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Some San Antonio Spurs Fans Have Concerns About Trey Lyles

Former Kentucky forward Trey Lyles recently signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the San Antonio Spurs (with only the first year containing guaranteed money) and the fans from Texas already appear to have some concerns about their newest addition.

Over at Pounding the Rock, a Spurs fan-site run by SB Nation, one of its contributors ran a Twitter poll posing this question to fans.

With over total 500 votes – and nearly a full month following the signing – 41 percent of these Spurs fans still have concerns about an apparent “disdain for practice”. You might be asking yourself, where have these so-called “concerns” come from?

In April of 2018, Lyles went on the Road Trippin’ podcast, hosted by (now former) NBA players Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye. In his guest appearance, Lyles did not mince words about his time in Utah and Salt Lake City.

Lyles described being drafted by the Jazz as “unfortunate” and how he was not a fan of Jazz head coach Quin Snyder’s three-hour practices. Jefferson, who spent time playing for Utah as well, said that he didn’t have practices under then-head coach Tyrone Corbin. Here is the exact exchange via Desert News.

Lyles: “Who was your coach then?”

Jefferson: “I had Tyrone Corbin.”

Lyles, grumbling: “So y’all didn’t practice? Y’all didn’t do nothing, yeah. See, we had practice every day (under Quin Snyder). I thought I was in Kentucky again.”

Jefferson, sarcastically: “You had practice every day? Oh, sorry for making you work hard. Sorry. What’s wrong with working hard, Trey?”

Lyles: “I didn’t say nothing about working hard. Three-hour practices? C’mon now.”

The Chicago Bulls nearly formed a screaming mob in mutiny against its head coach Jim Boylen last season over unnecessary mid-season practices.

Lyles went on to state that he thinks Utah (or Salt Lake City, technically) is one of the worst NBA cities. A few months later, former Jazz star and current Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward also trashed Snyder’s three-hour practices.

The only people/media members/Twitter nerds I’ve seen come to the defense of the Utah Jazz are the people that had the misfortune of being born there. Look, I know what Lexington is, it’s nothing compared to Salt Lake City. But SLC doesn’t hold a candle to any of the other 29 NBA cities. You’re telling me the NBA players that lived in Utah for years ended up liking it better in New York or California? Hell, I’d take Charlotte or Indianapolis. Let’s not pretend like SLC is some major market.

It’s not like Lyles isn’t good either. If he’d been terrible his first four seasons, then maybe there could be an argument. But he hasn’t. Lyles was promising during his rookie season in Utah and excelled in his third season playing with the Nuggets. Last year, his fourth in the NBA, saw limited minutes after the breakout years of several Denver players. If you want to try and get the most out of a player, the San Antonio Spurs are typically a good place to begin.

Which is why I’m blown away by how many Spurs fans have concerns over Lyles. If you listen to Lyles comments, it comes off as if he just really didn’t like Utah. And who can blame him? Hayward pissed over an entire state of people by spurning the Jazz for Boston and I’m sure he would gladly do it again if it meant getting the hell away from SLC.

To begin the upcoming season, Lyles should find himself in the rotation behind LaMarcus Aldridge. The franchise has also been fawning over Luka Samanic, it’s first-round pick this past year from Croatia, who plays Lyles position, as well. The two of them will likely battle for those backup minutes at the 4.

Lyles having an issue with three-hour practices doesn’t seem like a big concern at all. I would love to see what an anonymous poll of random NBA players who enjoy three-hour practices would look like.

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA. Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan

10 Comments for Some San Antonio Spurs Fans Have Concerns About Trey Lyles

  1. pwells618
    10:16 pm August 7, 2019 Permalink

    Practice you talkin bout practice!!

  2. bionicmilk
    11:04 pm August 7, 2019 Permalink

    This rep has followed Lyles through two organizations. I’m rooting for the guy but can’t help but think where there is smoke there is fire. He had chances in year 2 with the Jazz and was pretty flat every time he hit the floor. BTW… SLC ain’t bad at all. Your thoughts on SLC seem like the same sort of uninformed outsider viewpoint that depicts Kentuckians as a bunch of shoeless, toothless rednecks.

  3. BBNinUtah
    11:34 pm August 7, 2019 Permalink

    Hey, I’m a UK fan that went to UK and I live in Utah. Salt Lake City is a great place. Take a look at Donovan Mitchell’s attitude towards Utah. One player is taking the Jazz up the standings and the other is now on his fourth team. I don’t think it’s a smart move to write articles that trash any city. There are UK fans everywhere.

  4. BBNinUtah
    11:37 pm August 7, 2019 Permalink

    The Salt Lake City area always makes the cut when rankings are compiled for best economy, best place to raise a family, etc. Google it

  5. The Professor
    12:08 am August 8, 2019 Permalink

    I lived in Salt Lake for 4 years and couldn’t wait to get out of there. Great for winter sports if you like 6 months of snow. It is a theocracy. Nothing goes through the legislature without church approval and try winning a statewide office if you’re not a Mormon. If you order a cocktail in a restaurant, the bartender has to go behind a curtain to mix it as not to offend the faithful. With that out of the way, I thought Lyles was drafted way too high and it looks like he will never be more than a journeyman. If he doesn’t work hard he won’t last long under Coach Pop.

  6. ukbigblue33
    1:06 am August 8, 2019 Permalink

    Not sure if this is a post about Lyles or to pile on SLC. Lived in Salt Lake now for 7 years and yes it has its quirks, but I’ve grown to appreciate how much they like their team here just like UK fans love Big Blue.

    That being said, Lyles was not good in the few games I saw him in person play for the Jazz. He never made any of his wide open shots and never seemed to be fully engaged. I wished he would have stayed one more year at UK, but not sure he would have been drafted any higher. Let’s hope he can make a leap in a good organization

  7. ryanbruner
    6:16 am August 8, 2019 Permalink

    If he didn’t like practice and Utah I’m not sure why he signed with San Antonio lol doesn’t make sense. Dude just sounds lazy..

  8. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    7:54 am August 8, 2019 Permalink

    As a UK fan and Spurs fan I feel like this article is extremely homerish. I love Trey Lyles and obviously hope he succeeds at San Antonio…but he does sound lazy and seemed to take a shot at UK. I hope he outworks everyone, but there is nothing wrong with Spurs fans being concerned about his work ethic after his comments. Also, trashing SLC in this article was low class and has nothing to do with Lyles perceived lack of work ethic.

  9. DelrayCat
    9:49 am August 8, 2019 Permalink

    The Mormons are much more accepting of other religions and differing Christian sects than Baptists and Evangelicals. However, apart from their beliefs in the Bible…that whole Joseph Smith seer stone and the magic papers, Jesus in USA, magic underwear stuff, etc. is little kooky … but they sure are nice people as a whole.