These Weeks in the Utah Jazz
One. Joe Ingles on the differences between playing in Europe and playing in Utah: When we play the Lakers obviously here at Vivint, there’s nearly more Lakers fans in Lakers jerseys. That would never happen in Europe. The home team always has, I guess, bulk tickets and would never let the other fans have more than them in there.
Ingles on basketball fans in the States being tame compared to basketball fans in Europe: No, for sure. It’s not even close, really. It’s, the European people get into it so much…
They don’t play music really, so the whole game, every, majority of every team I’ve played for, definitely has a, like a cheer squad that’s always screaming and chanting things and making songs up that they sing the whole game, and the whole crowd. That’s the music, I guess. There’s no DJ or nothing like that…
It’s a whole, completely different atmosphere, but, I mean, it works both ways. I mean, we have obviously great fans here in Utah that, once we get going, it’s pretty loud in there as well.
The best tweets from Ingles’ takeover of the Jazz’s Twitter account:
Two. Quin Snyder on going big vs. small: I don’t think we’ve really got a definitive answer. And the answer probably is that it will vary, you know, based on who we play and how our guys are playing.
You know, we, what we’ve gotten into is by, you know, we’ve started [Derrick] Fav[ors] and Joe [Johnson]’s come off the bench, and we’ve looked at, you know, who’s playing well in order to finish, and that’s been Joe the majority of the time. So, at the end of the game, we’ve gravitated towards that.
Three. Jazz rookie danceoff legend Kyrylo Fesenko is still dancing.
And Fes is still Fes, and I miss him.
Four. Scott Layden on his time with the Knicks: When I got the Knick job, they were gr–really concerned because at the time, I was coming from Utah where, remember, we traveled one beat writer…
So, I moved into the New York market, and we traveled 12 beat writers. And everybody’s concerned. [Dave Checketts] was concerned, all the PR people — and they go, “This guy’s a dud, man. We gotta get, you know, we got a lot of work to do. We’ll dress him up and get Brooks Brothers, the whole bit.”
And so, they hired a PR firm to work with me. And we spent so much money on this PR firm to train me in media relations, OK, I mean, we could’ve added another player. That’s how much money they spent on this, and at, the end result was I was still a dud, and I was a wreck in the media.
And so, what they did was, the PR firm requested that I never mention which firm it was that trained me, ’cause I was a disaster.
Five. The evolution of Rudy Gobert’s hair, continued:
Six. Quin Snyder’s thoughts on resting players:
** Some of it is preventative when you want to get out in front of a potential injury, even more than rest.
** We’ve thought about doing it this year, but we just haven’t been healthy enough to do it.
** The teams that have had opportunities to really rest guys [are the ones that have won championships or are established within the standings]. We’ve not been one of them, so in some ways it’s not relevant for us yet, and hopefully we’ll get to a point where we can revisit this in a while.
** [Emotional and mental fatigue are] harder to address. And that’s frankly what we’ve been fighting of late…When you’re fatigued emotionally and mentally, that’s the most difficult time for me as a coach, when I see that in my team, and that really scares me.
Dennis Lindsey on players resting: It’s looking at a schedule in a real proactive way. It’s taking all the data that you have from the SportVu cameras, looking at the load management. It’s listening to your sports science people and how they’re currently running and where the imbalances are. It’s looking at the data and journals that, we know that players are more likely to become injured when they’re fatigued, and doing a real proactive management towards someone that was managing a condition…
Are there gonna be TV partners that get upset when there’s a nationally televised game? There’s no good answer for the dad that brings his children and gives his hard-earned money to see the best players out on that one particular night…
You do the math [in Tim Duncan’s situation], and I know this. I can’t prove it, but I know that Tim lasted longer ’cause [Gregg] Pop[ovich] managed him. So, I think you can, when you summarize both sides of the argument, John [Stockton] and Karl [Malone have] a great argument [against players resting]. They felt indebted towards the fans and the organization and the owners that are paying their paycheck. And that’s how every player should feel.
But that doesn’t necessarily have to be directly opposite of Gregg Popovich’s position in 2017 dealing with an older player that is managing health conditions. So, I don’t think the other side has to apologize.
Seven. Jeff Van Gundy, asked if he gets blowback from the league when he criticizes the NBA: When the, Commissioner [David] Stern was in there, it was certainly more prevalent…
When you’re doing this job and you’re asked a question, I’m just trying to give my honest answer. I think we’re in a challenging time in the NBA, and we throw around the term “partnership” very easily without, I think, an agreement on what it means. And to me, a partnership connotates equality, and caring as much about the other person as you do about yourself.
So, when I hear teams say “We have to do what’s best for us,” then you know it’s not a true partnership. And right now, the fans are the ones who are taking the short end of the stick, as are the broadcast partners. And it’s interesting to me that the players don’t seem to understand how their giant salaries come about, and have come to be.
And in large part, it’s due to the massive TV money that has been put into our league. I think, you know, ESPN each year, and ABC, pay $1.4 billion. And when you shortchange your supposed partners, there’s a problem.
It may not show up in their careers, but I guarantee you it’s going to show up at some point, and it’s going to impact the players because you can’t screw over your partners and expect it, the relationship, to blossom and be intact. It just doesn’t work that way in business.
So, I think, you know, this partnership, that cliche that’s being thrown around, is really not understood and I think there’s going to be a negative effect at some point here s–very soon.
