guys coming in. He was more into the 20-foot range instead of the 3-point range.
** On Julius Randle
First and foremost, he’s an absolute great kid. Great person. We had a great interview with him in Chicago. He has an extremely high motor as a basketball player. He’s a lot stronger than I think he even realizes. So I mean, he’s got a great upside…He’s gotta increase his shooting ability, hopefully shooting range. He’s strong, but everybody can always get stronger, and I think everybody that comes into the league has to learn how to play better defense…Do we have concern about his foot? No…He’s a very good rebounder. He’s very aggressive. He goes after every rebound, ev–rebound, missed shot, excuse me, whether it’s offensively or defensively.
** What are your thoughts on Marcus Smart’s tweet? Was what he said accurate?
I will say this. I’ve talked with Marcus’ agent probably three or four times before I talked to him the night of the tweet. So he knows that we have interest in Marcus. Whether the tweet was accurate or not, I have no idea. But we do have interest in Marcus. We have done a lot of background on Marcus. We have had our interview in Chicago with Marcus. We’ve watched a lot of tapes on Marcus. So, if we get guys in, that’s great. If we don’t get guys in for workouts, we’ve done our homework. We’ve seen ‘em. And if we like ‘em, then we’ll take ‘em…Whatever the reason is that they don’t want him to come in, that’s on them.

daniels

** Losing count of how many teams he’s worked out for, but at least 10 with four more to go
** How did the workout go? / Comment on the altitude
I mean, it was pretty good. Kinda like every other workout. Started with a lot of ball-handling, a lotta shooting, and a lotta competing stuff. But I would say we probably did less here, but I would probably say it was my hardest one, ’cause it was definitely hard for me to breathe, because of the altitude or whatever. Definitely really tired, but it was a good workout.
** What are your biggest strengths?
I mean, I’m a player, can do whatever, whatever the coaches [ask], whatever they need me to do, I can do it. That’s rebound, that’s knock down sh–open shots in the corner, that’s just play defense. I’m willing to do it, 100 percent.
** What were you trying to show the Jazz?
I mean, just show ‘em that, just show ‘em the stuff that I wasn’t able to show when I was in college with me playing the “four.” So, just me, I can play on the, put the basketball on the ground. Obviously, I can shoot off the dribble, or, and I can defend the 3-guard.
** Did you follow the Jazz last season? Do you know much about the team?
Seen you guys play a lot. Young team, and you guys gonna be very good. Definitely with a great point guard in Trey Burks*…[I'd] love to come here and play here.
* People calling Trey Burke “Trey Burks”: DeAndre Daniels

randle

** First time in Salt Lake City; likes the view of the mountains from his hotel room. Is not scared of snow.
** How did the workout go?
It went great. I feel good about it.
Altitude a problem at all, or anything like that?
No, it wasn’t too much, honestly. Got me a little bit in the beginning, but once I got my second wind, I was fine.
** On the reports that he’ll need surgery after the draft
Did my homework and spoke to the best foot doctor we have in the country, and there’s no issue with my foot. So, I mean, I got through five workouts. I’m good. Ready to go for summer league wherever I am…I don’t know anything about surgery.
Where did those reports come from?
I’m not sure. You know, it can be from anywhere. It’s just somewhat speculation with the draft, you know, around this time guys try to get spots and you know, cer–maybe certain teams want you to fall to them, and they can put it out there, but I can’t worry about that, you know? I’m a basketball player. All I know how to do is work, produce, and you know, play hard for my team, and care about the person next to me, and you know, that’s all I’m worried about.
** How do you see yourself fitting in with the Jazz?
They have a great new coach. You know, of course Jazz organization is tremendous. You know, you look up there and you see, you know, all the accomplishments*, and you know, all that, you know, the Jazz have done as an organization. I think I fit in that right away already, because I’m coming from a program like that. And you know, I think they’re great at, you know, developing. You know, they have so many young players and they’re doing a great job developing ‘em. I’d be good with that as well.
* Like the NBA Finals participation banner, Western Conference Champions banner and Midwest Division Champion banners…
** What are your greatest strengths?
I think my versatility. I think my motor, for sure, is one of my strongest parts of my game too. You know, skillset and all of that stuff comes. You know, you can have a skillset, but what good of use, what good is it if you don’t really have a motor? You know, you [have to] bring it every day and try to improve on it every day, and I think that’s one of my biggest strengths, you know? I’m hungry. Hungry to get better.
** How do you think your basketball skills will fit in with the guys on the Jazz’s roster?
I think it fits in well. You know, I’m a very versatile player, so I can play many different ways, and adjust to many different situations. So I think my skillset, being versatile, being able to affect the game in many different ways and help a team win in many different ways, would be good, would be a good fit here.

Other players that worked out for the Jazz with no interviews made available: Mike Burwell, Langston Hall, Jordan McRae, Casey Prather, Tristan Spurlock and Kendall Williams.

