Are you looking for more experience at the point guard position?
The baseline production of the position needs to get better, but there’s no reason why it can’t. We have very good, young raw material.
Dante [Exum]’s physical dimensions are great, and we started — that, and his mindset and his intelligence, he really impacted the team in a unique way, at 19 years old.
There was a point in time when we were still challenged as a team, I think late December, early January. I, you know, I consistently look at our stat pack on a weekly basis, and it was counter-intuitive, but at one or two points in the season, it was fairly large minutes, Dante was the only player of the group that had a positive plus-minus.
And so, there’s so many things that go into playing that position. There’s so many — we call ’em intangibles, but we’re getting in good enough statistically with on-off numbers, with the SportVU cameras, that we’re s–we’re able to, you know, attach indirectly when someone’s bringing intangibles back to the group.
It may not be a one-for-one correlation. It may be an indirect stat like real plus-minus or defense on and off, and the things of the such, but he, you know, it was unique that when you’re playing with a 19-year-old on a win-challenged team, that you are winning inside of his minutes.
And then obviously when the team turned, it turned in a big way, and I think he was close to plus-5 per 48 minutes when he was on the court.
And there were a lotta reasons that were going into that. One, he wasn’t forcing himself on the game. Two, he knew our schemes and could get us into our offense. Three, at 19 years old, we c–we didn’t know if he’d be a good defender for a number of years.
And with, inside of a few months, he was a plus defender at his position, and now, you know, we’re thinking about him in the terms of being one of the better defenders going forward at that position for the next 10 years.
And you guys know what that means, when the pick and roll is such a large percentage of opposing teams’ attack, to have someone that you have individual integrity that can stay in front of guys.
And then Trey [Burke], you know, we, Trey, it seems like he’s been around for a while, but he’s 22. This should’ve been his senior year at Michigan, and everybody knows about his pull-up ability and his late-clock ability…And Trey’s a dedicated worker. He’s a smart player. He’s safe with the ball, and I think he’ll move forward.
And then we added Bryce Cotton from the D-League, and you guys saw his speed and his ability to score. He’s a good shooter, and what happened with Bryce when we put him in our possessions, our offensive possessions picked up.
And so, we talked about Raul [Neto] as well, and we do have draft picks going forward, and we’ll continue to work with what we have, and then take a deep look at our other alternatives as well.
On Derrick Favors’ personality
I tell you what, people, the, you know, he’s from the south, and he has that, you know, charming Atlanta drawl. But Derrick is a thinker. He has very good insights, and he can rib players and his teammates.
He was getting after Dante in a funny way, and ther–not, in Derrick, the beauty in Derrick is, is he doesn’t have a malicious bone in his body. He’s really good people.
And so I think as, you know, Derrick h–again, it seems like he’s been around forever. He’s 23. We’re just ecstatic with his development, but he’s grown into a leader, in a subtle way.
And you know, he’s very, that relationship between he and Quin [Snyder], those, that key player-coach relationship’s always important. But Quin’s gained a lot of appreciation for Derrick and who he is.
And you know, I’m just thrilled for the guy, and we’re proud to have him, and his humor is good. You just got to, you have to get to know him a little bit, and I think, again, as he gets older, he’ll feel more and more comfortable to show more personality to the public.
On Salt Lake City and Free Agency
Are there certain types of players that wouldn’t fit here? Absolutely. You know, the DNA of the culture of Salt Lake and the Jazz organization, but that’s a little bit of what I was speaking about earlier, is that an important part of your process is the deselection process.
And so, I love it. I love that we won’t go certain places. And to be frank, there are certain backgrounds that line up very well with the Jazz organization. You know, strong parental influence. A player with a significant other. A player that, with a significant other, with child. And, that would really appreciate the family environment we have in our community.
And so, there’ll eventually be that player that will totally get us and will be the right fit. I don’t know if it will be in this free agency, but I’ve said it before [and before]. You know, Reggie White moving from Philly to Green Bay, there will come a day when we will have our Reggie White.
Do you have any concerns about your ability to pay everyone?
We’ll continue to have very good flexibility and ability to maneuver for the next three or four years. And then those contracts will become due and players will make an ex–percentage mark up moving forward because of the new TV deal, and we’ll have to make tough decisions going forward.
But I’m very confident that if the players do their part, if they act the right way, if they develop, if they follow Quin’s lead, if they’re unselfish, that we can keep ’em all, yes. (1280)
How will you measure and weigh chemistry in making off-season decisions?
We’ve let good players that have potentially come our way via the draft and free agency and trade go away because they’re just not the right DNA for the organization…
I think we have a good handle on what fits here from a mentality standpoint, from a work ethic standpoint. And, so that, I was making a speech yesterday, and that deselection process is very important. You know, the, some of the best businesses in the world, in my opinion, are very high-minded on deselecting players and staying away from potential trouble.
When did you realize you had something in Rudy Gobert, that it was no longer just potential?
You know, there were signs along the way. The first time I rea–besides the draft workout, and we saw some things when we went over to see him in France, and so, there, he was unique, right? It doesn’t take a basketball expert to say, see, you know, his dimensions say “whoa.”
But I think the first preseason game, or not the first, but the preseason game in Anaheim versus the Lakers…Even though it was a preseason game, it took me aback a little bit. He had great minutes.
People don’t realize this, but he and Hassan Whiteside both had great minutes in the D-League: Hassan this year; Rudy last year. And there were minutes that, at least statistically, were so dominating that, you know, if you’re paying attention to the analytics and advanced stats, that it’d be like, whoa. You know, if he’s able to pull together two-thirds of his production that he’s had on the, in the D-League, he could impact in a big way. So you know, I’ve looked at a few spreadsheets over the years, and I knew that that was unusual, or our group knew that that was unusual.
