Utah Jazz: Bell is ringing for Raja
Vet expects to answer call for bigger impact after 'difficult' season
"I think his head is clear now. Last year, he was coming off an injury. He didn't play pretty much the year before," Corbin said. "Some guys as you get older it takes you a little while to get back to where you want to be.
"I think he used last year as an example during the summer to get himself in better shape to be able to go this year."
Bell can be vocal and fiery, as well as helpful and understanding. The latter is the approach he's taking as far as his role on the team goes.
Corbin said all positions are up for grabs, and Bell accepts that even though he started in 63 of his 68 games last season.
"I thought I was coming here to play a backup role," Bell said. "If they thought I was the best way to go last year for a while, I was OK with that. I'm in the same situation now."
Bell, whose wife, Cindy, is expecting their third child in January, isn't certain what role he'll play this year. Starter? Bench? Scorer? Wise team grandpa?
One certainty, Bell's knowledge and experience from 11 years in the NBA can be of great value to young wing players like Gordon Hayward and rookie Alec Burks.
Assistant Jeff Hornacek called Bell "very valuable" just because of the mentorship aspect.
"We've got a lot of young guys on the team," Jazz assistant Jeff Hornacek said. "And he's got to be one of our veterans who helps and adds stability and leadership to this team, and set an example for our young guys to follow. It's very important."
Hayward took advantage of Bell's guidance last season — and benefited while the veteran was sidelined late in the season, too. The second-year swingman from Butler laughed while watching Bell teasingly tell Jeremy Evans he couldn't dunk during their pre-practice h-o-r-s-e game Sunday.
"He's been really good for us, for me — just kind of showing me the ropes, and he's been doing it a while," Hayward said. "He's a professional. He knows how to act on and off the court.
"He's a competitor, too. That's what I love about him. He might get mad during practices or something, but off the court he's still going to be there for you and tell you what you did wrong or what you can improve on or what to expect. He's definitely been a big help."
Bell plans to continue doing that while his life path has taken him on a detour from Miami to the mountains.
"I don't really have any expectations. I don't know what the future holds," Bell said. "I'm just coming to have fun with these guys, get better and play some basketball."
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