Bits from Utah Jazz Draft Workout: Jarred Shaw, Markel Brown, C.J. Fair and Noah Vonleh

June 17, 2014
tags: , ,

perrin

** How did the workout go?
They did everything we asked them. Shooting wasn’t as great as we had hoped, but it’s understandable, again, because of the way they worked during the workout. So, I thought it was a very good workout.
** On Noah Vonleh
He got through the workout. I don’t think he struggled that much. Struggled a little bit, but I think he’s in pretty good shape. Now, is he in shape for, through 82 games here in Salt Lake or Denver? No. But you know, we can get him that way…He’s got a little ways to go [on defense], but he’s got a body where he’ll fight and he’ll bang, and his feet aren’t bad…I think he picked up 20 lbs. from the year, from the time he left high school to college. Can he get stronger? Yes. Upper body and lower body. He’s, as big as he is, he has to learn how to utilize his body a little bit more…[His athleticism] is not bad. Not great. He runs the court extremely well, so that’s good, but we probably would, wherever he goes, you gotta work with his vertical [so he can] get up quicker.
** How mature is Vonleh for his age?
We didn’t get a chance to sit down with him in Chicago [at the draft combine], ’cause we had him on our list but the league didn’t give him to us. So I don’t know for sure. From whatever, everything that we’ve heard, he’s a great kid. Fairly mature for his age, but we’ll find out more once we sit down with our interview.

shaw

** Second workout with the Jazz. Sixth workout; has worked out for the Knicks, Clippers, Nets, Celtics and Jazz. Has two more scheduled with the Magic and Kings.
** What were you able to show off in this workout that you couldn’t in your first workout with the Jazz?
Just making shots, man. Just trying to stay consistent with my shot. Shoot the same shot every time, and I feel like I did that.
** What can you bring to the Jazz?
I can bring, like, stretch four man. Stretch the four, knock down jumpers. I can guard the four and the five position. Just somebody that’s off the bench, quick offensive, come in offensively and make a few shots, and probably pick up the starters and give them a lift [as] a backup guy.
** What do teams want to know during interviews?
Just what kind of guy I am. See if, how I’ve redeemed myself. I know I got into some trouble off the court, and just show ‘em that I’ve changed, and making strides to become a better human being.

brown

** How did the workout go? / Comment on the altitude
It was pretty good. A lotta three-on-three and two-on-two. Pretty sto–tough from the start because of the elevation, not really used to it, but still a good workout.
** What are you trying to show teams?
I present athleticism and defense, and scoring. I think coming into any team and this team, I can step in and be a defender, and a scorer on the other end. It’s not really too many two-way players in the NBA, so I feel like I can present that.
** Expects to be drafted between 20 and 35

fair

** 12th workout; has a few more scheduled
** How did the workout go?
It went good. You know, we had a great group of guys out here. You know, we competed hard, and you know, I think I did a pretty good job for myself. I competed on both sides of the ball.
** What can you bring to the Jazz?
I feel as though, you know, I’m a guy who’s gonna work hard on both sides of the ball. Imma be a consistent player. You know exactly what you’re gonna get out of me. I’m a player that can knock down the open shot. Create his own shot for his, myself and others, and a great rebounder and defender.
** Knows Trey Burke from playing against him in college and has worked out with John Lucas III this summer

vonleh

** Has worked out for the Magic, Celtics, Lakers and Kings. This is possibly his last workout.
** How did the workout go? / Comment on the altitude
I think I did pretty good. It was a big adjustment with the altitude here, and then, and in Denver, so it was a little bit of an adjustment, but I think I did pretty well.
** What are you trying to show teams?
Show them my versatility. Show them I can take guys off the dribble, play inside the post and create for others.
** What do you know about Derrick Favors, and can you play alongside him?
Yeah, I’ve been watching him since he was in high school, and I saw him a little bit while he was in the NBA, and I think I’d complement him pretty well. I could s–I could be like a stretch four, he could play the five, and I think we’d go well together.
** What do you know about the Utah Jazz?
Coach Jerry Sloan was here before, and now they just got a new coach. I don’t know too much about him, but he looks like a pretty good guy. He’s really young. And I know they had guys like Karl Malone, John Stockton. Carlos Boozer and Deron* Williams, I watched them a lot when they were here. And they got Trey Burke, who played in the Big Ten, and a few other guys.
* “Duh-RON”
** Is there a team you want to go to, or do you just want to be drafted as high as possible?
Whoever takes me, I’m willing to be happy to go in from Day One, work hard, and better myself as a player. And help my team get better.
** What is your offensive go-to move?
Either a right jump hook or a left jump hook or a up-and-under or face-up-drive-it-spin. Do different things like that. Mix it up.
** Is there any player you pattern yourself after or compare yourself to?
No. A lotta people say Chris Bosh, LaMarcus Aldridge and a few other players like that, ’cause they can step out, shoot the three, face up. And I guess you could say that.

Other players that worked out for the Jazz with no interviews made available: John Bohannon, Bryon Allen, David Wear (second workout with the Jazz in the family) and Jamil Wilson (second workout with the Jazz).

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
tags: , ,

perrin

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
tags: , ,

perrin

** 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.

anderson

** 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.

johnson

** 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.

stone

** 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.

usher

** 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
tags: , ,

lindsey

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
tags: , ,

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.

adams

** 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.

brown

** 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.

young

** 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.

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