Excerpts from a media interview with Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson conducted Friday morning prior to a workout at the team practice facility.Jefferson on the learning curve:It's a lot of information that I had to get in, and I kind of got frustrated with myself. Coach and them has been real patient with me. Don't get down on myself. There's a lot that you have to learn. They're throwing a lot at you right now. I tell you, I'm a lot better today than I was on Tuesday, as far as offense. A couple times, I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. But it's, like I was saying earlier, it's more of a read. I'm just getting to the point that I know if D Williams is passing the ball to the elbow and cut one way, I kind of know what the play is. It's kind of like a read. So I'm getting a lot better. Coaches and players being understanding:Yeah. They've been real patient. My teammates are helping me out a lot. The coaches helped me out; gave me a disc I can watch at home every night with the plays all on it. It's been a lot easier for me.Chemistry:It's something that I've never been a part of. Even in Boston my rookie year, there was a lot of things going on that I couldn't pay attention to, as far as the team and the chemistry and stuff like that. Here, everybody on the same page. Everybody want to see each other do well. And everybody got a positive attitude and know what our main goal is, and that's something that I've never been a part of. Challenging each other:Yeah. At the same time, it's competition in practice. But it's not about it's not a negative competition. It's more positive. Push your teammates. Because in the game, we're all going to be as one.Weight last season:Two sixty five is what I played at last year. And that didn't work out too good playing the 5 spot. I wanted to get up to 275 is my playing weight. Right now, I'm 277. That's the weight I want to play in. That's the weight the GM agreed on. I think I'm a lot better at that weight, as far as playing there in the paint. Because a lot of guys were just pushing me around last year at 265. Even if I'm at the 4 or the 5. I think 275 is where I need to be.Muscle weight:Yeah, yeah. Hopefully all muscle.Three weeks to get into shape:This training camp helps. We go real hard in our training camp. And I feel a lot better from day one until now. It's amazing how good I feel. I think if I had been anywhere else, I would be in good shape. But it's just getting use to this thing; high altitude. I'm feeling a lot better, man. It's getting better and better. I just want to use the rest of this time, this preseason, to get in even more top shape.
Brian T. Smith