And then of course, the start of the off-season with our summer league. He wasn’t, he didn’t perform good in the summer league. He was great. And the thing that made me personally anxious is every time he was off the floor, I felt nekkid defensively. It just didn’t feel the same. The group didn’t feel the same. And you put Rudy back in, and all of a sudden, the game got much more imposing for our opponents, in, and, how they were coming at us.
And then of course, you know, everybody talked about the World Championships and his role with France. And you know, we’ve, we’re lucky. Look, it’s, you don’t get guys at 22 years old with these dimensions that have a, has a really high care factor, that use themself as, “Hey, you know, I’m a defensive player or I’m big brother, and you know, build this thing around me,” that really is willing to contribute without the ball.
There’s only so many possessions in an, inside an NBA game, so when you got a guy like Mark Eaton or Rudy Gorbert* that says “Hey, I’m gonna take care of the things that a lot of average NBA players don’t wanna take care of,” then you have something that you can build around.
* Not a typo
Because you are so young, are you more inclined to trade this year’s draft picks?
I think certainly we have to be mindful of where the team moved the last third of the season, and look at those opportunities. We would’ve looked at those opportunities anyway, even if we, let’s just say, improved to 30 wins. But I think we definitely have to look to see if there’s something that can accelerate the process.
But I’m also a little greedy too. I’ve got a coaching staff that is very good with young players. That’s why we hired Quin. That’s why we set up the staff the way we did, and they’ve been able to advance a few young guys well beyond their years of experience.
So again, I think we have an advantage there, an inherent advantage. So all of a sudden, [if] we do have a young prospect that we really like, I think the ace is the hole is, is that we have a coach that can accelerate his growth, who’s willing to play him.* And so, I don’t wanna give up that prematurely just ’cause we have an idea that we need a vet.
* Emphasis mine
When might Ante Tomic and Raul Neto come over?
It’s very unusual that you have a set of bigs that we’ve had — some bigs that, frankly, predated me. And so, we could never really activate that asset and have serious conversations, just ’cause we had several centers, and Ante is a stone-cold “five.” But he’s someone that I really appreciated over the year — over the years, I should say.
He’s really improved, and Quin’s experience in the Euroleague, when he was in Moscow one year with Ettore Messina, he got to see a lot of these players which is a huge advantage for us, because he knew Joe Ingles. You know, as soon as Joe got waived, you know, he had corporate knowledge — they had coffee together in a lobby in Europe, and he knew that [Ingles] could fit the culture that we’re trying to build.
And the same thing with Ante. You know, immediately, he, Quin knew we had his rights before he ever took the job, and he was very excited about Ante, his size at 7-2, and his unique passing skills. And so, there are some things that are very intriguing, and we hope to have some serious dialogue going forward, and you never know.
But certainly with how we’ve positioned the team, we’d have a chance to activate that asset that we’ve never had before.
Raul is Raul. He’s, plays with great energy. Even though he’s a little undersized, he’s an excellent defender already. Very good lateral movement. He plays with great imagination. He’s a pass-first guy.
He didn’t shoot the ball so far this year with his club team as well as he shot the ball this summer with Brazil, but he’s someone that we’re very excited about moving forward. And we don’t know what that means relative to this year or future seasons, but again, we think he’s, you know, he’s a good player that could fit our group. (1280)
** Dennis Lindsey on talking about Ante Tomic, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine: I don’t wanna get too deep, ’cause I wanna respect him.
How nice is it to know you have the right coach and the right GM?
Well, we’ve always taken the approach that we’re very cautious in making change. And when we’ve done it, we’ve always been very methodical, and very strategic. And we feel very good about the approaches and the decisions that have been made, and they’ve proved up. And they’ve been, deserved now, that confidence that we have as an organization.
And I know, speaking for the Millers, from our front office, we’ve had great support as well, I kn–we’ve made, with, Steve Starks is now our president of Miller Sports Properties. Very supportive of the direction that we’re going, and we’re really excited about moving forward.
And we’ll, Dennis [Lindsey], and Quin [Snyder], myself, Justin Zanik, we haven’t let any grass grow under our feet. We’ve really been si–we immediately sat, been sitting down, and moving forward with the plans.
Is it a good thing or bad thing that Quin Snyder came in eighth in Coach of the Year voting?
I think Quin, well deserved for Quin to be recognized top eight. That’s, and when you look at that group of eight coaches, that’s a pretty impressive group to be affiliated with, and I thought some of the compliments that some of the writers and people gave towards Quin and what he was able to accomplish the back half of the season, to me what we’ve been able to accomplish from where we started out defensively, as an organization, to where we ended up, is nothing short of remarkable. I think, very impressive.
And those things just don’t happen when you’re playing NBA-caliber ball…And so, I think it was well, it was very well deserved from Quin.
What goes through your mind when you see the Hawks-Nets series and you see Paul Millsap, Deron Williams, Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll playing in the postseason?
Well, I’m, you know what, number one, I’m happy for them…I still talk with Kyle, and Paul, and DeMarre, as they’re coming* — and Deron, le–I will add, on that. And they have fond memories of being involved with the Utah Jazz. …
Now, we made some decisions in, for the good of us, and really f–they had decisions as well for the good of their career, that we parted company. But they’ve worked hard to be where they’re at now. I’m excited for ’em.
The ascent to the playoffs is tougher in the West, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles, isn’t it?
Well, you know what, if you wanna be the best, you’re gonna eventually have to go through all of ’em anyway, and then, you know what, it’s kinda like that refining fire, and that is, is that the harder it burns, then, early on, maybe it’s gonna make us better, you know, and make that steel a little tougher. And that’s what we have to look at it.
And in a lot of ways, you say, “Hey, we think we can be there, but boy, what of those eight teams in the West, now, are you gonna be beating out?” But some of these teams are getting a little bit older. Injuries always comes into play on it.
We are a good, very good young team; a very good, disciplined team, and I think as we add improvement and we add some maturity to it, it’s going to only help us to be, I think, able to compete even better.
How many games will the Jazz win next year?
