With the 23rd pick, the Utah Jazz select…Rodney Hood
** Has never been to Utah.
** Will wear No. 6.
** Is from a town about two hours away from Al Jefferson’s hometown. Watched Big Al play in high school. “He was a monster.”
** Alter ego is named “Roscoe.”
** On dropping in the draft
It’s, just adds to the chip on my shoulder. You know, I always felt like I was a, you know, an afterthought, and you know, tonight was a perfect example of that. But you know, God puts you in, you know, in places that He wants you, and you know, you just gotta believe in it, and roll with it. You know, I think I landed in a great spot for me.
** What was it like sitting there waiting for your name to be called?
It was kinda nerve-racking. You know, you wanna hear your name called as quick as possible, but at the same time, I landed with a really good team, you know, with great fans, and you know, a great coach, you know, in his first year. So you know, I’m excited I landed in a really good spot.
** Talk about being a kid from a small town in Mississippi now being in the NBA.
It’s unbelievable. You know, you think of, you know, I, excuse me. You think of, you know, just a little kid, playing at the Boys and Girls Club, you know, wanting to be, like, a Big Brother. You know, and getting the chance to walk across the stage, and give some people hope, you know, from where I’m from, you know, that means a lot.
** Do you know any of the Jazz players?
I know Trey Burke. And you know, I heard about Dante [Exum], and I’m excited to be playing with him and coming in with him. You know, Derrick Favors, I played against him back in high school.
** Have you talked to Derrick Favors?
I haven’t talked to him. You know, that was, you know, he was a senior in high school. I was a small kid. You know, he was, so he probably doesn’t remember me. But I just remember playing [against Favors’ AAU team] the Atlanta Celtics.
** On playing for a coach that is also a Duke alum
I heard a lot of great things about him, and I’m sure, you know, he learned a lot from coach. And you know, it’ll be a, not a easy transition, but a more comfortable transition knowing that he went to Duke.
** Does it excite you to be part of a youth movement?
Oh, most definitely. You know, going to [an] up and coming team, that’s right there on the verge and got a lot of talent, and I think I can add to that and we can make a playoff push this year.
** Which players did you admire growing up?
Man, I grew up, I watched some really good players. You know, Monta Ellis, I watched, you know, him b–since he was in high school. Al Jefferson, who used to be with Utah awhile ago. You know, Jonathan Bender. I mean, it’s a lotta guys come from Mississippi. Antonio McDyess, you know, is from around there. So we got a lotta good players I was able to watch as a young player.
** What do you have to say about other players saying they won the style game tonight?
Aw man, I think I did good. You know, a lot of people was complimenting me on the way I dress. A little bit flashier than I’m used to, but you know, it’s a one-night thing.
Gotta get used to wearing purple.*
Yeah, most definitely.
* I know purple hasn’t been a Jazz color in a decade, but I still love this. Jerry Sloan used “bleeding purple” last year to describe being a long-time Jazzman, so purple we are.