By Johnathan Kendrick
Going into the NBA draft, who Kirk
Snyder is, was no mystery. The Western Athletic Conference Most
Valuable Player had just led his team the Nevada Wolfpack, to one of
the most sacred places in all of sports – The NCAA Tournament round
of Sweet 16. Not only was it farther then that team had ever been
before, it was further then anyone had given them a chance to go.
Despite their play coming into the tournament, the Wolfpack got
snubbed of a lower seeding and burdened with an unflattering 10th
seed. As the World would come to see, the seeding didn’t matter as
the Wolfpack pulled out upset after upset.
At center stage sat Kirk Snyder and his well-rounded mature game.
Using the stage as a launch pad, Snyder declared for the NBA draft.
His stock started to rise as fast as the reports came out that he
had dominated another workout. By the night of the draft Snyder was
projected as high as 9th and no lower then 13th. Everywhere you
looked Snyder was a lottery pick.
Things don’t always happen the way they are supposed to. If they did
the Wolfpack would have left the NCAA Tournament the first night –
as projected. If they did Kirk Snyder would not have been passed
over for players with less developed games, but more “potential”. If
they did Kirk Snyder would have not slipped to the Jazz at 16 in the
One lesson the world missed in March is that it did not matter where
the Wolfpack was picked. The heart of the Wolfpack was bigger then
its seeding. The Heart of the Wolfpack was Kirk Snyder.
The Jazz organization and its fans are thrilled to have Kirk Snyder
and his NBA Ready game. We talked to Kirk Snyder about his game, his
potential, and among other things, that oft debated question – Can
Snyder play point guard in the NBA?
Jazzhoops: With all the High School guys that got picked in the
draft – because of their “potential”, even though you have 3 years
of college experience, how much potential do you have left?
Kirk Snyder: I know the game of basketball - I am not going to lie.
I know how to play, I have a lot of room for improvement, but skill
wise and athletically there is nothing to improve on. That’s where
the pro is, you don’t want some that you have to develop – you want
somebody who can come in and play.
Jazzhoops: How is your range? How do you feel about the NBA three
Kirk Snyder: Three? FOUR! It’s a lot different then college. In
college you can herky-jerk with it and give it up and get a nice
clean look at it. In professional – you have seen it out there –
guys are missing it left and right – including myself. It’s just
something you got to get used to –it’s a different shot. It’s more
of a rainbow then it is a regular shot.
Jazzhoops: Tonight you played a little point guard. You played some
point in college. How comfortable are you at the point – can you
play point in the NBA?
Kirk Snyder: Very very comfortable. I am a point guard, I am a true
point guard, and I am a leader out there. But I am big and you got
to let some small guys get in there too.
Jazzhoops: Hey I am all for that. What position or positions are you
the most comfortable playing?
Kirk Snyder: Probably the 1 and the 2. I really like handling the
Jazzhoops: I have noticed you talk a lot out on the court. Is that
to yourself? Is it to the opponent? Is it to the team?
Kirk Snyder: No it’s to myself. I don’t talk trash. I don’t believe
in it. It’s motivation. Come on Kirk – you know what I mean. Come on
and knock down these shots.
Jazzhoops: Intensity Level – 1 to 10 – 10 being the highest. Where
are you at?
Kirk Snyder: It’s a 10 when the situation presents itself. I try to
be a 10 most of the time. That’s part of being a pro. When you get
that 10 throughout everything and throughout the competition – then
you are really a pro. Right now when I get it going it’s a 10, but I
am still young and developing and trying to get more consistency,
sometimes it drops down to a 5 or a 7, but when I get it going it’s
Jazzhoops: Like to night in the fourth quarter when you were calling
for the ball and going after it?
Kirk Snyder: 10. 10. 10. 10.
Jazzhoops: SO far you have drawn 23 fouls in 3 games on opposing
players – is that one of your specialties?
Kirk Snyder: People foul me. I am pretty agile, and I am big, I jump
over people. But now I just need to get back to the first
stepping-stone and start knocking down shots.
Jazzhoops: How is your conditioning?
Kirk Snyder: We are in the mountains man – it’s high elevation. If
we go anywhere else we could all run like deer. But I can run like a
deer here so I would say my conditioning is as good as any.
Jazzhoops: What are you going to focus on over the summer?
Kirk Snyder: Jump shooting. I am athletic as heck. I can just go and
get by – but right now need to work on my jump shot. My timing is
off. Once I get my timing right – it’s going to be something
Jazzhoops: First game – you made a great no look bounce pass to Kris
Humphries for a lay up. When they called time out – you started
looking for him and you guys kind of celebrated that play. Is there
a bond developing between you two?
Kirk Snyder: Oh definitely. Kris came in with me. We are going to
learn together. He is a buddy like only someone you can come in
with. I can talk to him. Things go wrong – things go good – we are
going to be there for each other.
Jazzhoops wishes Kirk Snyder the best of luck in the Rocky Mountain
Revue, and his NBA career. As fans it’s going to be a pleasure
cheering for not only this kind of athlete – but also this kind of