Bits from Practice (1/23) and Other Off-Day Odds and Ends
On Gordon Hayward being selected to the Team USA player pool
Tremendous accomplishment…hopefully he can get on the Olympic team. But he’s deserving of it. He’s worked his tail off to continue to get better every year.
On Derrick Favors not being selected
He didn’t make it this time, but you know, it’s one of the breaks. He’s continuing to get better. We’ll root for Gordon, and Derrick to continue to work to get better.
On whether he’s considering giving Rudy Gobert more minutes
You know what? It’s a long season, man. And he’s getting better. He’s getting better. And we, you know, I think the experiences he had down in the D-League allowed him to get, continue to understand how to play with pace in this league. There’s a lot of things he has to still work on. He’s with us, and when we have opportunity to get him in the game, we looking for that.
On Gobert’s mastery of English and “basketball language”
It’s a lot of new stuff for him, and the game is really fast and their basketball language that…these guys grew up with, that he may comprehend it as being something different than what it actually means. So, he have some of those things that he’s getting better at, and he’ll continue to get better.
On being selected to Team USA’s player pool
Extremely excited. You know, it’s a great opportunity for me, and it’s something I’ve been working towards, so hopefully I can make the most of it.
On Derrick Favors’ exclusion
I think there’ll be more opportunities down the road, and for whatever reason they didn’t invite him back. But you know, I think he’ll be back with Team USA for sure.
On USA vs. France
Rudy [Gobert] said something to me right when I walked in about it. So, that would be, that would definitely be pretty cool to play against them, and, maybe in the World Cup or whatever. But it’s interesting when you have guys on your team that are from different countries. And you know, then, competing against them maybe, so. You know, it was, Rudy definitely said something to me right when I walked in, so. …
Rudy is extremely patriotic. You know, any time somebody, even if it’s like, somebody on another team that’s French does well, he’s the first one to tell us, so. He’s proud of his country.
On what he took away from the Minnesota games
Defensively, we gotta be extr–you know, a lot better. For whatever reason, they just got whatever they wanted and they were too much for us to handle inside, which isn’t just on our big guys, it’s on everybody, so. Hopefully we can, you know, look at the film, see where we messed up defensively and correct that. (Utah Jazz)
** From the Trib:
Asked recently why his team struggles so much when any starter is absent, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said, “Just look at our roster.”
** A vote of confidence that carries more weight than the average vote of confidence:
** Paul Millsap and Ronnie Price, reunited. Via @PaulMillsap4, “Got a chance to see my brother @ronprice7 and his beautiful family tonight. Great friends are hard to come by”
** Finally, devastating news out of Phoenix today. Hot Rod Hundley has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Via Steve Luhm:
Rod Hundley, the iconic former broadcaster for the Utah Jazz, is suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Hundley, 79, lives in Arizona with his partner, Kim Reardon. She told The Salt Lake Tribune this week that the disease has progressed to a “moderate” stage.
Hundley no longer speaks to large groups, Johnson said. But they plan to attend festivities in Utah next week, when the Jazz will honor former coach Jerry Sloan.
It’s great that he’s well enough to be able to make the trip to Utah for Jerry Sloan’s ceremony. All the best to our beloved Hot Rod and his family.