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Aussies in NBA: Exum and Jingles need their own podcast
With the playoffs raging on, players on teams which didn't make it into the postseason are clearing their things and preparing for the offseason. For most, it'll be a combination of holiday time and going back to the gym to put the foundations in place for next season.
For our friend Dante Exum, rehab work from his ACL injury will go up a notch to gradually include more on-court and contact work. If all works out well, he might even join the Boomers' Rio campaign.
In a recent podcast on Locked on Jazz's Locker Room Clear Out (LRCO) series, Dante dropped by, initially intending to expand on his offseason plans and other Serious Basketball Stuff™, but then fellow Jazz and Boomers teammate Joe Ingles dropped by and... well, you'll see.
The interview started normal enough, with comments on his rehab work that have been covered before. When asked to elaborate on his thoughts on being a part of the Australian Olympics squad though, Jingles drew first blood:
Dante: I won’t do it unless I’m 100 percent confident in myself. You know, the last thing that I want — Jingles: We've got Patty Mills and [Matthew] Dellavedova. We don’t need him. We've got real point guards! Dante: Jazz fans are hating you right now.
David Locke, the host, tried to bring things back on track, asking Dante whether playing with the Boomers would help in getting him ready for the new season:
Locke: Do you feel there’s any value in trying to get some action in before [the start of the new season]? Exum: I do. Ingles: [snorts] Exum: You’re so immature.
Didn't work, did it? It was at this point that Locke pretty much gave up on making this a serious conversation, and let Exum and Jingles take the wheel and throw friendly barbs at each other:
Locke: Do you think Jazz fans like you or Joe more? Exum: Probably Joe, just cos — Ingles: Yes! I’m so glad you admitted that! Exum: — he talks a lot of crap. Ingles: Keep it PG! There are kids at school listening to this! Exum: Hey, they’ll be at school learning, not like you did when you were at school.
Locke tried to ask a serious question about Exum bulking up his upper body during his time on the sidelines, but that also received the Jingles treatment:
Locke: You have gained how much weight? Ingles: (Squealing) HEE HEE. I’m so glad I’m here for this. Exum: I’ve only gained, like, 10 pounds. Which is good, like — Ingles: Good 10 pounds or a bad 10 pounds? Exum: It’s good 10 pounds. You know, all muscle. All I could do was lift… At this time, I’m most definitely stronger than Joe, so I could play one through three. Ingles: I can shoot better than you with my eyes closed, so.
Exum: [Anyway], I haven’t gone at anyone or any contact in, you know, a while, but I’m definitely stronger. So I think, you know, I’m gonna be doing more of the bumping next year. Ingles: [snorts] Exum: [cracks up] Ingles: [cracks up] [more snorting] Ingles: Really? Exum: Stooooop. Ingles: …on daytime radio? Exum: Just unplug his mic.
It's a-laugh-a-minute with these two guys, and it's easy to see how having Jingles around to keep the mood light must have been a huge help in Dante's recovery from such a serious injury. Personally, I hope the two of them stick with the Jazz for the rest of their careers, if for no other reason than to facilitate an 'Ingles and Exum' podcast where they invite teammates and Boomers on to do nothing but jab at them for half an hour.
Jingles mentioned that he would be flying back to Oz soon, and if things go well with Dante's knee, we could see them joining up again sooner than the start of the new NBA season. Fingers crossed!