Jamaal Tinsley entered a game Wednesday against the Los Angeles Lakers having not scored a point for the Jazz. He'd played just 22 minutes in five of Utah's nine contests, averaging zero points, 1 assist and 0.6 rebounds.
But just because the nine-year veteran was barely playing doesn't mean he couldn't speak up. And that's just what the 33-year-old point guard has done ever since putting on a Jazz uniform.
Utah center Al Jefferson said Tinsley has been Utah's loudest supporter and most vocal critic in 2011-12. During games, Tinsley often jumps off the bench the second he sees something he loves or passionately disagrees with. After the Jazz dropped three of four contests by an average of 19 points to start the season, it was Tinsley who called out his Utah teammates for letting themselves down.
How loud has Tinsley been? Jefferson calls him "The Voice."
"Everyday we heard [about] things that we wasn't doing that we needed to hear," Jefferson said. "He was the main one."
Tinsley learned how to speak up from 2001-08 while playing for Indiana. Several of the seasons were the best years of his career, and he soaked up leadership and fearlessness from Pacers great Reggie Miller.
Tinsley said there wasn't a specific speech that reached the Jazz. Instead, he just stayed in his new teammates' ears, reminding them about the power of pride and teamwork.
"My voice is good and [I was] just letting them know that I'm here, no matter what," Tinsley said. "Whatever it take to show them that it ain't about me playing. It's about me just being a teammate and letting them know what I've been through. … As long as you stay together and play as a team, you can overcome everything."
Jazz guard Raja Bell said some of the best moments of his career occurred during his 2005-08 run with Phoenix. The focus of his toughest battles: Los Angeles guard Kobe Bryant.
To Bell, Bryant is the player people "love to hate."
After fighting Bryant for years, Bell has nothing but respect for the five-time NBA champion.
"As far as just a pure competitor a guy who just relishes the opportunity to get it done and what not he's definitely the best I've played against," Bell said.