On Jazz player development (specifically, the development of Mark Eaton)
Mark Eaton was terrific. Very unselfish. He didn’t care, like a lot of centers, he didn’t care if the ball was up there and they scored a basket and he didn’t get a chance to post up or something. He never worried about points. All he worried about was winning.
And, so that, you know, a lot of people forget, also, that Mark Eaton was the captain of our team, when we had [Karl] Malone and [John] Stockton and [Adrian] Dantley and everything else, because he was our, probably our most intelligent player. …
We drafted him, signed him, and I said, “You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna give you a three-year guaranteed contract, all right? I’m gonna give you some bonus money up front, and this is what I want you to do. I want you and your wife to move to Salt Lake City. I want you to live here all year round, and during the summer I want you to work out. I want you — we’re gonna make a ball player outta you.”
I mean, I know [his former coaches] didn’t have time to do it. He had very good coaching in junior college, and he had a good junior college career. But when he got to UCLA, he didn’t play very much. He lost confidence in himself.
And so, you know, we started to put him on weights. We started to hit him baseballs so that he would bend at the knees and at the waist, to go down and — you know, he was pretty agile. We had him sprint. We had him run long distances. We worked on his jumping ability. And you know, three years later, he was an all-star. He was in the All-Star Game.
So, but the big thing was his willingness to work, and we made an investment in him. And it took a while. It took a while for the NBA referees to get used to him, because, you know, he would block shots and they’d call a foul. I’d say, “Hey, what’s going on?”
So we sent films into the league and [said], “Hey, tell these referees this guy is big. He’s blocking shots. He’s left-handed. With shot blockers, it helps shot blockers.” And I said, “You gotta start giving this guy a break.” And finally, they started to read into it.
On Mark Eaton, UDQM
He was very physical. There was a lot of centers in the league that didn’t like to mess with him because he was, you know, he had a hard body, and he wasn’t afraid to lay it on people. But his greatest asset was being able to pitch out, [which] means not only get it out, but get it to the right person…
Besides being tall, he was big in every other direction. I’ve seen players taller, and I’ve seen players wider, but I’ve never seen players with both, what he had.
On the Jazz offensive system and analytics
Our philosophy was let’s go inside. That’s where you get the good percentage shots. That’s where you get the, that’s where you get to the foul line. You know, and that’s where you get your opponents’ big guys into foul trouble.
Was your offense a system or were you calling out plays from the bench?
We had some plays, but basically we worked out of — we tried to, immediately after a fast break was over — what we tried to do was get points in a lot of different ways, ok? And by that I mean, first of all it was important for us to get to the foul line.
We thought that if we were gonna have a successful team, we had to have at least 33 free throws in the game. And that would, we would try to look and, somewhere between 33 and 40 free throws a game. Of the free throws made, we would like to make 30 out of 40. I mean, it’s not too much to ask.
You know, three points shots attempted, we’d look for 16. We’d look to — I thought the perfect game was to average 123 points with, 120 points with four 25-point quarters, four 30-point quarters. And if we could do that, we would win a lotta games. And we set goals like that.
Bench points, we expected to get 32 points. We wanted to get between 80 and 100 shots a game. So, that would fit in with what was going on now. …
[We] thought that two-thirds of our scoring should come in a set offense and it should come from inside, all right? And in fact, in some part of the game, we used to call it “rock.” And rock meant no more outside shots.
Everything has to come off of free throws, a fast break, or pounding the ball inside. No more 3-point shots. Three-point shots missed lead to fast breaks down the other end, and like I said, we saw a lot of that in the playoffs [this year].
And you know, once you lay the pattern down and you allow the horse out of the barn, you can’t bring it back. I’m sure that, you know, [Steve] Kerr, who’s an excellent coach and seems to have great, you know, demeanor with his players, once they, during the season that they not only took a lot of outside shots, they pumped the ball up there. Some bad; some good.
