Locker Room Cleanout, Part 6 (Lindsey)
** Thoughts on the season: We can look back at particular games or calls, and you know, do the “If we were in the Eastern Conference” thing, but you know, I’m of the Bill Parcell’s mindset that your record doesn’t lie, especially over 82 games. It always tells you the truth, and we gotta own where we’re at, and it wasn’t good enough to be in the Playoffs this year…I expect the fans to be very disappointed, and let us know, and hold us accountable. Make us all work a little bit harder…Now, within reason, I think we all have to look back at the Deron Williams decision. That point in time, the decision to recreate ourselves based upon our thoughts and abilities to keep, you know, Deron under contract for a long time, and I think that Kevin [O'Connor], Coach [Jerry] Sloan, Ty[rone Corbin], the whole organization, Randy [Rigby], Greg [Miller], Bob [Hyde], they really had some foresight, and that’s why we’re on steady ground.
** If you had known you’d be ending the season out of the Playoffs, would you have made a deal at the trade deadline? I don’t think so, because of the contracts associated with the vig, the positive, that we were getting, wasn’t strong enough to take on the players that we had to take on, to make a deal work. I’d rather have our players, with their Bird rights, and the flexibility either to re-sign them, to work with them and their representation in a sign-and-trade, to pick up some positive assets, or to, the trade then goes from, you know, salary cap allotment for this player for another player. And our books were so clean and without mistake, for me to trick it up, and you know, acquire a very middling pick at best for the contracts associated, just to say, “Hey, Dennis can make a deal,” I think would’ve been, frankly, selfish.
** Is this a bad time to have flexibility? I don’t subscribe to “this is a bad draft”…We hear this every third year, and it’s our job to go and find good players.
** Top priority: Our top priority is to be a consistent contender. So the best way to that, whether it’s quick and bold, or long and painful and patient, you know, we’ll figure out. But that’s the top priority. / We’re not collectively afraid if, that the best alternative is to go young, and be very patient with the flexibility that we built in. I’m not afraid of that. You know, if, in, so to speak, take a step back. If we need to do that, then we’ll do that.
** Our top five-man lineups weren’t good. Is that a sign of Corbin misusing talent, or Corbin adapting to matchups, or nothing? You know, look. The NBA has chosen to share their data with bloggers, and writers, and you know, it’s a pretty transparent process. So you know, on some of those things, we can’t run and hide that, you know, there’s certain big-minute lineups that didn’t perform very good…There’s such a human element to, you know, keeping a locker room, and keeping a locker room with a lot of veterans, keeping a locker room with eight or nine free agents. And you know, if it’s, you know, just play the young guys and you know, everything else be damned…it could become a very chaotic situation. So there’s a lot of things that go into those decisions…While I believe in the numbers and I believe in the analytics, that doesn’t mean you paint by numbers either. That doesn’t remove the human element and the emotion out of it.
** Are Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors ready to put their stamp on this team? I think they’re clearly both ready to take bigger roles…Ty really challenged Derrick defensively, and I think he is one of already the better, one of the better defenders in the league. But he needs to take two or three steps forward where, you know, he can be our version of Tyson Chandler or Kevin Garnett or Tim Duncan, where not only is he a good defender, he’s quarterbacking the whole thing. And we’ll lay those challenges to the coaches to, can we build that?…And then, no one wants Gordon to set standards on how we do things, whether it’s how we travel, how we talk to the media, how we practice, how we play, no one wants those standards set more by Gordon Hayward than Ty Corbin…And there were a lot of big requests of Gordon made by us to start setting those standards, today, Apr. 18.
** Do you have to clear the deck to allow Hayward and Favors to take that challenge? Um, it’s hard to say on Apr. 18 because we don’t know what’s gonna come our way. Again, that’s where superior flexibility has been built in, so we can take this a lot of different ways…No matter what alternative it is, we expect Gordon, Alec [Burks], Derrick, Jeremy [Evans], Kevin [Murphy], Jerel [McNeal] to appropriately participate…you know, Enes [Kanter]. Enes as well.
** Does the aforementioned flexibility have to be used this offseason? No. We’re not gonna let it burn, the money burn a hole in our pocket…I would say that, you know, if the opportunity to be bold and build the team immediately to be a contender is not there, we’ll be very patient and discerning.
** How do you evaluate Tyrone Corbin and what is his status? Status is, is Ty’s our coach, and has the Miller family’s full support…Ty is, one, the right person to lead us. Two, he’s really growing as a coach. Kevin, who had the benefit of previous seasons with Ty, saw a lot of growth.
** Further evaluations of Corbin: You know, I think when we get into evaluations of Ty, we always talk about the things that did happen. And we all need to be evaluated on that; Kevin, myself, Ty, the players. But a lot of things didn’t happen, that were positives…Ty really did a good job, ’cause of his character and the type of person he is, that he didn’t create problems where there weren’t. And that needs to be recognized…Ty was really poised and steady under a very difficult coaching situation, and I appreciate that. And the players acknowledge that.
** How challenging was it for Corbin to manage all those free agents? Really tough. Really tough. Kevin and I put him in a tough position, and you know, the conversations and arrows, frankly, on Apr. 18, need to be pointed at us…If you just took Ty Corbin’s name off the head coach ledger, and you put any coach up there–John Wooden, Jerry Sloan, Gregg Popovich, Rudy Tomjanovich, Jeff Van Gundy, all coaches I’ve dealt with before–you guys would be [asking] the same questions. And the fans, and the talk shows, and the blogs would have the same complaints*…By and large, Ty did an outstanding job managing, you know, nine free agents and four quality big men.
* Personally speaking, not true.
** On Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap’s appreciation of Tyrone Corbin: I do think that, you know, they both appreciate the situation that they’ve had there. They were both glowing in their exit interviews about their experiences here, and they both really appreciate Ty and how he handled the four bigs.
** More praise for Corbin: One of his greatest qualities is, he’s a very poised man, and I think in this business where it’s “critique the coach” era, with new media, you really, I mean, you have to be tough and you have to be poised…The organization and the community should know that we have a good man, that’s an open man, and he’s growing, just like all of us.