I’m not gonna put that on Quin Snyder. But I’m, I’ll say this. We will all be disappointed, and, that, we want to take that, we want, as we’ve said a year ago, and we’ve been saying, is we aren’t gonna skip steps, but we’re gonna keep growing and taking the next steps.
And I th–and we’ve been doing that. And I expect us to continue to be doing that. And we’ve seen that we have the capabilities, and I really know that we have the team that can do that. So, let’s see where that goes.
Rajon Rondo is a jerk and Rick Carlisle is one of the nicest guys and best coaches. Talk about team-building.
Well, you know, to that point, one of the things that we really have been t–instilling in, Jerry [Sloan?] talked about this. Quin has been, really, a disciple of, and I think the foundation to me, of team-building.
The, one of the most critical foundational points of team-building is communication. And I’ve seen it impact teams. I’ve seen it impact relationships inside teams. I’ve seen it impacting coaches and players inside that. And that’s where it starts unraveling.
And I would say communication and selfishness, and that, when all of a sudden, you have individual players that are more concerned about their own stats, their own contracts, and their own future than the good of the team, and then you have a lack of communication, or sometimes over-communicating your selfish attitudes inside the locker room, that creates, that starts that whole unraveling, and the negative attitude that can be in a locker room…
So you’re constantly trying to communicate those type of principles, communicating the principles of teamwork and pass and working together. You gotta constantly be driving that into these players because if you don’t, they’re gonna go to the lowest grade, and that is their own selfish desires and attitudes. And that’s when teams start unraveling.
What is Steve Starks’ role and background?
Well, let me clarify as well, ’cause really, Greg [Miller] was the CEO of Miller Management Corp. Now, and Greg also had the hat of being our member of the [NBA’s] Board of Governors. He was our governor for the NBA. Greg will continue to remain as the governor for the NBA…
Clark Whitworth has been, now, given the role from Gail Miller, and the Miller family, to be the president of Miller Management Corp. In that, there are actually seven divisions and organizations. The automotive. We have a finance division that’s, has, a part of it. The real estate division.
Then we have a retail and Miller Motor — Miller Retail, and also Miller Sports Properties. Steve Starks is now the president of Miller Sports Properties and Miller Retail, which are the Fanzz stores, the theaters, and also, then, the entities underneath that.
Steve, I work with now, directly with Steve, and we work, then, directly with the Miller family on decisions that are made. And we also include Clark Whitworth, who is overseeing, then, and working overall at Miller Management Corp.
So, that’s the new structure of the reporting and Steve has been with the organization for eight years. Has a great relationship — he was mentored by Larry Miller early on when he was a part of, if you remember, the governor’s kind of “kitchen cabinet.” It was a lot of business owners. He was kinda the executive secretary of that group of businessmen.
Has a very bright business mind, and Steve does a marvelous job. Understands exactly, and well connect–and well connected with the Miller family in meeting with Gail and Greg, Steve [Miller], all of the family, in making sure they’re in the loop while we’re also making our decisions. So, in, from that area, we’ll continue to work directly with Steve and the Miller family…From a fan’s perstepective,* there’s no real difference. (1280)
* Not a typo.
Sports fans are funny…and can be quite colorful and creative in their use of words. Below are some of the descriptions of Quin Snyder and a few Jazz players found in opponent game threads in the second half of this season.
Highlights from the first 41 games of the season can be found here.
** Excellent future as some sort of evil executive actor. Maybe one of those rich dudes on Law and Order who kills everyone (Cavaliers)
** An evil, money-obsessed cokehead on Wall Street (Cavaliers)
** Straight-to-video American Psycho 5 (Cavaliers)
** How often does Quin Snyder go tanning? Twice a day? (Bucks)
** What’s up with Quin Snyder’s hair? It’s fantastic. (Blazers)
** Scary looking (Blazers)
** Could kill someone by looking at them (Blazers)
** Knows what really happened to that Nationwide kid (Blazers)
** Always looks like he’s gonna murder everyone in the building (Suns)
** An evil scientist (Mavericks)
** Scary as fuck (Mavericks)
** About to pull out a 9 and start bustin’ some caps (Mavericks)
** A musician from the 80s (Mavericks)
** Top 3 for sure in intimidation factor (Knicks)
** Scary (Knicks)
** Drunk Stepfather (Pistons)
** Belthazor (Pistons)
** Evil version of Leo in Wolf of Wall Street (Pistons)
** The guy the spawn of Satan sent to prepare the Earth for his arrival. The dude that would kidnap the virgin witch to sacrifice in his crossover ritual (Pistons)
** Looking thinner. As if he graduated to coke (Pistons)
** A bit of an American Psycho look (Wizards)
** Ludwig von Beethoven (Blazers)
** Dude from American Psycho (Blazers)
** Harry Houdini (Blazers)
** Has DEFINITELY shot up a bank before (Blazers)
** Somebody take Utah’s coach out before he kills Batman or something (Blazers)
** Slimy movie villain (Blazers)
** American Psycho (Blazers)
** Which actor does Hayward look like with those damn cheekbones and that godawful slick haircut? (Cavaliers)
** Chris Klein? (Cavaliers)
** I wanna say Ryan Gosling but the fact that I even thought about saying Gordon Hayward looks like Ryan Gosling has just made me physically ill (Cavaliers)
** Chris Evans in Captain America before he gets ripped (Cavaliers)
** Gets his toughness/conditioning from constantly battling hydra (Warriors)
** Scruffy beard in a vain attempt to look like he’s not in high school (Trail Blazers)
** Still has the second most punchable face in the NBA (Blazers)
** I bet everything he says comes out in a nasal whine (Blazers)
** His work in The Rivers Edge and as McFly in Back to the Future are classics tho (Blazers)
** Hair is an atrocity (Suns)
** Captain America before his transformation (Kings)
** What the hell does Hayward put in his hair to keep it in place during a basketball game, rubber cement? (Kings)
** That’s too much Brylcreem (Spurs)
** A 1940s farmboy about to join the army (Blazers)
** Yes but it’s more like war for oil so he can keep