Dennis Lindsey’s honesty stunned Rodney Hood. The Jazz general manager told Hood he needed significant all-around improvement in what was a frank exit meeting the day after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Utah Jazz in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. Lindsey challenged his shooting guard. He wants more consistency. He wants Hood to visit the free-throw line more often. He wants the guard who is entering a contract year to turn his offensive ability into efficient production. “He told me the truth,” Hood said. “He said he wanted me to get better and to prepare myself for a bigger role.” That meant staying in Salt Lake City for most of this summer instead of his usual offseason practice of going home. That allowed Hood to work tirelessly on his game with Jazz assistant Johnnie Bryant. How will it translate to the regular season is a question yet to be answered. Hood and his teammates have reconvened as a group two weeks before training camp starts. They played pickup games and worked out together this week in San Diego. And now the Jazz are back together, ready to test themselves without Gordon Hayward. “There were a lot of challenges we gave Rodney,” Lindsey said. “What he needs to be doing, his commitment level to his development. And he’s responded this summer. He’s going to be given a prominent role, and his development will be significant to us.” Hood wasn’t alone in Salt Lake over the summer. Most of the returning Jazz roster stayed local for at least a portion of the offseason to work with the coaching staff to try to iron out the kinks in their individual skillsets. Dante Exum, Rudy Gobert, Joe Johnson, Alec Burks, Raul Neto and Joe Ingles all stuck around for extra coaching.
Rodney Hood, challenged by Jazz GM to improve, rededicates himself
Salt Lake Tribune | Sep 10