Summer League Off-Day Odds and Ends
One. Alex Jensen on how he got involved with the German national team
You know, it’s funny ’cause the basketball community is a small one. And the coach [of the team], Chris Fleming, who, he just actually got fired from the Nuggets staff, we had mutual friends and he wanted a, he wanted somebody that had experience in the NBA and Europe. And so, it’s the European Championships this summer and also the qualifications for the Olympics…
Chris, like I said, he was looking for somebody, and we had mutual friends that recommended me. And we had a few telephone conversations, and you know, it works out good. Instead of taking August off, I get to go coach in Europe, which is great, ’cause you, it’s another environment to learn and where everything’s just a little bit different, and so, I’m excited, actually. I’m sure there’s plenty to learn.
Two. Mehmet Okur on his role as Jazz ambassador
I like what I’m doing right now. I’m enjoying it. I think people is enjoying it…Hopefully in a couple years, I’ll be doing more.
‘Cause the first time I got here, right after I retired, then I talked to Greg [Miller]. I said, “Greg, I’m here, available. It’s not about money. It’s not–” Then I told him that I can help this organization, just show me which way.
Which is, they show me, i–become ambassador. Just hang out with the fans, be with the kids, do clinics. Just watch the games here and there. So, I’m happy. I enjoy what I’m doing right now. So, hopefully I’m gonna be doing same thing next coming-up season.
Three. Dennis Lindsey on Christapher Johnson
Lindsey: Chris is one that, when we started making intel calls from [his] previous stops, coaches didn’t like him. They loved him. He’s as high-character and as hard-playing as any player that we’ve come across, and–
David Locke: I read a quote where Brad Stevens called him the smartest player he’d ever had.
Lindsey: He, you know, like I–
Lindsey: There’s a lot of smart players. I had Tim Duncan, so I don’t want to say–
Lindsey: –anybody’s smarter than Tim, but–
Locke: But no, I mean, I think that was a quote Brad said…
Locke: …that he was one of the smartest players he’s ever had.
Lindsey: The Celtics raved about him. The Rockets raved about him. The stops, Milwaukee. And so, he played well in his initial stint, and circumstances dictated that we had to let him go, but we knew we wanted to get him back. And we made a midnight offer, and he accepted, and we were able to get a contract that allowed him to continue — and I can’t tell you, you’re talking about, living in the gym doesn’t describe it. He’s shortened his shot. His shot–
Locke: It looks really different.
Lindsey: Yeah. He and Brad Jones have done excellent work. He’s as fit an athlete as you can get. He’s our best communicator defensively. It’s not something that a lot of fans — especially when you start getting eight, 10 rows up, that you don’t pick up, but easily — our coaches’ opinion is he’s our best communicator…And we’re just thrilled to have him part of the program, and there’s no question he’s an NBA player. And he’s opening a lot of eyes here. Recovery blocks, and made open shots, and very good positional defense, and great conversation.
And the thing that we get the biggest kick out of is his ability to run the court. I don’t know if we put a stopwatch on him, he may not be the fastest guy in the league, but you talking about blasting up the court, and running to the corner and stretching the defense on every position.
And Chris is one that plays with no agenda. It’s about the group. And so we’re thrilled to be part of his development so far, and we just love him to be part of the program. He’s one, in the weight room, that’s encouraging the other guys, making sure that the level of intensity stays where it needs to be. And all of it’s genuine. There’s not a phony bone in his body.
Four. Dennis Lindsey on having coaches work with players individually during summer workouts, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine
It’s two guys shagging. It’s what — if they tried to do it on their own or just with one other person, we can squeeze into 30 minutes what they could, probably takes them an hour and a half to do on their own. So, and the players have responded. (H/T @HipMrBully)
Five. From Trey Lyles’ appearance on The Starters:
Trey vs. Trey staring contest: