Brevin Knight was enjoying a summer vacation last week when he was informed that he'd been traded to the Jazz from the Los Angeles Clippers.
So, naturally, dreaming of a white Christmas (what else?) in late July got him and his family "all on board" over their impending relocation from sunny Southern California to the oft-chillier Rocky Mountains.
"They haven't seen a snowy Christmas in a while, so I told 'em, 'Don't worry. They'll have enough snow to go around,"' Knight said while being introduced to Utah media Thursday at the Jazz's training facility.
Snow isn't the only thing the lightning-quick 5-foot-10 point guard is eagerly looking forward to experiencing this upcoming season in Utah, where he'll join his ninth NBA franchise.
Knight is mostly dreaming of winning in Salt Lake City. Winning in the postseason would be all the better for the well-traveled
11-year NBA veteran, who the Jazz received in exchange for third-string point guard Jason Hart.
"The last couple of years I've been wanting to get into a winning organization," he said Thursday at the Jazz training facility, "(and) be with a team that I felt was going to continue to win, and this organization has been that way over the years, so I was excited (to get traded)."
In other words, he'll happily trade Hollywood for the playoffs. Makes sense, too, considering he endured a 23-59 season with the Clippers in 2007-08 and has played in all of nine playoff games during stints with eight other teams over 11 seasons.
Knight will wear the No. 2 for the Jazz, and with his Stanford education, he is wise enough to realize that he'll be battling Ronnie Price to play second fiddle behind Utah's current Olympic-caliber point guard. The 1997 first-round pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who also spent time with Atlanta, Memphis, Phoenix, Washington, Milwaukee, Charlotte and L.A., said he completely understands that "this is Deron Williams' team."
Still, he looks forward to competing with and pushing the Jazz starter and hopes he can help improve his game and Utah's team regardless of when he comes off the bench.
"I don't come in here with any position ... I'm not first, second (string)," he said. "I'm coming as a player that's going to prove to the coaching staff, prove to the city, that I'm worthy of being on the court."
Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said Knight's "stability" is his greatest asset. He was, of course, speaking of Knight's consistent play and not his tendency to bounce around the league, which he even did three times during the 2003-04 season.
"He's consistently proven that he can run a team," O'Connor said.
Along with his leadership skills in running the team, Knight says the Jazz "expect me to be quick." He's quite familiar with the Jazz as an opponent, so he joked that he can already run the "1-4 high post" and "automatic" for coach Jerry Sloan. The 32-year-old also said the Jazz want their oldest roster player to provide "a positive voice in the locker room" and to help younger players.
O'Connor, however, insisted the Jazz got Knight for what he brings to the hardwood, not behind the scenes.
"We try never to make a move for the locker room. If you don't compete on the court and play on the court, it's very difficult to be good in the locker room," O'Connor said. "His role is going to be on the court, and anything else he brings is a plus."
Knight played in 74 games, starting 39, last year with the Clippers and averaged 4.6 points, 4.4 assists and 1.35 steals in 22.6 minutes of action. The Stanford product has logged 655 career regular-season games, having averaged 7.9 points, 6.6 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.77 steals an outing.
He is expecting big things from himself and the Jazz, who he considers to be an elite team in the Western Conference.
"I really like the team. I like the guys that they have here," he said. "I think we have the pieces to win, and hopefully I'll just be one of those final pieces to bring it all together."
Knight laughed when it was brought up that he is the squad's senior member.
"No problem," he said with a smile. "If you can be the oldest guy at 32, then that's all right. I'll probably be if not the quickest ... one of the quickest guys out there."
Knight added that he is excited to have the EnergySolutions Arena crowd behind him for a change.
"This city loves the Jazz. There's not more I can ask for (than) to come to a team that is loved by their city and they're a winning team," he said. "I look for this to be a good chance for me ... to win some games and do something positive and have some fun."KNIGHT NOTES: Knight was briefly a teammate of Matt Harpring's with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2000-01 season. ... Though he helped recruit twins Jarron and Jason Collins to Stanford, he finished his collegiate career before they played there. ... The Jazz, O'Connor confirmed, were among interested suitors in Knight's services after he was waived by Charlotte last year. ... Last year, Knight was second in the NBA with a 4.62 assists-to-turnover ratio. ... The New Jersey native, who became Stanford's all-time assists leader, will make $1.6 million next season in the last of his two-year, $3.2 million contract. ... The last time he participated in the postseason was in 2004 with the Bucks.
E-mail: [email protected]
Position: Point guard
Weight: 170 pounds
Born: Nov. 8, 1975
NBA career: 11 seasons
Travel log: Cleveland (1997-2001); Atlanta (2000-01); Memphis (2001-03); Phoenix (2003-04); Washington (2003-04); Milwaukee (2003-04); Charlotte (2004-07); L.A. Clippers (2007-08).
Career stats (1997-2008): 655 games, 7.9 ppg, 6.6 apg, 1.8 spg, 2.0 TOs
Last season (Clippers): 74 games, 39 starts, 4.6 ppg, 4.4 apg, 1.4 spg, .96 TOs