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First off, happy holidays, everyone! We’ll keep it short and sweet this time because we’ve all got stuff to do.
So, then, a few thoughts …
The man in black
While every NBA coach was once mandated to wear a suit while roaming the sidelines, that standard was relaxed for the NBA bubble games, which Quin Snyder took advantage of by rocking a polo, skinny jeans, and sneakers with no socks (or at least no-show socks).
The suit mandate is gone for good now, which made me wonder how Quin — who always seemed to take pride in his stylish suits — felt about the change. So I asked him in Wednesday’s pregame interview session, and his reply was surprisingly epic:
“Well, the coaches had a vote and I voted ‘I don’t care.’ I was neither yes or no — I’ll wear what they tell me to,” he said. “The thing I did decide is, I got tired in the bubble of having to tell everybody what color shirt to wear. ‘We’re green tonight. What color pants — khaki pants or black pants? Do you wear blue?’ I have a hard enough time remembering what I’m going to wear, particularly on the road — packing becomes an issue.
“So we’re just going going Johnny Cash — we’re wearing black on black all year,” he added. “And that way, no one can ever be wrong, and if I spill coffee on myself before the game, no one notices.”
The coaching staff’s attire got the stamp of approval from Jordan Clarkson, the team’s resident fashion expert.
“That’s swag. I like it!” Jordan said after the game. “I think it’s pretty tight. They looked nice today.”
It didn’t hit me until long after all the postgame interviews were done, but Wednesday night was significant not only for being the Jazz’s season opener, but also for marking the one-year anniversary of the trade that sent Danté Exum to Cleveland in exchange for “JC.”
I was in Miami the night that deal went down (that was also the night the Jazz released Jeff Green to bring in Rayjon Tucker), and just being blown away at the possibilities, as I was pretty familiar with what Jordan brought to the table as a relentless and remorseless scorer.
Obviously, his acquisition was big for rescuing the team’s second unit last season, but his continuing evolution from shameless chucker to efficient sniper (see: 15 points on 6-12 overall and 3-6 from deep in the 120-100 win at Portland) will be a big component going forward.
“I took a lot of the tough 2s out of my game — I feel like that’s the biggest adjustment for me,” Jordan said after the win. “I’m just trying to find the high-percentage shot, take the 3 when I’m open, and get in the paint and try to make plays when it’s there. I feel like those are the biggest changes that I’ve had this time that I’ve been here in Utah.”
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie
While Joe Ingles’ last media session was naturally centered around the crazy story about his false-positive COVID-19 experience, it also produced a bit of levity when he was asked about Mike Cannon-Brookes, the Australian billionaire who’s now a minority partner in Ryan Smith’s new ownership group.
Asked what he knew of Cannon-Brookes, and what it means for the Jazz to boast the NBA’s first Aussie owner, Joe naturally started off with the obvious.
“I hope I can get another extension! That’ll be nice. I’m gonna text him that!” he began. “No, I mean, it was cool. I met Mike through Ryan a couple of years ago. Mike came over — I think it was his birthday, and he came over to Utah and hung out, and I got to meet him and hang out a little bit. And I’ve kind of been in contact ever since then. The first thing I ever knew about him was before I met him through Ryan, but he bought the most expensive house in Australia. I’m obsessed with real estate, so to me, that was pretty cool. But obviously, a great partner for Ryan to kind of join all their billions together and do this. Yeah, great guy. Having a different perspective of an Australian, I’m sure he’s going to have some different ideas or different thoughts to what the normal kind of NBA is. And he’s — I don’t say different in a bad way — but he’s an interesting person. Really excited to have him on board and and kind of go along this little bit of the journey with him.
“And,” Joe concluded, “he did all his interviews in my jersey, so he’s cool with me now.”
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