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Ideas On How The Utah Jazz Can Become Champions

Utah Jazz introduce Mike Conley Jr. and Bojan Bogdanovic as newest members of the team. (Photo: KSL Sports

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – “We don’t know what it takes to win a championship.”

During a press conference when Utah Jazz leadership introduced Mike Conley Jr. and Bojan Bogdanovic as the newest members of the team, Conley told members of the media that this current Jazz roster doesn’t know what it takes to win a championship.

This comment caught the attention of Scott Mitchell and Jason Buck, both former NFL players and hosts of Rivals Podcast.

“I am refreshed by Conley’s honesty,” said Mitchell, “Until you’ve won it you haven’t won it, and until you win it you don’t know how to win it.”

Buck, a former defensive end, has been to two Super Bowls, the NFL equivalent of an NBA Championship. He lost the first one with the Cincinnati Bengals and won the second with the Washington Redskins.

Experience of Losing

The Bengals were and still are known as a perennial loser, according to Mitchell who asked Buck about what it took to get that team to the Super Bowl.

How do you win? It seems so simple… it’s not,” said Buck.

Buck said the key to figuring it out began with having a team full of coaches and players who are winners at heart. People who see themselves and believe that they are winners.

He recalled the 1987 player’s strike as one of the hardest times of his career when he was only a rookie. The year of the strike the Bengals went 4-11.

The following year is when the team made it to the Super Bowl. Buck said the hardship of the strike brought the team closer together and that is a large reason they became the AFC Champions.

Locker Room Synergy

“It was like we went in the locker room and said ‘we own this.’ We don’t care about the coaches, the politics or the owners. We got this,” said Buck.

He credited “the spirit of the players” for the successful season.

In the end, the Bengals lost the Super Bowl to the San Fransico 49ers, but Buck carried that experience with him to the Redskins where he eventually got the ring so many players covet.

One Leader

Buck and Mitchell agree there has to be one person, a leader, that carries the team mentally.

“It’s the flag bearer that says ‘follow me,” said Mitchell, “We are going to get there.”

Mitchell has commented in the past that Conley may be the one leader the Utah Jazz need, especially Donovan Mitchell.

“Conley could be the exact mentor Donovan Mitchell needs,” said Mitchell on his nightly radio show KSL’s UnRivaled.

Brutal Honesty

Mitchell appreciated Conley’s comment about not knowing what it takes to win a championship because of his brutal honesty.

That is one thing required to win a championship, according to Mitchell.

“If you are going to get better…It really helped me as I developed as a player, is having that brutal honesty about where you are,” said Mitchell.

Learning From Losing

Mitchell asked Buck about the impact losing a Super Bowl had on him eventually winning one with the Washington Redskins.

“I was heartbroken over the Cinncinati loss,” said Buck, “I still carry it with me.”

He said the loss provided him with the motivation to do whatever it took to win because losing it hurt so bad.

Buck recalled that when he went to the Redskins there were several guys who had been to Super Bowls and the locker room was run by those older players.

“Everybody knew how to win and there was never even thought of losing a game,” Buck described the culture.

You can listen to the full episode of Rivals Podcast below. 

Subscribe to Rivals Podcast wherever you find podcasts or listen on the KSL Sports app. 

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