Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 8/28
Do you enjoy football, Randy?
I love football. I’ve always enjoyed football. I played high school football, and go Davis Darts! And love watching a lot of football. And it, there’s, football just always been in my blood…
There’s, you know, I still can remember those football days in high school, of running out on that field, the evenings at Davis High School, you know? They, we were always blamed of having, playing in the lights. And very few teams at that time had lights.
And we had the brown and gold uniforms, so it’d hide the ball, you know, people would say, and then they’d all the accuse us of having half the lights out, so you couldn’t see it, but I can, I still love Friday Night football with high school sports, and then love the Saturday football games as well.
Enes Kanter and Karl Malone can’t get enough of each other
Enes [is] back to almost full movement now in his shoulder, and that’s been accomplished, and everything with good green lights. And he’s about it at now almost at 100 percent being able to be back to full activity. He’s been working, as we’ve talked about, with Karl [Malone].
And he’s asked for some additional time with Karl, and Karl has also wanted to do it. So that’s gonna be happening in mid-part of September. … And then hard work going on with the Gordons [Haywards?], with Derrick [Favors] and everyone else in preparation for this season.
Another Dennis Lindsey brainchild?
Now what we’re going to be doing in the month of September that is something new, is that we’re allowing, what’s called an “open gym.” And we’re using Zions Bank Basketball Center as a place at encouraging our players to come.
And we’re hearing very good response of the, our players wanting to come and participate at working out together, then, in this open gym environment, during the month of September. And most of our players are going to be coming back to Salt Lake City early, and then kind of doing some more time playing together.
And I think with a young team, that’s very important, that we seeing these guys come in and interacting and playing together, in some kind of structured 3-on-3 or 4-on-4, 5-on-5 basketball.
“I wanna see who wants to be our starting point guard, whether it’s gonna be John Lucas or Trey Burke”
Well, we’re gonna have, you know, and that’s where it’s been nice to have the veteran veteran, from a Karl Malone, who’s worked a little bit with our guys. But veterans who have been, who are now still in the league, is very important.
And I was impressed to see that John Lucas immediately reached out to Trey Burke, for example, and in fact they went down together to the camp that John Lucas’ father puts on, and John was down there, as well as Trey Burke. So there’s been already some, that kind of reaching out.
John’s then gonna be coming into this open camp, open gym time, and working as well with Trey. And not only working with them, but challenging them. I mean, and that’s what we want. I wanna see who wants to be our starting point guard, whether it’s gonna be John Lucas or Trey Burke.
What is Tyrone Corbin doing in the off-season?
We’re very open, and, with it, and that is, is we really challenged Ty and his coaching staff to continue to push themselves, and to push in some particular areas. And defensively is one thing.
And we told Ty we would support him in anything that he wanted to do, and Ty has taken that initiative and run with it and been very proactive, and they’re actually, then, looking at some things.
They’re gonna be doing a coaching retreat, that, with our coaching staff. They’ve invited, in fact, Coach [Jerry] Sloan to join with them. And where they’re gonna be getting away, and really having some one-on, time together, as a te–as a coaching staff, and really reviewing some of the key things that they’re going to be doing, to implement, in our coach–in our team, to really make us better defensively, as well as some of our offensive sets. …
We’ve already seen that as well in some of the things that they’ve been doing during the off-season, during the summer league. And some of the things we’ve seen them implementing already has made us very happy to see us taking additional improvements.
If you recognize this as a scene from “Suits”: First of all, congratulations on your excellent television viewing taste. Second, you’re welcome for not using the still of Louis getting out of the tub butt-naked.
“Dennis Lindsey floated really quickly to the top”
I knew it would be a defining time [when we decided to hire a new general manager]. But we spent some time, really analyzing the candidates. I put a short list together, because we were very quiet and did it in a stealth manner…because people’s careers are on the line here, and also, at the same time, you wanted to be very selective. Otherwise, you open that up to the media, and you get floodgates, then, of people.*
And so, we wanted to be selective of who we did want to really bring to the table. And as we selected and identified Dennis as one of our top candidates, and as we brought these candidates in, I’ll tell ya. You hear the term, “the cream floats to the top.”
