2018-12-20T13:42:26+00:00July 30th, 2014|

Right now, I’m in Las Vegas as part of the Team USA pool that’s getting ready for the FIBA World Cup. That’s pretty special. There’s nothing like playing for the USA. I said that when I played for the United States U-19 Team in New Zealand, and nothing has changed.

There’s just something amazing about having USA across your chest.

2014 USA Basketball Men's National Team Practice

I’m really excited and thrilled that I was able to get this opportunity, and hope to make the most of it.

I would love to make the final team, and get to go to Spain and play. It would be a dream come true. That’s something I’ve thought about and wanted to do my whole life — especially with Coach K there, and some of the other talent.

To be alongside those guys would be really fun. When you’re around the kind of talent that’s on the National Team, you sometimes catch yourself watching your teammates, in awe of some of the things they can do. At the same time, I’m right here with them.

2014 USA Basketball Practice

Every time I’ve been around players of this caliber, I’ve tried to be a sponge, and just soak up everything. There’s so much to learn. The coaching is unbelievable, and it’s great to get know some of the players you don’t normally play with.  You build friendships and then those become rivalries when you go and play that team during the season.

That’s quite a different dynamic, too, which is very cool.


Working with Team USA is also helping me get ready for the upcoming season. There are a lot of adjustments I need to make to help the team succeed, and to succeed in what I’m trying to accomplish as a player.

First and foremost: I need to be a much better shooter than I was last year. I’m constantly working on shooting and continuing to develop my mid-range game. I have to get better these next couple of years.

I believe that I can, and that I have the talent and drive to be an All-Star. It’s not something you can do alone in this league. You need your team to be successful to get there. So that process starts with making sure our team is doing the right things, and making sure we get ourselves going in the right direction.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz

That’s one of the reasons why I’m also working on improving as a leader. I know the Jazz want and need me to be a leader in the locker room, and on the court. I’m not an extremely vocal guy, but I’ve always led by example. That’s who the Jazz expect me to be: Somebody that the younger guys can look up to and see that I’m competing every day in practice, that I’m doing the right things and being professional.

It’s a pretty cool feeling to be in this position at my age, but it’s not entirely unexpected. A high school coach told me a while ago that leadership isn’t about how old you are. It’s going to be a challenge for sure, but something that I’ve dreamed about being able to do. I want to see it through. And the older I get and the more experience I get, the more vocal a leader I think I’ll become. That’s something else that I can continue to improve upon. The best teams usually have the best chemistry, and everybody is on the same page. That’s something that I can try to make happen as well.

Communication is a very important part of that. The longer you play together, the more you develop what I call silent chemistry. It’s the point you reach where you can just give each other a look, and know where to go. Obviously, we’re not there yet. So we have to make sure we’re all doing things the right way, and then, we have to hold each other accountable.

I didn’t know much about our new coach, Quin Snyder, before he was hired. I’d seen him on benches before. I knew he had the reputation of being very tough, but also a player’s coach. And from what I’d heard, he is a really good X and O guy.


I talked to him right after I signed, and it was a really great conversation. We didn’t even talk basketball. He’d heard that I just recently got married, so we talked about the wedding, and things like that.

That really struck me. He seems like someone that players can relate to. It’s comforting when you can meet someone who you’re going to work with, and they know that it’s not all about basketball, and instead just chat with you about life. It helps to strengthen that relationship.

Coach Snyder also came out to Las Vegas to meet with me at Team USA Training Camp, which is a great thing.

I’m looking forward to getting to know him better as time goes on and working with him this fall in Utah.


Through my short time with the Jazz, we’ve gone through some bouts of adversity. But any time you can fight through adversity, you become stronger both as a person and as a basketball player.

Even though it’s only my fifth year, I’ve seen a lot.

I’ve seen a legendary Hall of Fame coach leave during the middle of the season. I’ve seen an All-Star point guard traded. We’ve made the playoffs one year, and been one of the worst teams the next. I’ve definitely learned a lot already, and I’m looking forward to getting back on the winning side, and moving forward from there.

Houston Rockets v Utah Jazz

Competing in the Western Conference is very difficult, but the level of competition throughout the conference also brings out the best in players. As an NBA player you want to compete against the best, and you definitely get that chance in the West every night. There’s no room for error. The teams are so good from top to bottom. You have to bring it every single night. If you don’t, then you’re out by the middle of April.

Success comes with experience. That was the biggest difference in our team between the years we went to the playoffs, and the years we didn’t. Not to make excuses or place blame, but when you have a guy who’s a coach in a place for 26 years and he leaves, that’s a difficult transition for any franchise.

We’ve kind of been rebuilding since then, and I think we’re headed in the right direction. In the future, I believe we’ll be right back to where the older teams were.

