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SALT LAKE CITY -- We caught up with new Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson, at his hometown in Prentiss, Mississippi where he is hosting a youth basketball camp. And he can't stop talking about how excited he is to be a part of the Jazz.
Jefferson - "I feel like it's a new beginning for me. I've got the opportunity now to really show the world that I deserve to be in the league. So this is my opportunity and I'm going to do whatever it takes, you know, to make the best of it. I look at it like this; I went from Mississippi, a small town, to Boston, to Minnesota, to now Utah, so I mean, I can adjust, man. One thing about me--I can adjust to almost anything. I would of went anywhere, you know, to have a chance to play in the playoffs."
On playing with Jazz guard Deron Williams
Jefferson: - "To me, I always thought he was the best point guard in the NBA--the things that he do, even before I had an idea that I could be with him I always had respect for him and the first thing he said to me when I talked to him was ‘I'm going to make you an all-star.' You know, that was just like music to my ears so it's going to be a great opportunity playing with him. I think he can take my game to a whole other level.
On the Jazz's style of offense:
"The great thing about their offense is that it's made for a power forward---it made Karl Malone. It made Boozer a 20 and 10 guy. You know what I'm saying? I just feel like it's going to do the same for me."
How does he feel about his new coach?:
"When I first got in the league, Doc Rivers was my first coach in the NBA and Randy Whitman was my second coach and they had similar respect for Jerry Sloan--so much respect for the guy to the point that I started having respect for him and I started looking up on him and seeing the great things he did as a player and the great things he did as a coach. So I always had respect for him. The night that he played, I think his 1000th game, he was playing against us, and it was just amazing, so I've always had respect for him. So getting the chance to play for him now, I think he's going to take my game to a whole other level, you know, bring that monster--that beast--out in me, that's been inside of me for so long."