Not a subscriber to this newsletter? Sign up here!
Joe Ingles was asked after Thursday morning’s Jazz shootaround if, as a native Australian, he had any different Christmas traditions than what Americans might be accustomed to. His answer was initially surprising, but then when you actually thought about the circumstances, it made sense.
“Obviously, the most different thing … our Christmases have always been, well, for me growing up, it was always at my family’s house because we had a pool, and it was like, you’re outdoor all day, you’re swimming all day,” he recalled. “I wouldn’t say the same food, but very similar — that same kind of festive Christmas food like that’s not too different, but obviously, there’s a few more cold food options, with it being like 115, 110 degrees.”
Turns out, Australia — being on the complete opposite side of the world, and in the southern hemisphere — has different seasons than, say, Utah.
Joe also joked that “I was probably pretty confused as a kid,” because whenever he’d watch Christmas movies, a major theme was always cold weather and snow and winter that didn’t at all resemble his own real-life experiences.
After noting that none of his children have yet had the opportunity to have an Australian-style Christmas, owing to his career, he realized that he hasn’t had one himself in quite awhile, either.
“It’s funny, we were actually talking about that — I haven’t had Christmas in Australia since I was 21, which is 13 years now,” he said. “… One day I will enjoy a hot Christmas again.”
Rudy Gobert, fight fan
Former Jazz point guard Deron Williams was in the news recently for making his professional boxing debut, in which he scored a split-decision victory over longtime NFL running back Frank Gore on the undercard of the Jake Paul-Tyron Woodley II pay-per-view.
With a bunch of former athletes now embracing pugilism as a second career (D-Will, Gore, Nate Robinson … even Le’Veon Bell said he was about to retire from football to take up boxing training before getting a call from the Buccaneers), I asked the Jazz’s foremost fight fan, Rudy Gobert (he not only incorporates boxing into his workouts, but often hosts teammates at his house for marquee boxing and mixed martial arts events) what he made of the trend.
“I think it’s cool, you know? Sometimes it’s cool to see guys get out of their comfort zone and stepping in the ring,” said Rudy. “When you train your whole life to play basketball and then you retire and then you start training [for] another sport and you get in the ring in front of millions of people, it’s not easy. It’s not something you’re comfortable doing. So it’s cool, it’s cool to see guys get out of their comfort zone. Guys are gonna get judged, or if they get knocked out they’re going to be memes on the internet. But at the end of the day, they’ve got the balls to go out there and step in the ring. So it’s cool to see.”
And finally, some good holiday vibes
Look, times are stressful, so we can all use a bit of extra happiness in our lives. And so, two quick parting things:
1. Read Andy Larsen’s write-up about Hassan Whiteside’s modified, six-wheel Jeep named “Big Shirley.” It’s fun.
2. Watch this video about how the Jazz dance team pranked one of their members during a performance during Monday’s win over the Hornets (watching it unfold in real time, I honestly wondered how she’d messed up so badly!) in order for her boyfriend to pull off a surprise proposal.