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Following the Utah Jazz’s 50-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks this week, coach Will Hardy was disappointed and the players were understandably embarrassed.

Inside the Jazz locker room moments after the game, players shook their heads in disbelief, noting that they’d never been on the wrong side of a 50-point loss at any point in their lives, until now.

All the players said the right things — they’d let their play slip, they’d gone away from what has made them successful before, they didn’t blame any one person and said that they needed to come together to be better in all ways.

But, rookie Keyonte George’s words were not only right, they were really smart.

Related
Jazz put on a ‘horrendous performance’ in 50-point loss to the Mavericks

“That’s unacceptable,” George said. “We can’t go out here and lose like that — not play hard and not communicate, not compete. This is a great organization to be a part of, a winning organization with winning DNA. ... There’s got to come a point where we’ve got to show it each and every night, every 82. We’ve just got to continue to keep building and keep building and keep taking small steps.”

That pretty much lined up with what everyone else in the locker room said. It was what he said next that felt wise beyond his years.

“We’ll figure it out, but it’s just gonna take some time and it’s gonna take some sacrifice,” he said. “We have to be willing to do what Will wants, do it the right way and not do it our own way. We have to be disciplined enough to do it each and every possession.”

In one breath, he called out the kind of selfish play the Jazz have a bad habit of falling into and also showed loyalty and deference to his head coach.

Sure, it’s a small thing, but these kinds of small things add up. Saying something like this shows that he’s willing to put his own feelings aside in order to execute a game plan. In the future, this also gives George (if he does what the coaching staff wants) the ability to shift blame from himself.

Add savvy to the ever-growing list of adjectives we can use to describe the Jazz’s standout rookie.

New with the Jazz

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Quote of the week

“That was an absolutely horrendous performance from start to finish. That was a masterpiece of dog----.” — Utah Jazz coach Will Hardy

From the archives

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Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy has a message for his team — if you don’t play hard, you don’t belong here
Jazz release trailer for upcoming documentary about the franchise

Extra points

  • Keyonte George told Taylor Hendricks to ‘be ready’ (Deseret News)
  • Why the NBA won’t let the Lakers wear their lucky black jerseys (Deseret News)
  • Salt Lake City ‘working hard’ to keep Utah Jazz downtown (Salt Lake Tribune)

Around the league

Up next: 2023-24 regular season

  • Dec. 8 | 8 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers | ESPN
  • Dec. 11 | 6 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Oklahoma City Thunder | KJZZ
  • Dec. 13 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. New York Knicks | KJZZ
  • Dec. 14 | 8 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Portland Trail Blazers | KJZZ

All times MST

Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy slaps hands with Jazz guard Keyonte George, left, during game Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, in Salt Lake City. | Isaac Hale, Associated Press