his hair slicked back (Blazers)
** Hair drives me kind of crazy – he looks like Charlie Sheen in Wall Street (Celtics)
** Don Draper (Hornets)
** Pretty boy Hayward (Wizards)
** An extra from The Great Gatsby (Wizards)
** I don’t like Gordon Hayward’s face (Warriors)
** His hair (Warriors)
** Yeah I agree his hair like Luke Babbit last night. Too annoying (Warriors)
** Hayward is so white he thought about talking shit to Green there, but then thought better of it (Nuggets)
** He was thinking about what to get a Bed Bath and Beyond instead (Nuggets)
** I hear he is going to pick up a new French press after the game (Nuggets)
** Freakishly long (Celtics)
** Gobzilla (Celtics)
** Long enough to block a helicopter (Warriors)
** Goober (Blazers)
** A freaking mutant (Blazers)
** His arms are probably longer than I am (Blazers)
** Going to be a monster for a long time (Bucks)
** You have to get someone to just fucking club Gobert (Rockets)
** A fucking monster (Rockets)
** Trouble (Wizards)
** Has nice body control for a guy that is 11 feet tall (Timberwolves)
** Xerxes from 300 (Blazers)
** What is a Joe Ingles? (Cavaliers)
** What is a Joe Ingles? (Blazers)
** Who the hell is Joe Ingalls? (Nuggets)
** Who is Ingles? (Clippers)
** Fucking Joe Engles (Spurs)
** Is he the owner’s nephew or something? (Blazers)
** Ingliss reminds me of a guy I used to play with in over 35 ball. My guy had more hair (Bucks)
** A two-pack-a-day smoker (Blazers)
** Looks like he was promoted from the stadium maintenance crew (Timberwolves)
** One of the least athletic looking NBA players (Blazers)
** An alcoholic, pack-a-day smoker (Blazers)
** Meth looks like the more likely substance to be honest (Blazers)
** Nah, those people are skinny. Joe has the doughy thing going (Blazers)
** Ingles, like Babbit yesterday, are both guys that look like NBA players from the 70s — especially guys that were only in the league because the ABA thinned out the depth pool (Timberwolves)
** Fuck Utah. Team of long ostriches (Wizards)
How would you define the successes that you had this season?
I think the thing that’s most encouraging to me is the perfe–perseverance that our team found throughout that process; their ability to stay committed to a process that, you know, in a, at any given point was not giving them the feedback that ultimately you want.
You know, I think that the success of the group, as reflected by the wins, the loss, the record the playoffs, is gonna continue to be volatile. You know, obviously our expectations are high, but there’s also a realism that we know is always present.
But through that, it’s gonna require our guys and Dennis and myself to continue to persevere. And I think with that attitude, that, you know, we’ll be able to stay committed to a process and hopefully over time, we’ll continue to see results.
What will you be asking Rudy Gobert to work on this summer?
It’s exciting to me to have the opportunity to, you know, after the fact, join an organization and a team that has someone like Rudy…
I think more specifically on the skill front, you know, Rudy’s skill, I think you see that manifest itself right now primarily in his passing.
He’s erratic at times, which I’m OK with, you know, under certain parameters because I think there’re plays that you want your players to make that, even though they’re not successful in the short-term, they’ll eventually produce growth. So, we can focus a lot on his offense.
His defense seems, and is, so impactful, but I think additionally, he can continue to have the impact that he has around the rim in different facets of our defense, particularly as a leader.
You know, I liken him a little bit to a middle linebacker that’s got the court in front of him, and the more communicative he can be, I think the better that he’ll become, and will become.
And that said, you know, back to the offensive end, I think it’s a matter of time before he’s able to, you know, continue to develop, whether it be finishing around the rim or, you know, making a mid-range jump shot, which hopefully he’ll continue to — I don’t know what the timeline is on that, but I know that it’s something that we want and will encourage, and that effort will hopefully produce results for him there.
Did you consciously talk no basketball with Gordon Hayward the first time you met him, and a lot of basketball with Derrick Favors the first time you met him?
No. No. I just was getting to know ’em, and it struck me that — for Gordon, the feel that I had, I didn’t — I must’ve, there must’ve been so–on some level, it was conscious.
But I do, I don’t specifically remember — you know, Gordon was going through a contract negotiation for a while, so our ability to communicate on a deeper level, I won’t say it was stalled, but there was that elephant in the room.
So I think it made sense for us to not talk basketball, because that wasn’t, you know, that was something that was being taken care of outside of the relationship that he and I were gonna form, and were forming.
In Derrick’s case, I thought that there was a lot of uncertainty, probably, that he had about what his role was gonna be, where it was going.
And I planned on using him, in my mind, very differently from the way that he had been used previously in his career — not just the year before — and felt like there had to be a commitment from him to grow in that regard, so we got into that more specifically.
What is your favorite characteristic of Rudy Gobert?
I think his intelligence is something that I value, because I think it allows me to have an impact even more so on helping him improve. And then, but the quality, I think, would be his competitiveness. He just wants to win. He wants to be good, and he wants to win. The two are, kind of, for him, one and the same.
When did the shift from offense carrying the team to defense carrying the team occur?
For me, you know, we spent a lot of the preseason trying to groom, you know, timing and spacing and things offensively, which I’m glad we did.
The plan defensively, when, you know, Rudy was coming off the bench, Dante [Exum] was coming off the bench, there was a, at some point, there was a conscious choice on my part when we made a few of those moves, that really, defense was gonna be what we could do right now to be successful, and that was gonna be the identity that we needed to start developing. …
In order to be a really good team, you gotta have both, right? So you know, I think one of the challenges for our group is when you’re not playing good offense, meaning — sometimes you’re playing good offense and you’re not scoring; you’re not making shots.
