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Utah Jazz Media Day 2016, Part 2

September 28, 2016

** Derrick Favors on his expectations for the upcoming season: My expectations are, you know, hopefully we can improve off last year. We had a lotta injuries, including myself, last year that kinda hurt us a little bit. So you know, hopefully we can just improve off of last year, and, with the additions of Joe [Johnson], George [Hill] and Boris [Diaw], and with Dante [Exum] coming back, with Alec [Burks] coming back, those guys, and you know, just hopefully improve and you know, reach our goal.

And for me individually, just to continue to get better. Continue to be a presence on the court offensively, defensively. Keep adding stuff to my game. You know, just hopefully, you know, help the team, you know, reach our goal [of winning games and making the playoffs].

** Favors on working with Mehmet Okur this off-season: You know, Memo, he’s one of the greatest big-men shooters ever. You know, and we kind of reached out to each other, and you know, he came in for a couple of days. and mostly we were just working on balance. Just getting in position, being ready to shoot the ball.

Working on the arc, because I’ve noticed in the past I had a, kind of a flat shot, so I wanted to really work on the arc. Getting the legs into it. So, just a lot of fundamental stuff with the shooting…I just wanted to pick his brain and just see how I can become a eve–a better shooter myself.

** Favors on what Quin Snyder and Dennis Lindsey asked him to do during the summer: Couple of things. You know, becoming a better leader, for the team. And on the court…They still wanted me to work on, you know, becoming a better passer out of the post, out of, off the elbow, free-throw line area, high-low area, whatever. Becoming a better passer, becoming a better low-post scorer. You know, just keep working on that. Just keep working on the little things that I’m good at to become better at it, and also expanding my range out to the 3-point line.

** Favors on Boris Diaw: Boris, you know, he’s faster than the way he looks. You know, he’s quicker, too.

** Quincy Ford on what he has to have to make an NBA roster apart from his NBA-ready body: I believe just the little things. Understanding your role; being basically perfect in that role. Making guys better each and every day. And just being a 100 percent team player, on and off the court; an everyday guy.

** Gordon Hayward on what Quin Snyder and Dennis Lindsey asked him to do during the summer: Well, I think they asked me to be uncomfortable in my off-season workouts, to try to take it up another notch, which I felt like I did this summer…[Snyder] challenged me with [taking over games], and I’ve learned a lot this summer from him, from a lot of the assistants, from some, from older veteran guys in the league, of, you know, that sense and that feel and how to accomplish that.

** Hayward on what he finds more annoying, questions about playing video games or his hair: Those are both annoying for me to have to deal with, honestly. I would say it’s more, I would say probably the video games more, because I get that more from, like, my wife or my other family members [asking me to stop], or why are you playing so much-type deals…

I kind of figured it out this summer is, if I sign deals with video game companies, then I have to play video games. Just like I have to play basketball, right? Like, that’s my job. So, I’ve, I did a deal [with a] headphone company and they make other computer equipment too, and so, I was, I [have it] in my contract that I have to stream a certain amount of time. So, it’s like, “Sorry babe, I have to go play. Like, somebody has to pay the bills.”

** Hayward on having his second child: You know, when you go from one to two, that’s a big step. I actually have to start doing some things around, or, with the babies.

** Marcus Paige on the possibility of playing in the D-League but getting to stay in Salt Lake City: I think regardless of where I end up throughout this process, being in Salt Lake City is a great thing. You know, I don’t have to go out to a different state or a completely different area. I can work with the coaches and connect with them, talk to the players. And you know, it’s gonna be a good thing for me ’cause it’s easier to learn that way, and being close to the program is only gonna help me learn faster.

** Paige on George Hill and the Jazz being stacked at point guard: The vets like George have been great, helping me and working with me and stuff, which is a good thing coming in. You know, having somebody that’s willing to take time to talk to a rookie, helping him with pick and roll stuff, or teaching him how to get through screens…It’s been good competition. It’s also given me confidence when I’ve had success against them.


** Dennis Lindsey on the team’s cap space situation: A lot of what we are now doing in going forward over the next couple years will be more about player retention than it will be additions.

** Lindsey on his expectations for Dante Exum this year: One, to reintegrate him into the team. The, he’s healthy now, but maintaining that health. And then…we have to develop Dante. We’re not going to know who Dante is until he’s 28, 29 years old…You just start imagining in your head, or at least I do, because I have to context of [seeing George Hill’s development], what Dante could look like in five or six years…

We certainly don’t want to skip steps with Dante, ’cause his arc of improvement could be the last finishing touches on what our team looks like, you know, three or four years from now.

** Lindsey on not making any big moves in response to the injuries last year: We were able to get the 12th pick, which I don’t, eff–the painful part of the season manifested itself with the 12th pick, and if we had the 18th pick, let’s say, I don’t think we have George Hill today. So, a lot of the time when you’re evaluating that is, would you rather getting smacked in the first round or have George Hill now? And so, it’s not that we wouldn’t have wanted both, right, but if you had your choice, what would you rather have your choice right now sitting here today?

** Quin Snyder on Derrick Favors as a leader: I think there’s, you know, there’s people that, you know, are just naturally, you know, more outward, but sometimes maybe they’re not noticing, aware of, or sensitive to things, where there’s — I guess I would characterize, there’s good leadership, and then there’s vocal leadership. You’d rather have someone that’s quiet, but they’re leading you the right direction than someone that’s kind of a dominating personality but isn’t as, isn’t, doesn’t have as much wisdom. You know, I think that’s crucial. So, it comes in all varieties.

