There’s no denying that some of Rodney Hood’s struggles this season were due to the onslaught of injuries he had to deal with. Even in the final game of the postseason, he ended up leaving the contest with a sprained knee. Luckily, in his end of season interview, he said that it should take only about a month or so to recover, then he’d be ready to hit the ground running for next season.
To be honest, Hood’s interview was somewhat discouraging to me. I was disappointed with his play all year long and he seemed to be one of the least optimistic or positive of any of his teammates. There’s a good chance part of that had to do with frustrations regarding current and former injuries, but still, overall Hood’s tone and attitude didn’t quite sit well with me.
I did like how he talked about working on improvements this offseason such as getting stronger and working on his physical condition, but overall I wasn’t all that impressed with his comments. Hood seemed particularly perturbed near the end of the interview when he was asked about his effectiveness as a starter as compared to coming off the bench.
He emphatically stated, “I’m a starter” and seemed to take exception to the question. With somewhat of an edge of defiance, he also stated that the team had won a lot of games with him as a starter. I’m not disputing that fact, but the way he said it definitely rubbed me the wrong way as Hood came across as someone looking to get his own, not necessarily to do the best thing for the team.
It’s one thing for Hood to think and feel that he deserves to be the starter on this team and another entirely for him to play like one. He absolutely vanished in the playoffs this season and turned into more of a detriment than a help. I’m sure he would have liked to start, but there was no questioning that bringing him in off the bench at the end of the year was the right thing to do.
Hood has a long ways to go defensively and shooting the ball before he can arise as a proven starter. Unfortunately, based on how he expressed himself in his end of season interview, I’m not convinced that he’s aware of the work in those areas that he’ll need to put in to get there.
I sincerely hope I eat my words, but based on what I saw this season as well as in his recent interview, I don’t know that Hood is going to end up being any kind of long-term solution for this Jazz team.