Bits on Derrick Favors’ Extension
** On signing the extension
I never thought I would sign something this big. You know, it’s like a dream come true, man. I’m excited…I feel like, you know, everything’s done now. I got that off my back, so now I can just go out there and focus on basketball and you know, playing my best, and you know, and leading this team to the playoffs or whatever.
** On Salt Lake City
The main thing I like about Salt Lake City, man, it’s peaceful out–peaceful. You know, it’s not loud. It’s not a lot of stuff going on. It’s peaceful. You know, you can go home and get a peace of mind, you know? That’s the main thing I like. That’s why I bought a house out here, ’cause I hope to make this my home, and you know, I hope to retire here.
** After being traded your rookie year, what does it feel like to know you’re going to be in one place for five years?
A big relief, you know I’m saying? I don’t have to buy no boxes to move again no more. You know, it’s a big relief for me, man. I’m excited.
** Do you feel extra pressure to develop more offensively now?
Yeah, I mean, that was in the, that was the plan all along anyway. Just keep coming in, getting better offensively. I know I missed a coupla easy shots during the pre-season, but my confidence still, you know, they gonna fall. Just gotta keep working, and you know, it gonna get there.
** On Favors’ extension
You know, it’s great. You know, it’s, the way that he’s approached everything, the kinda guy that he is, he fits what we’re trying to do here…He accept the responsibility and know that he has to get better™ in his game, and is willing to step up and work his tail off to be as good as he can be.
** What does Favors have to work on offensively?
Well, just continue to get better™ and understand, you know, what it, how, what makes him effective. Improving his jump shot, his touch around the basket.
** On Favors’ competitive fire
He may not say things openly or look the part to some people. We see the competitive fight in him every night. And if we don’t have the success that we think we should have as a team, he has demonstrated that it burns at him. And that’s what we need, and that’s what we’re gonna need going forward to continue to get better™. Not only for his teammates, but him to understand how he has to get better™ to help us get better™.
** What do you hope to accomplish on the upcoming road trip?
Well, continue to grow. We gotta make sure we get better™ with our offense and be more potent in what we’re doing on the floor offensively. We gotta continue our defense to continue to get better™. We’ve done a pretty good job with communicating and understanding where we are there from where we were at the beginning of camp. But now offense have to catch up a little bit.
** What makes you have this kind of faith in Favors?
One, we have very good corporate knowledge of who he is as a player [and] the character that he has as a person. We know how he was raised, you know, how he’s been managed, what his belief system is. Very rarely will you get 6-10, 260-pound young player saying, “Hey, I’m a defender. I’m a rebounder. Build the defense around me. That’s what I want.” So if he can be our Bill Russell, we’ll be very pleased. And you know, there’s obviously some comparisons to Tyson Chandler [and] Joakim Noah that we think are very viable. And you know, when you’re talking about building a defense around a player, that, your, there comes a market with that as well.
** On the process
There was a really genuine fa–sit-down, face-to-face with the Miller family and Derrick, and a lot of things were said that were heartfelt. And so, Derrick, you know, getting a house, enjoying, really enjoying Salt Lake, enjoying what the organization stands for, tough, nos-nonsense,* is really his personality and as we started talking, you know, as I started talking with the Millers and [Favors’ agent] Wallace [Prather], and Wallace was managing Derrick through the process, it, you know, it was apparent that there was a marriage that he had here.
* Not a typo.
** Is the extension a show of faith in Favors’ offensive potential?
Well, we’ll let the offense kind of define itself. You know, he’s still 22, right? So literally, you know, I’m scouting 22-year-olds right now in college and international. And, but, he’s 22 with three years of experience. And two of them were on winning clubs, and one of them went to the playoffs. So we thought that this was a natural progression. Again, you know, I think it’s clear Derrick’s best, you know, finishing right now with using his length, athleticism to get to the rim. You know, in traffic, those are things that we need to work on, you know, on the post. But the one thing we’ll also say to Derrick’s favor, and credit, is he’s very unselfish. You know, and so a lot of what we’re doing offensively, you know, he’s in passing positions. So when we say, you know, we feel like there’s a comparable to Joakim Noah, we see that as a huge positive. We have great respect for what the Bulls have done defensively, and how they’ve built it around their center.
** It was only pre-season but he had 16 defensive rebounds the other night! What does that tell you?
You want to complete the defensive possession with possession of the ball, and that’s a big part. And I thought the other night, we actually relied too much on him. You know, we, Derrick was giving the whole team an out, and other guys gotta pull their weight towards defensive rebounding. But again, his body, his hands, his willingness to go through contact and pursue balls and play big is just superior. (Utah Jazz)