But they won a lot of games, and when you win games, sometimes you overlook what the big picture is. Would have they traded winning 73 games to win the championship? I think they would’ve, all right?
But they made their deal, and I can’t blame them because you get caught up in momentum and you want to get it and the fans want it and the press wants it and everything else. So, you know, but at the end, I think that they lost all perspective. They never got an easy basket. ..
Offense, I mean, is a lot of things. And a lot of teams didn’t work on — I’ll give you an example. How many teams work on jump balls? We tried to win the opening jump and get a basket. You don’t see that anymore. They just tap it back and they go at it. We also, you know, spent a lot of time on side court out of bounds.
You know, and I think trying to get as many cheap baskets as we possibly can…When we got the ball under the basket, I wanted to either get a basket or get fouled, for sure. You know, what kind of an advantage was that? We should never give that up. …
We had rules, like if we had a triangle, all right, and we had the, and the man down in the post was fronted, he immediately vacated so the guy across on the other box, all right, and we always went on the baseline side after the block, and we would post up.
We would not throw the ball in, all right, if a guy was fronted. It just wasn’t done. We then would look for a shot where he had good, you know, rebounding positioning.
Whenever we went into the post, we always split, and I’ll tell you why we did that. It was to keep the people guarding, that they couldn’t double back, and because y–a lot of guys, you know, the guy who throws the ball in, his man goes back and doubles. And we couldn’t have that happening with Karl Malone, you know, and so we had to keep him in the one-on-one — [also] Adrian Dantley, keep them in the one-on-one situation.
And on the opposite block was Mark Eaton, who, if his man left him, he immediately went to the broken line, and the minute Karl Malone or whoever it was felt — you know, it could be Kelly Tripucka — felt that there was pressure, they knew that Mark would be standing on the broken line ready to receive the pass, you know, to get an easy basket.
On the Jazz defensive mentality
Our basic thing was individual responsibility. And I think we’ve gotten away from that. In other words, when we went into a game when I was coaching the Jazz, all right — I had Bobby Hansen. And I would start talking to Bobby Hansen and watching films with him before the season started of how to guard Michael Jordan.
“Oh, you can’t guard Michael Jordan!”
No, you certainly can’t, you know? If you let him go, he’ll score 40 on you. But you know what I said? “What’s he averaging?”
“Oh, he’s averaging 27 points a game, 25 points a game.”
“Bobby, if you can hold him to 21, we got a shot. Most games are gonna be decided by five points, by two and a half field goals.”
And so, you know, we started to think that way. Individual responsibility. You know? We don’t have that anymore. If you tell me who the five best defensive players in the NBA are, you’re probably lying.
You know? No one knows who they are. You know, because everybody gets bailed out. You know, they’re bringing the — you know, if he gets by me, you know, “Switch!” You know, let someone else pick him up. …
And part of it is, by the way, we should go, is that’s the way the NBA wants it. You know, we used to be able to put our hands on people. …
Michael Jordan told me when Bobby Hansen went to Chicago the last year of his career, he said to me, “Coach, thanks for giving us Bobby.” He says, “He used to give me fits.”
You know? He was — yeah, I used to say, “Bobby, when you come into the huddle, I wanna see blood on your uniform. I want to see Michael Jordan’s blood.” And so one day I come in and see [that he has] blood down, running down the front of his uniform. I said, “That’s it. I love that. I love seeing blood.”
He goes, “Coach, it’s my blood.” He said, “Michael–” he says, “Michael’s beating the shit out of me.”
On the Jazz defensive system
We did have times of trapping, and usually we went into zones and trapping and stuff when we were behind, or we tried to stimulate our team. Maybe we were tired or something, and we would do those things to wake our guys up. But most of the time, it was just one on one, hold your man. …
We played pretty square up. You know, we tried to play position…If you played Calvin Murphy, you had to play his right hand. He always went right, you know, so you tried to take that away from him.
