Lakers' Bryant, Jazz praise Hayward
Postgame quotes from the Jazz's 86-85 road win against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday at Staples Center.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant on Hayward: "I'm very, very fond of him. He's a very-skilled, all-around player. I think he's going to have a very bright future in this league. He reminds me of a more talented Jeff Hornacek. Jeff couldn't put the ball on the floor as well as [Hayward] can."
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin on Hayward: "I'm extremely happy for him. He did a great job on both ends of the floor, not only making plays offensively, but I thought he did a great job defensively playing Kobe — not being afraid of who he is and just doing a good job of staying down; staying in front between him and the basket. And if he made tough shots, he made tough shots over him. So, I thought he did a tremendous job on him defensively."
Utah forward C.J. Miles on Hayward: "He played great. We all knew he could play. He just has to be given the chance to get out there and make plays. He did a great job. He shot the ball well, attacked the basket, passed the ball … and played good defense. He stayed down on his feet the last play."
Jazz center Al Jefferson on Hayward: "Confidence is the big key for him because he has the skills, he has a high IQ of the game. And when he gets his confidence, he's going to be an unbelievable player. He's showing that now. It's amazing how Earl [Watson] and coach wanted to continue to go to him at the end of the game."
Hayward on defending Bryant during the last play of the game: "Al and Paul [Millsap] came up to me right away and said, 'Stay down on his fake.' It is tempting. He puts the ball right there and it is really a good shot fake. You want to go for it. But you stay disciplined and you stay down and you force a tough look."
On defending Bryant during a late-game situation: "It was fun. You're out there competing. And especially against Kobe Bryant — growing up, you idolize him. It was a lot of fun."
— Brian T. Smith
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