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I recently asked Collin Sexton what kind of music, what songs specifically, he listens to before a game starts.

“I don’t listen to music before the game,” he said.

But I see him wearing earbuds pregame in the locker room and while he’s warming up, so what is it he’s listening to?

“Calming sounds,” Sexton said. “Kind of like meditative, like on a sound machine.”

He explained that he’s already so hyped up and has so much energy that it’s more beneficial for him to calm down before a game starts than it is to do anything else. And for anyone who has been around Sexton or even just watched him play, that’s just about the most Collin Sexton thing I’ve ever heard.

If you take the time to watch only Sexton during a Jazz game, even when he isn’t playing, he’s spilling over with energy and excitement. He hardly ever sits down, he paces and runs during timeouts, he’s the first one off the bench, he’s jumping up and down. He’s all over the place.

“I love Collin to death,” Utah Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “His intensity, his passion, his want to win, his energy is infectious.”

On Wednesday, in a win over the New York Knicks, Sexton had two plays that perfectly encapsulated the kind of player and person he is.

He’s been itching to force an eight-second backcourt violation this season and he finally got one against the Knicks and celebrated by flexing and screaming to the point that it looked like he might split out of his skin.

“I almost ran on the court and gave him a high-five I was so hyped up when it happened,” Hardy said. “That’s what he gives us every night and the crowd feeds off of him. Collin’s a very endearing person.”

Then, later in the game, while playing the ball denier in a box-and-one zone defense, Sexton took the job description of ‘deny Jalen Brunson’ and ran with it. In fact, he defended Brunson all the way into the far right corner of the court and then continued to guard Brunson out of bounds and nearly into the Jazz tunnel at the Delta Center.

“I almost like want to apologize to Jalen Brunson,” Hardy said with a laugh. “Collin took his job very literally ... that was Collin going above and beyond his work responsibilities. ... Collin is my favorite. I love it. He makes me happy every night. ... After the game, we all got a good laugh out of that.”

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Quote of the week

“I actually don’t know the rule, because they changed the rule that you can’t stand out of bounds. ... So I would assume that like escorting somebody out of the gym (is) illegal” — Utah Jazz coach Will Hardy on Collin Sexton guarding Jalen Brunson

From the archives

Adaptability is the name of the game for the Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy has a message for his team — if you don’t play hard, you don’t belong here

Extra points

  • Though the deck was stacked against them, the Jazz came alive in Portland (Deseret News)
  • Hundreds of Karl Malone collectibles are up for auction (Deseret News)
  • Keyonte George injury is the latest blow to the Jazz (Deseret News)
  • The Jazz have been running some wacky defenses — and they’ve worked (Salt Lake Tribune)

Around the league

Up next: 2023-24 regular season

  • Dec. 16 | 8 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Sacramento Kings | NBA TV
  • Dec. 18 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. Brooklyn Nets | KJZZ
  • Dec. 20 | 5 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Cleveland Cavaliers | KJZZ
  • Dec. 21 | 5 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Detroit Pistons | KJZZ

All times MST

Utah Jazz coach Will Hardy laughs with guard Collin Sexton (2) during a game between the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on April 4, 2023. | Ryan Sun, Deseret News