House Cleaning Odds and Ends, Part 1
Old stuff first:
**Deron/someone finally admits that the team had locker room issues last year:
As much as the guard relied on Boozer, their relationship was never a perfect marriage. Williams acknowledged that the team’s chemistry reached a low point last season.
“It wasn’t great,” Williams said. “We had stuff we were dealing with, with contract situations and things like that. I don’t really want to get into it. But the chemistry wasn’t as good as it could have been.” (sltrib)
**Speaking of Boozer? Jerry on leadership:
“The word ‘leadership’ was hardly mentioned by John Stockton when he was here. He just played basketball,” Sloan said … “It wasn’t a matter of (Stockton saying), ‘Hey, I’m leading the team.’ He went out to play every day, and that’s what anybody has to do. They have to do their job well and when they do people pick up on that.”
“Being vocal doesn’t mean that you lead,” the Jazz coach said. “A lot of guys talk, but that doesn’t mean you get anything done when you get out on the floor.” (desnews)
Funnily enough, memoismoney just uploaded a mini-interview with Jerry from 15 seasons ago in which Jerry basically said the exact same thing. Consistency, thy name is Jerry Sloan.
**Jerry on Fes before the season opener: “Fes has played extremely well” / “Fes has played his best basketball.” Fes on Fes before the season opener: “This is the best I’ve ever feel about myself basketball-wise.” (desnews) Ever think this day would come?
Loved this because, me too. I woke up at 6:30 a.m. on opening day and I couldn’t get back to sleep because I had too much anticipation running through my body. We all know how that day turned out [sigh].
**Just how clairvoyant is desnews’ Jody Genessy? A week before the Deron/Hayward “incident,” he wrote, in a piece on Deron being the leader of the Jazz, the following:
Even so, Williams has to walk a fine line between being a fierce competitor who expects and demands the best out of himself and teammates and being a team leader who inspires guys instead of alienating them by harping too much or by fuming, visibly or verbally, when things go wrong.
In the article, Deron was quoted as saying: “It’s definitely my job to keep this team together, keep ‘em focused every night, night in and night out. I think I need to do a better job of that.”
Gordon, meanwhile, said, “I think D-Will, in my eyes, would be the leader. You need someone that’s going to push everyone and make sure everyone’s going hard, kind of hold people accountable. He definitely does that and makes sure everyone’s doing their job.”
Perhaps Deron was just testing him…on national television.
** Dime Magazine recently uploaded a series of videos shot during the NBA rookie photo shoot. I had to laugh at this one, in which Dime asked all the rookies what their first post-draft purchase was. All the guys were giving answers like “Range Rover,” “Escalade,” “a place,” and “a house for my mom.” Gordon’s answer? “An Auntie Em’s pretzel and some cheese dip.” (0:38 mark)
Given that Hayward recently purchased his first car and it was a Honda Accord, his answer shouldn’t surprise anyone :) For the record, his dream girl is Scarlett Johannson, he loves playing Halo, and his pick for Rookie of the Year is DeMarcus Cousins.
(I didn’t watch all the way through, but for the last video, which played out in draft order, the first 18 or so guys all picked themselves if they gave an answer–with the exceptions of John Wall and Gordon, who both picked DeMarcus Cousins. So yeah, Cousins also picked himself.)
**Memo seems to agree with CJ that Boozer was more of a jump shooter than a post player:
Al and Carlos have some similar skills. However Al is bigger and a better post player. I think he can be a good shot blocker as well. He rolls to the basket more on the pick and rolls where Carlos used to shoot as well. I can say he is a better passer then I thought and he is big and tough. I think he brings some things to the table that we need. (memo13.com)
Memo also said that Hayward “has ‘Jazz player’ written all over him” and that Jeremy Evans “could be this season’s Paul Millsap or Wes Matthews.”
**“By the end of this season, DRose,” Boozer declared, “is going to be the best point guard in the league.”
“No, Deron is really good,” Boozer was saying. “But DRose…”
I was pretty amused by [official Bulls blogger] Sam Smith’s commentary about Boozer’s ♥♥♥ for “DRose”: “As Boozer chatted with a few reporters by the end line under the basket, he kept his eyes fixed on Rose shooting…A little smile seemed to crease Boozer’s face.”
And here I thought I would never have occasion to use my “FB Quotes” tag again!
**To cap this one off, I’m going to go with the dulcet tones of Mailmusic:
We all knew that Thurl could sing, but I never knew that Karl has a pretty nice voice too. OK, and I just have to ask: What’s happened to Pace?