You know, that’s when our defense has to carry us, and I don’t think we were capable of having our offense carry us. We are not a team that was gonna outscore people right now. Maybe in a given game, but not consistently. We just don’t shoot it well enough.
Thoughts on the season
Even though you’re in the beginning stages of a rebuilding process, you always have to deal with the postmortems of not getting in the NBA playoffs. And that’s where we’re at, and we have to own it…
We really had three or four seasons within a season. And that’s typical. Many times in the NBA, it’s a, in my opinion, a series of short stories on how your team changes due to injury, and play, and trades. And this was, you know, a series of short stories, in my opinion, that were extreme.
Extreme youth, and what we did with the team. A preseason that got started off really well. We were organized well, and then we took a couple body blows during the early portion of the season just due to the fact that we weren’t able to have practices. The group was new to each other. The group was extremely young.
And then after Christmas, we started showing signs of a lotta hard work, over a period of time where we weren’t seeing results maybe from a win-loss record standpoint. And so, that turned, and we became more competitive after Christmas, and into January.
And then obviously after the All-Star break and trade deadline, the nature of our group and how we defended changed. And our hopes are, real simply, that that’s something that we can build on.
On Joe Ingles’ exit interview
I think Joe’s always relied on his ability to see the game well, his natural inclination to make the right play and his size. So, his fitness level and his strength aren’t at the levels that they need to be.
So, we gave Joe that kind of feedback. He of course agreed.
I think one thing that Joe saw — we were able to mention — but back-to-backs are heavy-load portions of the season. Joe became fatigued, and as soon as he became fatigued, he was much more mistake-oriented — which we all are. It was just Joe to a greater degree.
And luckily with Joe, he’s very mature and able to look at himself, laugh at himself. And so, I think going forward, that will be good for him, you know, ’cause he c–again, he can look at himself and improve.
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines (UDQM)
** Dennis Lindsey on him and Quin Snyder critiquing each other: We do that all the time, in private moments.
** David Locke to Quin Snyder on the day: It’s a long one, isn’t it, coach?
Snyder: Yeah, a good one. I mean, good in its own way.
** Snyder on running drills over and over and over again: That’s why you grind, and it gets harder, and harder.
** Lindsey on Joe Ingles’ exit interview: We talked about his body. (H/T @HipMrBully)
** Snyder on what he’s most proud of this season: The fact that we were all pulling the same rope. You know, whether it be Dennis, myself, Gordon, you know, Gary Briggs.
** Where is your excitement level with where the team is going?
I’m very excited. You know, it’s a, almost like a different culture, basically. You know, we playing a lot faster than we have in the past. We playing, we moving the ball a lot more. You know, hopefully next season we can, you know, put up s–a little bit more points so we won’t be at the bottom of the league in points per game, but you know, overall, I’m very excited.
** How big of a change was it for you to move from center with Enes Kanter to power forward with Rudy Gobert?
It wasn’t difficult at all. It was just, you know, playing the center position, you know, every night I’m going against 7-footers, basically, and you know, it was kinda tough on my body a little bit. But it wasn’t nothing I couldn’t handle.
And playing with Enes, you know, he was a guy that could space the floor a little bit more, out to the 3-point line. And you know, everybody know he was good offensively on the post.
But you know, when Rudy, when the trade happened or whatever and Rudy came into the starting lineup, it kinda helped me out a little bit more ’cause it gave me a different-type role. Instead of being the second option on the post, I w–I just became the main option on the post. So, it helped me develop my offensive game. It helped me develop a lot of confidence, of being that guy.
And you know, when Gordon went down with the injury, you know, that kinda helped me mentally, with becoming, like, the number one guy on the team, and just figuring out different ways to score the ball and help my team win…
Overall, you know, playing with Rudy’s, is a lot different defensively. Obviously, you know, he can block shots, rebound, help out on the weak side. And offensively, you know, he’s a guy down there that’s gon offensive rebound, set good screens, and you know, get guys open.
** Is there one thing you want to improve on this summer the way you did with your face-up jumper?
You know, my face-up jumper was just something I worked on because guys was basically giving it to me…Now that I showed I can make that jumper, now I gotta find a counter to that. You know, guys playing me different ways now, teams playing me differently. They starting to double-team me now, starting to play me with a guy in the paint so I don’t have nowhere to go. So now I just gotta figure out different ways to score the ball in the post, and you know, hopefully extend my range to the 3-point line.
** Did team chemistry change with the Kanter trade?
Nah, it wasn’t no change to chemistry. It was just, I think it was bound to happen either way, if the trade didn’t happen or if the trade happened, we was gonna get better defensively anyway, ’cause of how we worked in practice. How, you know, Quin [Snyder] kept pushing us in practice on the defensive end of the ball, and you know, I think it was just bound to happen anyway.
** On Quin Snyder’s attention to technique and detail
It’s new to me, basically. You know, I didn’t know this much about basketball until I met Quin. I thought basketball was, basically, you know, going out there, use your athletic ability to be doing this, doing that. But this year, Quin really, he really challenged me mentally this year. You know, just showing me new stuff, telling me new stuff. I–just mentally, it was just unbelievable…Mentally, it was hard at first, but then you learn how to deal with it, and then in the games, it’s just like second nature.
** On Rudy Gobert stealing his rebounds
I told Rudy, “Man, Rudy, if I’m on this side of the ball, let me get it, man. You gon get 20 anyways ’cause I gotta guard this ‘four.’ You gon get 20. Let me get the rebound, man.” At first, I understood it, ’cause you know, he wanted to get all the rebounds, but as the season went on, you know, he started to let me get one or two of ’em, so I appreciate that…I told Rudy, I said, “Rudy, man, if you let me get one or two rebounds, I promise I will pass you the ball.”…I was like, “Rudy, I can’t keep having five-, six-rebound games, man. I need at least eight of ’em.”