You know, usually communication is a component of that because in order to lead, you can lead by example but oftentimes you don’t have the opportunity to, you know, to show that example…[Favors] is not one of the, you know, he’s not Boris Diaw, for instance, where Boris is just a very outward person. But what Fav is is incredibly thoughtful, and I think he’s got a lot of wisdom, and he’s observant. So, when he does offer something, it’s usually pretty important.

** Snyder on the next step for Rudy Gobert: As he matures physically and his balance and those things improve, that his hands will improve. Just, his ability to kinda play the game efficiently around the basket will get better.

You know, I think his free throw shooting’s a big one. It’s gotten better. I think he’s more confident, but he’s gotta continue to do that in a game to really have that peace of mind at the line. You know, I don’t think he’s nervous at the line, but he’s just, he hasn’t been there enough over the course of his career to really have that part of his game, I think, solidified.

And you know, one of the, probably the biggest thing for him offensively is just being more efficient with the ball. You know, it’s, if you look at our turnover numbers from last year, if there’s a few guys you take out that weren’t as, you know, secure with the ball, then those turnover numbers go to, like, sixth, seventh in the league.

So you know, that, ultimately that’s gonna become something that differentiates, you know? He’s gotta take care of the ball, and that doesn’t mean, you know, being overly safe. I want him to make plays. So, that, really what that adds up to is being a better passer, being more precise with his footwork and all those things, but I think he can do those things. He’s just gotta really focus and continue to work on the right stuff.

Utah Jazz Media Day 2016: The Good Bits

September 27, 2016

Best Media Day Story
George Hill on his blond hair: I was out in public the other day here and a couple kids told me to bring it back, so I’m on the fence. I thought this would be too conservative of a state to come here with blond hair all crazy-looking, and I didn’t want people looking at me all weird. But hey, if people want me to bring it back, I definitely will bring it back.

[Radio guys mention best-bleach-job-in-Utah-Jazz-history Kyrylo Fesenko]

Hill: You talking about Big Fes? He was my teammate for one year in Indiana. That guy was sick every day.

“Why you sick?”

“Oh, I had some chicken in the refrigerator for, like, two weeks.”

I’m like, “And you ate it?” I’m like, “What are you doing?”

He’s like, “It was in the refrigerator and I was hungry.”

The Joe Ingles and Dante Exum Show
Dante Exum joins the conversation while Joe Ingles is being interviewed: What’s this here? What’s on the top of your head here? What’s that? What? Are you talking about your hairline? Your messed up hairline? (giggles)

Ingles: Dante has one joke, and he’s used it for three years now. Everyone in the world knows I’m going bald. And I’ve got twins, so it’s gonna go even quicker now. But, look at that little fa–like, how can you be so cruel to such a little babyface?

Exum: Just paint a picture the people —

Ingles: That’s why you just wear hats. It’s easier, I think. He can’t hide that pimple on his forehead. Like, people are gonna see that no matter what. I just wear a hat. That’s always gonna be — this is the most talkative s–I always get asked why Dante is so quiet and stuff.

He’s not quiet. Like, he’s got all the Jazz people fooled. He’s actually a clown. But, around all the Jazz people, he just doesn’t talk and he’s just nice and quiet and respectful. And then he [turns] around, and he’s like, “Screw this guy! I don’t like–”

Exum: What? Oh my God. Come on now.

Ingles: I’m trying to give you the real Dante, ’cause —

Exum: No.

Ingles: — it’s all a facade.

Exum: What you see is what you get from me, and what they’ve seen is what they’ve, that’s me.

Ingles: What they’ve seen is what they’ve got? Is that what you were —

Exum: Exactly. Exactly. I need to leave… I just wanted to mention Joe’s hairline. ‘Cause I can do stuff about this pimple on my head, but I, he can’t do anything about the hair.

Ingles: I just said I can.

Exum: That’s not tr–

Ingles: I just said I can wear a hat.

Exum: But I mean, you can’t do —

Ingles: I can get that Carlos Boozer special spray-on stuff, like —

Exum: That’s not, there’s some treatments now. If there’s anyone out there that is, like, a hair laser treatment, contact Joe. Twitter, DMs or Instagram DMs.

Body Talk (brought to you by Randy Rigby)
** Shelvin Mack on what he’s learned from Joe Johnson: Just taking care of your body. I’m gonna say, me and Joe kinda got the, similar body types. Like, 6-6 — I mean, I’m 6-7. You know, he’s not dunking. I’m not dunking. You know, just taking care of your body.
** Rudy Gobert: Last year, my, the most important was to get healthy, work on my body, and also work on my game. But the body was the main focus, and I’m ready now.
** Henry Sims on what he did in the off-season: Getting more in tune with my body, being able to push my body to different limits, taking it through different types of workouts I’m not normally used to, just so I can, you know, get better performance out of my body.
** Raul Neto: I spent a lot of time in the weight room trying to get my body ready for the long summer and for the, of course this next season.
** Dante Exum: I did put on a bit of weight — I’m sorry, muscle — over this, through the injury, and then being able to cut it down. And you know, being able to use my body in different situations. That’s just the biggest thing for me.
** David Locke: What does the flexibility in the hips do for you?
Chris Johnson: Well, I’m already fast…You know, it’s just less stress on your body.

Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines
** Alec Burks on his recovery: I’m getting real close. I’m feeling more explosive than I ever have before.
** Dante Exum on getting back on the court: It’s just about trusting yourself for the first time, and once you do it that first time, you know, you just keep going.
** Exum: It’s so many different situations where you have to use your body in a different way.
** Ron Boone to Exum: One of the biggest problems [young players] have is how to use your body. How to take a hit and finish. How to position yourself with your body.
** Chris Johnson on the stingray he encountered on a cruise: I touched it, and then it freaked me out.
** Joe Johnson on his mom, EwDQM: When I’m grinding, she, I definitely think about her.
** David Locke to Joe Johnson on his shoe closet: How big is it, and is it true that I’d have to show my fingerprint to get in?
** Trey Lyles, filming a video while Rudy Gobert poses for photos in the background: He ugly, but we just finishing it up. You know, trying to have a good time.
** Jeff Withey on golf clubs: I had to get, you know, like, 2.5 inches extended.
** Withey on his bromance with Ryan Anderson vs. his engagement: She comes first.

People Calling…
** People calling Alec Burks “Big Money AB”: Dante Exum
** People calling Joe Johnson “The Tank”: Alec Burks
** People calling himself “Corner Pimp”: Alec Burks

Random
** Rudy Gobert and Boris Diaw went to the same high school, albeit 10 years apart.
** Shelvin Mack estimates he played in 150 games this summer. He, Rodney Hood and Joe Johnson worked out together in Atlanta.
** Quin Snyder was Eric Dawson’s first professional coach, while Antonio Lang was Dawson’s first overseas coach.
** The newly engaged Jeff Withey is leaning on two summers from now for his wedding.
** Trey Lyles’ sister is his personal chef.
** Chris Johnson had a daughter three month ago.
** Henry Sims is from Baltimore and while the mountains in Utah are nice to look at, he does not plan on going into the mountains.

Utah Jazz Media Day 2016, Part 1

September 27, 2016

** Joel Bolomboy on what he anticipates in his rookie season: I’m just gonna try to be the best version of myself, and just show up every single day and work hard, and when I’m out there, just talk to my teammates, and have great energy and play defense as hard as I can, and chase every rebound, offensively and defensively, and when I’m on offense and I’m open, just knock down shots.

** Bolomboy on where he is in his development: I’m still growing as a player, on and off the court. My potential and ceiling where I cap off that is extremely high. So, I put in the work every single day and I’m definitely seeing the results pay off. And my teammates and coaches, they also see the improvements and the strides I’m making every day.

** Alec Burks on the year he wants to have: I feel like I was having a great year until I got hurt, so I just feel like, I just, improve upon that. Just getting better, being healthy the full year.

You know, I haven’t done that in a couple years. And just take my game to the next step. I feel like it’s that time. My sixth year; I’m 25 now. It’s time for me to show I’m a player in this league…

I feel like I’m mo–right now, more explosive than I was, you know, more athletic than I was, before I got hurt. You know, just, I feel like I had to work on my lower body when I got hurt, so it just made me more stronger…I feel like I’m still the athletic person that everybody know and love, you know?

** Burks on the team’s off-season: I think everybody got better that was initially on the team, you know, before they made the great additions. You know, and with the additions, we just, I feel like we just got better. You know, better leaders; you know, more versatility; you know, just better all around, and I feel like that gon help us out a lot.

** Eric Dawson on Quin Snyder: First year out of college, my first professional job — he was the one that took a chance on me and gave me time, and helped me get better and helped me understand the game. Great guy. I love him. I love him.

** Dawson on what he brings: Coach Q always told me I was a great passer. I love to pass. Sometimes he get on me for not taking the open shot, but I’m a team guy. I like to pass the ball. I love to rebound, bang, get down there in the paint, and just do what I can do to help a team win.

** Boris Diaw, responding to a question addressed to Rudy Gobert about how he’s the team’s defensive anchor and captain: Don’t tell him too much. His head is gonna explode.

** Diaw, told Derrick Favors said he’s faster than he looks: I don’t know if I’m fast, but that making me wonder how slow do I look?

** Dante Exum on how he’s doing: I’m feeling good. Back to, pretty much 100 percent. I mean, not pretty much. I am. You know, I got no restrictions at all.

** Rudy Gobert on his contract/extension situation: Everybody knows I want to be here, so that’s the most important. You know, whether I sign this year or next year, you know, I’m focused on the season and it’s not gonna change anything.

** Gobert on the addition of Boris Diaw to the team: It’s great. You know, when it happened, you know, I was pretty excited because I’ve been waiting for a French teammate for a few years. So, just happy. You know, especially Boris, you know, is a great guy on the court, off the court.

** George Hill on the team’s aspirations this year: Our, you know, goal’s, is to make the playoffs. You know, anything less is not a good season for us. You know, we want to get to that goal where we’re playing in the postseason. That’s the thing that matters.

** Rodney Hood, asked if he cares if he starts: No, not at all. You know, it’s all about winning. You know, it’s all about winning right now. So, it don’t matter who starts, who finishing a game, whatever. You know, it’s about winning right now.

** Hood on his first autograph: I was in New Orleans, and, with my mom on, I think it was Bourbon Street, and you know, I saw Joe Johnson and I, you know, obviously I’d been a fan. And I tapped my mom and said, “There goes Joe Johnson.” And she was like, “You want his autograph?” I was like, “No, no. I’m too shy.” I didn’t want to bother him. And then she went over there. I was embarrassed. And he, she asked him for the autograph and she, he took a picture and everything. So it was one of the best moments of my childhood.

** Hood on Joe Johnson: Just a great feeling to have that, like, a mentor-type guy that I haven’t had my first couple years.

** Joe Ingles, asked what the Boomers did, specifically, to make the Americans so uncomfortable during the Olympics: Apparently, we’re dirty, according to some of the players on that team. Which is hilarious.

