SALT LAKE CITY — How focused of a man is Quin Snyder?
Consider this: A reporter started asking the Jazz coach, who grew up near Seattle and has been a devout Seahawks fan since 1976, about his “big day” and this was Snyder’s response:
“It was a good practice. It was a long one.”
We’ll take his word on the former, but the practice certainly was lengthy. It started at 11 a.m. and didn’t wrap up until about 1:45 p.m.
Power forward Trevor Booker smiled when asked about the team’s latest long session, which probably helped compensate for some of the extra food they might've eaten at their parties.
“Man,” Booker said with a smile. “I thought we were going to leave like two hours ago.”
Booker, who wasn’t complaining, said the team covered “a little bit of everything,” which can obviously test one’s concentration after awhile.
“It was just long and mentally draining,” he said, matter-of-factly.
That might have been expected considering the Jazz got Saturday off after beating the Golden State Warriors 110-100 on Friday and the fact that Utah doesn’t play again until visiting Portland on Tuesday.
There might have been another reason, too.
“Our team thought they were going to get out of here quick. They didn’t realize the game’s at 4,” Snyder said with a smile. “I don’t want to watch the pregame.”
Speaking of the game, the Jazz coach admitted he was “nervous” about his Seahawks going up against the Patriots.
Booker, meanwhile, was looking forward to getting home for a Super Bowl party that included grilled barbecue chicken, meatballs and deviled eggs. Point guard Trey Burke predicted Seattle would win, but was hoping for “a good game” and wanted fellow former Michigan athlete Tom Brady to do well.
BLAME GAME: Snyder has a simple philosophy when it comes to players being upset with their playing time, something that inevitably happens when a team has between 13-15 players on it.
“They can be mad at me. I understand that. Everybody wants to play,” Snyder said. “They just can’t be mad at each other. They’ve all done that. They’re all putting the team first.”
WINNING SHOT: In the aftermath of making that crazy no-look, back-to-the-basket, over-the-head shot in Oklahoma City, Jazz power forward Trevor Booker decided to hold a trick-shot contest.
He hadn’t announced the winner at practice, but he knew which of the shots was going to win the prize.
"I’m not sure if it’s real or not,” he said. “It looks fake, but it's pretty cool."
Booker said multiple entrants re-created his shot, which many consider to be one of the craziest baskets ever made.
By the way, Booker gave that famous shot its own nickname: “The Hot Potato.”
SKILLS CHALLENGE: Although it’s been reported that Trey Burke has accepted an invitation to defend his Skills Challenge title, the Jazz point guard said he hasn’t heard anything official yet.
Burke and teammates Dante Exum and Rudy Gobert will all play in the Rising Stars Challenge game on Friday, Feb. 13, to kick off All-Star Weekend festivities, and he’s planning and is “excited” to take part in All-Star Saturday Night again. An announcement is expected Thursday.