Bits from Interviews: Tyrone Corbin, Phil Johnson, Gordon Hayward, and Earl Watson
Tyrone Corbin, 4/9
** On criticism of his game management: A lot of the people watching the game, you know, they get a chance to evaluate [game management], and they’re not in the moment as the coaches are, or they don’t understand the dynamics of everything that you dealing with over there, with the personnel, different guys, may not respond, or may respond differently in different situations. So as a coach and a staff, you have a better feel for where your team is there.
** On the role of his assistants: You know, the head coach, you get to process or receive or don’t receive the information that you’re getting, and you make the final decision on it. But there’s a lot of things going on, and part of the responsibility of the coaches are to help you out in situations. They know better the timeout situations at times or no foul situation.
So you see coaches look over to axe the guys, you know, how many timeouts we have or how many fouls this guy have, to make sure that he’s on the same page so you don’t make mistakes if you have to make a change or leave a guy on the floor.
** Why is it important to make the Playoffs? The experience. You play all year long to have a chance to win a championship. And if you don’t get in the Playoff, you have no chance of making the championship. So the Playoff is a reward of all the work that you put in all year long, to have a chance now to exp–to make the big dance, and you know, unless you get in, you’re not invited.
So we work our way into a position to make the Playoff. And now you want to finish off and get in the Playoffs, and see what happens. And you grow from the experience of going through it. We’re growing from the experience of last year, finishing the season strong, to have a chance to make the Playoff. We have the Playoff experience. Now we’re back in that experience again of trying to get into the Playoff, first of all, and then we’ll see what happen once we get in.
** Closing thought: We may get criticized for whatever, however. We know the business that we have at hand…Forget about what the naysayers are saying and do your job, and everything will be fine. (1280)
Phil Johnson, 4/10
** On responsibility for wins and losses: I think the coaches that are successful have, are able to do both. They’re able to handle situations and people, and also handle all the outside things–the press–and then have the ability to teach and do the things you want to do on the floor. So, but, bottom line, a coach is responsible for winning. And when you lose, you take the blame for it…
Sometimes, there’s general managers get fired, but it usually takes about two or three coaches before the general manager gets fired. So they’re ultimately responsible for the overall situation, but the coach directly with wins and losses.
** On the Lakers: In my opinion, they hired a coach that, you know, and Mike D’Antoni played for me, but I don’t think he was the hire that they needed for that particular team. And you know, that’s been said a lot. His style of play is not a low post style of play, and you have Dwight Howard. There’s great things that can happen with a low post center that basically cannot shoot outside…
The great thing is, he can block shots. He can score inside. He can defend, runs the floor well, all that stuff. Second thing is, when you have a low post player like that, you need to go to him. You need to throw the ball into him, and you can’t just run pick and rolls and that type of stuff. Well, that style of play does not fit with what Mike D’Antoni’s had through his career when he was successful in Phoenix. (1280)
Gordon Hayward, 4/10
** On how he’d love World of Warcraft, #UDQM: That’s what I’ve been told, but you know, I’ve never done it before.
** On Tyrone Corbin*, #UDQM: When we need him to be, he gets into us a little bit.
* Jay Mohr described Corbin as “comatose calm” on the sidelines.
** On Brittney Griner: I tend to disagree with, you know, people that think she could play well against guys. I mean, it’s just, you know, guys are physically stronger, faster. I mean, it’s just science, scientific evidence of that. And you know, she’s obviously amazing in the women’s game, but I think you just have to leave it at that. (Fox Sports Radio)
Earl Watson, 4/10
** On the Jazz’s young guys: I don’t think there’s no way you can tell me Gordon [Hayward]’s not going to be a dominant player in the NBA, and I been saying that before he even played quality minutes in the NBA. I think Alec Burks is going to be unique…People try to compare Alec a lot [to other players], and I really don’t like it because, when, you know, a lot of people like to always attach names together when they see a young guy, and they eventually just be like, whoever. That’s not fair for Alec, and he’s such a unique basketball player, in a positive way. So you can’t really compare him. I think Derrick Favors is gonna be a beast. There’s no doubt about that. Ee-nis Kanter’s gonna grow. So it’s positives.
** On the locker room and team culture: You can’t blame [the Jazz’s inconsistency] on free agency. Free agency has been, these players have been amazing. Everyone’s been positive. Everyone truly wants to win…I think the front office do a great job of bringing in certain players to be a part of this team, that kinda fit the puzzle.
And I think character’s one of the most important things. And it goes back to Coach [Jerry] Sloan. Coach Sloan has set a culture that’s gonna be a part of Utah Jazz forever. And you respect it, and you come in and you come in selfless.
** On his diminished role as of late: I think for me, I have to excel in whatever role I’m given. If I’m playing, I have to excel in it. If I’m not playing, I have to excel in it. You know, so I look at the game in two different ways. As a player, when I’m playing, I’m obviously trying to help the team win on the court. When I’m not playing, I’m trying to help this team win off the court by being positive: talking to players on the sideline, you know, trying to read the game, trying to give advice, trying to help players.
Like if Gordon’s having a tough night, talk to him; keep his spirits up. Tell him to stay positive, keep shooting, you know, give him little things he can see on the court that maybe he didn’t see as a player that I can see on the sideline. But for me, it’s evolution of who you are. Like, you can’t change or control anyone’s decision. You have to make the best out of what you’re given. So for me, that’s my whole focus.
** How much longer do you see yourself playing? I want to play for a couple more years. I’m just now feeling healthy. It’s been 12 months since my surgery…I’m excited, man. I’m excited about I’m feeling healthy right now. I want to continue to play. I want to win a championship.
Like, I don’t play basketball for the money. I think I made enough money in my life. I want to continue to grow financially, but I think it’s beyond the money. It’s about winning. It’s about being a part of something great, and leaving a legacy. I think the most important thing is to bring your kids back and say, “I’ve won a championship with this team this year, and I was a part of an amazing group of guys who did it.” And that story is better than any other story you can give to your kids moving forward. (1320)