You can take the man out of Texas, but you can't take the Texas out of the man. That saying aptly describes C.J. Miles. The Dallas native's NBA loyalties are in Utah but part of his heart remains in the Longhorn State. Which explains the Texas Rangers' hat he sported after Friday's shootaround, his love for the Cowboys and why he had the words Dallas and Texas stitched into the back of the basketball shoes he sported against the Mavericks. With two games against Dallas in an eight-day stretch, Jazz writer Jody Genessy and other media members peppered Miles with five Tex-centric questions:
1. Question: Wednesday was about rookie Gordon Hayward getting to play against his hometown team, the Indiana Pacers. Do you still have butterflies and get excited to play Dallas?
Answer: Yeah, all the time. It's bragging rights. It's always fun to play your home team that everybody gets to see. And (Friday was) a national TV game so everybody (was) able to watch on ESPN. It's always great to go home and we played Dallas and everybody saw it and (wants to) talk about the game. Everybody wants to talk about, "Oh, the Mavericks are going to beat you and this and that."
2. Question: How much do you talk to friends and family after Jazz-Mavericks games?
Answer: As much as you can get. I have to turn my phone off sometimes because it just rings through the whole night from people who watched the game. Whether you played good or you played bad, people are just excited to see you play because it's a privilege, man. It's a blessing to be able to do this for a living and to make it from where we were, the guys I grew up with and the places we lived in. It wasn't the worst, but it wasn't the best.
3. Question: How many Mavericks fans have you converted into Jazz fans?
Answer: A few actually — more family than friends, but a few. (Laughs) I've still got uncles that are Lakers fans. We've got to talk about that. (More laughs.)
4. Question: Dallas had some pretty rough seasons there for a while. Growing up, how big of a Mavericks fan were you?
Answer: They weren't that good when I was young. I was a big Michael Finley fan young, though. That was when he was really at his best. Steve Nash started to come along and Dirk, when they were on at the same time, started to come along. They were better, but around that time I was older and I was more into, like, just the game and I had favorite players more than a favorite team, because that's all I watched is basketball. Then I got drafted and it was like, well, it's a cardinal sin (to be a Mavericks fan).
5. Question: Were you around for the Roy Tarpley years?
Answer: No. You've got to remember, man. I was born in '87. I was young when some of that stuff was going on. I don't remember too much of it.