SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Their names may be difficult to say, but for Thabo Sefolosha and Jonas Jerebko, picking the Jazz was an easy decision, especially for Jerebko, who was a Jazz fan as a kid.
“I grew up as a fan of the Jazz organization,” said Jerebko at his introductory press conference Tuesday. “Just watching them play and playing video games back in Sweden. I actually owned a Malone jersey back home. I was a fan during their ’97 and ’98 runs. It just felt like a perfect fit.”
“Defensively, it’s a team that really prides themselves with Rudy [Gobert] and everybody being tough on the defensive end,” said Sefolosha. “That’s what my game is mostly about.”
Jerebko is a guy who can stretch the floor knock down 3-pointers, while Sefolosha is a lockdown defender with 11 years of NBA experience.
“On and off the court, I think I can bring a lot to the table with younger guys showing them how it’s supposed to be done,” said Sefolosha, who spent the last three seasons in Atlanta.
“I’m a team player, team first,” said Jerebko, and 8-year NBA veteran who last played in Boston. “I know that coach Snyder really likes players that play a team game. Every guy on this roster is unselfish.
With Jerebko from Sweden and Sefolosha from Switzerland, the Jazz now have players from seven different countries, joining Gobert (France), Ricky Rubio (Spain), Dante Exum and Joe Ingles (Australia) and Raul Neto (Brazil).
“I love it,” said Sefolosha, who was the first Swiss NBA player. “I think that’s the way sports is going right now. Basketball is being played in every continent, and it’s a reflection of this here in Utah.”
While the Jazz are expected to take a step back without Hayward, these guys aren’t so sure.
“I think we’re just going to keep building and keep getting better,” Jerebko said. “Obviously Gordon was a great player, but he went somewhere else. Ricky came here and a lot of other free agents, so we’re excited about this team.”
And while Jazz fans are definitely looking forward to playing against Boston, “So am I,” Jerebko said. “I can’t wait.”