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Utah Jazz introduce George Hill and Joe Johnson

July 19, 2016
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Why are you excited to be in Salt Lake City?
I mean, they’re a young team. You know, well-coached. Great organization. Great, you know, front office. And, you know, I knew that, you know, they’re just missing a couple piece to get over that hump, and you know, I felt like I can, you know, have a little bit of help of, you know, bringing some quality leadership and things like that here, to try to get to the playoffs. …

You know, our goal is to make the playoffs, and I think, you know, that’s the reason why they brought me here, to try to get over that hump and you know, get Utah basketball back the way it used to be…That’s what [Quin Snyder] really, you know, has talked to me about, just being that positive role model and that leader that they’ve been missing. …

[The Jazz are] already a great, young, upcoming team, and you know, I think they have a lot of tools to get them there. They’re just missing a couple, you know, leaders down the stretch where you’re not losing those games in the last minute of the game.

Being from Indiana, you’ve had opportunities to cross paths with Gordon Hayward. What’s your relationship with him? How well do you know him? And how many times have your paths crossed?
He’s a good friend of mine. You know, he’s an Indy guy, so I’m very familiar with him. You know, watched him in college. Watched him in high school when I was Indy and things like that, so looking forward to being his teammate now and trying to, you know, do new things here in, you know, Utah. So, very excited.

Reasons why George Hill and Gordon Hayward are friends:
1) Both from Indiana
2) Initials are both “GH”
3) Both grown men with interest in high schoolers

Did you know the Pacers were shopping you or did the trade catch you by surprise?
I mean, by completely surprise. Last time I checked, it’s, you know, they were hoping that I can retire from the Indiana Pacers, so it was completely shocking. But that’s the nature of the business, you know? And it’s something that, you know, I have no regret or I’m mad about. They did what they thought was best for them and the organization.

On his relationship with Dennis Lindsey
Very good. You know, he’s a guy that helped draft me…He got rid of me. He brought me back. But you know, in reality, he’s the first, you know, team and organization that gave me the opportunity to play this game that I love, so. I’m very familiar with him and his family. Very familiar with the head coach [Quin] Snyder, so looking forward to just helping this team, like I said, win games and trying to get over that hump.

Do you know Trey Lyles?
I only got to meet Trey, like, once. He was a lot younger than me, and he was, when I was actually there, I really never got to go to his games, ’cause our schedules kinda conflicted all the time, but he went to another [Indianapolis Public Schools] school just like me. I went to Broad [Ripple]; he went to [Arsenal] Tech. So, he was a big guy in our city and knew a lot about him; just never got the opportunity to meet him.

But Trey’s a great guy. He kinda mentors one of my young kids that’s in my AAU program, and really taking that kid underneath his wing and showing that kid that he can do anything possible also…You know, he has no reason to do it, but he’s just doing it because he cares.

On his bleached blond hair
I think the blond phase is out. It was just something I wanted to try…Didn’t turn out too, too bad, but who knows? I like to do s–crazy things at times.

On the importance of vocal leadership and speaking up in the locker room
I was never the type that was scared to speak my mind to my teammate. I feel like if we’re teammates, we’re family, and you should be able to talk to each other as men, and have the best, you know, time off the court with that.

Exhibits A and B:fes and hill

So, I’m not scared to tell people if they’re not, you know, doing what they’re supposed to do, and…Imma tell them they don’t be scared to tell me if I’m not doing what I’m supposed to do, to light a fire underneath my butt.

So, we gotta hold each other accountable, and that’s the thing is, it comes from me and the coaches and the front office and all of them holding each other accountable.

‘Cause at the end of the day, like I said, we have one common goal, and that’s to win every game, as many games as possible to make it to the playoffs, and that goes from the first guy to the 15th guy to the training staff to the head coaches to the front office.


Why did you sign with the Jazz?
The talent that this roster has. Obviously, the youth, and you know, knowing that they were just one game from making the playoffs. And I admire, you know, Gordon Haywood* and Rodney Hood’s game, and I think I can help those guys out.

* Not a typo

What do you see your role with the Jazz being?
I’m not sure. You know, for me, it’s not a big deal. Whatever role coach Snyder wants me to play. You know, I just want to contribute and help.

Is it important to you to start?

No, it’s not important to me. Long as I can come in and contribute, whatever the case may be.

Do you know any Jazz players?
I live in Atlanta, so I run into Derrick Favors quite a bit. I worked out with him. So you know, that’s it for me.

Did you talk to Deron Williams or any other former Jazz players about coming here?
I talked to Paul Millsap and I talked to Marvin Williams, and both told me, man, just telling me how great the city was and how much I would enjoy it.

On his experience in Brooklyn
Man, that was great. It was great because when we got those guys from the Celtics — Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry — you know, we had heard a lot of stories about them, but didn’t really know.

So, they were, you know, the, they were great people, great teammates, and those are friends that, you know, I’ve had a chance to meet, and they, and we will always be friends, you know, sort of like family.

And man, we just had a great time, man. We went through a lot. We went through some tough times, but man, we had some great times.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. russellkanning permalink
    July 19, 2016 11:22 pm

    We evened out our trades, you know. We gave away, you know, our guy Trey, and then, you know, we got our new guy Hill.
    Joe didn’t mention Rudy …. so he will be lurking waiting to block his shots in practice.

  2. Diana permalink
    July 20, 2016 12:50 pm

    Did they talk to George Hill for an hour and Joe Johnson maybe 10 minutes?


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