** Chris Johnson on what he worked on this summer: I worked on a lot of ball-handling. That’s one of the biggest things I need to work on, so I did a ton of ball-handling this summer. Did just, you know, just focused on my form, my shot. You know, I kinda tweaked it last year. So, just finding that confidence in my sh–in my new form and my new shot…A lot of flexibility. I did a lotta hot yoga, hot bikram this summer, which was tough, but you know, it comes a long way on your body.

** Chris Johnson on being forced to go on a stingray excursion during his first-ever cruise because the swimming with dolphins excursions was sold out: Everybody got in the water. I think I, honestly, I think I was the only person who didn’t actually hold a stingray. I touched it, and then it freaked me out, so I swam away and jumped back on the boat.

** Joe Johnson on what he expects his role to be: I didn’t come here to try to be a star or starter…[Quin Snyder] understands where I’m at and I understand what he wants from me, you know, as a player, and that’s to help these young guys, guys such as Rodney or Gordon [Hayward].

** Trey Lyles on where he sees himself five years from now: What I want to be is, you know, a All-Star. You know, that’s what I work to be every day. You know, I wanna be one of the premier guys in the league, but you know, it’s gonna take time. It’s gonna take me committing to myself and committing to the teams. And you know, hopefully five years, I’ll be a All-Star, or, hopefully a multiple-time All-Star, and like I said, just somebody to be a force to be reckoned with.

** Lyles on being from the same city as George Hill: George is cool. So, you know, we’re from the same city, so got a little connection there…We know a lot of the same people, so you know, that’s good.

** Lyles on being from the same city as Gordon Hayward: I heard he was back there for a week or so. You know, I don’t really go to his area of town…Our high schools were on different sides of, you know, the city, really, so you know, I think that’s where he worked out at, so, I didn’t go over there.

** Shelvin Mack on what he proved in Utah last season: That I’m an NBA-caliber player. I feel like when I get the opportunities, I’m able to, you know, to make the best of them and I think that’s what I did.

** Raul Neto on playing in the Olympics in his home country: It was amazing. It was an amazing atmosphere. It was way better than, I think, everybody expected since the opening ceremony, until all the games. People were great. I didn’t heard nothing bad about the Olympics. So, it was a great experience…

People made a big deal of something that wasn’t that big deal. We saw, after the Olympics, nobody got Zika. Nobody got robbed or something like this…So, I think it was good to people see that Brazil is not that, wasn’t everything that everybody was saying, about Zika, about everything.

So, of course I did–I wasn’t happy before the Olympics when everybody’s, was talking about it.

But when I was in Brazil — I think it was the, more the international media that was saying that. ‘Cause when I was there, nobody talk nothing about Zika, about all this things that everybody here in the States and in Spain that — I was in the Spain for a couple weeks before the Olympics too — everybody was saying that. It wasn’t that crazy.

** Henry Sims on what he brings: I’m an offensive-minded big. I can score the ball, pass the ball as well. Defensively, I’m also an anchor. I feel like, communication. You know, I think I’ve been around enough to know where guys should be and where I should be.

** Jeff Withey on what Quin Snyder and Dennis Lindsey asked him to work on this summer: They wanted me to gain weight, which, I’m around 235, almost. So I gained some weight. Just muscle, pretty much. And then, they wanted me to work on my perimeter shot and the corner threes, and, been doing a lot of that. You know, it was a really exciting off-season for me.

** Withey on the addition of vets to the team: I know I’m really excited. I know everybody on the team is really excited. But, you know, we definitely have our goal to make the playoffs and then do really good in the playoffs. And with all the new guys on our team, I think that their leadership is gonna definitely push us to the next level and get us there.

** Withey on Kansas, not his fiancee: There’s no mountains. It’s really flat.

Eve of Media Day Odds and Ends

September 24, 2016

One. Get excited for the season!

Main plot: Salute! Subplot: Joe Ingles heckling Rudy Gobert (via #utahjazz snapchat)

A video posted by @monilogue on

 

“You look like you’re a watermelon right now, what are you wearing?!” ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Two. [Gordon Hayward] WAG vs. [Derrick Favors] WAG (H/T @5kl):

xp2xlsri-jpg-large

zivjaucf-jpg-large

Three. Dennis Lindsey, asked what he would do if a Jazz player “wanted to show concern for certain social injustices by not honoring America”: We need a little bit of guidance by the league. And I think I’ve mentioned before, look, there are times, as a country, we need to be highly patriotic.

There’s Pearl Harbor, for example. I bet there wa–you couldn’t find one person in the United States during that period that didn’t fully support our troops and those war efforts. 9/11, I think that goes without saying, you know, that over 3,000 people lost their lives and we saw first responders, you know, real true heroes…in many cases, [give] their own lives. And so, to honor that day is very important.

And, but if you’re gonna say that, you also have to say, look, I wanna honor Martin Luther King, and Martin Luther King Day, and the struggle, and so, as I’ve mentioned before, Muhammad Ali’s stance wasn’t very popular, at the time, about not going to war, and if you go back and look at history, I think history’s on his side, and he was willing to give up money and his career for a three-year period, and a true sacrifice, so, there, you know, there — our flag means a lot.

It stands for a lot, and it stands for your ability to have freedom of speech, and everybody — someone told me this the other day, and it was really a wise statement. You have the ability to stand and salute, or kneel, or sit in protest, and not be incarcerated, where, you know, in, there are other countries where you would be.

