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Tyus Jones: I was Ja Morant's biggest fan. He was mine when I was on the court

Tyus Jones: People would ask me if I felt like a starter and how I managed being in a backup role, even though I’ve said time after time that I view myself as a starter. When you’ve started, you’ve shown you’re a starter. For me, look at my situation. I was the backup to a Top 5 point guard in the league. I’m also very self-aware and understanding of the situation. I never took it personally or looked at it sideways. I was Ja’s biggest fan. He was mine when I was on the court. There was never any ill will, weirdness, or frustration for me. I understood my role with the team and what they were asking me to do. I also understand that when Ja was out and I was asked to start, what they were asking me to do as well. Being in this league is about keeping a level head and your mind sharp by staying locked in. It’s a long season. There are a lot of ups and downs and moving parts. You’ve got to always be ready whether you’re starting, coming off the bench, playing 40 minutes or four. You’ve got to be ready to maximize every opportunity you get. That’s something I’ve learned throughout my career. That’s what helped me in that stint in Memphis.
Source: Michael Scotto @ HoopsHype

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Michael Scotto @MikeAScotto
Story: Chats with Tyus Jones on free agency, Danilo Gallinari on his future, and Cole Anthony on the Magic. @YossiGozlan on long-term Timberwolves concerns. @FrankUrbina_ on Klay Thompson and Tobias Harris. @TikotDeRoa on In-Season Tournament suggestions. hoopshype.com/lists/nba-klay…10:45 AM
Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
I’m bored and waiting for a train, so here’s the Sixers role player trade I like:
Sixers get: Alex Caruso and Tyus Jones
Wizards get: Marcus Morris, Furkan Korkmaz and a first
Bulls get: Danilo Gallinari and a first
Sixers upgrade their defense, add passing and secure their… – 7:21 PM
Josh Robbins @JoshuaBRobbins
The Washington Wizards’ starters tonight against the Dallas Mavericks:
PG: Tyus Jones
SG: Jordan Poole
SF: Deni Avdija
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: Daniel Gafford – 6:43 PM
Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
Grizzlies’ Marcus Smart wore a walking boot after injuring left ankle vs Lakers. Earlier, Smart spoke to @Sportskeeda about encouraging team during tough start & Ja Morant. Smart: “We’re here for you & we’re going to continue to go out here & work.” bit.ly/3QC564V11:04 AM
Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
What’s funny about the Wizards is that this is the GOOD version of the team. What are they gonna look like when contenders offer sanctuary to Kyle Kuzma and Tyus Jones in February? – 10:22 PM
Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
Jaren Jackson Jr. to @Sportskeeda about the Grizzlies’ rough start without Ja Morant: “I’m not tripping about it. I’m going to blink, & he’s going to be back. We’re halfway to that point.” bit.ly/3svpCw410:12 AM

More on this storyline

What have you thought about your future in a contract season?  Tyus Jones: I try not to focus on it too much. I know there’s an opportunity here starting in a contract year. I’m trying to let that stuff play itself out and take care of it when it gets here. I like where I’m at. I like what we have here in DC. I like the future and what this could be. I want to be a part of that. I’m looking forward to doing so. -via HoopsHype / November 16, 2023
What have been your impressions of Kyle Kuzma as a player and person?  Tyus Jones: He’s a tremendous leader. He takes that very seriously, being the leader of the team, the voice and the face. It’s paid off. He’s hit the ground running this year, how well and consistently he’s playing on both ends of the floor. He’s been extremely vocal. That’s something I think he’s taken a step forward in doing. Guys are following his lead. It’s cool to see because we’ve known each other from high school and college and playing against each other in the league. It’s cool to be on the same team, working together and trying to achieve the same goals. -via HoopsHype / November 16, 2023
This season, Poole and Kuzma face a first attempt to merge into something stirred by floor general Tyus Jones, which Poole has dubbed the “JP-Kuz sauce.” “We’re gonna bring our own little flair to the nation’s capital,” Poole told Yahoo Sports. So does this sauce have a recipe? “Aw, pshhh,” Poole said. “That’s undisclosed information. That’s undisclosed information. I can’t.” OK, they’re secret ingredients? “Yeah, I can’t tell just everybody.” Poole looked incredulous. “The sauce?” Well, one ingredient must be buckets? “Definitely,” Poole grinned. “Definitely the main component is buckets.” -via Yahoo! Sports / November 10, 2023
How much have you gotten do to that with Ja, even though he’s not playing yet? Marcus Smart: “He’s always around. He’s doing everything that he can that he’s able to do. He’s accessible. With his circumstances, he’s here. He’s constantly talking. He’s making sure he’s around the guys. He’s asking questions and he’s learning. He’s also teaching everybody else. There are a lot of new guys here who don’t understand how things work here in the organization. Being able to have somebody like Ja who has been here and understands it, he has helped us out a little bit. He’s been great with building that relationship.” -via SportsKeeda / November 15, 2023
I’m paraphrasing. But in another interview, you essentially knocked down the narrative that you’re going to do need to babysit Ja Morant because of his suspension related to last season. What would you say your actual role has been with trying to help him? Marcus Smart: “I’m just being me and being who I am. The person that I am is the basketball player that I am. I demand a lot from myself, and I demand a lot from the team. I demand that we can control we can control. That’s effort. We can go out there and play with effort every day. You can’t win all of them, but you can always play with effort. For him, it’s about understanding, ‘Hey man, you made a mistake. I’ve made mistakes in my life and have been in some [stuff], too. I went into the stands on somebody [with Oklahoma State], and that could’ve cost my whole career.’ I’m just letting him know that, ‘Everything is okay. Don’t feel like you let anybody down and that no one wants to be around you or that nobody understands you or that nobody gets what you’re going through. We get it. We just want you to know that we’re here for you and we’re going to continue to go out here and work until you get back. Then when you get back, we’ll be on a run.’” -via SportsKeeda / November 15, 2023
Taylor said you, Desmond Bane and Marcus Smart have had important leadership roles this season with all the key absences. What are you guys doing? Jaren Jackson Jr: “We just talk about stuff off the court on how we want to do certain things. We’re grown as hell now. It’s pretty simple. We’re leaders in our own lives. Now you just bring it to the team and mesh it well. They’ve been responsive. We have new guys coming in that had leadership roles on their teams. Then you have us. Everybody takes on the responsibility. Ja is also still very much around. -via SportsKeeda / November 14, 2023



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