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NBA AM: Derrick Favors Ready To Lead Utah
Posted By Steve Kyler On August 7, 2013 @ 10:07 am In NBA | No Comments
Memphis guard Jerryd Bayless talks about his decision to stay in Memphis, the new coaching staff and how good the Grizz can be this season.Watch More Video Here
Favors Ready To Be Focal Point: As Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors joked around with his fellow adidas endorsers at this week’s adidas Nations in Long Beach, posing for pictures with High School players that aspire to get where Favors now stands, leading a NBA team, there was a confidence Favors exudes when he talked about his new situation with the Jazz that has clearly been bottled up for some time in Utah. Regulated to a reserve role with the Jazz, as others started in front of him, Favors now finds himself where he has wanted to be for some time: the focal point of the team.
As Favors tells the story, both outgoing Jazz starters Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap called him when they reached free agent deals to leave the team to tell him that the Jazz was his team now, and that in their eyes he was ready to take the mantle of franchise player.
When Favors talks of his new situation he beams, talking about the what-ifs of the new season and how much he is prepared both physically and mentally for the challenge of leading a young Jazz team.
Favors talks enthusiastically about his front court mate Enes Kanter and how prepared he is for the new challenge of starting alongside Favors in Utah. Favors also beams about his new point guard in rookie Trey Burke, gushing about how many pick-and-roll plays he expects to see next season.
The Jazz look to be one of the more promising young teams in the NBA with a solid core of seasoned young guys that have been biting at the bit to get their chance to shine.
Favors repeatedly joked that it’s taken a long time to get to the point where he can truly impact his team’s future and it’s a responsibility that he takes very seriously. If the Jazz are going to contend for a Playoff berth it’s going to be because Favors becomes the future star that he was projected to be when he was drafted 3rd overall in 2010.
Favors is no longer the man-child, he carries himself like a seasoned pro and if his mindset and preparation are any indication of what is to come, the Jazz might be better than anyone is giving them credit for even with the loss of proven veterans like Millsap and Jefferson.
Favors has wanted the chance to lead and to start and it looks like this season he’ll get everything he’s wanted and in his words, it could happen soon enough.
Jazz forward Derrick Favors talks about his off season, the new situation in Utah and what he is expecting coming into training camp.Watch More Video Here
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Not Worried About Trades: Magic guard Arron Afflalo smiled coyly when asked about the trade rumors with his name on them this summer. Orlando’s 27-year guard has been around the NBA long enough to know that rumors are part of the business and that just because your name gets kicked around in rumors does not mean that your team is trying to move you.
Afflalo was in Long Beach this weekend for adidas Nations and logged some court time with the High School players that were part of the camp. Donning a jersey, Afflalo showed the young players what it takes to play at the NBA level, while also getting in some game action for the first time since partially tearing his right hamstring last season.
Afflalo admitted that last season was a bit tough for him personally, mainly because he was asked to shoulder more responsibility than he’s ever had to in his professional career logging a career high 36 minutes per game, but also hoisting a career best 14.1 shots per contest. Afflalo says he’s spent the summer not only rehabbing his body but preparing for that kind of workload, something he wasn’t truly ready for last season in Orlando.
The Magic are a team in transition and that’s not lost on Afflalo who smiles when asked about new rookies and possible challengers for his starting two guard spot.
Afflalo has never lacked confidence and sees Orlando’s upcoming training camp as a chance to cement his spot and his role, while also bring up the competition and intensity of his team.
Unlikely many really young teams, the Magic were in games last year down to the final buzzer, losing more than they won, something Afflalo feels can swing the other way with his squad having another year together and a another year of experience.
Afflalo says he’s completely healthy and working to get his timing and rhythm back, watching him work on the court with the young guys at Nations, it’s clear that his body is back. It’s now on him to deliver on the other promises.
Magic guard Aaron Afflalo talks about his off-season, the trade rumors and what he expects next season in Orlando.
The Sleeved Jersey Cometh: When the Golden State Warriors unveiled their sleeved alternate jersey last season there was a collective groan from NBA purists and fans.
The concept was a long time in the making, and was the result of the Warriors wanting to do something different and adidas, the NBA’s official outfitter, delivering on an idea.
The idea is fairly simple. Players like to play in sleeves. To move the point even further, fans like to wear sleeves.
Look around and count how many people wear a t-shirt under their NBA replica jersey? There are very few people with the body type to pull off a NBA jersey without some kind of undershirt.
Most fans do not get to see NBA players practice or shoot around before games. More NBA players do those actions in sleeves than not.
The big blunder of last year’s Golden State jersey, beyond the color, was the art and photos that were released with the announcement. It featured Warriors’ forward Harrison Barnes who like many young players, likes to show off his body. He wears a jersey that’s maybe a size smaller to show off his chiseled frame. So the immediate response from the basketball word was why a skin-tight compression type jersey?
The reality is that the sleeved jersey is constructed EXACTLY like the traditional Revolution 30 jerseys; it just has an added webbed shoulder ring and sleeves.
The shoulder ring is designed to create a “no-grab” range of motion.
Having worn one myself, the new sleeved jersey is surprisingly comfortable. The sleeves feel normal, and as promised the sleeves do not grab when shooting the basketball.
Word has it that the Golden State alternate jersey sold well. Surprisingly well. So much so that five more NBA teams will add a sleeved alternate jersey to their uniform series and that as many as 20 NBA teams will wear a sleeved jersey at some point next season.
You can expect sleeved jerseys on Christmas Day and St. Patrick’s Day, which are typically days where the NBA allows teams to change things up a little. Sleeves will be part of that.
In talking with the folks at adidas about the sleeves, there are a few things they are doing to ensure that sleeves go over well with the players.
Teams will have sleeved practice jerseys available to them. There will also be personalized tailoring for players that have fit concerns. While the sleeved jersey is cut exactly like the non-sleeved version, if players want a little more room, their jerseys will be altered to their specifications.
For those worried about the skin-tight look, that’s something each player decides when they pick a jersey size. Kobe Bryant for instance has always worn a massively oversized jersey. Last season his jersey was three times bigger than former teammate Dwight Howard’s. Bryant likes his jersey loose and baggy and he’ll have that in sleeves if he chooses it.
There is no doubting that sleeved jerseys are about sales too. The Golden State jersey sold well, and with more teams coming on line, sleeved jerseys are expected to continue to sell well, again having worn one. I’d rather rock a sleeved version of my favorite teams than an undershirt.
There have been no official announcements on which teams will add a sleeved jersey to their uniform kit, but it’s easy to see with the 2013-2014 NBA schedule now available that Chicago, Brooklyn, Oklahoma City, New York, Miami, the LA Lakers, Houston, San Antonio, the LA Clippers and Golden State all play on Christmas day and that Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Indiana, Phoenix, Brooklyn, Oklahoma City, Chicago, Utah, Houston, Boston, Dallas, Denver and the LA Clippers play on St. Patricks’ Day.
Sleeved jerseys are expected to be available for purchase at both NBA.com and from the teams that opt to add them.
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