Minneapolis — Following shootaround Wednesday, the Jazz's Earl Watson, Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson and Alec Burks discussed Jeremy Evans being added to the 2012 NBA All-Star dunk contest.
Watson on not being able to join Evans in Orlando, Fla.: It's unfortunate that I can't make it, but I made a commitment to my daughter. She's 2-years-old.
His daughter being more important than The Human Pogo Stick: Yeah, unfortunately it works out that way. [Laughs] She doesn't understand dunk contests or cancellations, so I have to be responsible. … Gordon got him. So, I'm like the coach from a distance.
Publicly pushing for Evans to be invited: I went to practice last night and he looked at me like I was crazy. He told me I was a tough coach. [Laughs] He said, 'You're a tough coach. I'm trying to go the mall.' I said, 'You trying to go to the mall or you trying to win?' Like, which one are we trying to do here?
Using props or going old-school: What would be really cool is if John Stockton could show up and he could jump over him as he throws the ball up. We know that's not happening. But Gordon and Jeremy, I'm sure they'll come up with something creative.
Happy to see Evans nationally recognized: I'm so happy for Jeremy. Jeremy's one of the best guys I've known in my life. Just outside of sports, he's one of the greatest people ever. And good things happen to good people and you're just happy for him. Hopefully he has a chance to just show off his talents. If he comes home with a W, we might have to put him into some therapy sessions because … we'll have to bring him back down to earth. But hopefully that happens. I'd rather go through that than have him be disappointed. But either way, he's going to have fun.
Hayward on Evans being added: It's going to be pretty exciting to be able to watch him do his thing. Like you said, try to get him to go, regardless. So here he is, going the last-minute, so it should be fun.
Teaming up with Evans during the contest: I don't know. We'll see what he has. I think he's got some ideas in mind. So if he needs me, I'll be out there.
Renting a Camaro: He talked about, said something like, shipping his car. But it might be a little too late now.
Getting Evans to go to Disney World with him: You know, we have told that we have to go. We've got to go sometime. So if he somehow doesn't make it, I'm going to be really disappointed.
Burks: I can still jump higher than him. But I hope he win it, though. … It's cool, man. It's great. He wanted to get in there a lot, so I'm happy for him. I'm happy for him, Derrick and Gordon. So I'm happy for everybody.
Jefferson: It's great, man, to get some new blood out there. But I think he should've been there in the beginning, but I don't make those decisions. It's going to be good — I just hope he don't get out there and get nervous. … But he'll be a'ight, though. He know. He been waiting. He been wanting this for a while. So, he'll be ready.
Millsap: I'm definitely going to watch it now. I'm going to support my teammates. Hayward and Favors: I'm going to watch that game, too. … It's good to have guys from this team go out there and represent us. Like you said, we don't get as much recognition as all the other teams. So to see these guys on TV representing the Utah Jazz [is great].
Brian T. Smith