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Stay Classy, Utah Jazz Front Office and Personnel

August 3, 2012
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This post is more about Jazz personnel feeling the need to trash and badmouth former Jazz players — and in some cases former players that haven’t been in a Jazz uniform in a year — and just general unprofessionalism, than what was said.

** Jeff Hornacek on Raja Bell:

It was detrimental to the team to try to keep putting him in the game instead of some of our younger guys who are hungry to play, and hungry to get out there, and will do whatever coaches want. So, it’s just one of those unfortunate situations where a guy just didn’t fit into our plans, and that’s about it with it. …

You’re not gonna develop things around a guy who, I don’t know what his average was, six points a game or something, eight points a game? I mean, you’re not going to draw up all kinds of new things for that guy. So I thought Ty handled it great…I thought he handled it perfectly.

This whole segment sounded scripted and like it was designed to get Horny an opportunity to take shots at Raja. Also, the coaching staff did not have a record of playing young guys who were hungry to play last season or sitting older guys whose play was “detrimental to the team.”

** David Locke on Vinny Del Negro:

Vinny Del Negro played [Randy Foye] 34 minutes one night and DNPed him the next night because Nick Young was suddenly on the roster, which tells you all you need to know about Vinny Del Negro. “Why don’t we take Randy Foye out of the lineup and put in maybe the single least productive-efficient player in the NBA?” And funny, it didn’t work…when you look at [Foye’s] life background, he’s probably been through a lot bigger things than a coach being an idiot.

** David Locke on Miles, Howard, and Harris:

Marvin Williams is a good addition to a roster. He’s a nice player. He’s a faaaaabulous addition to a roster when he’s replacing C.J. Miles and Josh Howard…Randy Foye is a nice addition to a roster. If he’s replacing C.J. Miles, he’s fabulous, and if he’s replacing, if he can play backup point guard, he’s a game-changing, game-changing pickup. … The Jazz, I think, fundamentally didn’t believe that Devin…[would] play defense at a level that they wanted.

** David Locke on the Minnesota Timberwolves:

Minnesota, their guards last year, and their wings, are so awful. Michael Beasley sucks…he’s been terrible. Chris Wallace, the general manager of the Memphis Grizzlies, yesterday is quoted saying, “We really added to our three-point shooting” ’cause they added Wayne Ellington. Rephrase that. “We added a guy who shoots three-pointers.” He shot 32 percent. You’re not adding your three-point shooting if you’re shooting 32 percent, he just happens to shoot a lot. Wesley Johnson is a complete bust. Derrick Williams wasn’t very good last year. Their two guard and small forward last year–Minnesota–might’ve been the worst combination in the NBA…their end of the season was so pitiful, that you just wonder whether there’s some sort of cancerous culture inside that franchise that they’ll never win.

I don’t suppose the end of Minnesota’s season had to do with Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love’s respective injuries. Also, Kevin O’Connor has been talking his head off about how he’s added three-point shooting to the Jazz with Randy Foye. Foye shot 32 percent from behind the arc two seasons ago.

** Randy Rigby on Devin Harris:

We talked about Devin a lot as a team and as an organization. When we looked at if it was a time for change for us, a little more toughness, a little more of a player that matched our culture, our style of play.

** Randy Rigby on Andrei Kirilenko:

These players come out and play for their national teams, and we’re paying millions of dollars for them in our contracts and then they get injured. They get also a little bit more worn out. Andrei sometimes was playing a lot of ball for his national team, and then he’d come over and we’re paying 95 percent of his compensation, and then he’s sitting out on the sideline because he’s a little bit worn out from all the playing that he had playing for his national team. …

I hope for the good of the Minnesota Timberwolves that they’re able to realize the full benefit of the $10 million annually that he’s signing for. Our unfortunate thing we kind of found with Andrei is that we kind of said whatever we’re going to pay for Andrei, we gotta make sure that it’s equivalent to about 60 percent of the games, ’cause his body it sometimes looks like, especially after he’s come out of these Olympics, and even this stress of a regular season, his body sometimes seems to need to take a break and so he has to sit out for periods of two, three weeks. And so we found that he was usually playing only about 60 to 65 percent of the regular season games.* And so, you better factor that into your equation of what you’re going to pay for the player. …

Unfortunately, we didn’t quite get the value proposition of what we paid for.

* Not true. AK played in 681/820 games as a Jazzman, which is 83%. Even if you remove his first three seasons (82, 80, and 78 games played respectively) from the equation, he played in 77% of all games. Rigby is either blatantly lying, or as John Stockton would say, being a parrot.

As for the “value proposition” part, I’ll let @5kl (and @BitterMormon) and @JazzingItClark do the talking:

** Craig Bolerjack on Andrei Kirilenko:

If Kirilenko plays more than 60 games [in Minnesota], cartwheels down Main Street…Andrei is a great talent, was a great talent. When he played. I can’t say that on a broad brush, really, can I, umbrella. It was moments in time, where you thought wow, and you understand why at the time the late Larry Miller tried to make him the cornerstone of the franchise and overpaid, bottom line, the way it turned out, in a big way.

Bolerjack also went on to say that AK only claimed to work out in the summer but actually didn’t (“he says he’s been in the weight room, NOT“), couldn’t handle the ball, and was turnover-prone.

Again, the Jazz gave AK the max contract, but by signing Carlos Boozer the same summer to start at power forward, they in no way, shape or form tried to make him the cornerstone of the franchise.

** Randy Rigby on the Olympics:

One of the concerns I have had is our athletes being around each other together and enjoying this idea [of playing together], and by them being around each other, some of our superstars, them talking and just saying, “Well, maybe we oughta stay together and formulate our own little squads in Miami or in New York” or wherever it might be. I think there’s been a little bit of that atmosphere going on, and I don’t like that competitive nature. I like the idea of players wanting to say, “No, I want to compete with each other and I want to compete and beat you.”

You know? Deron Williams wants to compete against Dwight Howard instead of teaming up together after we’ve already gotten all of our money first, and then now let’s make it easier for us to win. I like something about people just saying, “No, we’re going to follow the rules that’s out there, and I don’t get to choose and pick. Whoever gets picked to be on my team though, we’re going to compete together and go out there and win.” And so, one thing I think the Olympics has done a little bit is maybe invite that atmosphere of those guys coming together and wanting to do that. So that’s one negative to what the Olympics does.

Rigby also couldn’t remember Marvin Williams’ name, referring to him as “uh, uh, then also, uh, uh, our other Williams.” Much like how he referred to Salah Mejri as “No. 50, 7’2″” during the Summer League.

Here’s Gordon Hayward on Devin Harris today: “I definitely enjoyed playing with Devin and appreciate everything that he did for us as a team…[the organization] feels like we got three guys that are going to help our team, so I’m excited about playing with them.”

Classy and simple, while looking forward.

People on the Jazz’s payroll couldn’t have just said that, however, because Devin is a former player, and former players must be trashed. This is an organization-wide culture and pattern of behavior that starts at the very top with ownership. When you combine this with how Corbin handled the Raja situation (and by that I mean how it is/will be perceived by other NBA players who hear about it), it won’t be Utah’s cold weather and lack of night life that keep the Jazz from being able to attract free agents.

All from–where else?–1280.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2012 11:58 pm

    At least nobody’s favorite radio host, Spence Checketts was classy enough to include LTV on that tweet.

    God, I hate him.

    • August 4, 2012 12:06 am

      I start laughing every time I think of that day you went off on that Twitter rant!!

      • August 6, 2012 12:24 am

        I will occasionally turn on that show on my drive home and by about the 3rd minute in I just want to slam my car into the wall.

        I don’t know how I’m going to get through his crap on the post-game shows this year while waiting for player interviews.

  2. SurlyMae permalink
    August 4, 2012 12:34 am

    Wow. Just, WOW!! This is plain shameful. Really disappointed.

  3. modernagejazz permalink
    August 4, 2012 2:58 am

    Horny on Raja: if the young guys who were hungry to play were not playing and Raja was and Ty chooses who plays, how is it possiible Ty has handled everything perfectly? It at least means Raja got Ty to be his little b for a while, which Ty later recognized and felt humiliated for. Lol

    The dumbest things that can be said by men, Locke manages to say. He makes very smart points sometimes, but the lows go to minus infinity. There is no limit to it.

    Devin: he clearly tried his best and helped us. Randy is honoring the name of Stan’s dad on South Park. I wish KOC would at least teach him the “no comment” route.

    Randy on AK at the Olympics: shut the hell up, Randy, Boozer and Deron played at the Olympics to, so did the other best players on the NBA. I don’t know why Randy does this to himself. He’s a CEO, not a basketball guy, he doesn’t have to know all this. Why open your mouth, sound like an idiot and embarrass the fanbase? :/

  4. Chris M permalink
    August 4, 2012 5:09 am

    I don’t think any of this is bad. I know it can be harsh, but as a fan, I want access to the truth. i want to know that they traded Devin Harris cause he was a pushover on the court. I don’t want generic bland answers. They can’t say that stuff about guys on the squad, because that will harm the team, but they can say it about guys who have left and why they decided to part ways. I like it and am glad they let us hear it. It’s getting said by every organization regardless of whether the fans hear it or not. I’m glad we get a chance to hear it.

    • August 4, 2012 11:43 am

      Thanks for the comment!

      I want access to the truth too. I think all fans do.

      Some of their comments are not “truth,” though. For example, Rigby saying AK only played in 60% of games when the actual percentage was > 80%.

      Re Devin Harris: It was never a good fit; that was apparent from the beginning. Devin’s strengths did not mesh with the Jazz system, and he ended up changing his game to fit the way the Jazz played even though it didn’t play to his strengths. When he was here, all of these people were going on about how the Jazz need a point guard that can penetrate and score (rather than distribute) because of the way the game is today, and that was why Devin was a good fit.

      And as soon as he traded, well, he never fit in and didn’t match the culture. It’s not so much what they’re saying now; it’s the 180.

      At the end of the day, this post wasn’t about the comments themselves, but rather a pattern of unprofessional behavior that has emerged among Jazz personnel.

  5. Sean permalink
    August 4, 2012 5:44 am

    Jazz FO eats only sour grapes

  6. Caleb permalink
    August 6, 2012 3:51 pm

    Great post. David Locke does get really annoying sometimes. Let’s hope this doesn’t dissuade free agents coming to Utah. Seems like all the coaches have trouble communicating effectively with the players.


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