Bits from Randy Rigby Interview, 6/18
How are you guys feeling one week away from the draft?
Well, I’ll tell you what, you can feel the excitement at the [practice facility]. I, everyone is really up to their A-game. Everyone’s excited, and we’re really at it.
What did you like most about new Jazz assistant coach Mike Wells?
Well, you know what, Mike brings a lot of experience, and he is, the thing I like about Mike is he’s a no-nonsense guy that is very passionate about the game of basketball. He’s been in it, been around it from the NBA ranks to the collegiate ranks.
Has dealt with a lot of young players, and as we all know, we’re dealing with some really, a lotta young players right now in our development, and I really like what Mike brings to the table in his development skills and his overall basketball and coaching skills.
But you talk to Mike, and you can just feel his love for basketball and his love for coaching and teaching basketball, and that’s a great talent.
The Spurs have nine international players on their roster. Are you looking to increase the international presence on the Jazz?
Well, you know, I will say this. In the last two months, Dennis Lindsey has made two international trips. Justin Zanik, I believe, has been, two or three international trips.
Rich Sheubrooks,* who is our international scout, we have then, some, also, some regional scouts, that are out there. We are very active in the international marketplace, and looking.
And, as you know, I mean, we made a move for Rudy Gobert, there, we had, which was ga–someone from France. We, of course, we have Enes Kanter from Turkey. We’ve had, you know, a number of players, Memo [Okur], you mentioned it, from Turkey.
There are some very, very good players internationally, and we expect to be, and we will be, continue to be, very aggressive in our analysis and utilization, of international scouting and international players. It’s fun. This is such a dynamic and exciting game now, internationally, and it’s being so well-received. There’s some great players that are, because of that, coming from it, and we need to be out there.
* For now, anyway.
Have you talked with Quin Snyder about the direction of the team?
Well, you know, it’s still early, but I’ve had numerous conversations with Quin, and he is a delight to be around. There’s a real energy that I’m feeling, and an excitement that I’m feeling in our facility, and with all of our people, and it’s been very rewarding.
And Quin is, has just a bright mind. At the same time, I see him being very inclusive as well. Today, during the workouts, I watched as he and Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson spent well over an hour watching the workouts and talking together. He’s one that is a, really a student of the game and loves input and feedback.
And watching him talk to them, we spent some time in talking a little more about his coaching staff and his mind at how he looks to be very progressive at, as, the approach to the game. I’m very impressed, and so I think you’re going to see an individual who is going to be, again, very defensive-minded, very, push very hard to see personal responsibility and accountability.
But at the same time, he’s already reached out to a number, I’ve watched him, even, out interacting with some of these players. Very approachable and very interested and very sincere. Players like talking with him, getting connected with him, and I think that’s going to be a great asset that we’re going to be able to utilize for the future.
Brad Jones? Alex Jensen? Johnnie Bryant?
Well, you know, I think we’re best to wait. I think everyone there’s, knows that we have Johnnie Bryant and Alex Jensen under contract for another year. So, that’s, that one I can definitely say they’re involved, and they’re going to be involved.
They’re doing a remarkable job for us. They’re conducting a lot of the workouts, and they’re, not only do they finish the workouts, then they turn around and, Rudy Gobert’s coming, is back in, and they’re working out, and you see them helping him. And so, these guys don’t stop, and it’s impressive to see their commitment to our players and their development, commitment to this organization.*
So, as it relates to Brad and the rounding out of our coaching staff, that one is under Quin’s responsibilities. He’s working very hard at it. I’m really impressed the direction he’s going. And I think we’ll have some announcements in a fairly soon time pi–time period.
* UDQM paragraph.
What is the status of Raul Neto and Ante Tomic?
Well, we’ve actually had Raul, has been, in town.
He looks, by the way, great. For our female fans, by the way, he is very handsome.* And you know, I think if and when he participates in the Jazz team, I think we’ll have a lot of fans–female fans**–that will really like cheering for Raul Neto.
But I’ll tell you what, he’s worked very hard. He’s a player that is really developing…We are very actively looking at exactly and watching their careers and seeing if, you know, how they would fit in with our Jazz roster. And they’re very much in our, you know, in our bull’s eye, in our analysis, right now.
* This reminds me of the Friends Thanksgiving episode with Brad Pitt where Monica is describing him to Rachel: “Oh, and by the way, he’s lost a bunch of weight. He looks good. Okay, I mean really, really gorgeous.”
** I like how Rigby keeps emphasizing it’s female fans and only female fans.
Are Neto and Tomic available contractually, or is it a sticky wicket?
Well, it’s not sticky, but there are aspects to it that we have to deal with.* But they’re, they are not…[Rigby enters a tunnel or an elevator and the audio breaks up]…but we are prepared, if we think that that was right, to be able to pull the trigger and make those moves. (1280)