Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Just ask Joe Ingles. The Aussie forward said he spent about $12 on an Uber ride from his hotel in Los Angeles to his free agency meeting with the Utah Jazz. The end result: a four-year contract worth $52 million. Best Uber ride ever, right?
On this episode of the TribJazz podcast, Tribune reporters Tony Jones, Kyle Goon and Aaron Falk discuss Kyrie Irving’s strange trade demand; Ingles’ new contract, which was made official on Tuesday, and why he wanted to come back to Utah no matter what; and why the Jazz are building a reputation for player development.
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Here are a few highlights from this episode:
1. Why does Kyrie Irving want out of Cleveland? Tony Jones can’t make sense of it (1:54):
“You’re playing with the second greatest player to ever play basketball. … He is the easiest super star, on court at least, to play with in the history of the NBA. You’re averaging 26 points a game. … Why do you want out?”
2. Joe Ingles only needed one meeting to know where he wanted to sign — and it didn’t matter if Gordon Hayward was sticking around or not (16:21):
“I wanted to be in Utah no matter what, if you have every all-star in the world or no all-stars in the world. It’s the place that got me to where I am. It got me to be the player I am today. If we were a 10-win team or an 80-win team, I feel like Utah is the place for me to be good and really help the team.”
3. In what has become a summer time tradition, an NBA player is swatting the hell out little kids’ jump shots. This time, it’s Rudy Gobert, who refuses to show any mercy to the children of Brazil. And Tony has no problem with that at all (31:25):
“They’ve got to learn. Look, my 7-year-old daughter hasn’t gotten a shot up against me yet.”
4. When he arrives in Salt Lake City for training camp, Ekpe Udoh will see a familiar face. The new Jazz big man teamed up with Ingles on Golden State’s summer league roster in 2010 and again during a training camp with the Los Angeles Clippers. Ingles’ development under Jazz coach Quin Snyder helped Utah land Udoh as he tries to restart his NBA career.
The Jazz are certainly gaining a reputation for player development. Will it entice bigger free agents, or will agents look at the Jazz as a training grounds for their youngsters and projects (33:10)?
“I can certainly see how fans would feel about right now,” Kyle says. “You have seven years of investment in Gordon Hayward, and all for naught.”