Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 5/1
On the “Kevin O’Connor is stepping down and moving to a Carolina” report
Well, I, you know what, I’d just as soon just stand by the statement [above] that I made, and that is, you know what, Kevin O’Connor is not stepping down.
He is, his role, as we’ve defined it, senior vi–executive vice president of basketball operations, is critical, and what he’s doing, and, for us, is really a key role for us, right now, in, and, we have the utmost respect for what Kevin is doing.
And the work that Kevin and Dennis [Lindsey] are doing in conjunction with each other is going extremely well right now, and there is no at all discussions of Kevin stepping down. There is no, and Kevin’s going to be, involved with the Utah Jazz for many years to come.
So you know, I, I’m, we’re, best in, just, you know, m–is, in making that comment, and moving on.
Which type of basketball do you prefer?
I, you know what? I like a good balance of, I don’t like just the run and gun. I really enjoy seeing some tough, gritty basketball.
Playoff basketball-style, that is playing some very good defense, that’s going on with, yes, guys that are playing hard, and working through it, and running good offenses that, so I like some good scoring, but at the same time I really like to see teams that are playing good defense and not just trying to outscore the other team.
On the Sacramento Kings and Seattle
It’s a tough one, ’cause you know what? Both of those are very good markets, and we’ve had a lot of memories of, you know, playing up there with the Seattle Supersonics, and very great sports marketplace.
As well as Sacramento. Those people have paid a big price for, to support that team through their ups and their downs, and it was a, it’s a tough decision.
But I think that’s why collectively, I know the owners are not talking about it, but you know what, they put all the facts out there, and it’ll be interesting to see where the final vote is, but I really have a great respect for the process that we go through as an org–NBA, in the decision making, for the good of the league in total, as well as the teams. And so, I totally respect the decisions of, have come out of the NBA.
Rigby on the city of Seattle in April 2012:
“Unfortunately, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. I think Seattle people are realizing, you know what? We are a good mix for NBA basketball, and it’s a shame we let that team go. So hopefully they’ve learned a lesson.”
What are the Jazz doing this offseason to improve the product, excluding personnel decisions?
We’re doing some fun things that we’re also trying to do in improving our game operations, and we’ve had a great, we have a great organization, that’s done a great job there as well…
But we’re gonna continue to work in, on our game presentations, that are going on there, and then, we’re doing a number of things with some of our key sponsors, and with our sponsorship, and renewals that are, busy part of also re–of getting some of our key sponsors back, engaged with us, and so that’s a get, big part of our offseason as well.
We right now, in fact, are, we have 66 of our 100 key sponsors, that we’re in the process of renewing their contracts, and so, that’s an anomaly for us of the number that we have this year that is back in the lineup like it is, and so we’re busy trying to get them also back involved, which we, every, exp–plan right now is that they’re coming back, and we’re excited about that, ’cause it’s important that we have their support.
Are there any plans to renovate EnergySolutions Arena over the next 10 years?
I’ll tell you, the commitment from the Miller family is that we really feel that we have a special building there that has been well taken care of, that has a well-designed structure so that we can enjoy that building for the next 20-25 years. And we’re looking at ongoing plans.
I mean, right now, some plans are more, I, we’ll be sharing some more things that we are doing in the next little while. But right, I think we’re looking at long-term plans as well, and we’re just gonna take those kind of a step at a time. Nothing that I could, right now, announce to our listeners.
Given the number of major injuries around the league, is the NBA season too long?
Well, I’ll tell you, it’s, it is a very tough, grinding schedule, and it’s one that I know that the NBA is looking very closely at. They’re having some additional discussions as it relates to medical injuries and med–and the play of athletes.
It is so much more of a physical game, I know, and it’s, there’s a lot more with how our players conditioning it, our, what they’re doing. And they’re playing so much more now above the rim, and once you start, you leave your feet, and you’re up in the air, you know, that’s where injuries can happen a lot easier.
And I know it’s something that the NBA is very concerned about, but it, I think, we will take a very pragmatic, and, look at it, and make sure that we do the proper analysis, and then I think if there is a need for making some maybe minor calibrations, I think it’s something that we’ll look at.
But I think they feel that right now, we like what we have. We like the length of the season, and unfortunately, injuries is part of the game, and playing through ‘em. And that’s why a lot of times where I’ve said, let’s get into the Playoffs ’cause you never know what can happen.
What is the best and worst part about your job?
You know what? The thing I like best about it is the competitive nature of sports and seeing these players that are the best that they can be, the best basketball players in the world, that they’re coming into our arena, and they’re entertaining our crowd.
‘Cause when I see our game operations people put together a great game, and see the efforts that all of my, our staff, in their different areas, from our ticket sales to our sponsor sale, to even our ushers and people, all of our people working together in harmony to put on a good event, and then you see an event that has this unbelievable competitive nature that goes on, and it makes for a great game.
And see the crowd around, enjoying that, and cheering, and being so into it, and hearing ‘em talk about it the next day, it’s very fulfilling for me, to realize that we’re a part of making those memories and that experience going on, in our community. That’s a very gratifying to me.
And the part that I, the part that is tough for me, unfortunately, is when you have to make tough decisions as a businessperson, maybe in doing cutbacks in your staff, or making, sending a player that is a friend, but is not right in looking at, for necessarily, our team, for, ’cause we got, we want to always improve, in making those improvements, and it means that you’re affecting people’s lives.