Paul Millsap Jazz Media Interview

December 20th, 2013 | by Tracy Weissenberg

As reporters congregated around Paul Millsap, the eighth-year forward’s tone had a bittersweet tinge when reminiscing about his time as a member of the Utah Jazz. Millsap, the 47th overall pick in 2006, grew into a household name during his seven seasons with the Jazz. This past summer, Millsap signed with Atlanta as an unrestricted agent after the Jazz decided on a drastic rebuild. This season, the versatile forward is averaging 16.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and a career-best 43.4 percent from three.

courtesy: Getty Images

courtesy: Getty Images

As he prepared to face his former team for the first time, Millsap spoke to the media about his past with the Jazz and current opportunity in Atlanta.

On how his career ended in Utah:

Paul Millsap: “For me, it was a little disappointing. Anywhere you go, you want to try to win big, and I wasn’t able to do that. I felt like I’d done all I could do, so had to move on.”

On whether he was surprised to not re-sign with Jazz: 

PM: “I don’t know. Things happen for a reason. I feel like that and [that I landed] where I’m at for a reason. I can’t really look back in the past and say ‘if this, if that.’ I’ve got to move forward.”

On whether he knew he could shoot threes at the career-high percentage he is averaging this season: 

PM: “Did I know? Yeah. Did I have the confidence to do it? No. Getting here, the coaching staff, giving me the confidence, the players, giving me the confidence to put me in the situations to shoot it and make it.”

On his expanded role on offense:

PM: “Here, they’re pushing me to shoot it more and it’s part of the offense. I feel like, they feel like, that we’re at our best if I space the floor and shoot the ball…It moves me out from under the basket a lot, getting banged on, so that helps a lot.”

On whether he sensed Jazz were on the verge of a drastic rebuild:

PM: “No, not at all. I don’t think anybody had seen it coming. It was one of those things that happened. You can’t help but respect the decision from the front office, they have control over that.”

On his rise from late second-round pick to top option:

PM: “It feels great to know that your hard work pays off. Over the years, I busted my butt to get where I’m at, so I’m very grateful. I feel like I’m getting another opportunity to come out here and showcase my talents.”

On Gordon Hayward’s leadership:

PM: “He’s more of a floor leader than a vocal leader. I think everybody knows G’s a pretty quiet guy. When he gets on the court, the ball’s in his hands, he makes decisions. He’s a good decision maker. As far as leading, he’s pretty much a good leader on the court.”

On his time in Utah, whether one memory stands out: 

PM “All of it’s together, it just brings up one incredible career in Utah. Not just one memory sticks out. Over the course of the years, met great people, befriended a lot of people. It was great times.”

On whether he has incentive to play his best game against former team:

PM: “A win would be good enough for me.”

Tracy Weissenberg

Tracy Weissenberg

Tracy Weissenberg is a writer for SLAM magazine, operating the “Basketballista” blog on slamonline.com, as well as working as an on-air reporter for SLAM TV. She also works for Turner Sports, working in production for various NBA television programs.
Tracy Weissenberg
Tracy Weissenberg

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