But, with that said, there’s — know that if you have a protest, even a legitimate protest, there is going to be someone that you could offend. It could be a fan. It could be a corporate sponsor. It could be the league that you represent. It could be the team. So at some point in time, you gotta realize that there is a hole. And I think most importantly for me, for things of symbols to have real meaning, there needs to be authentic action behind that.

So I would hope that anybody that is protaste–protesting on social injustice or racial injustice or gender injustice, that they really support a cause behind it, that they’re, that it’s just not a symbolic action, but there’s, you know, true meaning with a personal time commitment or financial commitment, that makes a struggle that they want to highlight, get better.

Four. Trey Lyles also offered commentary on Gobert’s outfit:

lyles-rudy

Five. Quin Snyder on the length of shorts and shorter shorts possibly making a comeback: They go up and down, and you start to see — I think when you’re Joe Johnson and you’re built like that, you can wear the shorts a little higher. I’d hate to go see — that would — when Dennis and I played, that was the style. I don’t think we looked quite the same as Isiah Thomas when he was sporting those, like, high-riders.

Six. Sometimes, good comes from reading the comment section. This exchange between Memo Okur and Carlos Arroyo is great. (H/T @5kl):

memo-arroyo

Seven. Joe Ingles on #USAustraliaNBAProblems, i.e., being cheated out of summer due to his schedule: It’s just, it’s the way it is, really. I’d love to get some sun and be able to sit outside, and that’s why I enjoy coming to Utah a little early, so I get a bit of nice weather.

But yeah, it’s not winter like it is here in Australia. It’s more wet and, I mean, how-cold-it-is-in-Utah cold, but yeah, [it] isn’t the most fun thing I’ve ever done.

But I’ve been very fortunate too, to play in Barcelona, [where] it was really nice. Maccabi Tel Aviv was really nice. So it’s just, it is what it is. And when I eventually move back home, I’ll have summer every year, so I’ll take it for now.

Ingles on not being the old man on the team anymore: Thank God for that.

Eight. All the lulz.

gobert-fournier

fournier-gobert

Nine. Vivint Arena President Jim Olson, asked what’s it like to be king of the building: You talk about king of the building, I, you know, there are numerous people. I’m gonna put Quin up there. I’m gonna put Gordon Hayward up there. I mean, those guys are, those are the people that make an enormous difference in what we’re trying to do here.

Bonus material! Jim Olson’s “How u” moment:

olson-tweet

Ten. Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Week (UDQM)
** Dennis Lindsey on when he went to the Spurs: I’m not gonna lie. I wanted to impress [Gregg] Pop[ovich], and R.C. [Buford], and Tim [Duncan], and Tony [Parker], and Manu [Ginobili], and the best way I could do it was–isn’t necessarily through interlec–intellect, but just grinding hard.
** Quin Snyder on ideas and the creative side of basketball: You know, you don’t know when they’re gonna come, and they’ll, I won’t say obsess about them, but you get pulled into that. And you know, when you come out the other side, you may have something that’s kinda neat. But you can dive pretty deep into those things.
** Gordon Monson to Snyder on August being a slow basketball month: Call [Spencer Checketts] at four in the morning, because he’s probably up.
Snyder: Yes. I’ll send you a couple clips of us getting backdoored.
** Lindsey, asked how much basketball he plays these days: My body — I can play one time…I just can’t recover. I played with some of our young guys last year. I was quite a bit overweight; I’ve lost a few pounds since. And it was quite humbling. You still can remember what you did, but you can’t perform.

Last(?) Paltry Offseason Odds and Ends

September 17, 2016

One. One post later the good: Greg Ostertag is still repping a Utah Jazz t-shirt. Yay!

tag-jazz-t

Two. One post later the bad: Mehmet Okur is no longer a Utah Jazz ambassador. Boo.
memo-suns-1

memo-suns

Via @MehmetOkur13:

14280527_1779417355605735_1938519676_n

Memo joins Earl Watson, Tyrone Corbin and one-time Jazz training camp invitee Jay Triano* with Jazz Southwest.

* The story, in case you’re not familiar with the story and curious, but not curious enough or too lazy to Google:

triano-jazz

Three. Dennis Lindsey wants you to know something real bad…super bad…desperately bad.

June 23: “Gordon has chosen Salt Lake City this off-season.”
June 24: “[Hayward] chose to work out here.”
June 24: “…having coaches available to Gordon Hayward, when he’s been here all this summer… ”
July 29: “He has a little more time, now that he’s living here in the off-season.”
Aug. 5: “Gordon Hayward’s been in town all off-season.”
Aug. 26: “Gordon Hayward has been, literally, in Salt Lake the entire summer outside of a few weekends.”
Sept. 2: “[Hayward] has been here most of the summer.”

Got that? Because here comes Part 2 of things Dennis Lindsey wants you to know.

Four. Dennis Lindsey wants you to know something real bad…super bad…desperately bad.

June 23: “We were very proud of our young group and how well they developed, but look, we did have a young group.”
June 24: “We made a decision to stay very young, play underneath the cap, keep our options open, develop our young guys.”
July 8: “It’s a credit to the young players that they’re, while being very young, they’re really professional.”
July 29: “[Free agents] knew that we have a very young team, but th–our young players are mature and professional.”

Five. Dennis Lindsey on Colin Kaepernick and how the Jazz would handle that situation: Randy Rigby very eloquently* got in front of our group when I first got here four years ago and talked about, you know, what the flag means and what our country means and how to stand to attention. And certainly, we have players that are from other countries and we want to respect their flag and their anthem and we want them to respect ours, but there is a time and a place for athletes to enter politics and raise the questions on social injustice.

