CATCHING UP WITH RANDY FOYE
Former Clippers guard Randy Foye, who is now a starter for the Utah Jazz, is the same good-natured, competitive, 3-point shooting ace he was for two years in Los Angeles. On Monday night, Foye faces his former team for the first time in the regular season.
SALT LAKE CITY – Former Clippers shooting guard Randy Foye has changed very little since signing with the Utah Jazz over the summer.
He’s the same genuine article; same combo guard who’s capable of starting or coming off the bench, playing point guard or off the ball with the same deadly 3-point touch from the perimeter.
Foye, who will face his former team for the first time in the regular season Monday night at Energy Solutions Arena, has started eight of his 18 games with the Jazz, averaging 11.4 points and shooting 46.3% from 3-point range. His 44 3-pointers on the year are third in the NBA, picking up where he left off towards the end of last season when he led the NBA in 3-pointers after the All-Star break for the Clippers.
“It’s similar to what I’ve done [in the past],” Foye said about his role. “Last year, I was just a guy with the Clippers to knock down shots. And this year, I’m a guy here that’s a little bit more of a playmaker. I can do both and that’s more what I’ve been for most of my career. With the Clippers it was different with Blake [Griffin] and Chris [Paul].”
Assimilating to a new team is something Foye has been through before. He played three seasons in Minnesota before being dealt to the Wizards in the summer of 2009 before signing with the Clippers a year later.
“The biggest thing is moving. You know, the furniture part,” Foye said. “Even though we didn’t [physically] do it, we had to get a lot of things together, making sure everything got to the right place at the right time.”
For the most part, Foye, 29, was in the right place at the right time during his two seasons in L.A. He assisted on Griffin’s first-career basket throwing a lob at the front of the rim on Oct. 27, 2010 against the Portland Trail Blazers. Last year, he was an integral piece of the team’s historic season. After Chauncey Billups went down with a torn left Achilles tendon on Feb. 6, Foye started 48 regular season games and all 11 playoff games alongside Paul.
“Foye was with me in the backcourt last year and that’s a guy that I truly love and care about; him and his family, too,” Paul said. “We’re the same way, just two guys who hate to lose. We used to shoot free throws after every practice. We shot 50, and we’d see who could make the most and we’d just compete in everything that we’d do. It was funny looking at film today seeing that [the Jazz have] Mo [Williams] and Randy here, two guys that were huge parts of our team and now they’re [in Utah] running the show.”
Foye said knowing that Williams, who played 85 games with the Clippers including the playoffs, was a member of the Jazz made things easier.
“Mo’s just a guy that I’m used to seeing for the past two years,” Foye said. “It makes it easier for him seeing me, and it definitely makes it easier for me seeing him because we’re familiar with each other’s games. We’re familiar with the way we roll.”
Asked what Foye has brought to the Jazz locker room in the short time he has been with the team, head coach Tyrone Corbin said, "Oh man. He's unbelievable, professional, a great guy, a family man, and he's about the team. He has a lot of pride in who he is and what he does on the floor."
Sitting in front of his locker at Energy Solutions Arena, Foye proved exactly what his new coach meant. He said he held no ill will to the Clippers for not bringing him back. More than that, he also showed why everyone from front office personnel to his former teammates in Los Angeles still think so highly of him.
“I want to thank the Clippers and the coaching staff and the players for everything that they did,” Foye said unprompted. “I thank them and I appreciate the growth and experience they gave me and wish them luck.”