Jazz rookies should savor this long offseason
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At the end of every NBA season, every coach is asked about what he wants his players to do with their offseason. Whether the coach is asked about the team in general or about a specific player, every coach talks about the importance of taking some time away from the game and away from training.
Usually coaches and players plan on taking a couple of weeks off immediately to rest and rejuvenate before getting back to the job and to preparing their bodies and minds for the next season.
When Utah Jazz coach Will Hardy was asked about the offseason plans he and the coaching staff had for rookies Walker Kessler and Ochai Agbaji, he mentioned the need for rest, but then added some pretty interesting commentary.
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“They’re both tired, and rightfully so. The NBA season is a lot, but my message to them was that the hope is in the future we’re preparing right now to go play our best basketball of the year. So, there’s really no room to be tired,” Hardy said. “They’re gonna take some time off and rest and reflect on some of the conversations we had at the end of the year and what they think they can bring to the table next year.
“But, I think for both of them, their bodies and fitness are going to be a huge key. Now they know what an NBA season looks like and how long it is and what they need to do to prepare.”
The Jazz don’t plan to have very many more losing seasons, if any. Kessler and Agbaji’s rookie offseason began in the second week of April this year, but Hardy wanted them to hear loud and clear that they are going to need to have more in the tank and be ready to play postseason basketball in the near future.
The message behind the message, if I may — enjoy this long offseason, because it might be the last one you have.
New with the Jazz
How to pass the time in the offseason
Last week I told you all that I was doing some spring cleaning and encouraged everyone to take part in the decluttering tradition. Well, as I’ve been going through all of my things and emptying out boxes, it’s made me very sentimental.
Every time I see an old photo or a keepsake, it makes me feel so many emotions. Sometimes joy, sadness, fondness, love, longing — you get the idea. But overall, it makes me happy that I have physical mementos.
Meanwhile, I’ve got about a bajillion photos on my phone from the last decade or so that just sit there and I hardly ever look through them. So, I’m going to print a bunch of the photos I have on my phone out and put them in an album. Remember those?
I say we bring back photo albums! Who’s with me?
This week on ‘Unsalvageable’
Check out “Unsalvageable,” hosted by Deseret News Utah Jazz beat reporter Sarah Todd and lifelong Jazz fan Greg Foster (no, not that Greg Foster).
This week the crew makes fun of Dillon Brooks, because he deserves it. Then they review some of the NBA’s end of year awards and recap the latest and greatest of the playoffs.
New episodes come out every week. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere else you stream podcasts.
Stat of the week
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry scored 50 points in Game 7 of the opening round of the playoffs, leading the Warriors to a series win over the Sacramento Kings. Curry’s 50 points were the most scored in NBA history in a Game 7, topping former teammate Kevin Durant’s 48 for the Brooklyn Nets against the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021.
From the archives
3 Jazz players, 3 former Utah college players make The Ringer’s list of 150 best NBA players
Grading the Jazz: Rudy Gay accepts his role with grace (Deseret News)
Grading the Jazz: Kelly Olynyk proved he has something left in the tank (Deseret News)
Grading the Jazz: Simone Fontecchio’s ‘weird season’ (Deseret News)
Ettore Messina responds to Utah Jazz coaching rumor (Salt Lake Tribune)
Around the league
Milwaukee Bucks fire Mike Budenholzer.
Mavericks’ Luka Doncic to pay for funerals from Belgrade school shooting.
Postseason injury once again sidelines Chris Paul.
May 16 | 6:30 p.m. | NBA draft lottery | ESPN
Full NBA playoffs schedule here.