Well, Dennis floated really quickly to the top, of really, as we matched up who we are, what we’re looking for, and the caliber of people and the experience we ha–wanted to have from a general manager. Dennis came right at the top. …
I’ve been very happy with the job that Dennis Lindsey has done. He has just been a great addition to this team, and he’s been great to also recognize and add new, additional components that we’ve now seen us add, and so we’re very happy.
* Like when Sidney Lowe called Tyrone Corbin and asked if he had a job for him?
Gordon Monson: How long was that short list?
Spencer Checketts: Outside of me and Dennis, there were other names? Is that what you’re telling?
Randy Rigby: It was, that, you know, we had looked at a lot of candidates, but we narrowed down to actually bringing in, we actually ended up bringing in three candidates.
We had talked with up to a half dozen candidates that we were looking at, and talked with ownership and other general managers, and so it was a tight list. We looked at a broad net of, kind of, names, but we really narrowed down to a tighter list there.
And so, it was, and we knew that we had a very tight window before things could potentially, and we wanted to be careful, because otherwise you start talking to a lot of people, and it immediately then s–can start getting out and get out of control. And so, we were happy with how we were able to control it.
Checketts: So that day you made the hire when I missed the call from you, were you calling me for a final interview?
What stood out about Dennis Lindsey?
He matched up with kind of our philosophy and my feelings, and that was, he was a very transparent person who really had his ego in check, and really was one about teamwork…
Those things really immediately made me, and as I saw his analytics and his thought process, was also another thing that was very impressive with what he’s done. And we’ve now seen it together in what he’s done now since then.
On Kevin O’Connor’s plan and how Dennis Lindsey reacted to it (UDQM)
Kevin O’Connor has laid a very good plan in place for us as an organization, in front of the Millers, in front of myself…
[Lindsey] embraced what we’d already laid out and added some additional elements to it, and, that was, kind of, appendages to the plan that was already laid out, that only enhanced and enlarged the opportunity and the strategy, and it was well-embraced as well from Dennis, from Kevin, myself, as well as the Miller family.
And it made a bigger and even stronger plan in place of what he wanted to then add to that.
And so, he did bring, then, those additional elements that was embraced and then we took that and said, “Let’s move this thing forward.” And so, again, it was a team effort, not just from Dennis, but from a team, from the Miller family, as well as from our other key people.
And it’s been fun to now see this plan unfolding, and you know what? It’s growing. We know there may be some times we may need to make minor adjustments, or maybe times when we may need some bigger adjustments. But right now, we feel very good about where this is going.
Checketts: You know, during the hiring process, I was just waiting by my phone. Look, you need a GM, I could step in right away. [Now,] GM on air, essentially.
Patience applies only to front office strategies, not players
We want our players to know, we don’t have a lot of patience for them, though, at the same time. They’re being paid very well. And they’re paid, they’re expected to come in and give us their best. …
We want to see our players pushing themselves, for what they’re getting paid, pushing themselves to be the best that they can be. Now, we’re not saying that we’re not going to want to add some elements to help them, and support them.
But at the same time, you’re here to do a job for us and make our team better, and make this community impressed with you and impressed with the job you have, and show your abilities, and know that we’re expecting that we’re gonna see as a, you’re young, but we wanna see some improvement and see potential that we’re all gonna invest in for future as well in this community.
Checketts: That’s Randy Rigby, the president of the Utah Jazz. Just keep my resume on file.
Randy Rigby, Unintentional Dirty Quote Machine
** Kevin [O'Connor], we actually let him off for a couple of weeks to get some down time for himself.
** Dennis came right at the top.
** We knew that we had a very tight window before things could potentially, and we wanted to be careful, because otherwise you start talking to a lot of people, and it immediately then s–can start getting out and get out of control. And so, we were happy with how we were able to control it. (1280)