** What are your expectations for next year?
I think I expect us to play the way we’ve played at the end of this year, and I think if we just focus on our absolutes, focus on doing our job each and every night, the results will take care of themselves. So, I don’t think it’s good for us necessarily to put, you know, huge expectations on us. I think the expectation is just to do our job every night, to come in and play the way we’ve been playing after All-Star break, so.
** How did Quin Snyder help you this year?
Coach Quin helped us out a lot this year. I think he showed us the details of the game that we were missing. You know, we’ve all gotten better individually…He helped me with my mid-range game, as far as reading pick and rolls and staying in the pocket and learning how to read defenses, ’cause that’s a huge part of the NBA right now. And he slows down the game for you and shows you exactly what you need to do and how you can do it…As far as defensively, I think we just had a renewed focus and he really put in place a system that, once we executed it, we were pretty good at.
** How many video games will you be playing in the next month?
My wife actually said this morning, “Just ’cause you’re done with the season doesn’t mean you can play video games now,” so.
** On the moment he knew this season would be different
It was in Santa Barbara. It was September, and you know, [Quin Snyder] walked into the meeting, and I think — I don’t remember who was standing up, and he was like, he walked into the meeting and was like, “Sit the ‘beep’ down.” Like, you know, “Let’s go.” And it was right then that you knew that it was gonna be a little different season for us. It was gonna be intense, and we love that about coach. He’s passionate, and he’s a competitor. He’s fiery, and at times when you’re in film, on the road, when you get there and you’ve been for an hour, you’re ready to get out of there but when we win the next game because of some of the things that we saw, because of things, some of the things we learned, you definitely appreciate it.
** People calling Gordon Hayward” Dad”: David Locke
** Which specific areas of your game will you be working on this summer?
My body. You know, getting stronger, especially my lower body, and getting more resistant because next season gonna be — I mean, I’m gonna play a lot of minutes, obviously, and I gotta be ready. And of course, keep working on my offensive game, my jump shot and my post moves.
** What do you credit your leap to, and do you think you should win Most Improved Player?
I think it’s pretty much everything, you know? Coach, I think coach believe in me a lot since he got here, and the work I’ve put in. The confidence of my teammates, who’ve been learning to play with me, especially offensively, you know, throwing me the ball and learning how to use me. It’s pretty much everything, like I said. For Most Improved, I think, yeah, of course. You know, I’m one of the player, if not the player, who improved the most since last year. So, why not?
** What are your personal goals for next year? All-Star?
To be honest, next year I’m just thinking about the playoff right now. I know that if I play at the high level, I’m gonna help the team to go to the playoff. And of course I want to be All-Star in my career. I don’t know if it’s gonna be next year or three years or more. But next year, I’m only thinking about the playoffs.
** On his relationship with Alex Jensen
It started last year, to be honest. I think last year, he really believed in me since the beginning, and he saw how much I want to work hard and to get, how much I want to get better, and he really help me. You know, watching film even when I wasn’t playing. You know, talk to the coaches, and keep telling me what I need to do, you know, to be, to get on the court. And we created a great relationship. I think he trust me; I trust him. Sometime we get mad to, mad at each other, but I think we just have a great relationship.
** David Locke’s Twitter advice to Rudy Gobert
You’ve gotten good. Don’t do anything stupid.
** What was this season like for you?
It was tough, you know? I mean, I was hurt all year. Then I had season-ending surgery. So, I ain’t never experienced nothing like that, sitting out so many games. But you know, I learned a lot…I’ll be able to play next year and you know, I can’t wait.
** How’s the rehab going?
I’m three months out right now of surgery, so it’s going good. You know, I can dribble and shoot and things, but you know, I can’t take contact for another three months.
** Are you looking forward to competing for minutes with Rodney Hood next season?
Man, I’m trying to compete with everybody. You know, I relish competition. I’m ready to compete against Gordon [Hayward] again, everybody. You know, Rodney, whoever. You know, I’m ready to play, you know, ’cause I sat out so much.
** What does this team need to become a playoff team?
Man, I’m s– I hope I’m the missing piece. I f–I really hope so. You know, I hope I take us over the, to the playoffs, you know, but you know, we’re gonna add some people. You know, Dennis [Lindsey] and you know, coach, they do a great job of what they do. You know, getting people, finding talent. So, I don’t got no problem with that.
** On the state of his shoulder before he had surgery
I don’t think people understand the pain I was in…I couldn’t lift my shoulder up. If I lift my shoulder up, it might pop out. So, I tried not to even use my left hand when I was playing. So, ’cause I didn’t wanna pass so I wouldn–I didn’t want to take no chances with it, ’cause I knew something ha–bad could happen…I usually play as well, really well around the rim, but I couldn’t lift my shoulder so I shot a lot more threes.
** What specifically will you be working on this summer, and would you be comfortable coming off the bench moving forward?
I think this off-season, you know, changing my body, getting stronger, getting quicker is something I really going, you know, really focus on. You know, just shooting a lot. You know, every day, getting in the gym. You know, trying to, you know, get to the point where my shot is more consistent. I know that’s one thing that I really wanna work on. As far as my role, you know, I think coming off the bench was different for me ’cause it’s something I never, you know, experienced playing basketball. But you know, I’m a team player, and I know, you know, what I can bring to the team…I think defensively is where [Quin Snyder] really wanted to see me grow, and I think that’s an area that I really made a big jump in…I really took that as a challenge, and I think defensively, I’ve grown a lot.
** What was it that Quin Snyder and his staff did to produce so much success and growth?
Just every day, you know, every single day he held us accountable. We came in every day ready to work. We came in every day ready to practice. And even days where we were tired or we didn’t feel like practicing, you know, he pushed us. And from the players to the coaching staff, he held everybody accountable. So, I think it was a level of respect that we all have for him, and the coaching staff. And we knew that it was gon be a process.
** How did Gordon Hayward change this year compared to last year?
I think the pressure was off of him. You know, last year I think he had a, I think he kinda put pressure on himself and I think this year he kinda, you know — obviously I know a lot of that has to do with, you know, the, him signing his contract. He wasn’t out there thinking anymore. You know, he was just playing basketball, and you know, he was able to show the world what type of player he was.