We had some rules, like if we were going out to play a guy who had just received the ball in the corners, we always covered the baseline. We tried to drive the guy back into the middle, where there would be help, where, you know, Mark Eaton would be.
We had, we felt that the tendency for guys when they caught the ball, if they were right-handed, was to drive the baseline, and we tried to take that away from them…
We started our practices, all right, after we warmed up, by starting with defense, and we would start one on one. Then we went to two against two, then we went to three against three, then four against four and five against five, and then we were ready to get into our offenses.
On “keeping modern”
One thing I was concerned about, I wanted to keep up with the recent, what would you say, jargon? You know, now they don’t say a guy’s tall; they say he’s long. You know what I mean?
That’s, tha–so, and I hired, you know, coaches based on having that opportunity, you know, to keep me young and keep me in the mix; let me hear what the latest wo–because there is, in the, when you’re in the pros, you don’t have as many coaching clinics and you know, I — that’s why I hired a youngster by the name of Gordon Chiesa…
I hired him and I said, “Gordon, just keep me modern, you know what I mean? Keep me up on the latest terminology and what have you, so that when I’m coaching the players, they know what I’m talking about. They’re not looking out there and saying, ‘Who’s this old fart?'”
** First item in “Coach Layden’s Thoughts on Coaching,” compiled by Tom Thibodeau: Leadership: Communicating skills. If you can’t communicate, you can’t motivate. You can’t lead. You can’t motivate, you can’t lead. (@bballbreakdown)
On the addition of George Hill, Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw
All three of these guys have very significant season and post-season experience. And so, I think, we’re hopeful when those higher moments come, and elevated play come, that some of our younger players can look to the veterans that we’ve added as a sense of guidance and gives us, you know, a little bit more definition and defined purpose, you know, in the most important moments as well.
On whether the addition of veterans will help the team win more close games
We’re just hoping odds take care of that. Usually, if you play enough close games…it will get back to zero…
But I don’t think close games is our issue. I think we want to have more blowouts. I think if we do that, that will take care of the close-game dilemma and then maybe a few of those balls will go in late this coming season, that didn’t [last season]…
Those first 46 minutes are just as important, if you study it. And so, we want to be mindful of the whole season, the whole game in its entirety, just not what happened the last two minutes.
What did Trey Burke mean to the Utah Jazz?
We expect that he’s gonna have a very good career and go on and perform well, just like Enes [Kanter] has in [Oklahoma City]. And we want that, to be frank.
The, I think Trey will tell you where he’s at now — mentally, physically, spiritually, with his skills — he’s in a much better place than he was when he first joined us, on a lot of different levels.
And so we wish him the best and we expect him to play well on — and we hope that he plays well, because again, it allows us to tell our story about the development program that’s going on here.
On the free agency process this year
We’ve strategically stayed out of the large part of free agency the previous years, just ’cause we had a bunch of young players and they needed minutes. And we didn’t want to be duplicit in the direction.
And it became apparent with where the development’s at that our team’s more ready to win. It became apparent that, obviously with the injuries, that we needed to actively manage that better and have some built-in reinforcements for a better bench. But also, just the scenarios, in case this happens.
So, we were able to let the agents know that we were going to be a lot more active than we were the previous two seasons; very strategic. And the great thing is, is we sat down — we talked to a lot of guys, but we sat down with four very strategic free agents, and we felt like we were g–in good position to sign any one of the four, and Quin [Snyder]’s helped that out a great deal.
Dante Exum update
To date, there has not been one setback.
On Boris Diaw
He’s not here because of Rudy [Gobert]. He’s here because of his own merit, but there’s more than an ancillary benefit to have someone that can speak French with Rudy and talk about current events, and, you know, so the big fella’s not on an island.
So, Rudy was quite pleased, but we were more pleased that, adding someone who’s tough, who’s physical, who can really pass the ball, who’s improved his distant shooting as well…
Boris is quite charming as well, and he has a gift. So, adding to the humor, adding to the cultural fabric, if you will, to the team is also something that we wanna be mindful of.
