In what always feels like the unofficial start to the NBA season, the Utah Jazz reported for media day on Monday. David Locke, the radio voice of the Utah Jazz interviewed players and members of the front office. There were some very revealing, as well as very trivial, tidbits revealed during the process. It’s worth reviewing some of the more interesting topics interviewee by interviewee. Each interview can be watched here.
Richard Jefferson: Much has been said about the potentially limited role Jefferson may have with the Jazz this year. However, after listening to his interview, it is clear that Jefferson has a place on the Jazz. He understands the game. He understands being a star. Most specifically, he understands almost exactly what Gordon Hayward is being thrust into this season as a young player who is being handed the keys to the van. Whether Jefferson gets much time on the court or not, it seems that the Jazz will be better by having him around.
Dennis Lindsey: Lindsey, the general manager of the Utah Jazz, was interviewed as well. There were a few good nuggets offered. He said that each of the players had a very good offseason, but singles out Hayward, Jeremy Evans and Alec Burks. He shed more light on Burks’ summer by going into detail about some of the upper body work Alec has put in.
Marvin Williams: Williams is recovering from Achilles tendon surgery and is feeling good. He seems to be ahead of schedule and is now running on a treadmill. Marvin said he’s still unable to jump and push off on his toes, but he feels good. Williams revealed a bit of his thought process about being with the Jazz. He mentioned he was very excited for the opportunity last year, but things just never clicked as he was a bit beat up all season. Feels equally excited about this season and feels like he has the chance to make his mark.
Alec Burks: Alec’s interview was very basic. He made it clear that he worked very hard this offseason and that he felt it was a good offseason for him, but most of the information we heard about Burks was from others. Burks definitely seems to have turned some heads this summer.
Andris Biedrins: Like Burks’ interview, Biedrins’ interview wasn’t extremely insightful. Although we did learn that breakfasts in Latvia are very similar to breakfasts in the U.S.
John Lucas III: It’s been talked about before, but Lucas talked about how he has known Lindsey for essentially his whole life. It was interesting to hear about his experiences growing up as a ball boy, to playing the D-League to playing overseas. He sees coaching in his future and based on this interview, he seems to have some interesting ideas to share with his young teammates. Understands his role as a mentor of sorts to Trey Burke.
Jeremy Evans: Jeremy also feels he had a very good summer. He recorded a new record for his already superhuman jumping ability, as he touched 12’7″. It sounds as though Jeremy feels he will have his minutes increased drastically this season. Jeremy said he feels up to the task of being a leader, which is interesting given his extremely limited role on the team as well as his quiet nature.
Brandon Rush: Rush said all the right things about wanting to be in Salt Lake City and being happy to be with the Jazz, but didn’t come off as extremely sincere. There were no major revelations in this interview, though Brandon shed light on what his value is as a player. Rush said he is a “3 and D” type of player that will also rebound well for his position.
Enes Kanter: As usual Enes is great to listen to/watch. He’s always got a smile on his face and mentions over and over how excited he is to play basketball. Enes talked about his time this summer with Karl Malone and said he worked hard, specifically on his balance and leg strength. Karl also talked to Enes about how he treated his teammates and coaches.
Gordon Hayward: Gordon worked very hard this offseason and his noticeably improved a number of things. As usual Hayward downplayed his successes and insisted he has a lot to improve upon. What was maybe the most interesting statement in the interview which really defined Hayward’s passion and drive was when Hayward said Indiana’s extended playoff run really pissed him off. Indiana is both Hayward’s hometown team and the team that drafted Paul George directly after Hayward was drafted by the Jazz. Paul George has, of course, exploded as a star in the league over the past season or two. It is clear Gordon will use this as motivation to get better and lead the Jazz. Also interesting, he acknowledged the hardest part of being a “leader” this season will be the vocal aspect as he is quiet by nature. He is excited to have the ball in his hands more this season and feels his best attribute as a player is being a playmaker.
Derrick Favors: Like Hayward, Favors is ready to emerge as a leader. Favors came off as extremely confident, even saying he doesn’t feel shouldering the burden this season will be difficult for him. Derrick said his work with Malone was “intense.” Malone told him to make sure his body is in shape before training camp starts so he can focus on improving his game as much as possible once training camp starts.
Trey Burke: Burke also came off as very confident. Says he “absolutely” knows what playing at the NBA level will be like, though he acknowledges playing an 82-game season will be different. Burke and Burks went to Spokane, Wash., to work with John Stockton this summer. Learned a lot about the pick-and-roll, learned to be more patient and learned that the better passer he is, the better scorer he will be. What more could Jazz fans ask for with Stockton and Malone teaching the youngsters how to run the pick-and-roll.
Ian Clark: Ian has become very close with fellow rookie Rudy Gobert. Ian’s goal this season is to compete hard for minutes.
Rudy Gobert: Not much information revealed from Rudy’s interview, though in breaking news we found out he is tall and that he bought a custom bed.