* The moment when the interview

jumped the shark

Six. Rudy Gobert, best Jazz Twitter account of all-time Part Gazillion:

rudy-ian

Seven. [This item is intentionally left blank for off-season reasons]

Eight. [This item is intentionally left blank for off-season reasons]

Nine. [This item is intentionally left blank for off-season reasons]

Ten. [This item is intentionally left blank for off-season reasons]

Paltry Offseason Odds and Ends

August 30, 2016

One. Dennis Lindsey on trading Tibor Pleiss: This is not a typical deal that the casual fan would understand. The purpose behind the deal this morning was salary cap management, roster management. We decided we wanted to increase our flexibility on the short term and maximize our salary cap space. (1280)

Two. Memo Okur ain’t the Jazz ambassador for nothing. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen him:

–Golfing with an old teammate (love this!)…

memo collins

–Hanging out with more old teammates at Deron Williams’ re-wedding (love this!!!)…

dwill wedding

–And working out with a current Jazz player (love this!!).

memo favors

Three. Frank Layden on Karl Malone: Karl Malone. I’ll tell you about Karl Malone…

We were playing down in Mexico. Got his finger jammed. It was so — it was one of those finger twisted back. The doctors had him in the locker room and he just grabbed it and snapped it back into place. And they said, “Well, we’ll have this X-rayed tomorrow. Gotta, better get him in, go to the hospital.”

He said, “I’m playing the second half.” And that’s when he made the remark about, you know, “Some people came here to see me play and I’m not gonna let them down.” It was an exhibition game.

He was a tough guy. He wasn’t afraid of anybody. He didn’t back off anybody. And yet, there was such a gentleness and kindness about him. I never knew anybody that was more generous with his money, with his time, than he was. You know, and there was so many stories about him picking up a mortgage for a poor family or you know, helping some people out who had sick children…

When, the year that we lost the [NBA Finals] and, was when, you know, [Bryon] Russell got pushed off by Michael Jordan, you know, we lost that thing and we went up and saw Karl’s new house and what have you. And when we were leaving, we, the door’s opened and there was a brand new car.

The next day was Father’s Day, and he handed me the keys and said, “Happy Father’s Day.” He gave me a car, you know?

And I said to him, “I can’t accept this. This is a conflict of interest. Give me those keys. I’m outta here.” You know? And, yeah. He was a very kind, gentle man. Still is that way…

I remain more than teammate-coach [with him], but friend. I always felt that way. We were good friends.

Four. Yeah sure, Carlos. Her smile is what you were looking at lol.

taieisley

(My original comment was going to be “When did Carlos Boozer and Howard Eisley’s paths (or should I say Carlos Boozer and Howard Eisley’s wife’s paths) ever cross?” Forgot Eisley was on the 2004-2005 Jazz…)

Five. Frank Layden’s greatest Jazz moment: In 1984, we made the playoffs for the first time. We did it at home. We clinched at home. Made the playoffs for the first time in the franchise history. We went into the locker room, and I was congratulating the players, and you know, we were, you know, kidding around and when you do those type of things.

And somebody came in — I think David Allred, the publicity man, came in, and said, “They want you back out on the floor.” And I went back out on the floor with the Jazz players and we walked around and shook hands with the people.

And the people just wouldn’t leave. They kept on cheering and cheering and cheering. And that one moment was my greatest moment with the Jazz…That was a wonderful night. Yeah, it was great. (Locked on Jazz)

Six. You gotta love it, baby. Greg Ostertag fishing in a Utah Jazz shirt.

ostertag

Paltry Offseason Odds and Ends

July 31, 2016

One. Can’t wait to see Boris Diaw and Rudy Gobert’s Twitter conversations next year.

coffee

Two. They kissed and made up.

withey

Three. As always, Joe Ingles bringing the funny.

hayward hair

Four. Andrei Kirilenko getting roasted by his son:

ak trophy

Five. Dennis Lindsey on Boris Diaw, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine: He can get on Rudy. We’ve witnessed that in the past weeks.

An inside look at the Jazz of yore as told by Frank Layden

July 24, 2016
tags: , ,

layden

On Jazz player development (specifically, the development of Mark Eaton)
Mark Eaton was terrific. Very unselfish. He didn’t care, like a lot of centers, he didn’t care if the ball was up there and they scored a basket and he didn’t get a chance to post up or something. He never worried about points. All he worried about was winning.

And, so that, you know, a lot of people forget, also, that Mark Eaton was the captain of our team, when we had [Karl] Malone and [John] Stockton and [Adrian] Dantley and everything else, because he was our, probably our most intelligent player. …

We drafted him, signed him, and I said, “You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna give you a three-year guaranteed contract, all right? I’m gonna give you some bonus money up front, and this is what I want you to do. I want you and your wife to move to Salt Lake City. I want you to live here all year round, and during the summer I want you to work out. I want you — we’re gonna make a ball player outta you.”

I mean, I know [his former coaches] didn’t have time to do it. He had very good coaching in junior college, and he had a good junior college career. But when he got to UCLA, he didn’t play very much. He lost confidence in himself.

And so, you know, we started to put him on weights. We started to hit him baseballs so that he would bend at the knees and at the waist, to go down and — you know, he was pretty agile. We had him sprint. We had him run long distances. We worked on his jumping ability. And you know, three years later, he was an all-star. He was in the All-Star Game.

So, but the big thing was his willingness to work, and we made an investment in him. And it took a while. It took a while for the NBA referees to get used to him, because, you know, he would block shots and they’d call a foul. I’d say, “Hey, what’s going on?”