Player body updates
** Raul Neto: Raul’s gotta get better. There are some things with his body that we’re working on, I think that he can improve.
** Joe Johnson: [He has] a body that’s, you know, according to our doctors and trainers, much younger than 35.
** Joe Johnson Part 2: Joe has become a noted hot yoga fanatic, and so he’s been able to keep himself in great shape.
Dennis Lindsey, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine
** On Boris Diaw’s passing ability: He allows us to invert, and have a big man up top handling the ball and making decisions.
** On Diaw’s love for coffee: Quin’s an espresso guy as well, so I’m sure they’ll share their different blends.
Why are you excited to be in Salt Lake City?
I mean, they’re a young team. You know, well-coached. Great organization. Great, you know, front office. And, you know, I knew that, you know, they’re just missing a couple piece to get over that hump, and you know, I felt like I can, you know, have a little bit of help of, you know, bringing some quality leadership and things like that here, to try to get to the playoffs. …
You know, our goal is to make the playoffs, and I think, you know, that’s the reason why they brought me here, to try to get over that hump and you know, get Utah basketball back the way it used to be…That’s what [Quin Snyder] really, you know, has talked to me about, just being that positive role model and that leader that they’ve been missing. …
[The Jazz are] already a great, young, upcoming team, and you know, I think they have a lot of tools to get them there. They’re just missing a couple, you know, leaders down the stretch where you’re not losing those games in the last minute of the game.
Being from Indiana, you’ve had opportunities to cross paths with Gordon Hayward. What’s your relationship with him? How well do you know him? And how many times have your paths crossed?
He’s a good friend of mine. You know, he’s an Indy guy, so I’m very familiar with him. You know, watched him in college. Watched him in high school when I was Indy and things like that, so looking forward to being his teammate now and trying to, you know, do new things here in, you know, Utah. So, very excited.
Reasons why George Hill and Gordon Hayward are friends:
1) Both from Indiana
2) Initials are both “GH”
3) Both grown men with interest in high schoolers
Did you know the Pacers were shopping you or did the trade catch you by surprise?
I mean, by completely surprise. Last time I checked, it’s, you know, they were hoping that I can retire from the Indiana Pacers, so it was completely shocking. But that’s the nature of the business, you know? And it’s something that, you know, I have no regret or I’m mad about. They did what they thought was best for them and the organization.
On his relationship with Dennis Lindsey
Very good. You know, he’s a guy that helped draft me…He got rid of me. He brought me back. But you know, in reality, he’s the first, you know, team and organization that gave me the opportunity to play this game that I love, so. I’m very familiar with him and his family. Very familiar with the head coach [Quin] Snyder, so looking forward to just helping this team, like I said, win games and trying to get over that hump.
Do you know Trey Lyles?
I only got to meet Trey, like, once. He was a lot younger than me, and he was, when I was actually there, I really never got to go to his games, ’cause our schedules kinda conflicted all the time, but he went to another [Indianapolis Public Schools] school just like me. I went to Broad [Ripple]; he went to [Arsenal] Tech. So, he was a big guy in our city and knew a lot about him; just never got the opportunity to meet him.
But Trey’s a great guy. He kinda mentors one of my young kids that’s in my AAU program, and really taking that kid underneath his wing and showing that kid that he can do anything possible also…You know, he has no reason to do it, but he’s just doing it because he cares.
On his bleached blond hair
I think the blond phase is out. It was just something I wanted to try…Didn’t turn out too, too bad, but who knows? I like to do s–crazy things at times.
On the importance of vocal leadership and speaking up in the locker room
I was never the type that was scared to speak my mind to my teammate. I feel like if we’re teammates, we’re family, and you should be able to talk to each other as men, and have the best, you know, time off the court with that.
So, I’m not scared to tell people if they’re not, you know, doing what they’re supposed to do, and…Imma tell them they don’t be scared to tell me if I’m not doing what I’m supposed to do, to light a fire underneath my butt.
