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Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 8/1

August 2, 2014


Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine right off the bat
Jake Scott: You’ve been spending a lot of time in Vegas. You up?

Dennis Lindsey: Yeah, too much. No, I work too hard for my money. I’m not going to give it away rolling bones.

Are you a baseball guy?
I played up until I was in 13 years old, and if I would’ve been a better hitter, I might’ve continued. But yeah, I, and, so I did love it. Actually coached it a couple years out of college…

Now that you’re in the business, it just, you have much less time to pay attention to it, but I’m always going to root for the Rangers and the Astros.

And I’ve been very curious with the Houston Astros in their rebuild, and it being so extreme with what they did relative to payroll and building up their farm system. I’m curious to see how that’s going to work in the next 24 to 36 months.

What have you seen from Trey Burke at the USA camp?
It was a tremendous experience for him, especially coming off summer league, and as always, the young guys, they, the older guys get after ’em pretty good. But you guys know Trey and his ball security and decision-making ability, it was hard for the more veteran players to speed him up. And some of his Select teammates got sped up and made questionable decisions.

But Quin [Snyder] and I were able to take Trey out to dinner, and we had a great dinner, and we were able to talk about the experience, and as you can imagine, for a 21-year-old, it’s quite the eye-opener when you have Derrick Rose, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, you know, running at you full speed. That’s pretty humbling.

So I think he realizes he’s gotta put in a lotta work to reach higher levels. It was very interesting, we actually pointed out certain guys’ post-practice routines. And it’s something that we did with Trey and Ray Allen during the year last season, and we were able to watch other guys closely and just how they go about perfecting their craft.

I think it’s a unbelievable experience when literally it’s the best players in the world doing it right in front of you.

What have you seen from Gordon Hayward at the USA camp?
We were just thrilled, amazed with where his body’s come. He had the sheepest* grin when we asked him what happened to his body. He said, “Well, I now have a wife that cooks for me. And in retrospect, maybe I didn’t eat so good.”

That, coupled with three-a-days, he was at 230 pounds, and it wasn’t the weight, as is much as how it was distributed. You know, he’s moved from a young man to a man, and he was able to still keep his speed and strength and lift at the rim, and Gordon played very well.

You know, he’s, and so, you know, he looks so physical and so big, coach [Mike] K[rzyzewski] was thinking about playing him as much as a mobile skilled “four” in addition to being a “three” wing. So, we were very pleased with the readily apparent work that Gordon’s put in.

* Sheepishest?

millsap-haywardPaul Millsap D-Willing Hayward during the Team USA scrimmage

What’s the next big step you want to see Hayward take in the 2014-2015 season?
I think there’s another step with leadership. I think there’s another step — he’s a great person. He’s very committed, but I think there’s another level of vocal command, if you will.

I think there’s the part that we visited on post-season, with, you can’t live and die on the last shot, last half, last game, last week, that he’s gotta keep his body language strong and find joy, enjoyment out of the game. And I think if he does that, the team will really follow with those habits.

So I think he and Derrick [Favors] and some of our veteran players have to really partner with Quin on how we’re going to practice, and how we’re gonna comport ourselves, and how we’re gonna deal with officials, and disappointments and bad calls.

What is your reaction to Hayward’s “I don’t think I have to live up to anything now. They paid me what they wanted to pay me” quote?
Yeah, so I wasn’t there. And there’s context of a conversation, and I don’t want to pretend that I know what the conversation was, or what he meant by that particular statement.

I would venture to say and guess to say that Gordon’s always felt responsible, especially for the win-loss record. So whether it’s for a dollar, you know, in a bet in a pickup game or for a significant sum to have him play in the NBA, it really isn’t gonna change his mindset. He always feels pressure for the win.

So, now, again, I wasn’t there. I haven’t followed up with conversations. It’s not an alarming comment. You know, things happen when we all speak a bunch.

Initial feedback/perspective on Dante Exum?
Yeah, so our diligence about the person, the kid, his family was spot on…

We’re thrilled to have him. Th–again, we’re going to protect the young fella. We, we’re gonna let nature take its course, as far as his development and his game readiness, and he was able to show glimpses of…his speed, and his ability to pass and read the court.

And what will allow all those things to come out would be strength, one; game experience, two; and just a lotta directed skill-work that will, again, allow some his natural gifts to come out. So, we’re not gonna put timelines on him, expectations. We’re gonna just support him fundamentally, just to build a good foundation so we can have a special player in due time.

What is Ian Clark’s contract status?
No comment.* (1280)

* The Jazz picked up Clark’s option two hours after this interview.

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