So we sent films into the league and [said], “Hey, tell these referees this guy is big. He’s blocking shots. He’s left-handed. With shot blockers, it helps shot blockers.” And I said, “You gotta start giving this guy a break.” And finally, they started to read into it.

On Mark Eaton, UDQM
He was very physical. There was a lot of centers in the league that didn’t like to mess with him because he was, you know, he had a hard body, and he wasn’t afraid to lay it on people. But his greatest asset was being able to pitch out, [which] means not only get it out, but get it to the right person…

Besides being tall, he was big in every other direction. I’ve seen players taller, and I’ve seen players wider, but I’ve never seen players with both, what he had.

On the Jazz offensive system and analytics
Our philosophy was let’s go inside. That’s where you get the good percentage shots. That’s where you get the, that’s where you get to the foul line. You know, and that’s where you get your opponents’ big guys into foul trouble.

Was your offense a system or were you calling out plays from the bench?

We had some plays, but basically we worked out of — we tried to, immediately after a fast break was over — what we tried to do was get points in a lot of different ways, ok? And by that I mean, first of all it was important for us to get to the foul line.

We thought that if we were gonna have a successful team, we had to have at least 33 free throws in the game. And that would, we would try to look and, somewhere between 33 and 40 free throws a game. Of the free throws made, we would like to make 30 out of 40. I mean, it’s not too much to ask.

You know, three points shots attempted, we’d look for 16. We’d look to — I thought the perfect game was to average 123 points with, 120 points with four 25-point quarters, four 30-point quarters. And if we could do that, we would win a lotta games. And we set goals like that.

Bench points, we expected to get 32 points. We wanted to get between 80 and 100 shots a game. So, that would fit in with what was going on now. …

[We] thought that two-thirds of our scoring should come in a set offense and it should come from inside, all right? And in fact, in some part of the game, we used to call it “rock.” And rock meant no more outside shots.

Everything has to come off of free throws, a fast break, or pounding the ball inside. No more 3-point shots. Three-point shots missed lead to fast breaks down the other end, and like I said, we saw a lot of that in the playoffs [this year].

And you know, once you lay the pattern down and you allow the horse out of the barn, you can’t bring it back. I’m sure that, you know, [Steve] Kerr, who’s an excellent coach and seems to have great, you know, demeanor with his players, once they, during the season that they not only took a lot of outside shots, they pumped the ball up there. Some bad; some good.

But they won a lot of games, and when you win games, sometimes you overlook what the big picture is. Would have they traded winning 73 games to win the championship? I think they would’ve, all right?

But they made their deal, and I can’t blame them because you get caught up in momentum and you want to get it and the fans want it and the press wants it and everything else. So, you know, but at the end, I think that they lost all perspective. They never got an easy basket. ..

Offense, I mean, is a lot of things. And a lot of teams didn’t work on — I’ll give you an example. How many teams work on jump balls? We tried to win the opening jump and get a basket. You don’t see that anymore. They just tap it back and they go at it. We also, you know, spent a lot of time on side court out of bounds.

You know, and I think trying to get as many cheap baskets as we possibly can…When we got the ball under the basket, I wanted to either get a basket or get fouled, for sure. You know, what kind of an advantage was that? We should never give that up. …

We had rules, like if we had a triangle, all right, and we had the, and the man down in the post was fronted, he immediately vacated so the guy across on the other box, all right, and we always went on the baseline side after the block, and we would post up.

We would not throw the ball in, all right, if a guy was fronted. It just wasn’t done. We then would look for a shot where he had good, you know, rebounding positioning.

Whenever we went into the post, we always split, and I’ll tell you why we did that. It was to keep the people guarding, that they couldn’t double back, and because y–a lot of guys, you know, the guy who throws the ball in, his man goes back and doubles. And we couldn’t have that happening with Karl Malone, you know, and so we had to keep him in the one-on-one — [also] Adrian Dantley, keep them in the one-on-one situation.

And on the opposite block was Mark Eaton, who, if his man left him, he immediately went to the broken line, and the minute Karl Malone or whoever it was felt — you know, it could be Kelly Tripucka — felt that there was pressure, they knew that Mark would be standing on the broken line ready to receive the pass, you know, to get an easy basket.

On the Jazz defensive mentality
Our basic thing was individual responsibility. And I think we’ve gotten away from that. In other words, when we went into a game when I was coaching the Jazz, all right — I had Bobby Hansen. And I would start talking to Bobby Hansen and watching films with him before the season started of how to guard Michael Jordan.

“Oh, you can’t guard Michael Jordan!”

No, you certainly can’t, you know? If you let him go, he’ll score 40 on you. But you know what I said? “What’s he averaging?”

“Oh, he’s averaging 27 points a game, 25 points a game.”

“Bobby, if you can hold him to 21, we got a shot. Most games are gonna be decided by five points, by two and a half field goals.”

And so, you know, we started to think that way. Individual responsibility. You know? We don’t have that anymore. If you tell me who the five best defensive players in the NBA are, you’re probably lying.

You know? No one knows who they are. You know, because everybody gets bailed out. You know, they’re bringing the — you know, if he gets by me, you know, “Switch!” You know, let someone else pick him up. …

And part of it is, by the way, we should go, is that’s the way the NBA wants it. You know, we used to be able to put our hands on people. …

Michael Jordan told me when Bobby Hansen went to Chicago the last year of his career, he said to me, “Coach, thanks for giving us Bobby.” He says, “He used to give me fits.”

