Jazz Introduce Dennis Lindsey
♥I go a lot by feelings and impressions for me. And it was amazing, from the very first phone conversations with Dennis, it started feeling good.♥ — Randy Rigby
** Randy Rigby: Effective today, Kevin O’Connor will be the executive vice president of basketball operations for the Utah Jazz, and Dennis Lindsey will be acting as the Utah Jazz’s general manager.
** Rigby: At the end of this process, the Utah Jazz made one offer and one offer only to a new general manager, and we’re very excited that Dennis and the Lindsey family accepted that offer and to have them now a part of the Utah Jazz family.
** Kevin O’Connor: People are going to ask me why the move now, and this has been in the works for a little bit for a couple of years, about how we’re gonna transition into adding staff and to adding a key component to our organization, and we felt like we needed to get through the lockout because we didn’t know where we were gonna be with it, and how long it was gonna be in existence. We felt we needed to look at the new rules and see what best direction we go in, and go from there.
** O’Connor: I called Gregg Popovich…and I said, “Pop, I gotta ask you one question. If [San Antonio Spurs general manager] R.C. [Buford] buys a team tomorrow, are you gonna name Dennis Lindsey your GM?” He goes, “The next day, we’ll have a press conference and do it.” That was all I needed to hear from a friend of mine that’s been in this for a long time.
** Dennis Lindsey: The NBA’s becoming complex and more competitive by the day. Kevin and I, the rest of the management team, the scouts, the coaching staff, the medical staff, the PR, the whole organization, we’re a group, and that’s how we’re going to approach this. With the new [collective bargaining agreement] in place, with international scouting, with medical services, with analytics, with player development, it takes a well-thought effort, and sometimes even more importantly, a well-coordinated effort, and that’s not only what we do, but it’s what we don’t do.
** Gail Miller, to Lindsey: Dennis, welcome. Welcome to you and your family. Wonderful family. I feel like you already belong here, that you’re a perfect fit, and we know that you will do exactly what we need you to do and you certainly have our support. I believe that’s a hallmark of our organization. We support, to the end. The only thing that you have to do to not get our support is do something really, really crazy. So show up, work hard, and do what we’ve asked, and what you can bring with your own expertise, and you’re in for life.
** Greg Miller, to Lindsey: I view your arrival here as a very almost tangible step in our march towards a championship.
** Rigby: We do a lot of analytics in analyzing how we’re stacking up in the league.
** O’Connor: People don’t equate the Utah Jazz to the analytics part of it. We do a great deal of analytics.
** O’Connor on trading Deron Williams (ostensibly about the organization’s feeling that he wasn’t going to re-sign): Smells like it, tastes like it, feels like it. If you touch it, it touches like it. Therefore, it is. (#UDQM)
** Lindsey: Derrick Favors is a good, young player. I’m not going to say “prospect.” He made six or seven plays in the San Antonio series that we were shaking our knees that there’s very few guys that can make those types of plays.
OK, let’s play a little Choose Your Own Adventure here.
A. I am conservative and people think I’m easily offended.
B. Choice A does not apply to me.
If “A” is your choice, please skip ahead to the double green asterisk.
If “B” is your choice, please skip ahead to the double blue asterisk.
** …was everyone stroking each other.
** …was a “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” situation.
** Rigby: May I also just express our appreciation as the Utah Jazz to the many owners, team presidents, and general managers of the NBA in their support and patience as we went through this important process. May I also recognize, I should have done that earlier, coach Tyrone Corbin and his wonderful wife also being here with us as well as Heidi Miller and my wife Sandra. Brian, also great having you with us as well.
** O’Connor: We’ve got not a good young coach. We’ve got a very good coach, and he proved that last year.
** Lindsey, on when Corbin took over as head coach: Kevin and Ty, with such grace to not lose their compass and their true north on who we are and what we do.
** Lindsey: With Tim [Duncan], with Manu [Ginobili], with Tony [Parker], with [Gregg] Pop[ovich], [the Spurs] had the great luxury of having a really identifiable playing style, and so we can complement that well. And the Jazz have that here…having a steady hand like Ty, the results probably exceeded expectations, especially in lieu of all the change that happened…I would deem the record and the playoff achievement as a great accomplishment by Ty, his staff, the players, Kevin, everybody.
** Lindsey on how Greg Miller chose Corbin as the coach, as related to him by Greg: Ty’s poise through rough waters, his calmness, his character really stood out. And I knew at that moment that that was gonna be, I had to do whatever it took to get the job, and in this case, it was be myself. He didn’t “have me at hello,” but Greg had me after that story.
** O’Connor: I’d like to thank the Miller family, Gail, and obviously Larry, and everybody that’s involved, Greg, with the support that they’ve given not just on the court, but off the court, and that’s a true family tradition that’s gone on here, and we’ve appreciated that.
** Lindsey: Kevin, obviously, is just a jewel. The way he handled this process with such humility, with concern first for the organization, on how this goes.
** Rigby: Kevin is, he is a warrior.
** Gail Miller (crying): I’d like to start with Kevin, and just express my appreciation for your long-term dedication, and as I’ve watched you over the years and been involved in meetings with you, I’ve been very impressed with your sense of confidence and direction and wisdom in decision-making and I thank you for that. I’ve learned a lot from watching you and understand that you are a dedicated person, and we’re very grateful that you’re staying on, that you will continue to be a part of the Utah Jazz, and that you will take on an expanded role because we need you, we appreciate you, and you can mentor a lot of people that will look to you for the wisdom that you have in the basketball organization.
** Greg Miller: One of the reasons [Lindsey] chose to make this move is because of what he experienced through the interview process with Randy, and Kevin, and Bob, and Ty, and others. It means a lot to me that you all [Randy, and Kevin, and Bob, and Ty, and others] conduct yourselves as professionally as you do and that you have earned the reputation that you do, and have created an environment that people of Dennis’ caliber want to be a part of. So thank you for that. Thank you for representing our organization as well as you do.
** Greg Miller: Kevin has brought a great deal of credibility to our franchise. I know that he’s very well-respected around the league, and I consider myself very blessed and very fortunate to have him as a part of our franchise, and I hope he’s with us for a long, long time.
It was all rather odd to me. KOC isn’t going anywhere. He didn’t even really step down; he stepped aside. It’s like he had two parking spaces, and he gave up the one farther away from the elevator. As KOC said: “I’m not going anywhere. I’m gonna be here. I’m just not gonna get the calls from the agents.”
But you wouldn’t know it from the way everyone was conducting themselves. They made it seem like KOC was ** resigning or ** had died. Also odd how most of the press conference was them addressing (complimenting) each other rather than addressing the media. *shrug*
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Day (UDQM)
** KOC: I’m really excited to be able to sit down with Dennis and get in a room and talk about trades and three-ways. (H/T @clintonite33)
** KOC: Everywhere we’re going is moving in a direction upward.
** KOC: I’m excited about it. I’m looking forward to it. Can’t wait to get started, although my wife does want to have a week of vacation.
** KOC: I got a new playmate, to figure out how to get in the kitchen and make it better. I’m just excited to be able to focus on a lot of stuff that we’re gonna focus on and have two heads on it. (H/T @KingA4Beer)
** KOC: I’ve watched, internally, a lot of people grow, and I feel very, very comfortable in what I’m doing.
** KOC: We’ll still be doing it, but the nice thing is we can do it together, first of all, and the second thing is, I think we can do it in as much or more depth than we’ve done it before. But it’s so good to be able to bounce some things off.