Bits from Derrick Favors Interview
Is this season what you’d always hoped for?
Yeah, pretty much. You know, with all the stuff I’ve been through in my short career, whatever, you know, pretty much, you know, exactly what I’ve been looking for. Coming to a team that, you know, has a direction, has a system, you know, has a lot of players around the same age, and you know, we can grow together. So yeah, pretty much what I been asking for, really.
On being in a leadership role and his relationship with Quin Snyder
Yeah, that’s something different too. You know, in the past, you know, I’ll be the guy who, you know, coach [Tyrone Corbin] wouldn’t even talk to me that much. You know, he’ll just say, “Derrick, you do this” and go talk to other guys.
But now, you know, Quin, he, coach Quin, you know, he talk to me a lot. You know, especially today, he pulled me and Gordon [Hayward] aside, talked to us about, you know, certain situations during the game and during practice what he want us to do. And you know, just being involved, you know, that helps me out a lot. That help our confidence a lot.
Is leadership a burden?
Not really. You know, it was something that I always wanted anyway, you know, by me being a high draft pick. And with the situations I’ve been in, you know, I was just kind of thrown to the side a lot. You know, [being in this position] just something I always wanted. And you know, it’s not a burden to me. It’s just a responsibility that I look forward to.
On making the transition to the NBA by himself without an entourage
You know, I wanted to bring my friends. I did. Obviously I wanted to bring them, but you know, they got stuff they gotta deal with…
You know, just some things that my mom was talking to me about. You know, you just gotta go out there and grow up and just learn how to do stuff on your own, ’cause you know, mom’s not gon be there for you all the time. Just gotta grow into a man and just learn how to move around, how to, basically, grow up and do things yourself.
So when you look at Dante Exum right now, do you know what he’s going through?
Yeah, yeah, I know exactly what he going through. You know, I talk to him a lot because I was in the situation with, like he is. Nineteen, and you know, he from Australia. Come to, all the way over to America in Utah, so it’s a big change for him. So, every time I get a chance, I talk to him and you know, make sure he’s straight. You know, just tell him little things I went through and just try to help him out.
The Jazz organization was in a funky moment when you signed the extension. You had to really believe they were going to head in the right direction. What made you, what allowed you to believe that?
You know, just talking to Dennis [Lindsey], and talking to Kevin [O’Connor?] a lot. Kevin’s my guy, in a way. Just talking to those two guys…You know, and it was also the time that I hurt my back in [Team] USA [camp], so I didn’t know how that was gonna work out, so basically, I just wanted the security.
And you know, I trust Dennis, trust Kevin. And you know, Utah Jazz, you know, that’s a organization I’d like to play for for a long time. And you know, they was good to me when I came over, so I just said, you know, just go ahead and re-sign.
When Gordon Hayward got his deal, did you say, “Shoot, I blew it”?
What you mean?
When he got his big money deal, did you suddenly think, “Ooh, I wish I had done that”?
Nah, nah, man. It could’ve, I didn’t, you know, it could’ve went either way…I don’t look at it like that. You know, I was happy for him. And you know, with my deal, I’m good with my deal for now.
What’s your relationship with Hayward, and how much do you see yourselves on parallel tracks?
You know, I think it’s something new for both of us. You know, like I said, in the past, it was just, we, they just threw us away like, “Hey, you go over there and we’ll talk to these other guys.”
You know, but now, you know, Quin, he talk to me and Gordon a lot. You know, he talk to Gordon probably even more than me ’cause Gordon more, the offense ran through him a little bit more, and, on the perimeter, but you know, he talk to me a lot too.
We talk about post moves, improving my game, extending my range and everything. But you know, I think he just want us to go out there and lead the team on and off the court. And you know, when things get tough, you know, he basically want me and Gordon to take over.
On how his approach towards off-the-court stuff (e.g. community service) has changed as he’s matured
I understand how everything works now…My first two years in the league or whatever, I wouldn’t, didn’t do nothing in the community in Salt Lake City. I just always went back home ’cause that’s where I wanted to be. I wanted to be back in Atlanta.
But after Utah gave me the extension, or after I signed the extension with Utah, you know, I started to get more involved in the community ’cause I just felt like, you know, that just something I need to do anyway.
You know, the Jazz believed in me. The fans out there, they really love me out there. So you know, it just, I just feel like it’s something I need to do.
Quin says your quietness means people are missing how much you care and how hard you’re working. Do you feel that’s the case?
All the time. You know, I think because I don’t say much or I’m not, I, ’cause I’m a quiet guy sometime, I think people just say that, like, “Oh, he not working hard” or “He don’t have passion for the game” or “He don’t have, like, fire for the game” or something.
I’m a quiet person, but you know, I been hearing that since I came into the league, and you know, it bother me a lot…It bothers me all the time, but if you see me on the sideline, you’ll know I got passion and fire. If you actually sit there and hear what I be saying sometimes, you’ll know. You’ll know. Seriously.
Is there any way you get that across, or is it just something you deal with?
