Bits from Kevin O’Connor Interview, 5/20
Kevin O’Connor on the draft combine, UDQM: You get, you know, COACH Corbin, just see ’em, in, on the hoof, so to speak, in a pair of shorts and run it up and down. Now, they only do, the most they ever do is, like, really, 2-on-2 stuff.
On what happens during the Chicago draft combine
Here’s what Chicago really is for us, and I think it’s important that, you know, people don’t look at the combine, because, I think, whether it’s football or basketball, you go back, one, you make sure you get a complete physical.
We bring our doctors back, on, as every team does. They set up in teams of physicians. Your orthopedic, internists, etc., etc. They evaluate every player. They get X-rays and MRIs on anything that was injured in his college career.
And, so, that’s one of the checks that we have, is to get the physical, because you don’t know if you got a player coming in, if he’s had previous history, which you do, what does that do to his draft stock, etc.
The second thing we do is, we get to interview 18 kids, and, of the players that are at the combine, that are usually, they usually give you the ones in your, kind of in your area, to be able to talk to, which we did.
And the third thing is, you get ’em, you get, you know, COACH Corbin, just see ’em, in, on the hoof, so to speak, in a pair of shorts and run it up and down. Now, they only do, the most they ever do is, like, really, 2-on-2 stuff, as far as that goes.
But they do put ’em in some NBA drills, but it’s not 5-on-5, so it’s not game-like situation. So the physical basketball stuff is really third on the list compared to the interview and the physical.
On what the Jazz ask during interviews
Well, I mean, the first thing you wanna do, is you wanna get a little background on, on where he grew up. Family situation. You know, why he chose the University of Oshkosh.
And, then you get into some basketball stuff, and you might ask him how you defend the pick and roll, and somebody’s coming at you in the pick and roll, what’s your first look, what’s your progressions.*
You ask ’em what they know about the Jazz. You ask ’em if they’ve, you know, what his teammates would say about him, and then we ask some other questions I probably not like to share…
I think what you look for is how quick they give you the answer, and how quick they, you know, they align themselves to understanding what we’re talking about.
And, you know, generally, you’ve got some information on ’em from all the background work that you’ve done on ’em. And you wanna see if they’re forthcoming and forthright with it, ’cause if they’re not, then you put a check next to that.
But again, it’s all part of the process, and I think I’ve said it before. You know, the first thing you gotta understand is, you’ve gotta be good enough to play in this league. You can be a great guy, and not be good enough to play in the league. And, you know, that trumps everything. But then once you get into that, you better make sure you’ve got somebody that you can trust, that you can count on.
* I would like someone to ask Tyrone Corbin these questions.
How do players respond when they’re asked what they know about the Jazz?
Uh, you know, in a positive way. Most of them have watched the NBA for a long time, and certainly anybody that has aspirations of playing in the NBA certainly looks and evaluates, you know, teams and programs.
And one thing they, that they like, and that they’ve seen, obviously, is they like our crowds. They think it’s as much as a college atmosphere as most places are.
They see it, obviously, pretty full almost every night. They see it loud, and if they come from any kind of a program, whether it’s a Michigan, or Indiana, or Wisconsin, or, you know, they have seen places filled. And they like that.
What if you like a player but his agent is sketchy?
You know, you have to understand that’s part of the process. But it, depending on the player. I mean, it, we try and stress to them that they, they’re in their corner, and you gotta listen to ’em.
But they also have to understand that the agent doesn’t run the operation, doesn’t run our operation. We’ll do what we feel is best for our team and for our program, and that that agent works for the player.
Sometimes you think it’s the other way around, and you gotta make sure that they understand that, you know, the agents has zero influence over who we take in the draft, and zero influence over how he’s treated here. He’s gonna be treated according to how he plays and how he acts.
* So remember when Corbin said that Jamaal Tinsley had earned the right to be point guard #2 and Earl Watson said he would have to talk to his agent, and by the next game he was point guard #2 again? And remember when Corbin wasn’t playing DeMarre Carroll and Carroll said he would have to talk to his agent, and then he started getting more minutes?
In both cases, the agent in question was Mark Bartelstein. Why might Bartelstein have influence over the Jazz? For starters, he represented one-third of last season’s roster (Watson, Carroll, Gordon Hayward, Mo Williams, and Jeremy Evans). If you’re only counting unexiled players, he represented more than one-third of the team.
Familiar names also dot his client list. Apart from DeShawn Stevenson, one-season Jazzman Mikki Moore and double 10-day contract Jazzman Lou Amundson, there’s also Jazz D-League call-up Othyus Jeffers, Jazz Summer League player James Augustine, Jazz training camp invitee Chris Quinn, Jazz draft workout invitee Robbie Hummel, and reported Jazz training camp invitee Jon Scheyer.
Maybe there’s something there; maybe there’s nothing there.
Why are players measured without shoes?
The correct answer is that you measure ’em, in, without shoes, and with shoes. And one of the reasons is, in this day and age, a lot of players have orthotics. A lot of players can measure at 5’10” be 6′.5″ in shoes. So that’s two and a half inches…
We look at the separation in the possibility of shoes, because, again, it might be orthotics. It might be that one brand is built up more than the other brand. And again, it’s just more information to be able to digest…
The one measurement that’s accurate, totally accurate, is the one without shoes…Bigger’s gooder, as they say.* (1280)
* Literally NO ONE says this.