Locker Room Cleanout Part 1: Jack Cooley, Bryce Cotton, Chris Johnson and Grant Jerrett
** What has the team asked you to improve on, specifically?
There’s a couple things that they talked about me improving. Really, just, in terms of on the defensive end, improving my pick-and-roll defense. And then in terms of the offensive end, improving my spacing a little bit more. And those are two things that I kinda knew by myself before I talked about the coaches with it…luckily two things I can fix. So, I think if I can just focus on those things in the off-season, it’ll really help me become a better part of this team.
** On the trust level between Quin Snyder and players that joined the team during the season
I mean, it’s huge having a coach that trusts you like that. I mean, a coach that’ll put you in a game when you’ve just got there is really big. It’s a big confidence booster in order for you to play well, and when you have a coach that has that faith in you, it’s easy to play well. And coach Snyder’s great at giving us that confidence to play well, and it shows on the court with us playing and performing well, and I mean, helping the team.
**What was the highlight of your season?
I see two. The incorrectly called foul against the Nuggets. That’s the first one. I think it was clean until the body slam at the end. I think that might’ve been a foul. But, and then the 29-point — the 29-rebound D-League game. That was pretty ridiculous.
** On the time he stole a dog for revenge
Last year [while playing in Turkey], we had a road trip the day before I was supposed to leave…and the flight got delayed and all this nonsense happened. And my flight left at, like, 7 a.m. And we got back from the night before at, like, two in the morning. I get back to my apartment to discover that almost half the electronics I had were gone…And it was 2 a.m., and my flight leaves in five hours to come back to America, so there’s nothing I can do. But the way I got back at them a little bit was, they had me taking care of their dog, but they were mistreating it. So I asked them, I was like, “Can I buy your dog?” And they said, “Yeah.” And I was supposed to pay them some, like, unreasonable amount of money. Well, in the end, they didn’t really get that money. I just kinda took the dog and left.
* No explanation of who “them” is, how he was taking care of the dog while on a road trip, and whether this “Can I buy your dog?” conversation took place between the hours of 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.
** Do you have a wedding date?
Not yet, no. It’s gonna be, not this summer, but next summer after that.
David Locke: We all knew when your fiancee was in town.
Cooley: … (long pause) …
Locke: You got your hair cut.
Cooley: Oh yeah, that’s true. I did shave.
** What was the highlight of your season?
Honestly, for the road and obstacles I’ve had to go through, just getting here was the highlight for me.
** On the level of trust between himself and Quin Snyder
He’s done a great job communicating with me ever since I got here. He let me know he saw a lot of me in the D-League, so he was familiar with my game. So he definitely instilled a lotta confidence in me. And he just told me, you know, not to overthink things when I’m out there and just, you know, play my game and just be myself. And that’s definitely been very beneficial for me, especially with this last five games I played in.
** What are your impressions of Quin Snyder?
He’s very detailed. You know, he’s big on detailed. And I’d like to say he’s somewhat of a perfectionist, ’cause he likes to do things until we get it right and we know exactly what we’re doing. So, that’s one thing in particular that stands out about him, and I can definitely say that that’s a big reason why we’ve been playing so well. ‘Cause repetition just leaves you no choice but to continue to get better and progress as a team, and as individuals.
** Who do you pattern your game after?
A guy I looked at a lot is J.J. Barea, and Patty Mills, ’cause these are guys who didn’t have the most decorated routes to get into the league, but through hard work, they found a niche and now they’re having a successful NBA career…I was very excited [to play against Barea], ’cause I look up to him a lot.
** What has the team asked you to improve on, specifically?
I think being able to handle the ball off the dribble. You know, creating shots for myself and my teammates. Being able to play the pick and roll, and you know, just being more a consistent 3-point shooter.
** On having a non-guaranteed deal
It’s exciting, you know, just to be — I mean, everybody wants this opportunity, so it’s a blessing. And you know, not trying to think about the, you know, the negative things about it. Try to think about the positive things, and I think I go with a good mindset. You know, just working hard, getting better every day, listening to the coaching staff and my teammates. I think everything else’ll take care of itself.
** What has your NBA journey been like so far?
It’s a tough journey, you know, just trying to find my way, just trying to find a home. You know, but, you know, throughout that journey, you know, I just try to stay positive, have faith, and just enjoy the journey…I think I know my role. But you know, certain situations, you know, it just didn’t work out. So with that being said, you know, j–like, the next opportunity, just try to make the most of it, and you know, just try to contribute.
** Goals for the summer
You know, just getting stronger. Getting to the basket more, comfortable with dribbling, stuff like that.
** Did you spend every night in a hotel, the whole year?
Just about. Towards the end, I spent about a week in an apartment, so yeah.
** On his level of readiness to play in the league
Really, for me, it’s just getting more experience on the court, which’ll help me. I’ve learned that since playing basketball, it, you get better by playing. And I feel like once that happens, it’ll help me out a lot more.
** Do you have an understanding of what you’re trying to be to find your niche in the league?
I feel like D-League and NBA are totally different, just the way of how the players play and how they approach the game. I mean, in the NBA, you have a certain role. You do your role. D-League, it’s kind of, just, sporadic. It’s just, I don’t–orga–unorganized. I mean, you do what you can to show what you have, certain amount of, or limited amount of minutes in the D-League or in the NBA. But, just, I mean, j–really just concentrating on little details and trying to pursue a dream, whatever level you’re at, I feel like it’s gonna benefit you.
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines (UDQM)
** Jack Cooley on bouncing between the Jazz and the Stampede: It was good to get here and get a taste of it, and then go back down.
** David Locke to Cotton: When did you have your growth spurt?
** Cotton on his growth spurt: Every inch counted for me.
** Locke to Chris Johnson on trying to make it in the league: How do you weigh enjoying it, and just the stress and pressure of trying to get a firm gra–you know, grip?