** On the day he moved to the bench
I knew that I had to, you know, react to that in a positive way, and you know, still produce for the team the way that they wanted me to. So you know, I never, ever wanted to, you know, show that I was a cancer to the team or show that I, you know, that I was bigger than the team or anything like that. So, I understood where coach was going. We had a con–a long conversation before he had, did that.
** Where do you think you stand with the organization?
Just great. I feel like, you know, they have confidence in me and I trust them that they’re gonna make the right decision. You know, that’s what they’re here for. And if I’m here, I’m gonna be, you know, so happy. I feel like this is my home. If not, I’m, I know it’s still gonna be a bright future and wish everybody the best.
** On Gordon Hayward’s development
Just him, as a player, I think he’s developed so much. And I think far as his leadership role, he’s been good but he has a long way to go. And I think he’s gonna get there and just make the team better.
** What is it about Quin Snyder that made all the players buy in?
Just the way he looks at you. He comes in, and we know he’s not playing. And you don’t wanna get on his bad side. So, just doing what he tells you. I think that tells you a lot.
** What has the team asked you to improve on, specifically?
Of course, like always, still try to get stronger in size. Course I’m not gonna be the biggest guy, but I can always get stronger. And I feel like for myself, my close-outs, I’m really not too proud of those. I feel like I can guard guys on the perimeter a lot better. And just still getting confident shooting. I had a couple shots last night that I didn’t even wanna take, and I don’t know why. But just shooting the ball.
** What has been your favorite experience here?
I just wouldn’t change it for the — for nothing. The people here, great. The fans. Just, you know, I’m so happy to start my career here in Utah. Like I said, even far as the traffic here, like, being in the city, I feel like it’s great just being able to get out, downtown on time, all the time. So, just everything.
** How has your relationship with Hayward changed over the last five years?
Just, maybe not hanging out as much. Of course you’ve got your wife and him now, he’s having a kid. So, but still, kinda the same far as road trips. Sometimes, you know, maybe I don’t get much conversation outta each other just because we’re talking to, you know, family or someone. But for the most part, still go out and eat, and maybe watch a movie or something…Subway’s still on the list.
** On Quin Snyder wanting the embrace the things he can do rather than focus on things he can’t do (gain weight)
I’m glad he, you know, understood that, because I’ve tried. You know, I just, for myself, from Day One, that’s how I’m here now, that I know that I’ve been blessed just to be, you know, athletic and can run the floor and course, sometimes it’s matchup problems and he knew that. You know, that’s a couple times I can play, but when he does put me out there, I think he has the confidence that, you know, I’ll use my quickness to try to get around the guys. And I feel like, you know, that’s a plus and that’s the reason I’m here.
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines (UDQM)
** David Locke on Jeremy Evans’ professionalism: Quin went on a long thing about how every guy on this team can learn from Jeremy.
** David Locke on watching Alec Burks shoot before the last game: I thought your base looked wider, and you weren’t kicking your feet out as much. Is that an accurate observation?
** Alec Burks on learning how to shoot again after his shoulder surgery: Not much of a line-drive like I used to shoot. You know, just more lifting the ball, you know, and finishing high.
** On his first 82-game season
Obviously, it was exhausting. But you know, it was a good experience and you know, I wanted to make sure I played all 82 games to, you know, get the most of the opportunity I’ve been given this year. So, you know, I’m just happy I was able to play.
** On Joe Ingles’ leadership
You know, Joe came in, you know, as, like, a rookie with me. But you know, he definitely was someone that helped me, and then, you know, kind of turned into that voice on the court. You know, he, when Alec [Burks] went down and Rodney went down for a bit as well, he was, you know, starting with us, so, as–along with Gordon [Hayward] and [Derrick] Fav[ors]. You know, they’re a bit quiet, but he was kind of that guy that, you know, didn–wasn’t afraid to say something, and kind of took on that role.
** Did starting games benefit your development?
I think it’s definitely made the game easier. You know, watching the game, getting, like, two or three minutes on All-Star-type point guards, you know, was good for me at the start, but I thought, you know, making that jump into the starting lineup, and you know, having to go against them every night, gave me, you know, the confidence that, you know, I can go at and guard them and you know, setting the challenge to myself to, you know, keep ’em under this many points, assists, whatever. So you know, it only built confidence for me, and you know, seeing what they’ve done in this league, and what I can do against them, so.
** On his relationship with Quin Snyder
Me and Quin, you know, have a great relationship. And you know, you saw it every time, every ch–every opportunity he got, he was, you know, teaching me. You know, what I should’ve done there, or what I could’ve done better. And even behind closed doors, he was, you know, helping me get better and just with the little things in my game, even if it’s just some footwork stuff. And you know, it helped me a lot knowing during the game, even, that I’m not just walking past him to the bench to think about, and you know, be in my own thoughts. That, you know, he was helping me get better even in that moment so when I go back in, I can improve.
** On his pink backpack
I told Gordon and Fav that I’m not a rookie anymore. They seemed to not believe it, but you know, in my mind, I’m not…I’ve told them that it doesn’t matter if we don’t draft anyone, if I’m the youngest. You know, I’ve done my first year. I’m not a rookie anymore.
Ron Boone: Did you ever have anything in your pink backpack?
Exum: No, never. It was just there for looks…I had one lady that just said to me, “You must be very comfortable with yourself.” I’m like, “Yes ma’am, I am.”
** What was the coolest part about being in the NBA?
I think, you know, after games, just getting straight on the plane and going home. I, that was the best, and at first, you know, I loved going on the road and you know, going to different hotels. And after that first month, I was like, let’s go home…I’m over hotels now.
