Utah Jazz Introduce John Lucas III
On where he’s at in his career
At this stage in my career, you know, I’ve learned a lot from a lot of players and I feel like I have a lot to give. So you know, with Trey [Burke] being so young, and you know, and looking for him to be a superstar like everybody’s expecting him to be, and I feel like he will be, you know, I’m just here to, you know, push him. And hopefully, he pushes me too, so we can go ahead and get this thing rolling, and get to that next level of playoffs.
Were you told that you were expected to have a mentor role?
Yeah, but they said, they also wanted me to come in, compete and get ready to play.
How do you feel about playing the role of mentor for Trey Burke?
I just feel like I just have so much to offer as a te–to the team, but also I can offer a lot to him. You know, being, you know, smaller guards in the league, you know, I watched him in the summer league.
I kinda watched every game that Utah was playing because I felt like, I had a feeling that’s where I was gonna end up…Just to see him play–Trey–and see how I can help him in certain ways, ’cause the game is so much faster than college. And you can see that out there with him.
And just let him know, you know, don’t get frustrated. This is new to you. Like, this is, I was the same way. I thought I was fast until I got into the league, and there w–guys were much quicker, faster, stronger, and more athletic.
But it helps you learn. It teaches you how to get your shot off, because he can flat-out shoot the ball, as myself. But like I say, it should be nobody who can block our shots, because we should be able to get as much space as we want, and we don’t need that much space to get our shots off.
Have you talked with Trey Burke?
No, I haven’t. Matter of fact, I’m asking for his number from, you know, the organization later on. Try to get him to come down to Houston, work out with my father and myself for a little bit, for the, just to build that relationship.
Even with the other guys too. I’m eager to just get around the guys and just, so they can know who I am and I can know who they are, and let them know that, you know, for us to be successful, you know, you gotta be a family.
What do you do best?
I put the ball in the hole…I mean, I know how to play the game, but I’m a scoring [point guard].
What was Dennis Lindsey’s pitch to you?
He told me, like, “Look. I believe in you. I know what you can do. I want you to come up here and show everybody else what you can do too. But also, you know, be a mentor and you know, bring all the young guys along too…You have a lot to give.”
How long have you known Dennis?
Years. I been knowing him for years. Maybe since I was, like, eight, I think?
How would you describe your NBA career up to this point?
Just a journey. A blue-collar worker. Somebody who, every time he gets the opportunity, kicks the door down. And that’s me. That’s, I just, I wouldn’t change my journey for nothing.
Why do you feel so strongly about the Jazz?
Just by having conversations with players that’s been here before. Ronnie Brewer, who’s a really good friend of mine. Carlos Boozer, who I know very well from playing with him, and I asked him, first thing I asked him was, how’s the organization? And he had nothing but great things to say about it. He said it’s like a family…
And then I asked about how the city was. And Ronnie had nothing but high things about the city. Same as Boozer. And I felt like it was the best opportunity for me.
** People calling Gordon Hayward “Haywood” and Enes Kanter “Cannon”: John Lucas III
Do you know any current Jazz players?
I know Brandon Rush a little bit, because he went to Mount Zion Christian Academy, which my uncle is the pastor of. So I watched him when he was in high school all the way to college, so have a little bit of relationship with him.
I knew Randy Foye, but you know, he’s not here anymore. But other than that, no.
Have you had the chance to speak with Tyrone Corbin yet?
Only, I had a chance to speak to him when I went to Orlando. I haven’t talked to him yet.
Do you have expectations that this is going to be a rebuilding year?
No. We coming out and we gon play. We, we’re trying to make the playoffs. And then, when you’ve made the playoffs, anything’s possible. You never know what happens in the playoffs.
But my whole thing is, take care of home court, and get, when we on the road, get as many wins we can on the road, because if you take care of home court, your advantage and your, and the opportunity to make the playoffs a little bit better.
But nah, I don’t feel like we’re rebuilding. All the guys that’s here now been in the league for a couple years. They know what it takes to win. We got a couple guys coming in that been in the league for years that knows how to get there, that played in big games or big situations. So I don’t look at it as a rebuilding year. I just look at it as a new beginning.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I just relax. You know, I’m not a big video game person. So, me and video games, I don’t know nothing about. I’m more of a, I like to go around and explore the city that I’m living in…
Even if I look lost, I’m still, I wanna know exactly what the city has, and I’m more of that type person. I go out and venture and see what the city has, you know, good restaurants. I love to eat. (KALL, 1280)