SALT LAKE CITY — Jazz guards John Lucas III and Lester Hudson chatted about playing against each other during their pro ball days in China.
“We were both scorers. We used to go at it all the time,” Hudson said. “We talk about it all the time, competing against each other there and here at practice.”
Hudson is hoping to follow Lucas’ lead and find a permanent spot in the NBA instead of having to play overseas.
“No knock on China or anything — it’s a great league — but I would love to be in the NBA,” Hudson said a day after scoring nine points on three 3-pointers in Wednesday's 99-92 loss to Portland. “Your family comes to your games. My daughter goes to school now, It would be great for me to stay here. That’s why I’m working so hard — to stay here.”
Hudson prefers the food in NBA cities, too.
He smiled when reminiscing about all of the Chinese food that he didn’t eat while over there.
“I just stuck with the American food. That’s it,” he said. “They had a lot of funky dinner and breakfasts, but I never touched it. Nothing.”
"It makes you hungrier," he said.
That reference, by the way, was about wanting to play in the NBA while in China, not about Chinese or American food.
"When you get the opportunity to come, you know that’s when you have to step up," Lucas said. "You don’t want to go back overseas. You don’t want to go back to the D-League."
Apparently, not even if orange chicken or crab wontons are involved.
NO WORRIES: Rookies Rudy Gobert and Ian Clark didn’t play again Wednesday, but Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said people shouldn’t read into that too much.
“It’s camp,” he said. “(We’re) looking at combinations and where we are right now.”
Though they don’t have guaranteed contracts this season like Gobert and Clark, players such as Justin Holiday, Dominic McGuire, Scott Machado, Hudson and Brian Cook have gotten more looks this exhibition season.
“That’s what training camp is all about,” Corbin said.
The 7-1 Gobert almost got a chance to against Portland center Robin Lopez, but Corbin decided it wasn’t a favorable matchup because the Blazer big is so bulky.
“He’s still working hard to get into better shape, to use his size,” Corbin said of Gobert. “He’ll get his moments.”
ANOTHER INJURY: Add Jeremy Evans to the growing list of Jazz players with nagging injuries. The 6-9 forward missed Thursday’s practice with a right rotator cuff strain. He is day to day.
Three Jazz players are sidelined indefinitely for medical issues: Trey Burke (finger), Brandon Rush (knee) and Marvin Williams (Achilles). McGuire also sat out Wednesday’s game with a sore right ankle. Gordon Hayward played against the Blazers despite suffering from a bruised right arch.