So, we gotta hold each other accountable, and that’s the thing is, it comes from me and the coaches and the front office and all of them holding each other accountable.
‘Cause at the end of the day, like I said, we have one common goal, and that’s to win every game, as many games as possible to make it to the playoffs, and that goes from the first guy to the 15th guy to the training staff to the head coaches to the front office.
Why did you sign with the Jazz?
The talent that this roster has. Obviously, the youth, and you know, knowing that they were just one game from making the playoffs. And I admire, you know, Gordon Haywood* and Rodney Hood’s game, and I think I can help those guys out.
* Not a typo
What do you see your role with the Jazz being?
I’m not sure. You know, for me, it’s not a big deal. Whatever role coach Snyder wants me to play. You know, I just want to contribute and help.
Is it important to you to start?
No, it’s not important to me. Long as I can come in and contribute, whatever the case may be.
Do you know any Jazz players?
I live in Atlanta, so I run into Derrick Favors quite a bit. I worked out with him. So you know, that’s it for me.
Did you talk to Deron Williams or any other former Jazz players about coming here?
I talked to Paul Millsap and I talked to Marvin Williams, and both told me, man, just telling me how great the city was and how much I would enjoy it.
On his experience in Brooklyn
Man, that was great. It was great because when we got those guys from the Celtics — Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry — you know, we had heard a lot of stories about them, but didn’t really know.
So, they were, you know, the, they were great people, great teammates, and those are friends that, you know, I’ve had a chance to meet, and they, and we will always be friends, you know, sort of like family.
And man, we just had a great time, man. We went through a lot. We went through some tough times, but man, we had some great times.
via Athlete Speakers
Where are you now?
I’m down in Chandler, Arizona, right outside of Phoenix. Been here about eight, nine years now. Moved from Macon, Georgia, where I was living when I was playing there…[I] coached in the D-League for about six or seven years, and then kinda became a born-again Christian.
And then always wanted to live out west, and my wife and I chose to come here, so really enjoying it…I’m doing a, my church have a facility there. I do director of basketball operations stuff with kids’ camps and men’s leagues and things like that.
On his years with the Jazz
I really enjoyed it. You know, leaving Washington, which I really had a fun six or seven years, and to come and be in a team with Karl [Malone] and John [Stockton] and Jerry Sloan, that was a really great opportunity for me, man. And just recently, I spoke with Mark [Eaton] and John. It was nice to reconnect with them. And I told Mark I know he’s still around a lot, and I told him I’m gonna be up in that area.
So, it was just nice. I think the fans was definitely a big change for me. It was great to be around all the support we got, and I really had a lot of fun, man. That’s the highlight of my career, and that’s kinda why a lot of people relate me with Utah anyway. So when I sign stuff now, I kinda put “Utah Jazz 24” on everything.
Is it disappointing you got traded right before the Jazz took off?
No. You know, I appreciate what I have. I’m that kind of guy. I, ’cause I watched those guys during the Finals and I know they played against
some tough Bulls team, and they really played well.
So, you know, clearly it was tough to go [to Philadelphia] being a veteran and you know, they weren’t playing well. It was a tough situation over there, but you know, I enjoyed my four years there.
On playing for Jerry Sloan
Jerry’s great. Upfront; holds you accountable. And the way he dealt with those guys is, and the way John and Karl respected him, and the way he treated everybody the same…I have the utmost respect for him, and you ask me who was the better, best coach out there, and I’m gonna, I would say Jerry Sloan in terms of the way he did things.
And I got his number the other day from Mark and John. I think I need to give him a call. And I’m definitely coming up for a game this year, so I look forward to it.
What do you make of the current Jazz team?
