Diante Garrett grew up in Milwaukee, where his father, Dick Garrett, finished out his NBA career with the Bucks in 1974. But the younger Garrett, the Jazz’s backup point guard, preferred rooting for the team that drafted his old man.
"I was a Lakers fan growing up," Diante Garrett said.
While minutes have been in short supply for the 25-year-old, he said his daily contact with his father has helped keep him focused.
"I talk to my dad every day," he said. "He always gives me advice. Makes sure I keep my head up, stay strong, stay in the gym. I always use his advice to make sure I get better."
On Thursday night against his hometown team, Garrett had one of the best performances of his pro career. The point guard scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, grabbed four rebounds and dished two assists.
"Playing against your hometown is fun and I’m glad I came out and played how I played," he said.
It could hardly have come at a better time for Garrett, whose status with the Jazz will remain a question mark until next week when all contracts become guaranteed.
"I haven’t thought about that really. I’ve just stayed focus on trying to win some games and trying to play good so I can stay here," he said.
Diante Garrett is looking forward to seeing his father, who now works as an usher at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, when the Jazz visit Wisconsin later this year.
"He’s at all the games," Diante Garrett said. "I can’t wait to get out there."
Giannis Antetokounmpo has grown more than an inch since being drafted by the Milwuakee Bucks in June. The Greek teen’s game has grown immeasurably.
The Bucks were unsure if the rookie would log more than 3-4 minutes a night this season, but the 6-foot-10 wing has pushed his way into Milwaukee’s starting lineup.
Still, coach Larry Drew says he has to be careful in developing young talent. It’s a situation the Jazz certainly find themselves in this season as they’ve given Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Trey Burke and the team’s other youngsters major roles.
"I don’t think you can just let them go," Drew said. "You have to coach them. You have to teach them. … We point out his mistakes. We pull him over to the side. We watch a lot of film. We can’t just let him go. We have to kind of keep a thumb on him."
"But, I’ve said it before," Drew added. "In actuality, he’ll learn more out there making mistakes than he will sitting over there on that bench."
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