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Utah Jazz exit interviews: Notable quotes as Jazz face the 2021 offseason

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Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale, center, pats guard Donovan Mitchell, right, on the head as guard Mike Conley walks away

Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale, center, pats guard Donovan Mitchell, right, on the head as guard Mike Conley walks away in the closing minutes during the second half in Game 6 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers Friday, June 18, 2021, in Los Angeles.

Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press

The Utah Jazz’s season came to an end on Friday night after a Game 6 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. On Saturday the Jazz players, coach and executives went through their final interviews with reporters.

Below are some of the notable quotes from the day.

Mike Conley

  • On whether he would be interested playing for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics:

“If I’m able to get my named called or I get called up at one point to be a part of that team then I’ll definitely be ready to accept.” 

Bojan Bogdanovic

  • On playing for the Croatian national team:

“I’ll play for the national team and we are playing in seven or eight days so basically I’m heading right to the training camp.”

  • On what the Jazz talked about following the loss to the Clippers:

“It was tough to even even talk or say something smart after last night. We had a Game 7 coming on our home court, and we were more speechless than we were talking. We had a great season but when you lose the way we did last night, it’s tough to swallow that.”

Royce O’Neale

  • On how the Jazz could improve the team:

“I think one of our downfalls at times was defense, but it’s a team effort. I think having another guy to help us all out...probably another wing guy.”

Georges Niang

  • On pending free agency:

“Whatever happens, happens in free agency. I’ve never been a free agent, I’m new to all this stuff. Obviously, my heart is in in Utah, I love Utah, they gave me an opportunity to grow and mature as a man and a player and I’m forever thankful for that and I love being here.”

Rudy Gobert

  • On what steps need to be taken for the Jazz to get to the next level:

“There’s obviously a lot of things to think about, myself. Once again I’m going to have to clear my mind because there’s a lot of things that kind of bother me. I’m just going to ask myself the right questions and keep putting the work in, keep getting better and hopefully we’re going to have more opportunities.”

  • On what things are bothering him:

“I just don’t like losing.”

Derrick Favors

  • On how Game 6 played out:

“Terance Mann came out there and then had 39. I mean you can’t put that blame on anybody. The game plan was to try to make other guys beat us and not let Paul George beat us at all. You’ve got to give those guys credit, they hit shots. We did the best we could on PG and Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris and other guys, they just came out and made plays.”

  • On how he think he performed in his first season back in Utah:

“I think went good. I knew coming back that the minutes was going to be down and obviously the stats and the production is going to be down also because I’m playing behind Rudy, and he was going to play 30 to 35 minutes. I knew I wasn’t going to be a huge part of the offense. For my role on the team and for what was asked of me, I think it went good, especially as the season went along. There was some ups and downs here and there, but overall I think it was a productive season on my end.”

Quin Snyder

  • On his players and Jazz fans

“It’s difficult to see the season end on the note that it did and the way that it did. I feel lucky, blessed to have an opportunity to coach a group of men of the level of character and also commitment that they had to our group and to the organization, and I feel the same way about our fans.”

  • On the elimination game

“Last night was an outlier from a shooting standpoint, and you hope that over the course of a series, you can weather one of those games, but that doesn’t mean you don’t reflect on everything that’s associated with it and try to do better.”

Dennis Lindsey

  • On recent deaths within the organization

“We want to start out by remembering Jerry Sloan, Doug Birrell and Mark Eaton. They embodied what our organization stood for and were legends and we miss them.”

On the condensed season and the mounting injuries:

“Was there, in my opinion, a magic number out there that was better than 72 inside of this condensed period? I think there was, but also, there’s finances involved...that was all collectively bargained.”

  • On potential offseason changes

“Obviously we err towards continuity...I think the natural bent is grass isn’t always greener.”

This story will be updated throughout the day.