I think they got a lot of young, untapped talent…
They just gotta maintain the core group. If they do that, and coach [Quin] Snyder is doing a great job with that too, so hopefully they can get that thing back the way it used to be and get the opportunity to get in those Western Conference Finals and those championships. (KALL)
One. Congrats to Phil Johnson on winning the inaugural Tex Winter Lifetime Impact Award!
Johnson on winning the award: Just hang around long enough, they’ll give you something, you know?
Two. Love seeing how many Jazzmen were at the games supporting the summer league team.
Three. Trey Lyles on enjoying his Vegas vacation while not playing the last few games: You know, still getting workouts in, coming to watch these guys play and stuff. But definitely going out and having a little bit of fun too. And you know, staying out of trouble.
Four. Rudy Gobert on how excited he is to play in the Olympics: Very excited. You know, I always dreamed about playing in the Olympics, so. It’s gonna be my first time. Can’t wait.
Gobert on how excited he is there will be another French player (Boris Diaw) on the Jazz: Very excited. You know, especially Boris. You know, I think he really can bring something to the team on and off the court.
Gobert, asked which Jazzman he most wants to block in Rio: I mean, Joe [Ingles] don’t drive, so. He’s just gonna shoot threes. And Raul [Neto] gonna be scared to score on me, so I don’t know.
Five. Scenes from Vegas:
Six. Speaking of which…
Seven. Derrick Favors, man of the people, said it. We’ve waited so long for this. Make it happen, Utah Jazz.
Eight. Joel Bolomboy on his future and his sense of the Jazz’s plans for him: I can’t really say too much about that, but I’m gonna talk with my agent, talk with the Jazz, and then just go from there.
What’s the hope?
To get to training camp and preseason, and then be on that opening night roster.
Bolomboy, asked if he’s DeMarre Carrolling Vegas Summer League (i.e. showing 29 other teams what he can do): Yeah, that’s the one good thing about summer league. You know, there’s a lotta international scouts. There’s a whole bunch of GMs and head office people out here. So when I’m playing against all these teams out here, I’m pretty much showing my skills, showcasing my skills to the whole NBA.
Nine. More scenes from Vegas:
Ten. Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of Vegas (UDQM)
** Joel Bolomboy before
meeting Randy Rigby his 2K photo shoot: I don’t really know what to expect going in there. I just know there’s gonna be a lot of cameras on me and they’re gonna take pictures of my body.
** Bolomboy after his 2K photo shoot: You wouldn’t believe some of the poses you have to do just to get these pictures.
** Coach, I know that every now and then, you throw the show on. I hope that at least we’re fair. Fair? What the hell you doing it for? If you want to be fair, you might as well go back home.
** On whether he ever watched/watches college football games: Officially, to let you know, that ball won’t bounce.
** On the Jazz’s latest moves: In my opinion, they’ve done a good job. They got a nice core of group of guys to work with, and they’ve put some older guys that’s a little bit more experienced, and I think that goes a long way in the NBA, experience. You don’t see a lot of young teams winning championship. Usually, it’s some team that’s put together with three or four veteran players and usually you have a star player, and they end up doing pretty good. …
Take a look at Jeff Hornacek, what he did to our team when he came here. Within a year, right away, he became a guy that, he was another passer on the floor, and really made us have the ability to be able to do the little things. If we wanted to run a certain play at a certain time, we might hold that play ’til the right time to run it rather than run it four, five times before the game starts.
Four, five minutes before the game, you got a long way to get to the end of ball game. That’s where it really counts: the turnovers, bad defense, not negotiating with each other.
** On Kevin Durant and superteams: Well, what happens if a guy gets hurt, and his career’s over? He’s done. You hope that — he did deserve the fact that he’d be a free agent — he would [drive] it out to the end. I just think that’s the way the rules are, and you can do whatever you want to do. If that’s what the player wants to do, I would support the player because if you’re really selfish, you wasn’t playing fair anyway.
** On Jeff Hornacek’s hiring in New York: Jeff is a very smart guy, and he’s a very intelligent basketball mind. He’ll do just fine. But you can’t win without players. And he’s done a good job, I think, in, with his coaching, starting off not having any experience coaching other than to his family.
