Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interview, 8/6 (Dante Exum Injury)
Dante Exum injury update
As we suspected, when Dante was playing in a friendly game in Ljubljana, he took off and landed in a compromising position and did in fact tear his ACL…
Luckily for Dante, even under tough circumstances, we actually had personnel there in Ljubljana, Slovenia, at the game. And so, Jeff Watkinson was the person there at the time, and so, literally I had a phone call five minutes after the incident…And so, we were able to quickly get Jeff and Dante on a plane home, and give him some immediate care yesterday evening.
It’s very critical during this period that a few things happen, that you reduce swelling, and you try to increase joint mobility. There’s actually a prehab phase to conditions like this that are very critical to having good outcomes.
So, we’ve been using every minute since Dante’s return yesterday evening to our advantage, and we’ve been able to get the swelling down a great deal, and luckily Dante’s able to straighten his leg, which is a good first start to the prehab process. …
We’re gonna be very careful and get second and third opinions from the best doctors, and really, our doctors here encourage, are encouraging Dante and his representation to look at different opinions relative to the imaging and what our doctors in Australia and the doctors here have provided us so far.
So, we have great clarity moving forward, and the great news is there’s never a good time for this to happen, but young point guards** that have had ACLs have had very good outcomes.
* Maybe my expectations are just really low from names being unremorsefully butchered by Jazz personnel and broadcasters over the years, but props to DL for correctly pronouncing Ljubljana.
** Examples cited by DL: Baron Davis, Kyle Lowry, Jamal Crawford
Will the Utah Jazz make a move at a point guard not currently on the roster?
Look, our, Quin [Snyder] and my mindset are exactly the same at this particular time. We’re concerned about Dante Exum and the long-term care, and we’ve had no conversations whatsoever about anybody else outside of the Utah Jazz.
And again, I just, you know, I’ve got to assume that Cecil and Desiree Exum will read this and, you know, this transcript, and could there be anything less sensitive to then, to start talking about, you know, other players when this is the most important topic?
So, we, there’ll be plenty of time to address the team and how we’ll make adjustments going forward. It’s our job to adapt and adjust…This is a blow, but again, it’s our job to move forward. But at this particular date, our sole focus is totally on Dante Exum and making sure that we’re doing the best job possible y–for his care going forward.
One example of a player benefiting from playing for his national team
Take Rudy Gorbert’s* development last year. You could make an argument that that national team play gave Rudy greater confidence to come into the season, and I know for sure it gave Quin and I and the rest of management and coaching staff a greater level of confidence that Rudy needed to have a bigger role. And you’ve seen some subsequent decisions.
* People calling Rudy Gobert “Rudy Gorbert”: Dennis Lindsey
And Dante lived happily ever after…
He’s one that, you know, he’s just, there’s a grace about Dante. There’s a wisdom beyond his years. Like many of our guys, he’s just been very well-raised.* And so, and then, that’s a little bit of what I’m speaking to, that you gotta respect, that our sole focus really should be on him, his representatives, his parents, and make sure that everything is really taken care of…
My first conversation with Mrs. Exum…on draft night, it’s like, we’re gonna care about your son, you know, mind, body and spirit.
And so, for Dante to already start attacking his prehab phase with the level of intent and discipline that he’s already done, it speaks a lot. So, and hi–that, coupled with his age, coupled with he’s still gonna be 6-6, he’s still gonna have a 6-10 wingspan…You know, he, it just leads us to, we’re gonna be very positive with him all the, each step of the way, and usually those outcomes are very good…
So hopefully, this will be, you know, part of his book, and the narrative will be in following chapters, and, what a great way that, you know, he was able to overcome that, and I, you know, I’d certainly be proud to help him achieve those dreams. (1280)
* By his two parents, in their two-parent home