** With Alec Burks coming back this year, would you prefer to start or come off the bench?
I don’t have a preference. You know, I came off the bench and started. You know, I, you know, we want Alec back healthy. And you know, he’s been great, you know, in my improvement, and you know, regardless of what happens, you know, we both gon be effective, you know, on the court. So you know, I mean, it’s exciting. You know, he’s, he was starting before he left, so I, it’s, that’s probably gon happen. So you know, I’m comfortable coming off the bench, you know, or starting if I have to step up, so.
** On the biggest lesson he’s learned this year
Just handling adversity. I think that’s been the biggest thing for me. You know, growing up, you really don’t have, you don’t really have that many adversity ’cause you the most talented player. But going through injuries, playing with more talented players, learning the NBA game, I think it was a, you know, adjustment for me, and you know, I just gotta continue to learn, and learn from it.
** On Quin Snyder’s “unconventional” thinking
You know, as you’re taught as a child, you know, right hand, right layup, and left hand, left layup. But you know, he just told me, you know, it’s some of the best players like [Manu] Ginobili, who’s a left-hand player, he never uses his right hand. You know, so it’s all about finishing, you know, not about what’s politically correct. And I think that’s something that helped me over the course of time. He doesn’t want us to be regular, typical players. You know, something that we can use to my advantage ’cause I am left-handed.
** Are you getting married this summer?
Hood: Next summer.
David Locke: Do you guys play one-on-one?
Hood: Yeah, man. I kill her. I kill her. I don’t — you know, ’cause she talks a lot, you know, to my family.
Ron Boone: You mean, smack? What do you mean, talk a lot?
Hood: She talks smack all the time. You know, I let her beat me one time last year when we was in college, and I never heard the last of it…I blame myself for letting her beat me.
Locke: You were still courting, though, at that point.
Hood: Yeah, so I had to.
** On free agency
We’ll obviously see what happens. I think everyone knows I’m free. So, we’ll see what happens. But definitely, mutual interest.
** Did you feel a need to provide leadership?
Yeah, I think I, I mean, I think I earned the guys’ respect. They probably all had no idea who I was before I came here, except Dante. But I think I earned the guys’ respect through my, kind of actions more than anything. And I would talk to guys, or they would come and talk to me. And I ended up being the oldest on the team when Steve [Novak] got traded, so I mean, Eli[jah Millsap], and yeah, so I think it, kind of naturally I’ve always tried to be a leader…It’s kind of just my personality, really, to try and help out and be vocal when I can.
** Did the Enes Kanter trade impact team chemistry on the floor and in the locker room?
I don’t think really. I mean, I’ve said it a million times, that Enes was a good guy. There was no issues in the locker room. There was no issues on the court…No ma–I think if he was here or wasn’t here, I think we would have similar results of the kind of win-loss, defensive ratings that we ended up getting up to. And I mean Qu–coach was a new coach, we had a lot of new guys. It’s kind of learning that system, and once you get used to it, you get more comfortable, you play more, and it’s obviously gonna get better and I think that showed throughout–from the start to the end of the year, not just from that one break.
** On playing for the Jazz after years of watching brother Paul in a Jazz uniform
I’ve been around for a while…I know a lot of faces. I even know the ushers’ names. So, it made me feel a lot comfortable, and you know, coming here and just, you know, making me feel a lot relaxed. So, playing here was just, is fun, and easy.
** What will your focus be this summer?
It’s been a pretty long grind for me. So, it’s gonna be — I gotta get a lotta rest, first and foremost. But my mindset is always, you know, get better. And I just wanna be quicker. I wanna lose a lot of weight, start eating healthier, and, just, so I can have a lot more endurance, you know, when I come in the game. Wherever I’m playing, it’s just gonna be, you know, defense, defense, defense.
** On the trust level between Quin Snyder and players that joined the team during the season
Me and Quin have a pretty unique situation, a pretty good relationship. So, I’m able to pretty much talk to him about anything that’s on my mind. You know, ask him questions about my role on the team. And we’ve been nip and tuck on a l–on some things, but you know, we always, you know, have the same interests and same goal at mind, and that’s winning. So, he’s gonna put me in my position and put me in my place where I can be successful, and I just gotta listen and get better.
** Are you secure in your position with the team, or do you feel like you still have to prove yourself?
I don’t have to prove nothing. I think I’ve pretty much played myself onto the NBA, into this league, and I’m good. You know, I just feel like right now, I just gotta get better, and going into the summer, that’s my whole mindset. And if I’m here, I’m here. And if I’m not, then you know, I have, took full advantage of my resources.
** More on Quin Snyder
Coming here with a coach like Quin, you know, that helps you, you know, there’s a lot of little things that I picked up on that I didn’t know before. So, he’s really good at, you know, bringing it out of me. So, I really appreciate him.
** Do you want to be back here?
Of course I wanna be back. I got the sense that they want me back, so I feel it’s mutual. But you know, at the end of the day, it’s still always business, so we’ll see.
** Summer plans
Doing a lotta shooting. Working on my 3-pointer. Definitely take some time off to rest.
** On Enes Kanter
His comments, it’s, I just feel like they were wrong, what he did, to the organization. … The locker room was fine when he was here. I mean, and it was great after he left. So, not much change.
** Did you feel like you were a key to team chemistry?
Yeah. I feel like they came, I mean, they told me before I came that they wanted me to come in, be a leader.
** On Quin Snyder compared to other coaches he’s had
He’s definitely different. You know, he does a great job of teaching. The, I think that’s why we’ve developed so quickly as a team. He does a great job of teaching, and he really cares about his players. You can actually tell that, and that’s what sets him apart.
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines (UDQM)
** David Locke to Trevor Booker on his tweet: It was so good. I gotta tell you, it was so good.
** Locke to Rodney Hood: Scoot in a little bit.
** Locke to Dante Exum: Enjoyable?
Locke: It was?
Exum: Oh, what?
Locke: The season.
Exum: Yeah, no. I had a good time.
** Joe Ingles on his shot: I’ve never had a pretty shot. But I’ve always been told is, is whatever is effective for you, to do it.
** 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?