Taze Moore declared for the NBA Draft on April 1. Despite choosing April Fool’s Day to make his announcement, the decision was not meant as a practical joke. Moore hired an agent, attended private workouts with NBA teams, and prepared for Summer League.
What he didn’t do was watch the Draft.
“I didn’t even watch it. Nah, just because I kind of already knew I was already going undrafted.” But while Taze (pronounced TAH-Jay) sometimes comes off as an NBA version of a pragmatist, he isn’t lacking in the confidence needed to succeed as a pro athlete at the high level.
“And [for] me, honestly, I don’t feel like he’s 60 guys better than me that got drafted. So I didn’t feel the need to watch it.”
Moore, a 6’5” wing who helped get the University of Houston to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, subsequently joined Brooklyn’s Summer League team in Las Vegas.
He got the call from the Nets on Draft night shortly after the final pick was made, he told NetsDaily. Despite showing promise in limited minutes in the Nets’ second outing against the Philadelphia 76ers, Moore didn’t see much playing time in Brooklyn’s five-game run in Sin City. Instead, he spent the majority of each game strapped to the bench, a considerable adjustment for the high-flying guard.
This change in role proved difficult for a player who was just aching to get on the floor and compete alongside his teammates.
“[For] me, like, I feel like a lot of people notice when they watch me play. I’m a competitor, I will do anything to win, I will dive on the ball, I’ll get a bloody nose, I’m that type of guy.” He continued, candidly, “so, for me not to play — and I played all my life, being a starter or a star, it does kind of bother you.”
And yet, Moore steadies himself with unwavering self-confidence. After fighting through countless injuries — and five surgeries — at Cal State Bakersfield (before transferring to Houston), he often found himself as the only one still believing after his seasons ended prematurely: “When I was 17 and I broke my leg, I was the only one that thought I could come back. I’m the only one that’s gonna have faith in me. I just try to keep that mindset, that way I can keep pushing for greater things.”
“I tell myself every day that ‘I’m him,’” he adds. “Meaning that, I’m the dude that was six years old that believed in [myself]. I was the dude that was 20 years old and believed in myself.
Now 24, Moore’s candor still shines through when evaluating his NBA future. Grounded in reality, the high-flyer knows that his path onto the NBA stage may come through the G League, and potentially Brooklyn’s developmental squad, the Long Island Nets.
“They’ve talked to me about that. Members of the front office, they’ve told me that I might want to try to think about coming to the G League and things like that.”
Much of Brooklyn’s summer league staff was compromised of G League coaches and assistants, with Moore’s head coach, Adam Caporn, reprising his role in Long Island last season. He’s since been promoted to an assistant’s role on Steve Nash’s bench.
During Summer League, Caporn had kind words for Moore.
“Incredible story, great kid, just a pleasure to have around. It’s shocking to me that he was more athletic once because it is incredible how athletic he is. Super-exciting,” Caporn told reporters. “And it’s functional. He knows how to use it in games. He’s been a pleasure to have around and an exciting athlete. He’s going to do some cool things. It’s pretty crazy how athletic he is.”
As for Moore, he’d rather be in the G League first, then ask questions, “If I don’t see it, I don’t ask, just because there’s just a time and a place for everything.”
But once he’s there, you can count on him to be quick and eager to learn.
“I ask questions all the time, But I kind of just let things be free, that way when I do have a question, I can ask it and it’s fresh on my mind.”
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