With Utah Jazz Media Day now under wraps, there are a lot of things to parse through. Here are some of the most interesting quotes from today.
John Collins on his playtime with the Jazz
Andy Larsen of the Tribune caught this important quote from John Collins.
"I’d say the one thing that has surprised me is the lack of ego here. It’s refreshing to have a group of guys that truly emphasize playing team basketball and that want to do so."— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) October 2, 2023
More from John Collins on his new situation in Utah vs. Atlanta: https://t.co/sOW1hPTHof
“I’d say the one thing that has surprised me is the lack of ego here. It’s refreshing to have a group of guys that truly emphasize playing team basketball and that want to do so.”
It’s hard to take this any other way than referencing his time in Atlanta with the Hawks and how he was in a situation with Trae Young where he probably felt like there wasn’t a lat of team basketball going on. It’s also a great sign for the culture of that they can have someone come in and feel refreshed at the style of unselfish basketball.
On top of this quote, Collins also mentioned the lack of ego with the team. These types of intangibles aren’t necessarily something that will take the Jazz to a championship, talent and coaching are usually the key there, but they are the types of things that keep a team playing at a high level.
Lauri Markkanen on John Collins and his personal goals
Markkanen mentioned that Collins has been knocking down shots in their runs and that he’s really athletic, playing defense, and unselfish.
Again, this is an interesting note for John Collins. It’s seeming more and more like this fit might be seamless, and if that’s the case, this Jazz team could be good very quickly.
Markkanen also mentioned that his standard for himself now is being an all-star. It’s a high standard for Markkanen, who certainly should be in consideration every season now. Markkanen mentioned that his goal for himself is to beat some of the coverages he’s going to see now that he’s not such a surprise to everyone. Markkanen has a chance to take another step this season, and if he does, there’s a real chance to see him become one of the elite players in the league. He is probably already at that level right now, but one more season at this level of play can solidify that.
Keyonte George hype
“My goal is Rookie of the Year.”
The confidence from George is very evident, but it may be backed up by his play in the unofficial workouts the Jazz have been having.
One of the interesting things from media day was how many different players mentioned how well Keyonte George has been playing in camp. One player says it, it’s something to take note of, two players say it can raise some eyebrows, when the majority of the team mentions it that means someone is having a great showing.
Here’s a quote from Simone Fontechhio:
I’ve been here for two weeks already. Definitely the rookies, who I didn’t know before, they are really good I’ll say. Especially Keyonte impressed me a lot. The way he stays on the court (works out), I think he is mature already even though he’s only 19. They are putting a lot of work into it and are ready for this stage
This matches what we’ve been hearing from reports about his play. It may be time to think about taking up Keyonte George on his goal of Rookie of the Year. If he earns that starting guard spot, which is apparently up for grabs, he may be ready to take the reins of a playoff competitor right away.