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Mehmet Okur takes “consulting role” with the Utah Jazz

September 18, 2014
tags: , , ,

via … ? Anyone remember who posted this last February?

What is Mehmet Okur’s new role with the Utah Jazz?
Randy Rigby: We cherish our relationship with Memo Okur, and his family…We felt he’s a great ambassador and a great basketball mind.

And so, we’ve asked Memo to kinda help continue to be involved up in a consulting role, and in, and a regular, you know, visit to mode, to come up, and come up, bring his family up from time to time, and watch some Jazz basketball, to be involved in, you know, visiting with the team, and giving us advice on the court as well as being an ambassador here.

We have a lotta needs with great sponsors, and community events that we also could use his involvement. And so, we’re gonna have Memo more involved with the Utah Jazz, which is really a blessing to us and we really appreciate Memo’s willingness to do it.

Is this an official hire?

Yes, we’ve hired Mymo** to, yes, to be involved with the Utah Jazz both on and off the basketball court. Now, have we given him an official title? He doesn’t need a title.

* Spencer Checketts thinks Craig Bolerjack’s Mehmet Okur call was “Moneyball.”
** Not a typo.

On Memo taking a role with the Jazz
Mehmet Okur: It’s been two years, I was just enjoying my family time. As you know, we live in San Diego. It’s been really fun for me, but I just want to start, and especially here, it’s my second home.

I just want to, you know, start, wanna be able to help [the Jazz], ’cause it’s been seven years I played for them. I have enjoyed every second I was here, so I’m looking forward to it, actually, so it should be fun…

I believe I did my best last seven years, and it was bless for me, and I think I can help the young players on and off the floor. And just like Randy said, I’m gonna be doing with the sponsors, for the community, for this Salt Lake City, all the fans. Whatever they need me, I’ll be there for them.

Rigby: You know, being one that analyzed, and had the opportunity to say, “Is this the right move for Memo and for ourselves?”

Let me also just say that as we looked at it and analyzed this, that if there was a player that we feeled replicates Jazz basketball style, both on and off the court, who his, understands the challenges and the issues that a player goes through, and can be a good sounding board, and an advice, not overbearing, very open and can be a person that they can confidentially talk with, and talk about the issues that an NBA player has to deal with on and off the court, Memo Okur comes to your mind.

As you look at, then, an individual who also understands the game of basketball, and what it means to also interact with the fan base, and to make the fans feel a part and appreciated for their commitment into this, by spending dollars, and appre–and telling ’em thank you, and telling sponsors thank you, and interacting with them, and having some fun with it. Memo is a classic example.

And so it wo–he was a perfect person for us to say, “You know what? We want those people around, and coming regularly into our community, and being a part of helping promote Jazz basketball, and saying thank you for the Jazz.”

What do you see in this young team and what do you see these players accomplishing?
Memo: I think they gonna be running team, because we have so much fresh legs and young kids on the, in the team, and well, here’s their chance. And they, you know, they need to just work hard and be humble. All they need, to me, just go out there, play hard, show everybody this our team, and this our city…

I was at the practice today, and everybody, you know, seems good, in good shape, and play hard, and work hard. So, should be a lot of fun. And at the same time, and if I look at, if you look at the last year, it wasn’t that, really, good year last year. I think it’s time for them to just show up and show everybody, and, you know, they can play.

enes in memo jerseyvia @Enes_Kanter

Can you teach Enes Kanter to shoot that stretch jumper?
Memo: You know, actually I was able to talk to him today, and, right after practice. And I told him that, first thing I notice from you, when you shoot, you never use your legs.

As a shooter, look at, I mean, you just name it. And you have to use your legs, ’cause if you don’t do it during the practice, you’re not gonna be able to do it during the games, ’cause you gonna be getting tired and tired. And 48-minutes games. And I just told him that, use your legs and see what happens. See the different.

Were you always a good shooter, or was it something you achieved through work? Can shooting be taught?
Memo: I was not really good shooter when I was young. “Young” means by, around, I was probably 16, 17. I bet it’s still young in, but I was playing professionally in overseas, Euro games, and Turkish leagues. And then I start to shooting, and people like it.

My coaching staff liked it, and I was like, “Mm, this is gonna work for me. I better pay attention and work harder and try to get better at it.” And I did. Since then, I been just practicing before and after practice and before and a–you know, after the games. Became my best weapon in my game.

What about Jazz players? Can they learn to shoot like you did?

Memo: Why not? Never late. As long as they be on the court–let’s say, when I was, if I was feeling during, after the games my shot was short or long, next day, there, be there like a hour before, probably shoot like 500 times. Different spots, try to fix that.

I mean, if they pay attention and go, or leave, I mean, go early, stay on the floor, work at it, work at it, work at it, and see what happens from there. It worked out for me. Why not for the young guys?

Do you prefer FIBA rules or NBA rules?
Memo: To me, international mu–rules are a little difficult if you don’t know it. ‘Cause I played many years, and you don’t have three–defensive three seconds in there, and you can just stay there forever and ever. So that means you can get double-teamed or triple-teamed and you not gonna be able to put the floor–put the ball on the floor like you doing here.

And I think it’s a little bit tougher than here, to be honest. And here, some games you, even you touch his hair, [officials] give you a foul. And over there, they grabbed you, they hold you, they push you, no calls; just keep playing.* …

[International players are] tough. I mean, the way they play, even the Euroleague, which the most players play for them and then for the league, and, no mercy. I mean, no fouls, just keep play hard, and play and play. So, you better show up every night over there. …

And you go to games in overseas, let’s say I’m a fan of Real Madrid and you Barcelona fan. I don’t, that something you don’t see sitting next to each other at the games. I mean, here, everybody, you know, having fun, giving everybody, each other high fives.

Over there, whoa. You Barcelona fan? Head-butt. You’re out. You s–you’re not supposed to sit here. So it even gets fired up to the games or before the games, everybody takes so serious over there.

* Love.

Have you ever shown Karl Malone your championship ring?
Memo: I better not.

On Yeliz Okur
Rigby: He married way above him, with Yeliz.

Memo: You better watch out. (1280)

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