SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz introduced its newest rookie to the public today after drafting Duke University standout Grayson Allen last week.
The team held a press conference at Zions Bank Basketball Center. Allen covered everything from adapting to the NBA style of play to the weather here in Utah. Allen doesn’t seem to mind the heat of summer in the Beehive State as he is from Jacksonville, Florida.
“The heat feels great, especially coming from Florida where it feels a lot hotter than it is here,” Allen said.
The Jazz rookie even discussed a text he received from former teammate Frank Jackson who played at Lone Peak High school. “You’re going to the best state in the U.S.,” said Jackson.
Allen expressed excitement on taking his game to the next level because the NBA offers more spacing which allows him to utilize more of his skills.
“This year, I didn’t get much stuff at the rim, much stuff at the free-throw line,” Allen said describing some of his limitations in his senior year. “I think I’ll be able to drive more, and I still have a very good driving game that I showed earlier on at Duke.”
Allen averaged 15.5 points per game, dished out 4.6 assists per game, and pulled 3.3 rebounds per game for the Blue Devils last year. He has had an image of being a dirty player, but Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey interviewed Allen before drafting him and expressed optimism.
“We’re very, very confident in who he is,” Lindsey said of Allen on draft night. “We’re confident in his intelligence, we’re confident that he was contrite with the mistakes that he’s made in the past.”
He will wear number 24 and says a former Lakers star may played an influence in choosing that number.
“Looking at the list of numbers that is the first one that popped out at me,” Allen said. “It could be because I grew up watching Kobe (Bryant) but when I was looking at them (the list of possible jersey numbers) 24 popped out at me and said ‘Hey, I gotta go with that.'”
Jazz rookie Grayson Allen cites Kobe Bryant as a possible influence for his No. 24 jersey in Utah. pic.twitter.com/7FGciEK8CW
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) June 27, 2018
The first opportunity for Jazz fans to see Grayson Allen on the hardwood is next week at the Utah Jazz Summer League. The Jazz will take on the San Antonio Spurs Monday at Vivint Smart Home Arena at 7 p.m.
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