Jazz about to begin most anticipated season in decades

Sports

Expectations have not been this high since the Stockton and Malone days

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – With expectations at a 20-year high, the anticipation for the Jazz season opener could not be any greater.

Utah tips off the 2019-20 NBA season Wednesday night at home against Oklahoma City.

“It’s great to get the season going,” said Donovan Mitchell. “It’s been a long summer for a lot of us. Just because we’ve been playing and just trying to figure out each other.”

The Jazz have several new additions, including Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jeff Green and Ed Davis, to a nucleus that won 50 games last season.

“It’s exciting because we’ve got a good team,” said Joe Ingles. “But we’re about to play game one of 82. So, I’m confident with the group we’ve got.”

Ingles isn’t just thinking about this season, he’s also in it for the long haul, having just signed a 1-year $14-million contract extension through the 2021-22 season.

“It was an easy decision once it came up that it was a possibility.,” Ingles said. “Like I said, there was nowhere else where I wanted to be.”

“I told Joe that he’s not retiring until I do,” Mitchell said with a laugh.

As experienced as this team is, with veterans like Ingles, Mike Conley, Jeff Green and Rudy Gobert, do the players still get a little nervous before the season opener?

“I’ll be nervous right when the anthem goes,” Mitchell said. “But outside of that, it’s just basketball.

“I think you know me well enough to know I’m not getting nervous about much these days,” Ingles said with a smile.

The players may have been a little nervous when the NBA released their actual heights. As it turns out, Donovan Mitchell isn’t 6-3, he’s 6-1.

“I mean, I knew I was always 6-1,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t want to tell anybody that or admit it publicly,”

Royce O’Neale also lost a couple of inches, going from 6-foot-6 to 6-foot-4.

“Yeah, he lied to us, didn’t he?” Mitchell said. “He must have had something in his shoes.”

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