SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz fans shouldn’t take this the wrong way, but Mike Conley was not thrilled to leave Memphis. It doesn’t mean he’s not excited to play basketball in the Beehive State; he just loved his time in Tennessee.
Those are two points Conley made in a worth-the-read Q&A with HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy.
“Memphis made me. I always say that. The experiences I had in that city and with those fans made me,” Conley said. “That city helped groom us into who we are, especially myself, and I love all of the memories that we created.”
Conley, who spent his first 12 NBA seasons in Elvis Presley’s old stomping grounds, had plenty of good to say about his new home in Salt Lake City.
“In the summertime, I didn’t realize that it’s so hot! (laughs) But, honestly, it’s so beautiful there. The people, the fans, have just been so welcoming. My family and I really enjoyed ourselves in the two or three weeks that we’ve been able to spend there. Everyone is just so excited! ”
On the Jazz: “The Jazz organization is top-notch in every way. Coach Quin (Snyder) is one of the best out there, and we have a really good roster. We have all of those in one bottle, so we have a lot going on and it’s going to be exciting.”
On playing with Donovan Mitchell (with whom he trained this summer): “It’s exciting to play next to a guy like Donovan because he’s truly a special player. When I say that, I mean his willingness to learn and his willingness to want to get better in so many different areas.”
On reuniting with Ed Davis and Jeff Green: “They easily could’ve went to an L.A. team or an East Coast team or anywhere else, but they chose to come to Utah. To be a reason why they picked Utah makes me feel great and that what I do isn’t just in the stat sheets. When you build relationships with guys and make sacrifices for guys, they respect it. “
Conley also answered questions about the Jazz’s loaded roster, Rudy Gobert, offseason training, returning to Memphis as a visitor, his involvement as a youth mentor for the Jr. NBA Global Championships and the possibility of him coaching in the future.
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Check out this sizzling drawing of The Stifle Tower.