With the fifth pick, the Utah Jazz select…Dante Exum
** Is there anything in particular you took away or learned from your draft workouts?
The main thing, I’m not much of a leader, a vocal leader. And you know, teams want that. And I went into the workouts, my first workout, and they didn’t see that much from me, but I started to get a hang of it, and went into the next workout just making it a goal to be the loudest guy on the court even when things weren’t going my way.
** What is your goal for your rookie season?
My number one goal is to improve on the record of the team in the previous season.
** Have you met or interviewed with Utah?
Yeah, I did meet with them at the combine, but I didn’t work out with them.
Because you don’t expect to be there at five?
No, it wasn’t that. It was, just didn’t think it was, they just drafted a point guard, so we didn’t think it was a good situation.
** On American stereotypes of Australians
Yeah, so one guy gave me a nickname called “Crocodile Dee-ee.” And, I’m like, I’ve never seen a crocodile in my life. But, yeah, it’s like, every time [they] see you and someone says, “Crikey” to me. Someone says, “Throwing shrimp on the barbie.” So you know, I’m like, yeah, I just go with it, and I say, “What’s up, mate?” or “G’day, mate.” And just kind of play off my Australian accent, and people love it.
** Has never been to Utah, but knows where it is on a map.
** Called Utah a “city.” Good omen. (See Malone, Karl.)
** Will wear No. 11.
** Dad played with Michael Jordan at North Carolina.
** Why didn’t you work out for Utah?
Looking at the draft and where I was placed, me and my agent thought that I wouldn’t get down to five, but you know, anything happens in the draft…I’m lucky enough that Utah believed in me, and picked me up at five.
** What excites you the most about playing for the Utah Jazz?
It would have to be being under the coach of [Quin] Snyder. He, had a little talk to him and he talked about how he was a point guard and how he think he can, he thinks he can help me [on my] journey.
** You’ve said that you are a point guard, but the Jazz already have Trey Burke…
Looking at the team, we’re both players that can play the one and two. You know, it’s gonna be a shared role, I think, and it’s the best way to go if I’m on one wing and he’s on the other wing, it’s who’s quicker to get it to. And you know, I’m sure he can play the two as well and I take the one, and I can ta–play the two while he plays the one…I look forward to getting out there and having the chance to play with him some.
** How do you see the point guard partnership with Trey Burke working?
I’m sure it’s gonna be a good relationship. In my Australian national team, we play, we have three point guards, with me, Patty [Mills] and [Matthew Dellavedova]. So I mean, rotations, so you know, it’s nothing new to me.
** Is it a big jump for you to go to the United States of America?
Both my parents are American, so I’ve been over here many times. But you know, it’s not too much of a culture shock coming over here. Australia’s very much like America, so you know, I’ve been over here for about five months now, and I’ve gone very well in adjusting.
** What do you promise to deliver to Jazz fans?
I promise to deliver someone that’s gonna go out and try to win every night. You know, it doesn’t matter if it’s the first game, it’s the last game, it’s, we’re down 20. I’m gonna try to win, and that’s the mindset I’ve always had, and I’m gonna try to bring.
** Who was your basketball idol growing up?
I wanted to be Paul Pierce.
** On the nickname “Crocodile D”
Yeah, don’t call me that. You guys can make up a new name.*
* Music to Craig Bolerjack and Matt Harpring’s ears.