** On Phil Jackson saying one of the reasons he hired Hornacek was because he came from the Jerry Sloan system: I never played this game or never coached the game for a–for myself. That’s why John Stockton’s father was on me every time I took John out with six minutes to go in the first quarter, and finally I had to say something to him.
It was all kinda funny to start with, but when he got on me all the time, I said, “Would you rather have your son play 10 years or 15 years? 15? Well,” I said, “I could play him 40 minutes a night and I’ll have him be there.” He didn’t mention that too much after that. And I love the man.
** Who is the one player right now you’d like to coach? Right now? If he was younger, I’d take Dwyane Wade…I think he has always been pretty much the leader of the team in Miami, and that’s what you have to have. Somebody that’s tough enough and then step up and show me how tough you are, and make free throws and score going down the stretch. He’d figure out some way to beat you.
** On Bryon Russell saying the ’98 Jazz would have killed and destroyed the ’16 Warriors: Bryon talked all the time…He [used to say], “Don’t worry about it, Coach. I’ve got him.” You know, people on defense just loved to hear that, if they got any heart.
** Told he looks great and not sick: Well, I’ve had some problems, but take whatever you get in this world and go on. I’ve faced some hardships in my time, and hopefully I can just stay healthy as I can. I do a lot of, try to do exercises, stuff like that. There’s no cure for it…I can’t recover from, I got the shakes, you know, pretty good with my arm. That’s irritating, but I’m still alive listening to you guys.
** Is the story about an angry Greg Ostertag throwing a bag of ice at you in the locker room at halftime true? That’s true. Yeah. I knew Greg. I knew him better than he knew himself. But he was good — he’s a really good guy. He just, he, I think he would tell you he didn’t mot–he wasn’t motivated enough to be a great player, because he had some skills that you can’t teach. Plus he could run. He could jump. He had good hands.
So why did he chuck the ice at you? Were you getting on him?
Well, probably. I had to pu–I had to send him to the locker room a couple times be–I hated to do it, but you got 11 other people to be concerned about.
** I’m sorry you had to listen to us, Coach. I was too, when I first saw you, with your four- or five-different colored pants on. And you were, I didn’t realize you were that big of a hippie. (1280)
One. Which rookie caressed Steve Brown better?
Two. I meant Silly Stringed…obviously.
Three. Alec Burks Twitter Takeover:
Rudy Gobert responds:
Four. Insert own joke:
Five. Phil Johnson: not overly impressed with the quality of summer league basketball.
Six. Welcome Boris Diaw:
Watch this, and then despair over the fact that the season is still four months away:
Seven. Dante Exum: basketball activities down under.
Nine. Love seeing so many Jazz players supporting their teammates/future 10-day teammates at the games:
Ten. Utah Jazz Summer League discoveries:
One. Joe Johnson with his future teammate, Rodney Hood (@hoodie5):
Johnson was also Hood’s first autograph.
Two. Jazz Nation: a small but loud nation.
Three. Good luck in Washington, Trey.
Went through the archives to revisit the Burke pick. Greg Miller tweeted this picture of an ecstatic Dennis Lindsey after landing Burke on draft night:
Almost foreign to see what a different place the franchise was in just three years ago. The organization was in “praise Tyrone Corbin at every opportunity mode” and he was credited with the Burke selection.
