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Aaron Falk, Tony Jones and Steve Luhm cover the Utah Jazz and the NBA for The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune on Twitter - Aaron Falk: @tribjazz, Steve Luhm: @sluhm, Tony Jones: @Tjonessltrib

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Q&A with new Jazz forward Steve Novak

The Jazz and Raptors made the Steve Novak trade official this afternoon. I talked to the sharpshooter on the phone yesterday and you can read my story by clicking here. But there were a few extra items that didn't make it in there. Here's a short Q&A from the interview.

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AF: Where are you now, where do you spend your summers?

SN: I'm in Wisconsin. I work out at Marquette during the summer. Ironically at this point, the Raptors' trainer has been here a couple times, the strength coach came in twice. They were keeping good tabs on me.

AF: So it must have been a shock to hear you were traded.

SN: Yeah. On the Fourth of July I got a text from my teammate Kyle Lowry. The text said, "Damn." I said, "'Damn' what?'" He told me I was traded and I called him right away. He said there was an article and I told him it was just rumor. All of a sudden I was getting calls from my agent and from Dennis Lindsey and [Toronto GM Masai Ujiri].

AF: You've been with a number of teams, does this ever get easier?

SN: The moving is always a pain in the butt. But mentally it does get easier. At first, it's like, 'How could this happen? I thought we were a family and I was loved.' You realize quickly it's a business and now you know it's the routine. You know what to expect. And really, the longer you play, the smaller the basketball circle gets. I already know some guys in Utah. It's not a scary transition. For me, this is my seventh team.

AF: Who do you know in Utah?

SN: Well, I guess we don't know who's coming back. But I know Richard Jefferson. When I was in the 3-point contest I got to know Jeremy Evans and his wife a little bit. Just some of the guys on the staff you bump into. You get to know people. … I know Dennis Lindsey and I know Quin Snyder. Dennis was in Houston when I was drafted. He was also in San Antonio when I was brought there. I know the kind of people he's been under and lean red form. He's a very smart basketball mind. I know he knows how to build a team and a culture. I played against coach Snyder at Missouri and in the D-League.

AF: Have you been out to Salt Lake since the trade?

SN: I believe I'm out there early next week for my physical.

AF: I talked to your dad the other day, he mentioned a trip to Salt Lake for an AAU tournament when you were in the fourth grade. Do you have any memories of that?

SN: I do. I remember we went up in the mountains as a team and di some of the tourist stuff. I don't really remember the basketball. But we as a family always did big road trips. Got in the family van and drove.

AF: Have you ever played on a team this young before?

SN: In New York we had the oldest in NBA history. Just a couple years ago, I was feeling like I was the young buck. It was me and Iman Shumpert and Chris Copeland. Then in Toronto, I became the oldest guy on the team. … I've kind of played for all scenarios.

AF: What was that adjustment like, just one year apart?

SN: It was crazy what I felt like from New York to Toronto. When you're one of the younger guys, there's just a security blanket. The pressure's not really on you. The hard questions aren't really for you. When things aren't going right you have someone to look to. When you're the older guy that all disappears. I quickly realized it's two very different roles. I was the same person, but the role changed. It is your job to help them show them the way and be more vocal and be a leader.

AF: Your dad made sure I knew you're not a bad defender.

SN: [Laughs.] My dad doesn't take lightly to when people talk bad about my defense. I guess every single guy you can knock them for something. But he says, 'Do these people really think you're in your eighth year in the NBA and you can't play any defense? You would have been exposed by now.' And he's right. I'm never going to be guarding LeBron. I'm not going to be matched up with Kobe. But with my matchup, I'm solid. I feel like I'm a good team defender. Basketball isn't one on one if you're a good team.

— Aaron Falk



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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