We definitely have the talent to be successful. Now it’s up to us to decide: Are we going to come together as a team, have everyone play their role and give ourselves a shot?


  1. Art Yost July 30, 2014 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    I have considered u my boy since ur rookie year. You have the potential to excell and be one of the greatsm. You are the only stepping stone up or down. I will always be in ur corner.
    I am a retired Navy career person and a 100o/o disabled vet.

  2. Buuyee July 30, 2014 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    You truly are the leader now. I can see your attitude, skills and body improved for this season. Take your chance and earn it. Lead this team to playoffs and championship. We the jazz’s got all the potentials. Always Jazz and your fan Mongolian family.

  3. Nathan July 30, 2014 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    Great read. I must admit it has been difficult at times watching the rebuilding process, however it really seems as if things are coming together nicely. It must be exciting being in your position and knowing that you are the number 1 guy that the team feels is the best to lead out that rebuild. Excited to see you and all the other guys play this season. Hopefully I make it out to the Thomas and Mack to see you play this Friday. I don’t get to see my jazz guys much living down here. I sure hope you are chosen for the final team, you deserve it!

  4. Tanner C July 30, 2014 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    I have followed the Jazz pretty closely for many years now, and have mostly been interested in wins/losses, and follow some of the news on players. I have to say reading your blog has been very interesting because I can see the personal voice you put into the writing. I have enjoyed seeing that side of a player. It is funny too, being the same age as you and thinking of all the stress you probably go through. Good luck Gordon. I’m glad you’re sticking around here in Utah.

  5. Tony July 30, 2014 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Thanks for posting this! I hope you have a great time with team USA. We’ll be cheering for you to make the team and looking forward to having you back in Utah as soon as possible. Keep it up!

  6. Brock July 30, 2014 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    You have one of the better pick and roll games in the league from the wing position.

    I think in today’s game the masters at the pick and roll have great floaters. The way Tony Parker can toss up floaters in the paint is incredible and nobody can guard it.
    You already have that pick and roll game down. Your patience and slashing is great.
    I think it shows great character that you admit you want to improve your outside shot.
    If you go that floater down off the pick and roll I think teams would be fearful big time because you already have the passing skills.

  7. Julie Thompson July 30, 2014 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Great article Gordon!
    It’s fun to get to know you better through these posts!
    Good luck on making team USA.
    We’re rooting for you here in Ogden!

  8. Dave Green July 30, 2014 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    You will be fine as long as you get that 3 point shooting percentage up. I know the whole team will be better going forward with coach Snyder. Good luck with team USA. I hope you make the team.

  9. Trent July 31, 2014 at 1:11 am - Reply

    It’s G-Time baby! 🙂 So happy the Jazz decided to pay you. I’m really hoping that you, Trey, Alec and Danté mesh well! Combined with Favors, Kanter and Gobert, I am really starting to believe in the direction the front office is trying to go in. You are all elite young athletes and I think we have a great core thats only a year or two away from being really good. If they would have let you walk to Charlotte we would have been a joke next season. But I believe that you can be one of the leaders of this team. Just because you’re paid the most doesn’t mean you have to be the only leader. Other guys need to step up and lead by example and everyone needs to communicate and be vocal. Hopefully Coach Snyder is the guy who can instill that in everyone. He seems to really believe in passing and sharing the ball! Having a great TEAM is the only way to take down players like Lebron. And the Spurs proved it. Good luck Gordo! Go JAZZ!!!

  10. Scott July 31, 2014 at 1:16 am - Reply

    It’s nice to hear that you really want to be worth that big contract you signed. Sounds like you know what you have to do to help the team succeed. I truly hope it works out because I love the Jazz.

  11. Ryan F July 31, 2014 at 4:33 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Gordon. Good luck with rest of your time with Team USA. I sincerely hope you make that team!

    Regardless of wins, losses, salaries, or any other statistics, I am a huge fan of the Utah Jazz. And I can’t remember being this excited to start the season since the 90s. True Jazz fans are 100% behind you, your teammates, the coaches, and the management. Good luck this year…now KICK SOME BUTT!!!!

  12. Josh S July 31, 2014 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Great post Gordon. Good luck with team USA, I hope you make it
    Jazz fans are behind you 100%
    So glad you are coming back to Utah this fall. We’ll be cheering for you.
    I already can’t wait for the Jazz season to start! Go Jazz!

  13. Matt August 1, 2014 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the article. Glad Utah put up the money to sign you back, I think you’re worth it. Hope you make the team and can’t wait for jazz basketball to start up again. Good luck to you personally and to the team.

  14. cw August 1, 2014 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    Do you ever get any negative comments? Do you post them?

  15. ISP August 11, 2014 at 4:18 am - Reply

    Really glad you’re sticking around Gordon, besides being a great player you’re a class-act. Good luck this season, go Jazz!

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