Lindsey in June/July 2013:
I think it’s appropriate for me to say that Ty Corbin had a lot to do with this pick. He really, you know, was in Kevin [O’Connor] and I’s ear quite a bit, guys, about why Trey fit with the program. You know, his pick and roll ability, his ability to shoot, his edge, his want to lead, and be an NBA point guard, and a significant one. So you know, a lion’s share of the credit is that, you know, Ty really pushed us on this issue. …
It got down to Ty at the end, you know, because we did like 14; we did like 21. There were good players available to us, but given our needs, given Trey’s style of play, I think, again, you know, Ty kinda pushed that through. …
The Jazz family needs to understand how lucky they are to have Ty Corbin, who’s willing to coach young guys…There’s just a lot of coaches, and coaches like Ty, that’s had winning records the last two years, that don’t want to really, you know, coach young guys, because by definition, it can drop your record significantly…It’d probably be best if we traded for a vet, but you know, he had the greater good of the organization in mind. …
This is just the first stage. You know, the individual improvement program that Ty and the staff will put him on will be as important as the selection. …
Ty was a huge part of the opinion to go get Trey. I don’t think you can separate Ty’s want and motivation to coach a young point guard.
Four. Tibor Pleiss, asked if he’d be OK with playing in the D-League this year: No. No. I really want to play in the NBA. For me, it was, yes, last year was really good to get some experience, to improve in the D-League, to get som–a lot of playing time, to get used to the American system, or side, of basketball. So, it was really cool last year, but now, really I want to attack and want to be focused on the next season.
Pleiss also said he has spent the off-season working out at P3 and gained 10 pounds of muscle so far.
Five. It’s the Summer of Wingspan in Gobertland.
Six. This is pretty amazing.
Seven. This is possibly the first topical joke ever made by a Utah Jazz player (tweeted during the England-Iceland game):
Eight. Within minutes of the news breaking? Give it at least, like, a day or something…
Nine. I miss Kyrylo Fesenko SO much. Remember when Jazz players had personalities? Those were the days.
Ten. Tibor Pleiss on if he ever felt awkward being tall, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine: I’m really, I don’t want to be smaller. Like, it’s always bigger is better, you know?
** Favorite food: bacon, any breakfast food
** Most excited to play against LeBron James, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook
** Wanted No. 21 but it wasn’t available, so wearing No. 22 (age he entered NBA)
** Which NBA player do you compare yourself to? Dennis Rodman or Kenneth Faried, Blake Griffin and Tristan Thompson
** Favorite color: baby blue or royal blue
** Favorite thing about Utah: mountains
** Professional sales major at Weber State
** Hobbies: movies, outdoor sports like hiking, biking, fishing, swimming
** Born in Ukraine. Mom is from Russia; dad is from Democratic Republic of the Congo
** Speaks French and Russian
** Favorite nickname: Ballin’ Boy
** No particular Jazz player he’s looking forward to playing with
** No favorite football team
** No idol
** No favorite NBA team
** No favorite TV show
** No favorite go-to dunk
** No favorite basketball drill
** Idol growing up: as a kid, Vince Carter. Now, his dad. Wore No. 15 as a kid because of Carter
** Favorite video game: FIFA
** Wanted No. 5, but Rodney Hood has it so wearing No. 16 (lowest number available, close to 15)
** Favorite music: Chance the Rapper. “Coloring Book” has been on repeat since it dropped
** Favorite NBA player to watch: Steph Curry recently
** Best friend is Brice Johnson
** Favorite food: a good medium ribeye
** Most excited to play against Chris Paul
** Which NBA player do you compare yourself to? Mike Conley
** Favorite NBA team growing up: Toronto Raptors because of Vince Carter
** Favorite sport growing up: baseball and basketball. Played center field and pitched until basketball took over
** Favorite NBA team growing up: Lakers. Comes from a family of huge Lakers fans
** Favorite food: Mexican
** Which NBA player do you compare yourself to? Like watching bigger guards like Jrue Holiday, Michael Carter Williams
** Favorite music: hip hop, RnB. Drake
** Other sports: huge football fan (Cowboys); played until high school
** Favorite video games: Call of Duty, 2K, Madden, FIFA (Bayern or Barcelona)
** Favorite TV show: Prison Break
** Most excited to play against Russell Westbrook
** Favorite midnight snack: sweets, cookies, brownies, cupcakes
** Whose music video would you like to be in? Meek Mill