UTAH JAZZ

Mike Conley Sees NBA Return As Chance To Find Better Rhythm

Jul 1, 2020, 1:53 PM | Updated: 6:49 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As 22 NBA teams prepare to resume the season at month’s end, physical and emotional readiness will be at the forefront of many players’ minds. For Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley, personal readiness isn’t in doubt. Conley sees the NBA’s return as a chance to find a better rhythm.

The NBA season has been suspended since March 11 when Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. While much of the league awaited word from the NBA on the future of the season, Conley was keeping himself ready.

“I was lucky enough to be in a situation where I had a lot of resources at my disposal during this period of time,” Conley said.

Conley and his family traveled to his Ohio home to stay prepared after the season was suspended. The Conley’s have a professional quality home gym, including a basketball court where the Jazz guard has been working out.

“Unlike a lot of other players, I was doing a lot two to three weeks after we shut the season down.,” Conley said. “So I’ve been in shape and been staying in the best shape that I can.”

Conley Finding A Better Rhythm

Though players have been restricted to individual workouts in Utah, the Jazz can begin group workouts when they travel to Orlando to finish the season. The team will travel to The Walt Disney World Resorts in the second week of July.

“We’re all spaced out, respectively,” Conley said of the players’ current workouts. “It’s basically individuals getting up and down [the court] trying to create game situations without having players. Which is very tough and impossible to do, but we’re doing our best.”

Despite the long hiatus, Conley is confident in his ability to withstand the physical toll of finishing the NBA season. The veteran guard experienced a slew of injuries during his 11-year career with the Memphis Grizzlies and knows how much time his body needs before he can retake the floor.

“By the time we get to Orlando is when they ramp it up and allow us to start to have more contact. Whether it’s a two on two or three on three going forward. So hopefully it gets to five and five immediately because I know guys are itching to do it.”

Conley suffered a hamstring injury that sidelined him for 19 games earlier this season. As a result, the veteran has struggled to find traction in a Jazz uniform. With time away from the game, the veteran sees Orlando as a second chance to prove himself.

“I honestly think this is a great opportunity for me,” Conley said. “Having a break in between and just being able to sit back and take a step away and evaluate. See what needs to be done differently, and different ways to get in a better rhythm.”

Off The Court Matters

While Conley is prepared to retake the floor when the season returns, he’s not allowing the game to serve as a distraction from important matters off the floor. The Jazz guard is juggling his basketball obligations, focusing on social justice issues that have swept the nation since late May, while preparing for the birth of his third child during a global pandemic.

With the first round of the playoffs set to begin on August 17 and a due date of August 27, Conley will likely still be in the Orlando bubble when his child is born.

“If I leave to go see my baby boy, I’m gonna be in quarantine on the way back in and possibly have to miss a game,” Conley said.

“But ultimately my wife understands how much this game means and how much being able to participate and play for a championship means. We have an understanding that I’ll be able to see her and I’ll be able to at some point. Hopefully I’ll be able to be back for the baby.”

Regarding the nationwide protests surrounding social injustice, Conley said the movement isn’t far from the players’ minds.

“I think it’s a perfect opportunity for us to continue to put the pedal to the metal on this and not ease up,” Conley said. “When we’re playing the game, I think we do a good job as athletes to refocus and focus on the task at hand. But the times in between that and afterward, I think guys will still be focused on social injustice, systematic, systematic, systematic racism.”

The Jazz reopen the NBA season on July 30 when they face the New Orleans Pelicans in Orlando.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz forward Taylor Hendricks...

Ben Anderson

Taylor Hendricks Thrives In Jazz Win Over Raptors

Taylor Hendricks had the best performance of his basketball career against the Toronto Raptors scoring 23 points and grabbing nine rebounds.

18 hours ago

Utah Jazz Houston Rockets Taylor Hendricks...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz Mailbag: Are Jazz Good At Developing Players?

Welcome to the Utah Jazz mailbag where every week our NBA insiders answer your questions on social media about your favorite team.

2 days ago

Utah Jazz rookie Kyle Filipowski...

Ben Anderson

Kings Embarrass Jazz In Second Vegas Summer League Game

The entire Utah Jazz roster struggled in game two of the Vegas Summer League as they were drubbed by the Sacramento Kings 82-70.

3 days ago

Utah Jazz Sumer League Brice Sensabaugh finger injury...

Chandler Holt

Utah Jazz Forward Brice Sensabaugh Suffers Torn Finger Tendon

Brice Sensabaugh will miss the rest of the Vegas Summer League after suffering a torn extensor tendon tear in his left middle finger.

3 days ago

Utah Jazz rookie Cody Williams at the Summer League...

Ben Anderson

Jazz Rookies Shine In First Vegas Summer League Game

The Utah Jazz beat the Dallas Mavericks to open the Vegas Summer League behind breakout performances from Cody Williams and Kyle Filipowski.

5 days ago

Utah Jazz In-Season Tournament Court...

Ben Anderson

Jazz Learn In-Season Tournament Grouping For 2024-25 Season

The Utah Jazz learned their grouping for the second-annual NBA In-Season Tournament ahead of the 2024-25 season.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Mike Conley Sees NBA Return As Chance To Find Better Rhythm