Van Gundy on how he handled rest when he was coaching the Knicks: Well, it’s funny. You know, the people who are strident about the need for rest wanna pooh-pooh, like, [Karl] Malone, [John] Stockton, [Michael] Jordan playing all the, all these games. They wanna actually make it out to be not a great accomplishment because the game was different, there wasn’t as much movement.
And you know, it makes me laugh. It’s this idea that it’s unavoidable. Well, first of all, if we have so much information that we deem it unhealthy to ask these players to play 82 games in the amount of days that we do, then we should all agree to shorten the schedule to something more manageable — 65, 70 games — and then take, players, coaches, owners, GMs, take less money. But what shouldn’t happen is that you really wanna play 65 games but get paid for 82.
So, it’s, I find it, my Knick players, I, listen. Every coach in every sport has to fight your players about practice, OK? Always has been. Not to practice, but how hard you go, your concentration. But you never had to fight them about playing in games. Like, not one time in my life with the Knicks did someone ever come up to me and say, “I need a rest.” They also didn’t want to come out of games. They didn’t want to play less minutes. They wanted to play, everybody wanted to play more minutes.
It’s funny to me, or it’s interesting to me, that when I go to arenas now, guys seem to like to work out before games, as much if not more than actually play in the games. They like to work on their own games. Step-back jumpers, this and that. I watch guys who are unhealthy to play go through these long, hard workouts, and they seem to really like it. And then they seem equally happy to sit and watch the games.
I am perplexed by that. I’ve never seen guys like to sit out as much as guys in this day seem to actually like to sit out. And I’ll say this. I could care less tonight if Willy Hernangomez decides to rest. I’m talking about 20-25 players in this league that fans pay to see play. Those guys have an extra burden and extra responsibility to deliver* and play when healthy. And so, I don’t understand any of their argument.
* Apt choice of words, JVG.
Rudy Gobert on the photo above: [Mark Eaton and Greg Ostertag] are pretty much, you know, big names in the history of the Jazz, so yeah, you know, everyone’s different, but yeah, these are the guys who came before me, and you know, the guys that played with, you know, these great teams. So, it’s always great to see them.
Gobert on what he means by “making history”: Win a championship…one to start, I would say, and then win more. But yeah, winning a championship would be the goal, for sure.
Gobert on whether he deserves Defensive Player of the Year: I mean, the season’s not over, but yeah. I think I, you know, I should be in the conversation. I mean, I know, you know, it’s a media vote, so you know, I’m not, we not, we don’t play that much on national TV, so you know, it’s maybe not equalfied, but you know, at the end of the day, I’m just worried about my team, and you know, do my best to keep getting better.
Gobert, asked if he pays attention to the standings: I mean, I do. But it doesn’t affect the way I play. You know, it’s nice — I like to be aware of everything that’s going on. You know, some players don’t really look; they just play. I like to be aware.
Nine. Dennis Lindsey on the Reunion game against the Knicks: We really didn’t play well. Rudy [Gobert] bailed us out, and frankly, Quin [Snyder] let the team have it in the locker room afterwards about their emotional level and their, just their overall pitch and energy. And so, hopefully we’ll be able to grab a hold of Quin’s message and follow Rudy’s lead in the last performance and then go perform well these last few weeks of the regular season. …
Quin appropriately snapped at them after the last game, at their performance, and I — he had a really poignant line to the team. He’s like, “I just wanna grab you guys and shake you and wake you up.” Now — ’cause there was a little bit of a malaise when we came back to play that home game versus New York, and for no good reason. And so, I think that he went at them. And I’m in–very interested to see their response.
Well, so much for that. Gobert after the Clippers game:
Lindsey on what happened after the Reunion game: What was really neat was afterwards, is John [Stockton] was nice enough to come back and touch a few of our players.* And then John came in to Quin’s office and we grabbed Gordon [Hayward]. We s–went in there and sat and talked, and John told us stories for about 20 minutes.
** Why *only* Hayward tho?
Ten. Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Week (UDQM)
** Matt Harpring on the public perception of where Joe Johnson was in his career: He was entering the tail end.
** Craig Bolerjack on Rudy Gobert’s behind-the-legs pass: There is a third eye, though, and he admits it. (H/T @Mark_R_Pereira)
** Boler on Gordon Hayward’s finger injury: I saw it in the locker room. It’s deeper than you may know.
** Rudy Gobert, in response to “Seems like you got into it a little bit there with JJ [Redick]”: No, he got into me. Pause.
** Joe Ingles on playoff seeding: We want to finish as hard as possible…We’re not sitting here having team meetings about where we should finish or how we should do it to finish here or there.
** Harpring on Rodney Hood and Kyle O’Quinn: He pump fakes, and just goes right into Quinn’s body.
** Boler: Hayward bangs inside. (H/T Lou Allen)
** Boler on Joe Ingles falling into Gail Miller: Mrs. Miller got her legs up off the floor, which is a good thing.
** Ingles on falling into Gail Miller: I actually didn’t even know it was Gail until I got up, and ran back a little bit and then when I turned around, she was like, staring at me in the eye…Hopefully, she didn’t wake up too sore this morning.
** Quin Snyder on Rudy Gobert’s development: I’m not satisfied. I don’t think he is either.
** Kristen Kenney to Rudy Gobert on the Knicks game: Do you feel like you’re having, you had to take it in your own hands?
** Snyder on Rudy Gobert: Once he’s deep like that, it’s awful hard.
** Dennis Lindsey on the last time he played one-on-one against his son: He wasn’t quite ready enough to handle all my weight, and so I cheated.
P.S. Happy Pi Day!