No, I get it across my way. You know, I don’t care what people say about me. I’m not gon change for people. You know, I’m gon be myself. I’m gon be who I am. But you know, when people say, “Oh, he’s quiet. He don’t have fire. He don’t have desire. He don’t have that in his game” ’cause I’m not out there screaming and yelling, you know, yeah, it bother me a lot, but you know, I got, people out there on the court know I got it.
You’re now playing with Rudy Gobert, who gets recognition for all of those things. What’s your feeling on that?
It really don’t matter to me, to tell you the truth. I mean, Rudy, he’s a guy, he deserves it. You know, he been working hard. He been, you know, blocking shots, dunking on people.
So I mean, of course he gon get the highlights, but you know, as long as people know what I’m doing too, you know, paying attention to what I’m doing, appreciate what I’m doing, you know, it’s all good with me.
On his relationship with his 15-year-old brother
I love my little brother, man. You know, we’re close ’cause we basically almost the same age, basically. And growing up, you know, he wanted to play basketball too because he used to see me out there playing, so he always wanted to play.
And you know, every chance I get, you know, I try to, when he’s in Salt Lake, you know, I try to bring him to the gym with me or just let him hang out with me ’cause I know he tired of being in Atlanta with my mom all day. I know he tired of that, so you know, sometime I usually bring him out here with me.
But you know, he just, he at that age now where he just trying to figure himself out. You know, in high school, just trying to figure out what he wanna do. You know, I don’t pressure him about basketball. I say you wanna play, you wanna play. If you don’t, you know, you find something else to do in life. So, he figuring that out right now.
You didn’t have a male influence growing up apart from your AAU coach. Is it nice to be able to be that for your brother?
Yeah, it is. You know, I didn’t have that growing up, and you know, some, he don’t have it a lot either because, I mean, the same AAU coach that I played for after that one died, he’s helping my little brother out too, just being a mentor to him too.
But you know, overall, my little brother, man, he’ll come to me and ask me stuff or he’ll go to my sister, which, I’m like, “Brandon, you can’t go to her for everything.” But on some things, he’ll go to her and ask her for her advice, and just to help him out, ’cause he don’t want to ask my mom, ’cause he feel like, “Man, I don’t wanna ask her. It’s my mom. I don’t want to ask her no question like that.”
But you know, overall, you know, I try to help him out as much as I can.
On his impending fatherhood
Kinda nervous, actually. Kinda nervous. You know, having kids, that’s another step in life, you know I’m saying? It’s, I mean, it’s a wonderful feeling, but you know, it’s just another step in life.
And I’m kinda, I’m excited, yet kinda nervous at the same time…Just excited, nervous, anxious, just everything all balled up in one. You can’t wait, but you’re just like, “Oh man, I hope I be a great parent.” …
Hopefully I have, like, my mom or somebody out there with me to help me out [when it’s time to leave the hospital]. I’m pretty sure somebody be out there with me, but yeah, man, I’m, especially, when that day come, man, Imma be nervous as hell, man.
Stereotypically, the best fathers are the ones that didn’t have one.
Basically, yeah. Basically. You know, I know when I, whenever they come, whenever they arrive, you know, Imma try to be the best father that I can be. You know, Imma try to give them everything that I didn’t have, and you know, just try to, you know, just be the best parent I can be.
What’s the next step for your game?
I think the next step for me is, you know, right now how I’m playing this year, you know, I call it, I think I’m catching a lot of attention of other NBA teams. They starting to play me different; they starting to scout me a little bit differently now.
Teams are doubling, having guys do different things against me in the post. So I think the next step now is just learning how to play through that. How to play through double teams, how to play through scout–scouting what guys are really starting to take away what I do in the post, and you know, get the counter-moves going, and just keep evolving offensively.
You know, extending my range out to the 3-point line, becoming a playmaker. Like, coach Quin always talk to me about becoming a playmaker in the high post. And you know, just becoming an offensive force. I think that’s the next step for me. …
[In high school], what I used to do best was catch guys at the high post and rip through or do a isolation move or something. That was my game in high school, but when I went to college…I kinda got away from that ’cause I was trying to transition to a, more of a post player, more of a defensive-type player.
But you know, Quin is letting me use my athleticism, my explosiveness, and my, and the way I play, he letting me use that to my strengths, and you know, he running plays for me now.
Do you have confidence that Quin understands you and knows how to use you?
I do. You know, I have high confidence. He ran me off of a pin-down one time. I was like, man, I ain’t came down a, off a pin-down since middle school. And I hit the shot. He was like, “Yo, see?” So I was like, man, you know, Quin’s a guy who I trust offensively.
You know, he, like I said, he always talk to me during the game, during practices, during, off the court, just always talk–showing me film, offensive moves, and work on my feet–footwork, and just everything. You know, he’s a guy that I trust. …
I gotta play multiple positions now, so it’s cool. It’s kinda fun. I like it…I’m a power forward, and, I’m a starting power forward and a backup center. (We Are Utah Jazz)