"I'm so excited," said center Enes Kanter. "I've been waiting for this for a long time."
The young and inexperienced Jazz tip off the season tonight at home against Oklahoma City, and while most experts are predicting a disastrous season, the team isn't paying attention.
"All people can do is just talk," said Kanter. "We're here to show that they're wrong. People can rank us 30th, but they're not playing. We're playing on the court and we have a lot of talent out there."
"That's just added motivation," added Derrick Favors. "We can't listen to what the critics say or what anybody says about us. It's just added motivation for us and we're ready to prove everybody wrong."
While victories may be few and far between, the Jazz are excited about developing their young talent like Kanter, Favors, Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks. Utah does have a few veterans like forward Richard Jefferson, who says the young core isn't overly exuberant.
"There is no exuberance," said Jefferson. "That is not a word of how I would describe Gordon, Derrick, Alec and Enes. They are very mild mannered guys. They're very competitive and very aggressive, but they're not these kids that are bouncing off the walls. There are going to be times when they dominate and times when they're still learning."
The season tips off at 7:00 p.m. against the Thunder, with the Jazz playing their first road game Friday at Phoenix.