Rodney Hood gets first crack at his old teammate, Jabari Parker
Jason DeCrow, Associated Press
LAS VEGAS — The Utah Jazz are about to get their first look at a player they coveted leading up to the draft last month.
While the Jazz and fans are curious to see Jabari Parker for the first time in a Milwaukee Bucks uniform when the two teams play Monday (8:30 p.m.) at Thomas & Mack Center, the NBA Summer League game will be a fun reunion for Utah rookie Rodney Hood.
Parker, the No. 2 pick, and Hood, the No. 23 selection, were teammates last year at Duke.
“I know everybody wants to hype it up because it’s against Jabari and we might be guarding each other,” Hood said after Sunday’s practice. “At the same time we’re real good friends off the court, but on the court we’re going to go at each other.”
Hood said he’s kept in constant contact with Parker, whom the Jazz had hoped to be able to acquire on draft night before landing Dante Exum with the fifth pick.
“We talk almost every day. It’s just a great relationship. It goes past basketball,” Hood said. “Great kid, loves the game of basketball. (He can) handle the ball, do special things with the ball. And his size (6-8), it’s a plus.”
The game will be televised live on KJZZ-TV.
RU-T GOBERT: Jazz center Rudy Gobert got a technical foul Saturday night after slamming the ball on the court in frustration. He said it was “just frustration” that led to his emotions boiling over.
“Coach talked to me about the play before. He wanted me to dive on the ball. He said he doesn’t really care about the technical,” Gobert said. “I’ll be there the next game. I’m just mad. The next game will be better.”
The 7-1 big man scored 11 points, making four of five shots, and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds with two blocked shots.
“Not very happy,” he said when asked to reflect on his outing. “I got a couple of easy baskets, but I think I can do way better.”
TEN PERCENT: Jazz assistant Brad Jones said the coaching staff isn’t overly concerned with Utah’s 3-for-30 shooting performance from 3-point range in Saturday’s 74-70 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers’ squad.
“Our guys really tried to play right and do what we asked them to do. We just didn’t make open shots,” Jones said. “We’re not going to freak out about that. We’re just going to stay the course. We’ve got a lot of young guys out there trying to do the right and playing in an NBA game for the first time.”
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