SALT LAKE CITY — Rodney Hood is typically mild-mannered.
He’s great with the media, prides himself on being a family man, but apparently Utah Jazz fans are beginning to lose hope in the left-handed shooter.
After missing six of his first seven shot attempts in the opening quarter of Utah’s 109-94 loss to Indiana Monday, loud boos were heard across Vivint Arena from local fans.
Hood certainly caught wind of them, and said it only adds fuel to his fire.
“I feed off of it. ... it is what it is,” Hood told KSL’s Andy Larsen. “I just gotta be who I am. It is what it is. I’ve been through tough times before.”
Hood would go on to finish with 15 points on 6-for-14 shooting in 21 minutes.
“I’ve had people give up on me before,” Hood added. “This (expletive) is nothing new and I keep moving forward. This is my fourth year. This is the best season I’ve had since I’ve been here. So it is what it is. If people boo or they say (expletive) about me, I just keep going. That’s all I can do. I keep my head up. I’m gonna keep shooting the ball. It is what it is. I just gotta keep fighting and not lose confidence because everybody else does.”
For the season, he averages a career-high 16.5 points, 2.8 rebound and 1.8 assists, while embracing his new role off the bench, but his shot has been spotty at times.
He was also fined $35,000 by the league on Jan. 12 after slapping a phone out of a fan’s hand while exiting the court following an ejection in Washington on Jan. 10, citing frustration as the reason.
Still, his statistical production is by far the best of his career. It’s unclear on what Jazz fans are expecting out of the former Duke star.
“Give Rodney credit, he played through a tough start,” said Jazz coach Quin Snyder. “I think the more our focus cannot be on my shot, or the individual part of the game, offense gets easier.”
Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell was also ticked off by the boos and tweeted to the fans that “WE ARE BETTER THAN THAT!”
“Tough loss tonight but we will bounce back ....” Mitchell tweeted. “Can’t believe people were booing Rodney tonight that is insane to boo a man who works his butt off everyday to become a better player and for people to boo him is INSANE He gives his all for us and we do the same for him! GOOD NIGHT!”