You know? He was — yeah, I used to say, “Bobby, when you come into the huddle, I wanna see blood on your uniform. I want to see Michael Jordan’s blood.” And so one day I come in and see [that he has] blood down, running down the front of his uniform. I said, “That’s it. I love that. I love seeing blood.”

He goes, “Coach, it’s my blood.” He said, “Michael–” he says, “Michael’s beating the shit out of me.”

On the Jazz defensive system
We did have times of trapping, and usually we went into zones and trapping and stuff when we were behind, or we tried to stimulate our team. Maybe we were tired or something, and we would do those things to wake our guys up. But most of the time, it was just one on one, hold your man. …

We played pretty square up. You know, we tried to play position…If you played Calvin Murphy, you had to play his right hand. He always went right, you know, so you tried to take that away from him.

We had some rules, like if we were going out to play a guy who had just received the ball in the corners, we always covered the baseline. We tried to drive the guy back into the middle, where there would be help, where, you know, Mark Eaton would be.

We had, we felt that the tendency for guys when they caught the ball, if they were right-handed, was to drive the baseline, and we tried to take that away from them…

We started our practices, all right, after we warmed up, by starting with defense, and we would start one on one. Then we went to two against two, then we went to three against three, then four against four and five against five, and then we were ready to get into our offenses.

On “keeping modern”
One thing I was concerned about, I wanted to keep up with the recent, what would you say, jargon? You know, now they don’t say a guy’s tall; they say he’s long. You know what I mean?

That’s, tha–so, and I hired, you know, coaches based on having that opportunity, you know, to keep me young and keep me in the mix; let me hear what the latest wo–because there is, in the, when you’re in the pros, you don’t have as many coaching clinics and you know, I — that’s why I hired a youngster by the name of Gordon Chiesa…

I hired him and I said, “Gordon, just keep me modern, you know what I mean? Keep me up on the latest terminology and what have you, so that when I’m coaching the players, they know what I’m talking about. They’re not looking out there and saying, ‘Who’s this old fart?'”

** First item in “Coach Layden’s Thoughts on Coaching,” compiled by Tom Thibodeau: Leadership: Communicating skills. If you can’t communicate, you can’t motivate. You can’t lead. You can’t motivate, you can’t lead. (@bballbreakdown)

Bits from Dennis Lindsey Interviews

July 21, 2016
tags: , ,

lindsey

On the addition of George Hill, Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw
All three of these guys have very significant season and post-season experience. And so, I think, we’re hopeful when those higher moments come, and elevated play come, that some of our younger players can look to the veterans that we’ve added as a sense of guidance and gives us, you know, a little bit more definition and defined purpose, you know, in the most important moments as well.

On whether the addition of veterans will help the team win more close games
We’re just hoping odds take care of that. Usually, if you play enough close games…it will get back to zero…

But I don’t think close games is our issue. I think we want to have more blowouts. I think if we do that, that will take care of the close-game dilemma and then maybe a few of those balls will go in late this coming season, that didn’t [last season]…

Those first 46 minutes are just as important, if you study it. And so, we want to be mindful of the whole season, the whole game in its entirety, just not what happened the last two minutes.

What did Trey Burke mean to the Utah Jazz?
We expect that he’s gonna have a very good career and go on and perform well, just like Enes [Kanter] has in [Oklahoma City]. And we want that, to be frank.

The, I think Trey will tell you where he’s at now — mentally, physically, spiritually, with his skills — he’s in a much better place than he was when he first joined us, on a lot of different levels.

And so we wish him the best and we expect him to play well on — and we hope that he plays well, because again, it allows us to tell our story about the development program that’s going on here.

On the free agency process this year
We’ve strategically stayed out of the large part of free agency the previous years, just ’cause we had a bunch of young players and they needed minutes. And we didn’t want to be duplicit in the direction.

And it became apparent with where the development’s at that our team’s more ready to win. It became apparent that, obviously with the injuries, that we needed to actively manage that better and have some built-in reinforcements for a better bench. But also, just the scenarios, in case this happens.

So, we were able to let the agents know that we were going to be a lot more active than we were the previous two seasons; very strategic. And the great thing is, is we sat down — we talked to a lot of guys, but we sat down with four very strategic free agents, and we felt like we were g–in good position to sign any one of the four, and Quin [Snyder]’s helped that out a great deal.

Dante Exum update
To date, there has not been one setback.

On Boris Diaw
He’s not here because of Rudy [Gobert]. He’s here because of his own merit, but there’s more than an ancillary benefit to have someone that can speak French with Rudy and talk about current events, and, you know, so the big fella’s not on an island.

So, Rudy was quite pleased, but we were more pleased that, adding someone who’s tough, who’s physical, who can really pass the ball, who’s improved his distant shooting as well…

Boris is quite charming as well, and he has a gift. So, adding to the humor, adding to the cultural fabric, if you will, to the team is also something that we wanna be mindful of.

Player body updates
** Raul Neto: Raul’s gotta get better. There are some things with his body that we’re working on, I think that he can improve.
** Joe Johnson: [He has] a body that’s, you know, according to our doctors and trainers, much younger than 35.
** Joe Johnson Part 2: Joe has become a noted hot yoga fanatic, and so he’s been able to keep himself in great shape.

Dennis Lindsey, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine
** On Boris Diaw’s passing ability: He allows us to invert, and have a big man up top handling the ball and making decisions.
** On Diaw’s love for coffee: Quin’s an espresso guy as well, so I’m sure they’ll share their different blends.

Utah Jazz introduce George Hill and Joe Johnson

July 19, 2016
tags: ,

hill

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.

johnson

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.

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